I think most authors would probably just saying “writing” is the hardest part. But I think it’s a little bit more than that. I think it’s self-doubt.
A lot of us write because we know we have something new to say, but no one is listening. So when you finally get to show everyone what’s on your mind, it’s easy to worry that no one will appreciate it. After all, they weren’t listening before, why would they now?
That self-doubt can get in the way of writing what you want. What stops us from writing is thinking our prose style is ugly or clunky, our characters are cliche, or our plot isn’t gripping. Just ignoring that awful feeling of uncertainty and just writing is best way to be successful. Even if it isn’t everyone, there is always someone out there who wants to hear what you have to say.
Can you give a short synopsis of Dora's Jinx?
Dora’s Jinx is about a girl who finds out she’s a witch even though she doesn’t want to be. Unfortunately for her, she has to come to terms with who she really is, all the while saving the town from a “crazy cat lady” who steals other witches’ familiars in order to become more powerful.
What inspired you to write this book?
It was actually very random. There was an anthology that put a call out for stories about adopting animals. After a lot of brainstorming and false starts (one of which I hope to get back to), I came up with an idea about an animal shelter that adopts out magical creatures. This idea stayed in Dora’s Jinx as The Not-So Dumb Friends League (named after a local animal shelter in Colorado where I’ve adopted many of my own pets).
Sadly, or maybe fortunately, the story wasn’t accepted to the anthology. It stayed in my short story folder for a year or two, but it was always in the back of mind. I really loved both the characters of Dora and Jinx, and I felt that it was unfair to them to just be forgotten. After all, there will never be enough stories about sarcastic cats. One day -and I have no reason why this day more than any other- I decided to see if the story wouldn’t work better if it were longer. When it comes to novels, I usually have a hard time plotting things out past the climax, but with Dora’s Jinx, it just flowed out of me into the book you see now.
I’m really glad I did. It just goes to show that failing really is the first step to success. Also,it taught me to never throw your stories away. You will have use of them eventually!
How many hours per day do you spend writing?
My day job is in content creation, so I actually write all day for small businesses and the like. When you have to do that for other people, it sort of saps your creative energy for your own stuff. That being said, for my personal works, I think I can average about an hour a day once you balance out the days I do nothing, and the days I only write.
Name your top five favorite books.
This is always changing, but here is my list right now:
- Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
- The King of Atolia by Megan Whalen Turner
- A Stitch in Time by Andrew J Robinson
- Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi
- Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov
What are you working on now?
Aside from keeping up with my duties at ScienceFiction.com and LovingTheAlien.net, I have two novels that I’m close to finishing. The first is called The Templeton Threat, and it follows a very lazy witch who gets a job as a stage magician’s apprentice so he doesn’t have to really work (since he already can actually do magic). He spends most of the book hiding the fact that he’s a witch, and dodging people trying to find him… which probably takes him more effort than actually owning up to being a witch. The irony.
The second is darker, and deals with a criminal underworld of people who can talk to the dead. Though mostly written, it’s still untitled…. because as we all know, titles sometimes are the hardest part!
I’m very excited about both works, and can’t wait to get them finished and published!
Title: Dora’s Jinx
Author: Boom Baumgartner
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Dora Behn might as well have been born invisible. She could wear bright colors and dance the Macarena in the middle of class without so much as a glance. It’s not that she’s antisocial, just no one other than her family seems to even notice she’s there. This would naturally put a damper on her romantic life… If she had one to begin with.
Everything changes on her sixteenth birthday when a talking cat appears and tells her she is a witch. For Dora, nothing could be worse. No one dated crazy cat ladies!
Things go from bad to worse when the other witches’ familiars go missing, including her aunt’s. Dora’s magic may be the only thing that can prevent the total destruction of the sleepy town of Kinderhook. But to save her friends and family, Dora must learn to embrace who and what she is. She just needs to figure out what that means.
Influenced from a young age by greats like David Bowie, Boom likes to add a little bit of glam to everything she does, from playing the ukulele to writing novels. When she’s not turning out stories about witchcraft and werewolves, she is a staff writer for ScienceFiction.com. You can find her other musings at LovingTheAlien.net
Find the Book: