I first met C. C. Bolick on Goodreads. We became book buddies and quickly began reading each other’s reviews. Her books always fascinated me and I loved her view on life. When she asked to be interviewed, I jumped at the chance. She’s an accomplished author with two completed series under her belt. Please give a warm welcome to C. C. and check out her debut novel after the interview. Take it away, C. C.:
What is your writing process?
I jot down notes during the day – sometimes on the backs of envelopes and napkins. I often end up with sticky notes so full that only I can make sense of the madness.
Do you have any odd writing habits?
Since no one close to me writes, everything I do that’s writing related is odd to my family.
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?
I picture the character in my mind and say names until I feel that a certain name fits the character. I’ve even looked at lists of names online and through phone books to find names.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Not giving up when others seemed to think that I’m wasting my time by writing.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Still writing, but also consulting in some type of engineering field.
Have you always liked to write?
I’ve always liked to dream. Writing is the way I exorcise the demons. Only after writing a story can I allow myself to move on to the next story. Otherwise, I’d always be stuck.
What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
Imagine the stories you enjoy most, the ones you can’t find in other books, and write them. Writing is stressful at times and all-consuming. And that’s just getting the story out during the first draft. You’ll never survive the rest of the process if you don’t spend your time writing about something you love. Your characters deserve to be heard and you have to believe in your stories when no one else will.
If you didn’t like writing books, what would you do for a living?
I’m a full-time electrical engineer, so that’s easy.
Are you a plotter or a pantster?
Depends on the day. I write a basic outline and then I listen for my characters to tell me where we’re going.
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
Critical reviews help writers grow, but I never respond unless I’m asked a specific question. I respect the opinions of readers and understand books are subjective. In regards to life in general, I’ve always believed that if it wasn’t for the bad, the good wouldn’t look so good.
What is your best marketing tip?
Keep trying until you find what works for you.
What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?
Marketing my stories, especially asking others to read my books or write a review.
Do you have a favorite spot to write? What is it?
The library is my favorite place, surrounded by books, because it reminds me that I’m not alone.
Is this your first book?
Leftover Girl is my first book.
What are you working on now? What is your next project?
After I finished the Leftover Girl series (5 books), I wrote a spin-off series called The Agency (3 books), which had crossover stories for some of the original characters. I’m currently working on a series call The Fear Chronicles. The first book, Fear Justice, will release in April of 2019.
Do you write naked?
Only when I’m at the library.
What is your biggest failure?
The failures that haunt me the most are personal. I don’t like to fail the people I care about, but we all do in some way. I guess that’s what makes us human.
What is the biggest fib you’ve ever told?
That I love to write. I don’t love to write, I love to tell stories. Writing, at times, is the greatest struggle of my life. Some emotions are too deep and too personal, but I can’t hide and be true to myself at the same time.
Do you drink? Smoke? What’s your vice?
Caffeine. I drink sweet tea by the gallon.
What is your biggest fear?
I have many fears, but my fear of heights will actually make me shake.
What do you want your tombstone to say?
When I’m dead, I think that will be the least of my worries.
If you were a super hero, what would your name be? What costume would you wear?
I’d want to be invisible. People not seeing me is the only way I’d have enough confidence to show my face.
What secret talents do you have?
I write computer programs. Writing blocks of code and making the logic work has taught me a great deal of patience in laying out books.
What’s on your bucket list (things to do before you die)?
Visit every national park in the U.S. I love the outdoors.
What were you like as a child? Your favorite toy?
Shy. I had an imaginary friend, a whole bunch of them in fact. They were tiny like Smurfs – my mom still teases me.
What do you dream? Do you have any recurring dreams/nightmares?
I sometimes dream of places I’ve never seen, sometimes in scary situations like a horror movie. I’ll often wake with new characters in mind- I keep a notepad to write down my dreams. Some of my favorite stories have come from dreams.
Title Leftover Girl
Author C.C. Bolick
Genre YA Mystery/Sci-fi
Publisher Dirt Road Books
Found on a dark highway at four...
High school is tough enough without being the girl who can't remember her past.
At fifteen, Jes has adjusted to moving all over the country and never fitting in, but everything changes with her adopted mom's hometown. Now they can have a normal life in one place - until she falls for her mom's nephew, the ultimate off-limits guy.
Feeling isolated because of this secret, Jes befriends a strange new student with secrets of his own. If only she could figure out why he seems so familiar. She definitely can't tell him or anyone else about her crazy dreams. Or that she's starting to remember...
Anger burned inside me as the lab began. Chase collected supplies for our experiment without a word, including his typical insistence for my help. After preparing all the beakers, Chase asked the question I’d refused to elaborate on in first block. “You’re really adopted?”
“I’m really adopted.”
He lifted beakers and poured fluids at random, making green and orange bubbles. “Why didn’t you tell me before?”
“My past isn’t something I usually talk about. Besides, it’s not some big secret. You would’ve found out.” I evened my tone, not wanting to sound bitter about Chase knowing the truth. “I can’t believe you haven’t heard already.”
“Trust me, I’d remember hearing you were adopted.”
“I’m surprised Bailey hasn’t told you.”
He pulled a small bag from his pocket and poured a white powder into one beaker, before sloshing the beaker in a circle. “I’ve tried asking about you, but she only wants to talk about herself.”
I smiled. “You’ll get used to it.”
“How long have you known?”
“About being adopted? I’ve always known.”
His eyebrows shot up and liquid in the beaker rippled, splashing several drops onto the black surface. “Always?”
Green smoke rose from the liquid. Without thinking, I reached for the bubbling ooze, which appeared to be burning a hole into the table.
Chase swatted my hand. “I wouldn’t touch that.”
“This isn’t TV. I didn’t find out about being adopted last month. My parents have always seen the truth about my adoption as need-to-know for everyone, which is probably why no one bothered to tell you.”
“That’s cool. I mean, it’s cool you’ve got parents who are honest with you.”
I wanted to agree but couldn’t reverse the titanic flip of my stomach.
“What about your real parents?” he asked.
“I don’t talk about them.”
“Are they dead?”
“They gave me up.”
“Jes,” Mr. Larson said as he approached the table. “I’m sorry,” he whispered and pushed a folded yellow slip under my lab manual.
My throat was dry. “It’s okay.” My first write-up in Credence.
“Mrs. Pearson asked that you stop by her class when second block is over.” He glanced at our table and his watch. “If you guys are finished, you can go ahead and leave. That way we can make sure you aren’t late for third block.”
“I guess Chase will have to clean up this mess,” I said.
Mr. Larson glanced at the table again. “What mess?”
I gasped. All five beakers formed a neat line, at the center of the table, same as before the experiment. The liquids were gone, as if Chase never filled the tubes with green and orange bubbles. I pressed my fingers to the black surface, a long sheet of wax without a single hole. Chase had retired to his stool, hunched over the black binder, writing again. He didn’t move when I touched his shoulder. Grabbing my backpack, I ran to first block.
C.C. Bolick is the author of eight young adult books, including the Leftover Girl Series and The Agency Series. She grew up in a small Alabama town where she learned the best roads were always the muddiest. An engineer by day and author by night, C.C. loves to mix teenage drama with her favorite genres—romance, sci-fi, and paranormal.
She writes complex stories about seemingly normal teens who learn they're anything but normal. C.C. likes her characters with big hearts, room to grow, and the strength to fight for what they believe in.
If you enjoy page-turning drama, family secrets, epic love stories, and a special power or two, her books might be for you.
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