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Interview with Skye Hegyes

What genre do you write and why?
I dabble in all genres, but I mainly write young adult/new adult fantasy and paranormal romance. I’ve always had an interest in magic and make-believe, and I try to express that in my writing. The reason I aim towards young adults and teenagers is because I’m not that far into my own adult years. I feel I don’t have enough adult experience myself, so I write what I do have experience in, and then add a little bit of magic and a couple paranormal instances.

Tell us about your latest book.
My latest book, called Short Story Smash, is a collection of short stories. In 2010, I created a writing challenge for myself. I would write one short story a week for a year. Short Story Smash happens to be the result. It contains fifty-one short stories and one lullaby.

What marketing methods are you using to promote your book? 
At the moment, I am not actively promoting it as I work on another project I meant to have published long before this one. I am in the process of having bookmarks made. In another month I will possibly set up a blog tour for Short Story Smash, but beyond that I am not marketing it. I know. Bad me.

What formats is the book available in?
Short Story Smash is available as a paperback and kindle e-book.

Who are your favourite authors?
My favorite authors are Walter Farley, author of the Black Stallion series; Mercedes Lackey, author of the Valdemar books; and Patricia Briggs, author of the Mercy Thompson books.

What advice do you have for other writers?
Never stop writing. Also, write for yourself before you write for your audience. If you want to continue to love writing, you need to stop worry about what people think of your work and write because you enjoy it. If you start to think only of what others’ think of your writing, you will no longer enjoy writing the way you used to. Close the door to what others think and write because you want to, writing what you would like to read. The way I imagine it is this way: I write what I would like to read if all books were destroyed and mine were all that’s left in the world. Bad way to think, but it makes the story truer in my opinion.

What's your favourite quote about writing/for writers?
Creativity: having a pencil in one hand and the paper below it. All that’s left is the writing. –Me
“I write for the same reason I breathe—because if I didn’t, I would die.” –Isaac Asimov

What's the best thing about being a writer?            
The best thing about writing is creating a whole new world. There are no boundaries. You can do anything you want. The possibilities are infinitely endless – a real neverending story.

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
Anyone curious about what I’m working on can find out more from my website: www.skyehegyes.com. You can also find me on Facebook and Goodreads.

Who is you favorite character in your book and why?
In Short Story Smash there are many different characters, but my two favorite are probably Tara and Garrett because they are based on me and my husband. ;)

Why do you think readers are going to enjoy your book?
Some will. Some won’t. I don’t pretend that my work is for everyone. I know it’s not. The short stories in Short Story Smash were meant to be a challenge to test my own limits and thinking. The stories cover a wide range of genres and topics. I hope those who read it find at least one of the stories to their liking, but it doesn’t bother me if they don’t.

How long did it take you to write your book?
Writing the first draft of Short Story Smash took a year, since I was only writing a short story a week, and then I didn’t touch it again until about four months before I published it. During that time, I edited it, formatted it, had a couple people beta read/edit it, and worked on a cover design.

Who designed the cover?
While I did the initial design of the cover, I did ask for help from Kat Mellon of KM Writing and Design for help with the front cover and spine font. She did a remarkable job, and I will probably be using her for any future cover design plans.

Did you learn anything from writing your book that was unexpected?
While I didn’t learn anything from writing the book itself beyond the fact that I could in fact write a short story a week, I learned a lot from editing the piece. I learned about my state of mind that year, every fear and worry that I had during the course of the year, and going back and reading over everything, I re-discovered all my best dreams and worse nightmares because that’s where I draw most of my writing from.

Where can a reader purchase your book?
Anyone interested in purchasing a copy of Short Story Smash can find it at Amazon here.
                                                      
What are you doing to market the book? 
I am having bookmarks printed with my book cover on it as well as a little bit of information on them. I also plan to do a couple of blog tours in the future.

Who inspires you?
Other authors inspire me. Those who have the courage to write and publish their work are among the bravest people in the world. They have the power in them to stand against any negative feedback they may receive when they publish their work.

How do you research your books?
I spend a lot of time on Google. When I cannot find what I’m looking for on Google, I tend to make library runs. I have a library card for two different libraries am working on getting a third. If I can find an expert to question, I try to email and ask questions of experts in different fields.

What is your work in progress? Tell us about it.
Currently, I am working on a novel I had hoped to have out before Short Story Smash. It’s called Puck’s Choice, the first in the Shifters & Mages series. I am currently working on another edit now that I have re-written it. The sequel is already written, and once I do at least two edits, hopefully, this is the last edit before I can start really aiming to publish it.

What are your thoughts on self-publishing verses traditional publishing?
Both self-publishing and traditional publishing have their place in the world. I like self-publishing because it gives you the freedom to make the choices of editing, formatting, and cover design. However, self-publishing has a bad reputation because a lot of people have self-published for those reasons, releasing works that have never been in the hands of an editor. Traditional publishers have the added bonus of in-house editors and marketing programs, but some final decisions are out of your hands. I have only self-published so far, but I am hoping to one day have my work traditionally published because some people find it more reputable than self-publishing.

Who or what inspired you to become a writer?
When I was in fifth grade, I wrote a novel. It was a re-telling of A Horse Called Wonder by Joanne Campbell, and it really was horrible to read, but when my fifth grade teacher read it and told me to work towards publication, it was as if the light bulb had been turned on. I’ve been writing ever since.

Does your family support you in your writing career? How?
My husband has been my biggest support. Every day he asks me what I’ve gotten done and what my current goals are for the week (sometimes they change based on what I’ve done that day). He encourages my writing when I’m down and ready to give it all up and throw all my writing away for the rest of my life.

The rest of my family supports me as well, my sister for being one of my first beta readers, and my parents in their unwavering support in my publishing career.

What are you currently reading?
I am always reading several works at once. Currently, I am reading The Forever Watch by David Ramirez and The Edge of Hope by Alina Popescu. Both are for blog tours. Other works I have set on the back burner at the moment are Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin and The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawethorne. While I just started the first two, I am halfway through the other two.

What books or authors have most influenced your life?
Patricia Briggs’ werewolf books have had a large influence on my own thoughts towards werewolves, while my horses are a lot like those found in Walter Farley’s works. I try to draw inspiration from all the writers and authors whose books I read. All of the books I have read, especially those I like reading over and over again have made an impression in my life and hopefully in my own writing.

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I’m not writing, I spend time playing with my kids and dancing (however badly) to music. If I can find time, I watch movies (Disney’s Frozen is currently my favorite although I love all animated movies) or play video games with my husband.

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