Imagination and a keyboard: Interviewing J. C. Buchanan

Hello everyone! Today I have a very special post for you! I’ll be interviewing one of my fellow young author friends, J. C.!

I first met her, and another author friend, Riley, last July at the Realm Makers conference. We had an amazing time and became fast friends. Since then, we’ve kept up through FaceTime to talk, laugh, and encourage each other.

Just recently, J.C. has published her fourth book, Proof of Purple! You can check it out, along with all her other books, here.

Now, on to you J. C.!

1. What started you on your writing journey?

When I was 5, I told my mom I was going to publish a book and put it in the library. I didn’t realize that scribbled pieces of paper stapled together weren’t library quality 🙂 When I was 9, I decided I actually wanted to make that happen, and by the time I was 12, The Hidden Amethyst was released!

2. What was the first piece of creative writing you wrote?

The first “book” that I wrote was called The Boy Who Got Covered in Macaroni. It was for my brother, and it was about a boy who ate too fast and his food exploded.

3. How ’serious’ is your writing? Do you consider it a career or just a hobby?

I’ve always been serious about my writing. As I said, I decided to publish a book when I was 5, and that desire just never left! I know beyond a shadow of a doubt this is a gift God has given me, and I want to do the absolute most that I can with it.

4. Who would you recommend your most recent book, Proof of Purple to?

Probably 5th grade and up. I’m targeting it more for YA, but younger readers could totally read and get it—no mature content. 🙂

5. Describe Proof of Purple, in three words.

Friendship, perfection, betrayal.

6. How has your life and personal experiences entwined with the subjects of your books?

While writing my books, I definitely try to draw on my own emotional experiences to understand my characters better. In my first three books, there aren’t many connections to my actual life experiences (unless you count that in The Hidden Amethyst, I named every character after one of my friends;). However, Proof of Purple does correlate with my personal experiences to the extent that friendships are extremely important to me, and like my characters, I definitely feel it when tension arises.

7. What do you consider, the ‘key to success’ in writing?

Don’t be ashamed of your writing, and let others read it! I used to be so protective of my writing and didn’t want to show anyone, and it got me in trouble because I’d get months into a story without seeing that it wasn’t going to work in the long run. This book, with help from a few amazing friends, I’ve learned to open up and it has been so, so crucial. In my experience, when you’re confident in your writing, not embarrassed about it, and willing to let others offer insight, you can get so much farther than had you worked alone.

8. Were there any differences in your writing process between the four books you’ve written?

Slightly, but honestly, not much. I always do a super-rough first draft, and then basically just keep revising and writing new drafts until I’m happy. The only big thing I can think of is I didn’t outline The Hidden Amethyst, but I outlined You’ll Be Like Faye and never looked back.

9. Which of your books is the saddest? Most exciting? Funniest?

I’ve had many people tell me they cried at the end of YBLF, so that’s probably the saddest. The Hidden Amethyst wins the award for the funniest in my mind, but probably only because I was so young when I wrote it that today I have to choose whether to cringe or laugh, and it’s just easier to laugh at it. But realistically, it’s probably the most exciting. It’s one hundred percent action/adventure.

10. What’s in your ‘author’s toolkit’?

One of the most influential writing books for me has been Gail Carson Levine’s “Writing Magic.” I also employ Pinterest as my main “author tool”. Music is key—I have to listen to music to write. Beyond that…my imagination and a keyboard do the rest.

11. What’s the coolest author related experience that’s ever happened to you?

When The Hidden Amethyst came out, I took a risk and sent a copy to my favorite author at the time, Suzanne LaFleur, just for fun (who is still one of my favorite authors). A few months later, she personally mailed me a hardcover copy of her newest book with a note inside about how much she enjoyed reading my book. It was the best day of my life.

12. What can we expect to see from you next?

I’m currently working on another futuristic/adventure novel that I MEANT to finish over NaNo, but…didn’t happen. :\ My condensed outline was 38 bullet-points, so it’ll be a good long while before it’s here, but I’m still SO excited. 🙂

J. C. Buchanan is an 18-year-old homeschooler, Christ follower, avid reader, and writer. Her first book, The Hidden Amethyst, came out when she was 12, followed by You’ll Be Like Faye when she was 14. She also has released a short novella sequel to You’ll Be Like Faye, entitled Far Away FayeProof of Purple is her third full-length novel, but she plans on many more to come. Follow her online at jcbuchanan.com.

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