Months ago, I approached Sheenah, my publisher and editor, with an idea that we interviewed each other. ^-^ I wanted you guys to see the rapport we have with each other and to know what she truly thought of me and the situations we’ve been in as literature lovers and friends. I’m not sure she saw the reason for my madness, but she ventured on and filled it out like a trooper. I’ve had it for a few months and was waiting for the right time to share it. I think that moment has come. Let me introduce you to my grand publisher, Ms. Sheenah!
BUT WAIT! THAT’S MORE! =D We have one week TODAY until Spirit Vision 2: New Beginnings is released. After the interview, get a sneak peek of my newest book and the next installment in the Spirit Vision series by getting to read the first chapter! 😀 Enjoy!
Author to Publisher Interview:
- What made Spirit Vision stand out to you and decided to give me/Mrs. Comnick a contract with your company?
At the time I was looking for another YA author to help balance the work at the press. It was originally going to be just a YA press, but since rumor is I’m a nerd, I also wanted to tackle doing the “nerdy” genres like fantasy for adult audiences, hence why I wanted to pick up Holly and Michelle’s works. Spirit Vision just so happened to be exactly what I was looking for at the right time.
- How is it to work with me/Mrs. Comnick? Honestly?
It’s interesting. I think working with someone you already knew can be dangerous and can sometimes ruin relationships, but once we made a clear line of what’s professional and what’s friendly banter, I think everything worked out okay.
- If you could describe me/Mrs. Comnick’s writing style in three words, what would they be?
Cheery, detailed, and nerdy.
- Have you seen any growth from me/Mrs. Comnick since starting the publication process? If so, in what areas?
It’s difficult to see growth in one book during the publication process because you get so close to it that things sort of meld together. I do look forward to seeing your future books to really see your growth, but you have tightened some things down from start to final product.
- How hard was it to work on this book on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being super easy and 10 being near impossible?
Maybe a 7. There were some timeline issues since, because as you’ve said, you started writing it about 10 years ago. Some inconsistencies needed to be ironed out and I always feel going through a first-person POV is always a bit more harder than a third-person POV because not only do you need to stay true to the author’s voice and vision, but you also need to make sure it’s true to the character’s voice.
- What makes Spirit Vision unique on the young adult market? What makes it appeal to audiences in your eyes?
I know there are YA books about ghosts in the market (one that comes to mind immediately is The Ghost and the Goth), but I’m not too familiar with them. What immediately drew my attention to the project was the tagline, “If God gave you a mission, would you answer His call?” I thought the whole religious tie-in was different. I think the YA audience would definitely enjoy reading about the love triangle in the book and would probably be pleasantly surprised that the book isn’t as religious heavy as what it first appears to be; it truly is, at its heart, I think, a high school drama with some paranormal/supernatural aspects.
- How did you, me/Mrs. Comnick, and your artist, Ms. Suzy Zhang, work together? What was the process for making the cover?
I was actually not a huge part in the cover making process. I just contacted Suzy and asked if she’d be interested in creating a book cover and I believe the rest was all on you.
- If you could pick a favorite character in Spirit Vision, who would it be and why?
Maybe Umbra. His presence sort of keeps a steady balance between seriousness and humor in the book.
- What is your favorite pairing (romantic, family, or friendship) in Spirit Vision?
Umbra and Maren.
- What two characters would you put together romantically from Spirit Vision that most people would not think about? Any reasons why?
That one, I’m not too sure of. As of right now, I like all the romantic tie-ins and wouldn’t change it any other way.
- What was your favorite part in Spirit Vision?
The end. Unfortunately, I can’t say why.
- What was the part that made you laugh the most?
There were a number of parts that made me giggle. One of the parts that sort of stands out to me is when Stary and Umbra end up in his world. I know it’s not meant to be the most funniest scene in the book, but some of their interactions, though sweet, made me laugh, especially with the gnome. I think it’s mainly because it reminded me of a clichéd scene from a shoujo manga, which isn’t a bad thing!
- What part shocked you the most and made you think, “I did not see that coming!”?
