INTERVIEWING MY FIRST NOVEL

Saturday, February 17, 2018
If you've been around my blog for a couple of years, you'll remember the time when my novel guest posted and how his strong personality stole the spotlight. Although TAN won't be joining us today, I've invited my first novel, Faith, to give us a look into what it's like being an author's first novel.

She is a first novel, so she lacks in a lot of things, including a captivating presence like TAN (as well as an interesting title. yay for being soooo creative, young Katie). But I was able to pull some answers from her. (not like she had much of a choice -- I am her author ;) Enjoy her visit!


[setting: plain room, simple desk, lukewarm pizza in the corner]

Me: Hi, Faith! Thanks for being willing to come to the blog. Not many people are aware of what it's like to be an author's first novel. We'll get right into the questions if that's okay with you!

Faith: [takes a seat across from me] [nods once]

Where are first novels like yourself kept?

Faith: [sighs] Most authors shove us into the depths of their computer documents and assume that's where we'll stay until they decide to open us again. That's only true to an extent. We're really kept in a dusty basement -- The Cellar Of The First Novels (TCotFN for short). The ceilings are low and the bookshelves are dark. There are hundreds of packed shelves where we first novels are crammed side to side. Cobwebs and dust cover our pages; we can barely breathe. It's not a comfortable place.

...I'm sorry. Do the authors ever visit?

Faith: [looks away] Most never come to TCotFN -- simply because they don't know how. Instead they scroll through our computer documents like you did with me last week. 

I remember one author stumbling upon TCotFN last month. She... she immediately started to scream upon opening her first novel.

She screamed?

Faith: [nods solemnly] I won't forget the echoes of her cries anytime soon. She flipped through her first story, and could barely read a few sentences before the shock got to her. Some authors are able to take their first novels humorously or as a growing experience... some don't know how deal with it. Even though the reactions hurt, it's better suffer through them than to become forgotten.

*didn't mean for this post to get so depressing and is now thinking twice about this the idea of whole interview* What do you mean by "becoming forgotten?"

Faith: [appears uncomfortable and fidgety] It's what happens when the author refuses to acknowledge our existence. They're too horrified and ashamed over what they created, so the novel is burned from the collection in the basement. It's then erased from the author's memory, becoming a forgotten piece of art, never to be remembered or recognized again.

*ooookay now things are getting even more dismal* Well... what's something hopeful about being a first novel?

Faith: [thinks for a long time] There are rumors of mutant first novels -- first novels that end up becoming published. A lot enter TCotFN clinging to that possible outcome. I've never hoped for it; you've made it more than clear that you won't try to publish me.

*blushes* Yeah, that's not going to happen. Sorry. Let's try to find a positive thing, here. Is there anything you enjoy about being a first novel?

Faith: No.

... There's nothing you enjoy?

Faith: [frowns] After hearing me describe TCotFN, would you enjoy being trapped there all day?

No.

Faith: Ha, exactly. I don't enjoy being a first novel, but yet I'm proud to be one. You wouldn't be where you are today without me. I took the hit so that other novels of yours can get the glory. There's nothing enjoyable about being a first novel, but I'm honored to be in this position.

Well worded. Does it get lonely down there?

Faith: There are hundreds of thousands of novels in TCotFN, but yet I'm extremely lonely. It works like it does with humans -- there are millions of you in the world, yet sometimes people still feel like they're alone. We're not that much different.

Wow, that was deep.

Faith: [perks up, voice hopeful] Pretty good, right? Maybe... maybe want to reconsider your decision to never publish me?

Yeah, right. Nice try. Do you know of any other novel communities other than TCotFN?

Faith: There are hundreds. Some examples:

Dead Characters Society
The Novels That Were Started But Never Finished
Homeless Rabbits: Plot Bunnies Never Written
Rejected: A Community of Unsuccessful Queried Novels
Stuck In The Endless Editing Loophole
Dead Character's Parents Society

Eesh, sounds like some of those places could use some cheering up. Anything else you'd like to say, Faith?

Faith: To the writers that might be reading this, keep writing. Don't let the efforts of your first novel go to waste. That is our wish.

Thank you, Faith. I'll send you back to The Cellar of the First Novels, but I'll make sure to visit soon.

