Saturday, 22 September 2012

Interview: CJ Archer


 Author - CJ Archer

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing the lovely CJ Archer about her riveting paranormal series, ‘The Emily Chambers Spirit Medium Trilogy’.  Book 1 -THE MEDIUM is available in EBook and Paperback.  Book 2 - POSSESSION is out now.

Hi CJ and welcome to The Romantic Muse (TRM).  I am sure you must be excited about the recent release of ‘Possession’?  
Thanks for having me, Anna. Yes, I'm absolutely excited to be releasing POSSESSION. This is my first time writing a trilogy, and although it's been an interesting exercise in juggling plot threads over three books, it's hugely satisfying too.

I am curious, how did you come to be writing paranormals or more specifically about mediums?
I love ghosts and have always been fascinated with them. Maybe it stems from my love of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir movie, or from telling ghost stories with my brother around the campfire as kids. I also have a fascination for history and there's so many old buildings that have ghosts associated with them. I just adore hearing their stories, not only of their hauntings, but also who they were when they were alive.

‘The Medium’ is full of twists, turns and great nail biting scenes. What can we expect in the second book and will there be any surprises?
Loads of surprises! Not only do we learn more about Emily's father, but also her paternal ancestry. Another family member she didn't know she had pops up too. There is also a shocking revelation about the reason behind Jacob's death. The relationship between Emily and Jacob heats up too, but another gentleman complicates matters.

The relationship between Emily and Jacob is potent. I love the scene with Aunt Catherine and later with Jacob’s father. It is steeped in emotion.  Jacob is charmingly protective; every girl’s knight in shining armour. If you haven’t already guessed, Jacob is my favourite character.  I was cheering him on all the way.  From ‘The Medium’ who is your favourite character and why?
I'm glad you like Jacob so much. He's the guy I want in my corner, that's for sure. But I think my favourite character is Emily. She's had to battle against some strong society prejudices but I think that has toughened her enough that she's learned to stand up for herself. I can't help cheering for her.

Will all the main characters be making an appearance in ‘Possession’? You mentioned Jacob is returning.
Absolutely! This is very much Jacob AND Emily's story, so all three books will feature them, but the path ahead is a bumpy one for them. Plus there'll be George, Celia, Adelaide and a few others we met in THE MEDIUM.

When I write, it is my characters that guide me through the story, revealing their feelings and motivations along the way.  How do your stories come to fruition and have you ever discovered something that surprised you about a character?
I usually plot out the story before I write, and although I tweak it as I need to, sometimes things happen that completely take me by surprise but add a new layer to the story. This happened with Emily's character. When I started writing THE MEDIUM, I knew there would be a cloud over her father's identity, but I didn't know she had a non-Anglo background. She appeared on the page as a feisty young woman with darkish skin, brown eyes and dark, wavy hair. This is something I've explored more in POSSESSION.
What are the challenges of writing a series of this type?
Remembering what I wrote in earlier books! LOL. Even though I kept a folder with information on characters, places, and the paranormal "rules" I'd created, I still found myself forgetting who knew what information, and other small events in the story. The other main challenge was simply juggling all the plot threads over three books, and making sure they got their own "air time" without being left behind or taking over. It was the most difficult thing I've ever written, but immensely satisfying too. 

Can you share with us what you’re current WIP is about?
I'm currently editing book 3 of the Emily Chambers Spirit Medium trilogy. It's tentatively titled EVERMORE, and will be released in December.

What are you reading at the moment?
I have two books on the go at the moment - Wool by Hughe Howey, a dystopian sci-fi which has just been optioned by movie giant Ridley Scott's company, and The Ugly Duchess by Eloisa James. You probably couldn't get two more different books, but that just goes to show my eclectic reading tastes.

Is there anything you would like to share with us about your writing journey or a piece of advice for aspiring writers? That would be great.
Wear your heart on your sleeve when you write. Think about what makes you cry, laugh, angry, sad, or just plain curious? Put those elements into your writing then wrench the emotions out of your reader with your fabulous word usage.

Thank you for your inspiring words, CJ and all the very best success with the release of ‘Possession’.

Thank you.

The purchasing links for all CJ’s books can be found on her website's Books page:

Twitter: @cj_archer
C.J. Archer has loved history and books for as long as she can remember and feels fortunate that she found a way to combine the two with her historical romances. Under her other name of Carolyn Scott, she has published contemporary short stories in women's magazines on two continents including Take A Break, Woman's Day and That's Life.

She has at various times worked as a librarian, IT support person and technical writer but in her heart has always been a fiction writer. She has won and placed in romance writing contests including winning RWAustralia's Emerald Award in 2008 for the manuscript which she went on to self-publish under the title Honor Bound.

C.J. spent her early childhood in the dramatic beauty of outback Queensland, Australia, but now lives in suburban Melbourne with her husband and two children.


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