There’s something Cally says toward the end that was an “Oh snap!” moment for me.
- Any favorite lines or quotes you recall from Spirit Vision?
The line that Cally says from the previous question. If I wrote the quote by itself, it wouldn’t really make sense, but when you put it in with the entire context, it’s really good and full of spoilers, so… *zips mouth*
- What can readers learn from Maren, Stary, and Umbra and their world?
I’m not a religious person, but a reader can learn a lot about faith—and not really faith in God, but faith in goodness. You turn on the news and there’s a lot of things on TV that can ruin your faith in humanity and goodness and really makes you think the worst of civilization and our future. But then you read about these characters and it makes you believe in innocence and friendship and gives you faith and hope that there’s goodness out there and that it will prevail.
- Team Umbra or Team Credence? Do not tell why though!
- If you could describe me/Mrs. Comnick herself in three words, what would they be?
Quirky, sweet, and bubbly.
- What are some things me/Mrs. Comnick and you do or talk about together that have nothing to do with writing? Your common interests?
We’ve known each other for quite some time! What do we not talk about? XD We’ll always share our love for Cardcaptor Sakura and Sailor Moon and, well, anime in general among many other things. 😀
- If all the authors at Paper Crane Books were a family, what would me/Mrs. Comnick be and why? What would her jobs be?
I’ve always thought of everyone at the press as sisters. Now that we have Dan in the mix, he’s like our big brother. No one would have set specific jobs. I could see us having a chore wheel or something and pawning off things we don’t like to do to someone else.
- What do you think others can learn from me/Mrs. Comnick?
If you’re passionate and dedicated about something, you’ll be able to achieve anything with a little bit of hard work.
- What do you see in the future for me/Mrs. Comnick as a writer? What do you hope happens?
Many good things. I look forward to seeing the stories grow and expand. I think all the stories will feature romance to some extent in them (because you just love love!) but I’m looking forward to seeing you focus more on bigger issues that teens face. Whether it be bullying or independence. I know it’ll come with the right story and that excites me.
(The 2nd book in the Spirit Vision series)
Lavender. The sky etched the color into swirls across the plains of life and the borders of heaven. Bursts of orange and red hues danced breathtakingly among the lilac hue. I felt as if they wanted me to follow their glory. Wait…who was I? What was I? Where was I?
Dizzily, I rubbed my fingers against my eyes, which were spinning just as madly as the dazzling colors of the falling dawn. In a blur, I saw the outline of my smooth hands, delicately coming into focus. A rush of waves filled my head, pulsing with thudding vibrations, making the boldness of the sky vibrate to my inner rhythm. My head was clear now and locked into the eternal wonder of the beyond that was my normal life.
A whistle reached my ears and the wind soon followed like a siren call. It cooled my senses, opening up my emotions to expand on possibilities. A refreshing breeze patted down my hair with force, the wind making the hues of the space blend like an oil painting trapped in the rain. The scent of the air fueled my lungs with confidence, making me recall everything.
I remembered. I remembered I’m Stary Moon. I remembered I’m a Spirit Warrior and a normal high school girl. I remembered I—well sadly, I didn’t know where I was. However, I knew one thing about my location. Distance. It was all that was between me and discovery.
I was prepared. Slowly, I stood up. I brushed dirt off my knees like a downpour, hitting my earth-colored sandals that blended with the ground, which I normally wouldn’t wear. Surprised, I glanced down to see I was in a deep purple dress, which flowed like a stream. The material was light as a feather and beautiful as the wind hit my skin with the dress’s soul. The colors above me were now fused together and spinning worse than a merry-go-round out of control. A stir was in the air. Something was happening. I had to find it.