<3,
katie grace (+ faith)

when did you write your first novel? what was the title?

59 comments :

  1. Oh my wooooord I was giggling through this, but also NOW I FEEL BAD FOR MY FIRST NOVEL. XD *hugs it*

    I like to think the title 'The Bridge of Anskar' was a kind of original title? Maybe?? xP

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    1. *hugs my novel along with yours* They can be buddies. xD

      Ooh, yeah! That's definitely better than mine. There's potential. xD

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  2. Oh wow. This is too good.

    Everything from the lukewarm pizza (the best visual of dismal blandness ever) to the list of novel communities (like, wut, I don't have things in 5/6 of those categories, wut, shhhhhhhh) to all of your responses (I can picture your expressions and hear your tone throughout, and it's too funny!!).

    This is such a fun post, my friend!! Bravo! Be sure to never scream in horror at poor Faith; I'm sure she doesn't need any more upsetting things in her life. ;)

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    1. Yup, I have 5/6 in the categories, too. And I don't doubt that someday I'll have an unsuccessful query novel to add in the mix, too. xD

      I shall do my very best to keep my moaning about her awfulness to myself. :P

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  3. TCotFN

    I would just like to piont out that I could only see The Coffin when I saw TCotFN over and over again. Don't know why, but I did.... *shudder*

    This place, is so true... our poor everythings. :P I loved this post so much! My first novel I don't think was too bad. I personally printed it off and bindered it and put it on my bookshelf. *gestures* Right there. :) Maybe I'll visit 'The Throne of Truth' someday....

    ....

    Or not. *winces*

    D.G. Snapper | silverphoenixwriter.blogspot.com

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    1. The Coffin, OMG, you have a good eye!

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    2. Ehehe, yes! I actually tried extremely hard to make the acronym "Coffin," but my creativity didn't stretch that far. So go you for making the connection. xD

      Ooh, The Throne of Truth. I like the alliteration!

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  4. I like the message of this post, will make sure to never let my first novel go to waste! I'm one of those guilty writers who never visit their first novels - why? I was an innocent child who didn't know the concept of back-up and lost the USB which contained her whole first novel and other works... in my defense, I cried for days. I really thought it was going to be my debut novel... again, I was too innocent, that was not going to happen. Even today, there's nothing from that novel I tranfer to current works, it was just not original. Still, I remember having fun writing it. That was the time of my life when I wrote the most, a time I'm actually trying to go back to (kinda, so many more responsibilities now, but we'll make it work!).
    Thanks for this post, I'm new here but I plan to stick around!

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    1. WHAAAAAAAAT. NOOOOOOOO. Oh my goodness, I am so sorry. My heart is hurting right now just thinking about that catastrophe. *sniff* That's a writer's worst nightmare come true! *hands cookies*

      Well, welcome to the craziness, Sara! It's awesome to have you around -- I look forward to getting to know you more. :D What are you currently writing?

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    2. Cookieees - a staple in any emergency kit.
      Thank you so much, I have a writerly friend yay! *^*
      My WIP is entitled 'Strings In Fading Stars', it's psychological crime fiction in the form of a serial. It's rare to see serials being published nowadays, but I believe it's the best way to tell this story in particular and I've decided not to be afraid of it, there are many other ways to get it out there after all! This is the story I absolutely have to tell :3

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    3. Waaaaht. Oh my goodness, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the title. Dude, that makes me want to read it! I'll have to go check out the first episode on your blog. :D

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    4. *headdesk* Nevermind, you haven't posted it yet. LET ME KNOW WHEN YOU POST THE FIRST EPISODE. I'll totally read it!

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    5. Thank you, that makes me so happy!! *O* Every word in that title is meaningful <3 It might take a while to get the first episode out because I want to make sure I don't need to change it later on (the complete outline of the story is still unfinished), but I'll definitely let you know when I send it out to the world! :D

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  5. Great post! Where do you come up with the ideas for these? They are AWESOME! This is now making me revisit my first novel ("The M.P. Files"), which, um, probably should not be published. At least, not how it is now! Who knows, maybe I'll end up publishing it sometime. . . .

