Author Chrissy Lessey is native to the Crystal Coast of North Carolina, where you can find beaches, local shops, and pirates. Some people even say that a secret coven of witches exist in Beaufort, North Carolina. It’s under this premise that Lessey’s book The Coven and follow-up book The Hunted is based. This books picks up where The Coven left off. Vanessa, a “bad witch” who tried to destroy the coven in the last book, returns defaced and with her powers stripped. Meanwhile, her mother Susan, who is still set on destroying the coven, finds a way to get out of the mental hospital with her powers restored through the help of Benjamin Parrish (descendant of Samuel). Before Stevie, a newly discovered witch, knows it, she and her autistic son Charlie must work with the Coven to defend themselves against Susan’s powerful attacks. The story is quick-paced, suspenseful, and captivating–a good follow-up to Lessey’s series. Although I know Chrissy Lessey personally, I wanted to know more about how her real life inspires her work. Here is the exclusive interview and your inside look into an author’s world!
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Tell us a little about yourself and your background? I started writing professionally fifteen years ago. Back then, I wrote a humorous advice column and co-wrote a comic strip for a local paper. After that, I moved into blogging and occasional freelance work for magazines. The Coven, Book One of The Crystal Coast Series, was my first completed work of fiction. Switching from non-fiction to fiction was a challenge for me, but I’ve found that I thoroughly enjoy writing novels.
What are you working on at the minute? If you’re working on something, what is it about? I’m currently working on the last book in The Crystal Coast Series. We’ll finally see how it all ends for the coven.
Do you write full-time or part-time? In the beginning of my career, writing was mostly a part-time job. Now, with the demands of creating and promoting a series, it has become full-time work.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured? I work just about every day. I typically write when my kids are in school and on the weekends.
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day? I like to write about 2000 words a day.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you? I use an outline. I like to know where I’m going with a book. It also helps to keep me focused.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively? I think I’m getting bolder with each new book.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? I think writing Charlie was the most difficult part about writing The Hunted. It was important to me to present a character with autism realistically. I wanted readers to see him as a whole person, not just a bundle of stereotypical symptoms. There was quite a lot of self-imposed pressure to get it right.
Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block? For me, stepping away from the computer and engaging in a non-writing activity is helpful. I like to tackle organizational projects around the house when I’m really stuck. Letting my mind wander while I clean out a closet usually does the trick.
Who are your favorite authors? I have many favorites. Anne Rice, David Sedaris, and Stephen King top the list.
Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit? Absolutely! I need to put at least a month in between completing the first draft and beginning revisions. I am able to spot errors and plot holes easier if I take a break and come back to it later.
What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews? I always appreciate a thoughtful review, whether it’s good or bad. Critical reviews help me improve my craft. Positive reviews are a delight to read and they carry me through the tough days.
Which social network works best for you? I connect with fans on Facebook and Twitter. From a marketing standpoint, I’d say Twitter is more effective. However, Facebook offers an environment that is better suited for chatting with my readers. I really enjoy doing that.
Why do you think that other well-written books just don’t sell? I think the market is over-saturated right now. It’s hard for anyone to stand out in the crowd. I think an author needs great marketing and a whole lot of luck to sell books these days.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers? Stop talking about writing and write!
I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing from Chrissy. If you’re interested in checking out her book, you can get your copy of on The Hunted: Book Two on Amazon!