I began to run. No matter how normal or fast my natural speed was, the melody of change made me feel slow, lost in nothingness. Although my dress was more appropriate for spring, the chilled air seeping into my feet indicated it was really autumn. In a blink of an eye, I was rushing into a forest where all the leaves were falling off the trees. Dark green bushes shielded each tree’s side. The sky above the trees didn’t have a speck of light hinted in it as the colors began to hum. Between the wavering branches of the trees, the sky above the trees were the oil colors of lilac, orange, and bleeding red watching me carefully. The lingering scent of cherry blossoms that suddenly entered my nose was contradictory with the mood of the heavens above. I wanted to pause to piece together these clashes, but I couldn’t stop even if I wanted to. I was trapped in life’s unknown motion meant solely for me.
Leaves were smacking all parts of me, tangling my body and going through it like the small injection of a needle. The rain of leaves created a road that bathed in the colors of God’s ambers and yellows—it was a path overlapping the gray trail of the planet.
I was so determined to find my place that I didn’t notice how far I had run or how much I had completed. A circle of burning power was ahead of me, pebbles surrounding it like a picture frame. However, as soon as I was a foot away, the pebbles absorbed itself into the ground, making the dirt moist to the touch….
Flash! A blinding light hit my eyes and I was forced to halt in a whirlpool where the circle of light once was. I blocked the mighty wind with my arm, trying to control the madness with the tightening of my teeth. The bright gold light shone fiercely, illuminating the sky in clear glory. The humming of the wind that once bent the colors of the sky halted into an echo of silence. The quietness was shattered by the strong wind. A sound like a bumble bee zipping away vibrated my being.
As the air died down, the clamor revealed itself into four leaves, spinning like tops with the aid of their own personal breezes, forming a perfect square around me. My eyes were locked onto their movements, sparkling with emotion. It made me feel like my cheerful self again. With the square embracing me, I was the me not meant to make an impact on the world.
I wanted to reach for the stars and touch the amazement the leaves brought. But my curiosity cursed me for the leaves twirled faster. In front of my pupils, the leaf in the left corner began to take on a new form outside its intended shape. Dew drops were dripping off it like it was crying. Water? Water was coming out of the leaf like it was a part of its destined nature.
A red blaze from my right caught my eye. That leaf was engulfed completely in fire, sizzling and crackling the edges of it, which was perfectly unharmed. Frightened, I jerked my head back to look over my left shoulder to see another leaf with steam emitting from it. Pieces of lead were also smoldering in the vapors, blending more into its mystery. The final leaf (behind my right shoulder) was smoking as well, but lightly. It was sparking intensely, the edges burnt to a crisp. Static boomed all over its area and bolts of lightning escaped from all of its ends. The world stopped outside my square. I was a misled child trapped in the vortex of elemental confusion.
I clung my hands tightly to my chest, focusing on the madness in front of me. Still, my heartbeat, the drive to my life and the melody to my mission, was calm and wanted to learn more, wanted to continue. With the clash of my body’s fearful reaction and my heart’s innocent cries, the leaves halted their dance, almost like their movement was based on my state of thinking. I gasped, not really wanting them to leave and regretting my earlier fear of them. They began to vanish beautifully into specks of light, engulfed by heaven’s honor in the clouds. I was alone then, staring at their spiritual ascension and allowing the wind to cool my face with relief.
I took in a crisp sigh before preparing myself to move forward. I was now more in control of myself. That was until I saw…him. Leaning elegantly on the final tree on the now sunny path, aligning his spine to the tree’s thin posture was the man my heart, mind, body, and soul were driven to: Umbra. He narrowed his eyes, looking directly into my pools and smiled slyly, making my cheeks flush. He shrugged and walked swiftly to the center of the trail’s edge, smiling and waving at me. It was like the old personality of Umbra and the new persona of him was combined and I, myself, was the changing factor in him.
“Stary! Come on!” he called in his dreamy voice that made me melt, pulling me to him. I could feel a dumbfounded look forming on my face.
Umbra: the adventures, the struggle, the compassion, the enlightenment, the heartache, and rewards…All the things we went through together were rushing into my being and the emotions were my only needed fuel to continue forward. He was all I needed.