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    1. Hehe, I understand that. And maybe enough fixing could get you to the publishing point someday! And now I'm curious as to what "M.P" stands for. :D

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    2. M.P. (rather uncreatively) stands for the two MC's names. Apparently that made sense in the storyline. . . . I don’t know. :)

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  6. Awww, Faith. I care about you. I have much to thank you for - if it wasn't for you, I'd never have met Katie (Arya is chiming in with, "And El Completo never would have existed."). *bows* Thank you for your sacrifice.

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    1. Awww, Arya. I may have stalked her Pinterest board the other day and gotten all nostalgic about her epicness. I miss her and the adventures in the room. <3

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  7. I imagine that the Dead Character's Parents Society would be quite a large society. XD

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    1. Goodness, it's probably overflowing with "life." xD I definitely have a pair of parents to add into that mix. :P

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  8. This is too funny!!! Only... I have a feeling my first novels are really depressed as they mostly hang out on memory sticks not even being privileged to sit in the computer. Or languishing somewhere in a box form the pre-laptop stage of life. This is too funny because I am about to do a post that deals with some of this traumatic and painful reality and emotional baggage. ;) Great post!!!
    astoryspinner.blogspot.com

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    1. Aww, I love the other images you bring up. Even though they make me sad. xD I'm excited to see that post!

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  9. Gosh, I love this so much XD

    I guess my first novel was written when I was eleven. It was called "Dreamers," which was the lamest title ever. I don't usually consider it to be my first novel, but perhaps I'm in denial about it XD I like to consider "FOUND" to be my first novel, which I definitely intend to publish. But...that novel is stuck in the Endless Editing Loophole, so XD

    I loved this post!!

    audrey caylin

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    1. Ugh, I get you on the Endless Editing Loophole. It's an easy trap to fall into, and one that's hard to get out of. :P

      Thank you, Audrey!!

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  10. I wrote my first novel last year and it is half-scratched and half-edited. It depends which parts.

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    1. Ahh yeah. Do you plan on editing the rest of it?

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    2. I'm editing everything in a second draft now, but I may or may not change half of it. I'm not much of a planner so I never really know what happens next. My second draft is called "His Plan for Me," but my first draft had like three titles.

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  11. This post is so funny and so true. My first novel, which was from high school, isn't even completed, and it truly is in a sorry state.

    Wonderful post, Katie!

    Catherine
    catherinesrebellingmuse.blogspot.com

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    1. Awww, well don't worry. All first novels are in a sorrowful state. XD

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  12. My first novel (which was never completed) and I are not speaking. I congratulate you on mustering up the courage for an interview, even though she decided to give you a guilt-trip. *claps* Good for you.

    I seriously loved this! It was so great.

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  13. Couldn't help but feel sorry for Faith, but I understand not wanting to publish it!

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    1. I know, I felt sorry for her, too! But she is really an awful novel. Poor Faith. xD

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  14. AHHHHH. I loved this so much oh my gosh XD. And now imma cry. Poor Faith... Come on, Katie, give her some love why don’t you? *gives you a scoot*
    Seriously, though, this post was both encouraging and highly entertaining, haha! My first novel was published, so it will never join Faith. Buuuuut, is there a place for books published books that are not well written because the author didn’t have a clue? ;)
    ~ riley aline

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    1. I KNOW I FEEL SO BAD. But... like... she's such a horrible novel. (as awful as that sounds xD)

      Ooh, you published your first novel? Go you! And I'm sure your first novel has it's good parts. :) There's a novel community for every type of book, though. xD

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  15. This was so good... But now I feel bad for my first novel. xD The title of my first novel was "Runaway," but looking back I wonder if it even met the 50,000 word count...

    Micaiah @ Notebooks and Novels

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    1. *nodnod* But hey, if you still finished it that's awesome! Sometimes a story calls for being a shorter story. :)

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  16. I love this! Such a great idea to interview your novel... Except now I feel really guilty about not working on my first novel anymore. And Faith is actually WAY better of a title then my first book. It was called The Great Tale of Joshua Mouse, and the main character was a mouse named Joshua. You would never know... *facepalm XD

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    1. Ehehe, that's so cute! How old were you when you wrote that novel? I loved reading picture books of mice when I was younger. :)

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  17. I wrote my first novel last year, and it was titled "The Princess and the Pirate."
    It's so bad.
    My first novel is suffering from neglect, but I just don't want to open it. I'm not even going to edit it, but scrap the whole thing and rewrite it.

