Thursday 10 September 2015

Interview with author J.B. Cantwell

This week, in preparation for the launch of my second book in The Rabbit Ate My . . . Series, The Rabbit Ate My Flip-Flops (September 16th! Mark your calendars!), I'm participating in the Back to School Blog Tour. Check the host site for featured author interviews and links to participating author blogs with behind the scenes posts, back to school memories, and more. Plus your chance to win books and prizes!

Participating authors:

Marilyn Peake Monday Sept. 7
Rachel Elizabeth Cole Tuesday Sept. 8
Sean McCartney Wednesday Sept. 9
Lee Winters Thursday Sept. 10

Today, as an extension of the tour, I'm interviewing fellow middle grade author J.B. Cantwell, author of the Aster Wood series and the 6th Grade Supernatural series.

1) Who was your favorite author, and how did they influence your writing?

When I was younger, my favorite author was Stephen R. Donaldson. His fantasy worlds were so vivid, and his characters so real and tortured, that they really spoke to me. Not everything was rosy and pleasant in those worlds, quite the contrary. And there was just so much magic in every fiber of his stories. I've never forgotten my first introduction to fantasy books, and his have inspired my own work greatly.

2) What is your most remembered Back to School memory?

I'll never forget the pink matching skirt and shirt that I wore my first day back to school as a younger child. I remember standing at the bus stop, all gussied up in my best duds, excited for the new year to begin. I will say, though, that I was always disappointed in the hot California weather. I wanted to dress in the long sleeves and heavy plaid skirts and tights that I saw in all the magazines! No dice when it's in the 80s and even 90s through October...

3)How did you overcome your difficulties in school?

I did ok in school growing up, but I did have a hard time making friends. Early in high school I had just one good friend to eat lunch with, and the days when she might be out sick were lonely, indeed. Over time, though, I learned that it's not so much the number of friends you have, but how strong those friendships are that matters. Over the years I've become more outgoing and have learned to make friends rather easily. Now I look forward to talking to new people; you never know who you'll meet next! Still, I've never been the "popular girl", and I probably never will be, but I do now have many close friendships scattered about, all of them dear to me.

3) Do you have a writing routine? What helps motivate you to write a story?

I used to write all the time, working my fingers to the bone, forcing them to fly across the keyboard. Now, I have a more balanced plan when it comes to writing. After all, without going out into the world and living life, how would I experience anything interesting to get my brain thinking of new stories? I schedule blocks of time for myself about 2-3 hours long and only write during those times. It helps me to not get overwhelmed by my projects, which are large. I am motivated and inspired by the people I meet and often artwork or photographs I see while looking at the internet.

5) How would you summarize how writing is for you in one sentence?

Writing lets me paint the pictures my hands can't create, and it gives me an outlet to share my belief that it's ok to not be perfect.

6) What other projects or books are you working on right now?

Right now I'm working on book 5 in my Aster Wood series. I'm also planning on releasing book 2 in my 6th Grade Supernatural series this October, just in time for a spooky Halloween!

About J.B. Cantwell:

When she was twelve, J. B. Cantwell flew across the field, bareback on the crazy mare who loved to run. She pushed her faster, faster, not caring if she might fall to the hard ground below. The joy came from the challenge of staying on, the pride of knowing that she had the skill and the heart and the courage to grip hard and ride.

Life is like that crazy mare. You never know if she'll step right or left, or stay quietly still and give you a moment to breathe.

Everyone has a story to tell.

Find out more about J.B. Cantwell on her website:

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