My interview with the wonderful & talented Author S. E. Cyborski

me

 

Guy “First, introduce yourself for my readers…”

 

Samantha “My name is Samantha Cyborski and I write under the pen name S. E. Cyborski. I’ve been writing poetry and stories since I was little but I only completed my first novel in 2012. That novel was Gnotret and it opened the floodgates for all the writing I’ve done since. This year, I finished the series Gnotret began, The Accidental Heroes Chronicles, with the fifth book and the alternate ending.”

 

Guy “What are some of your pet peeves?”

 

Samantha “One of my pet peeves when it comes to writing is misspelled words. Like definitely vs. defiantly or wanton vs. wonton.  One of my non-writing pet peeves is people not using their turn signal while driving. That just annoys me to no end.”

 

Guy “What are your top 10 favorite books/authors?”

 

Samantha “I’m going to split this half and half. My top five favorite books are The Hobbit, The Redemption of Althalus by David Eddings, The Villa by Nora Roberts, The Martian by Andy Weir, and Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. My top five favorite authors are Mercedes Lackey, Jim Butcher, Neil Gaiman, J. D. Robb, and Brandon Sanderson.”

 

Guy “What can we expect from you in the future?”

 

Samantha “Hopefully soon, I’m going to have a collection of retellings of monster stories and urban legends published. I’m querying for it now. If it does well, I have plans for another set of monster stories and urban legends. I’m in the middle of writing an urban fantasy that I’m really excited about and I have plans for more romance stories in the future.”

 

Guy “What book do you think everyone should read?”

 

Samantha “I think everyone should read The Martian. It’s a fascinating story that shows science doesn’t have to be all technical words and baffling strings of symbols. It’s funny and thrilling and Mark Watney is a character I think many people can identify with. I also think The Martian highlights the best of humanity and the kind of society we should aspire to become.”

 

Guy “What makes a good story?”

 

Samantha “While I think a good story needs a good plot, I think what really makes a story good is the characters. One could have the best storyline and plot imaginable but if the characters fall short, that story won’t be as good as it could be. The characters are our lens into the world and we have be interested by them and invested in them to be invested in their world and their story.”

 

Guy “What do you do to unwind and relax?”

 

Samantha “I usually read, play videogames, go for a walk, or hang out with friends. I enjoy walking the paths around a lake near where I live. My friends will often hold game nights or movie nights and those are a lot of fun.”

 

Guy “What are they currently reading?”

 

Samantha “Right now, I’m reading The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater. I’m really enjoying this series.”

 

Guy “How long have you been writing?”

 

Samantha “My earliest definite memory of writing starts in sixth grade but I know I’ve been scribbling little poems and the like since about fourth or fifth. I was taught how to read by the time I was three and I devoured books. For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to write.”

 

Guy “What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?”

 

Samantha “I don’t have a concrete process, it can change for each book I write. But I usually have a vague outline for a story in my head. I’ve found, using outlines for writing projects in school, that I always tended to deviate from them. At some point, the characters or the story would take a dramatic turn away from what I had planned out and go their own way. So now, I have that vague outline with things I want to happen in the beginning and the end with the middle hazy. I almost never write in chapters, using scene breaks and then breaking into chapters during editing. There have been a few times I’ve made notes to myself while writing to make a certain scene break a chapter break though.”

 

Guy “Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?”

 

Samantha “Yes? It’s a mix of both, really. I had planned out the main five characters in Gnotret before I even started writing because I knew exactly how many characters I wanted for the first trial. But as I continued the series, other characters popped out of the woodwork as they were needed. When I wrote A Weight Relieved, I had set characters I knew I was going to want/need and allowed the story to tell me what other characters were needed. I think my writing is very character driven so, most of the time, I will have at least the main character before I start writing.”

 

Guy “Describe yourself in 5 words or less!” 

 

Samantha “Dreamer, compassionate, creative, kooky.”

 

Guy “Do you have any advice to give aspiring writers?”

 

Samantha “I think the best advice I can give is to be okay with the times you believe your writing is terrible. It’s something I think every author goes through. I know I certainly do. There are going to be things you write that aren’t very good and there are going to be things you write that you hate. But it’s all right. Play with your writing, have fun with it. Not everything has to be the next great novel. Do you enjoy writing silly little stories for younger siblings or cousins? Do it. Do you enjoy writing descriptive pieces that have no real purpose other than to be a description? Do it. Do you enjoy writing poetry on napkins or scraps of notebook paper? Do it. Your writing is you and doesn’t have to conform to some sort of standard for you to continue. Keep writing, keep enjoying writing, and keep being you.”

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