As his loving face got closer, my clockwork of time seemed to slow down again. Another snap echoed, popping annoyingly in my eardrums, the sound soaring through all parts of the forest path thanks to the wind. The black in the sky above me shattered to reveal more sunset hues. The colors of the sky blurred once more, dancing in a slow vibe like I was witnessing a moving art museum while having a major headache at the same time. But nothing else mattered. I would reach Umbra and I knew we could figure out the situation because together, we can do anything. That is the power of love…
A smile took over my face, sparkling in harmony with Umbra’s perfect features. They were traits I would notice in any world or time. With each passing second, I wanted to be with him sooner. This look must have been apparent on my face for his eyes laughed, his expression mocking my naïve nature. I could almost reach his priceless face that was now grinning at me. My fingers yearned to leave a mark on his flesh as his hand rewarded me with his own gentle touch.
“Umbra!” I yelled happily, my heart singing its praise for him. He gestured his hand like a proper gentleman, looking at me like I was the most radiant creature on the planet no matter how ridiculous I looked stumbling towards him. Umbra was my everything.
I had to beat the slowing of time that was trying to trap me. I was half a meter away from him; having him so near was stimulating. He looked frozen in the frame of life showing off his burning smile. My hand reached to grab his, but it slipped right through, like Umbra was merely an illusion.
In a panic, my eyes widened to the size of Mars, but my feet were still running; my toes were about to touch the shining light peeking through the final trees of the forest path in the alternate universe. Umbra was gone and worse: he got sucked into the moist ground. I had to run forward with all my might to search for my beloved, the other half of my soul.
I saw a small hill ahead of me and all the light was overlooking its safety. I had to find Umbra! As I entered the hillside, I noticed that this hill was the source of the eternal sunset of colors that painted over this never-ending midnight land, the tones steaming from the grass. But my mind had no room to marvel at this sight! For all I knew, Umbra could be hidden in this next piece of this mysterious world. I had to find—
The light attacked my eyes at full force, blinding me to the core for a few seconds. I felt like I was missing, like I was nothing but a hollow shell. Something was gone, erased from me. Who…who was I? Why was I here in a lovely meadow of Kelly green grass and gorgeous deep red flowers? There was no background to this portion of where I was except for an onyx-colored wall of smooth rocks or perhaps it was more darkness. The circle of a warming spotlight was solely above the meadow, creating energies of pollen that floated upward to paradise’s wonder.
A large ink puddle was in front of my feet. I was spellbound staring at it, finding it fascinating. I could see my pupils in the reflection: clear and blank. Was something wrong with me? What was my purpose here? I felt as if something was missing…
The spill in front of me was moving. A motion stirred it, making it curl. Smaller circles were forming inside it and then, emerging from the bubbles were long black waves, shooting out like beanstalks, the movement slow and calming, rocking back and forth. Danger, the inner voice in my mind was screaming, but it soon vanished, and looked at the relaxing dance of the black whips. One traced my arm. It felt like soft, radiant hair. Its secret waves were calling me, telling me nothing mattered. I knew nothing. I felt nothing. As long as I was here with this unknown comfort, this unknown creature, all would be well.
However, an alarming pulse was surfacing, trying to escape. Should I let it? At the thought, the creature inside the ink circle grabbed my other wrist and tightened itself around it, slowly sucking all the feeling and blood from it. In a close harmony, it did the same pattern to my right wrist. I bent my head back by bodily response, but no emotion crossed my mind or triggered my heart. Nothing mattered for I knew I was missing. I knew I was nothing.
Gracefully, a figure rose, which was what the hair whips were attached to. It was a silhouette of a woman, a lovely woman with extremely long, wavy, and alive hair. The creature wrapped my waist with her hair—her choice weapon. Her faceless head seemed to be beaming at me, locking me in a spell. I lifted my chin up to expose my neck. I knew she was pleased. Her hair slithered up and wringed my neck, the pain automatically swelling tears in my dull eyes. It was a slow process, but her point came across. She wanted me dead so she could use my power for her own to get out of her imprisonment. The thought was jolting. “Escape. Stop her,” I said, knowing I needed to speak, but my voice began to fade away as my world went black…