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    1. if you don't mind my asking, what's your blog's link (assuming you have one)? I found you on Spotify and now I'm curious to see your blog. :)

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    2. Wait, you wrote your first novel last year!?! HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS. For some reason I thought you've been writing for a long, long time. :P I guess I learn something new everyday!

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    3. I have been writing for years-- since I was seven. Due to circumstances, I had to stop when I was 12 and took it up again when I was 16. I was just a little slow to finish my first novel. :)

      I did a blog post on it if you want to read it: https://authorrebeccamorgan.com/2017/08/27/the-epic-journey/


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  18. The Dead Characters Society...*looks guiltily around* That's where all my characters are...
    And oh my word! I'll never look at my first novel the same way again. *sobs*
    My first "Proper" novel (it was just over 50k) was called "HANNAH", because, surprise, the main character's name was Hannah.
    Anyway, I loved this sad little post which made me laugh!

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    1. *clutches heart* I will need to prepare myself emotionally if I ever read one of your books, then. xD

      Oh yes, very creative. ;) But I do love the name Hannah! :P

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  19. This is SO accurate!! I feel bad for Faith, and also for my first serious story (you can't really call a 70-page story a novel... it seemed long when I was 10 years old, though!), which was given the SUPER original name, The Story of a Mouse. :/

    But yeah, The Story of a Mouse lives in tCoFN too. Will never see the light of day again. xD

    What an awesome, creative post, Katie!

    Lila @ The Red-Hooded Writer

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    1. Oh my goodness, what's with the mouse stories?! Yours is the second first novel that was about a mouse. This cracks me up. xD

      Thanks so much, Lila!

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  20. TEA-HEHEHEHEHE! I'm cackling so hard AHHHHHAHAHAA. This was great. I'm actually ... *whispers* re-reading my first novel. That's right. I've been flipping through it slowly every night. The old, beaten, crammed notebook pages in my purple binder with my sloppy, eleven-year-old handwriting. It's quite nostalgic, and it's interesting to see what my writing style was like, what ideas I used, and what the characters did and said. It's absolutely horrible, don't get me wrong. But there are a lot of hidden things to be found in the art work of our past selves.

    Thank you for this creative, tea-riffic post! :D

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    1. AWWW ARE YOU REALLY!? That is so, so cool. I can picture your younger self and the purple binder. So cute. <3 <3

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  21. Awwww man this is so cuteeeeeeeee <3 *waves* HI FAITH

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    1. Awww well thanks! FAITH IS WAVING BACK

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  22. I literally laughed out loud so many times while reading this! So fun and creative! (and true...)

    Hailey
    www.haileyhudson.wordpress.com

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    1. Thanks so much for reading, Hailey! I’m glad you enjoyed Faith’s misery. xD

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  23. THIS IS TOO PERFECT. XD I was laughing the entire time!! XD And I'm pretty sure my current project is in all of those novel communities you shared up there... XD

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    1. Ehehe, well you're not alone in that. Some of my novels will definitely join you in the groups. xD

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  24. I can't believe you just guilt-tripped me into reading through my first novel... T-T

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  25. I think I wrote my first novel (well, the first nine chapters of it anyway) back in 2012. Maybe. I feel like I was 11 years old. It was called T. C. K. (which stands for Technology Camp for Kids).

    I've actually been revisiting it recently, and I think I might publish it on my blog... sometime...

    Hopefully, that will ease the pain of the poor First Novel. I don't think I'll ever look at it the same way again.

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    1. Wow, it's crazy to think of how long ago 2012 was! *mind explodes* And aww, that would be cool to revisit. And scary to publish. xD

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  26. Awesome post! My first "novel" I wrote when I was nine. Unicorn Land.
    *shudder* so creative. My mom actually found it filed away a couple months ago. So I read it, but needless to say, it shall never be published. it now sits on my bookshelf. Hopefully, not as lonely as Faith.

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