LENA GOLDFINCH is the Kindle Bestselling author of teen fantasy — stories with heart and a healthy dose of “sigh-worthy” romance. Her new book, HAUNTING JOY: a Ghostly Little Story, is scheduled for release October 20, 2013. Her current available titles include SONGSTONE, AIRE, and THE LANGUAGE OF SOULS. She lives in a scenic small town in Massachusetts with her husband, two kids, and a very spoiled Black Lab. In her creative heart, she travels far and wide to all sorts of exciting places, past and present, which is a perk of making things up for a living. Visit her online at lenagoldfinch.com.
“…an original fantasy world inhabited by superstitious tribal nations and intriguingly developed characters.” — SERENA CHASE, USA Today HEA
“Danger, magic, romance, and royal intrigue, AIRE is a must read!” –NYT Bestselling Author JESSICA ANDERSEN
“Looking for something fresh and new to read? Try Lena Goldfinch’s AIRE.” –SERENA CHASE, USA Today HEA
Haunting Joy: a Ghostly Little Story — October 20, 2013 (light paranormal romance, YA)
Songstone — YA Fantasy Romance — Now Available
Aire — YA Fantasy Romance — Now Available
The Language of Souls — YA Fantasy Romance — Now Available
What inspires you to write?
I’m fascinated by people. I’m especially inspired by people in transition, by characters who have to face a challenge and dig deep to accomplish a goal, whether to solve a mystery, save the day, or simply find love. (Ha! Simply! ;))
I’m also inspired by a love of books. I grew up reading from a young age and used to come home from the public library with an armload or paper-sack-full of books. We all need stories, I think. We need to be immersed in another world now and again, whether that’s through books (the best source, of course! ;)), or movies, TV, YouTube, oral stories, songs, blogs, etc… We’re all hungry to share our stories. It’s part of what makes us human. 🙂
Tell us about your writing process.
Honestly, I do whatever works. Each book seems to require a different process — to keep me on my toes, I think. A lot of times it may start with a character in a tough spot, so an inciting scene. I may go from there as long as I can, just writing along, until I need to stop and do research, plot, brainstorm, explore character bios, etc…
I may use index cards, huge sheets of craft paper & colorful markers, and I always make copious notes.
I write freehand. I write on the computer. I write on the back of napkins. I’ve dictated into a tape recorder (not my favorite!). I’ve used Dragon Naturally Speaking (speech-to-text software). Whatever works.
When I get stuck, I take showers, go for walks, drive, daydream, chat (complain) with writer friends, read books on writing, read novels, watch movies/TV… Not all at once. 😉
(I may also pull at my hair, but only a little. 😉
I collect images of characters, objects, and landscapes that inspire me. I design book covers. I do more research.
In the end, I have a deep commitment to finishing my stories. I may have to set aside a work for a while and focus on another project until it breaks free, but I never give up. (Although, there are a few instances where I’ve set aside stories permanently, because they simply weren’t working, and I think that’s an important skill too.)
Mostly, I remind myself that I get to make up stuff and it’s supposed to be fun. It’s hard work too, so I treat it with the respect of any other real job. I set aside time. I invest money in it. Etc…
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I don’t think this is optional, is it??? LOL Seriously, I think tapping into your characters is one of the great joys of writing. Getting lost in someone else’s world, seeing things through her eyes, and feeling what she’s feeling is all part of the process. (And that’s AWESOME.) It’s also what I love about reading, btw.
This is what goes on during daydreaming. Getting into your character’s skin can be spurred on by thinking deeply: what is she’s thinking and feeling now? Such and such just happened. What’s going on in her head right now? And then as much as possibly try to drift, try to slip into her world, losing yourself.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write a lot.
Write what you love, what you want to read.
Explore things that fascinate you.
Get lost in it.
Continually work on the craft.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Choosing to self-publish my books was sort of like the perfect storm, in a good way.
I’d seen attitudes shifting toward self-publishing for a while, and some of my writer friends having success with it, enjoying it even, and that encouraged me to think about it.
My background is in software engineering and web design, so I felt comfortable with computers & with tackling book formatting. I’ve also always had an artistic bent and had been creating mock covers for years. Because of my web design work, I already Photoshop (design software), and I love the design process, so I wanted to take a stab at creating my book covers.
Then in the summer of 2012, the rights to my novella, which was published with a small press, came back to me. It had already been professionally edited, which was a huge plus, and I had an itch to rewrite it. Ideas were bubbling, and I wanted to dive in. It was also a nice manageable 30k words, which seemed perfect for learning the process of self-publishing….
So, I had the novella and I was intrigued by self-publishing. I had an itch to do cover design. I had my toolkit of skills. I wasn’t getting any younger. 😉 And I had the time to do it. With that, I was primed.
Then I made two connections that brought it all together:
1. I connected with my wonderful proofreader/copyeditor, Thyra. This was key. I’m of the strong opinion that writers can’t always see their own errors, because their brains substitute what’s supposed to be there. Or maybe that’s just me? 😉 I also connected with Amber Stokes, my lovely freelance editor, who takes the first pass through my finished manuscripts.
2. I also connected with YA author Lisa Amowitz, a graphic design professor and book cover designer, who offered to mentor me. (That’s still kind of overwhelming and I’m so grateful and blown away by her generosity.)
With the success of publishing my novella, I went on to publish my two completed teen fantasy novels (Aire & Songstone). I’m now in the process of publishing a new book, Haunting Joy, a short novel/novella about a girl and a haunted thrift-shop dress, which has been such fun to write. It’s a light contemporary paranormal, and it’s just a quick, fun read. I wrote it as a sort of break between the longer, more involved world building of my historical fantasy books. Although I adore world building, and it’s kind of my thing, I also enjoy working on something that’s set right here in New England, where I live.
I love the freedom of self-publishing and having a hand in all the steps along the way of producing my books, but. honestly, it’s also a lot of hard work and it’s time consuming. It’s a juggling act, and I can see why it wouldn’t be for everyone. It just happens to suit me very well. I’m happy.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Oh wow. I’d say it’s going to keep changing and growing. Digital will continue to blossom. Print is not going away. I think people will always love a physical hardcover or paperback for some books. They will also love the ease of downloading something *right now*. So I think both will continue to flourish. Audio seems to be doing great right now, and I may pursue putting out audio editions at some point.
I also think online retailers will continue to thrive (but not all). More big bookstores will go under — sadly — but I think we’ll see more independent/corner bookstores doing well. We’ll also see books being sold in new ways too, in new outlets. What those are, I’m not sure, but I think people will continue to innovate.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
teen fantasy romance, teen light paranormal romance
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print