Sky Sommers is a Writer of retold fairy-tales and NA fantasy for adults.
Please Describe Sky Sommers:
Answer: I’m a Jack…well, a Jane of all trades. An entrepreneur, hands-on negotiations and business coach with a legal brain, academic and fiction writer, wife and mom, dreamer, traveller and master of Reiki. There are so many awesome things to do and experience, so many wonderful people and stories out there in real life and imaginary world, all you have to do is notice them and try things out!
2. Please Describe your art, skills and business:
Answer: I’ve been writing short stories and dabbling in poems since I was twelve – a creative writing class at school really got me started. I progressed to novel format when working in London in 2006 in a rather left-hemisphere kind of job my creativity blossomed. At night and especially on vacations I was dreaming of entire stories and worlds that begged to be written down. I guess the right side of the brain was trying to tell me even in my sleep that it wanted to be let out for a walk. J When writing a short sci-fi story about cloning and revenge (this one is still shelved, btw) I realised on page 80 that it wasn’t a short story anymore, it was a novel! From then on, adventures of ancient goddesses in present-day, mysteries of the agency of guardian angels and a prequel to Camelot have found their way into paperbacks and e-books and at the moment I have three WIPs which are proper retold fairy-tales for adults.
3. What inspired you to pursue your passion?
Answer: Support from teachers at an early age was a kick-start, of course. Nothing inspires a child more than an impartial adult – someone other than your parents – telling you that you are good at something. You are right about the passion, though. Writing for me is not even a passion, it’s an obsession – I can’t help it. When I haven’t written or edited or rewritten anything for a while, my family gets to see my dark side…and, of course, they know what to do – sequester me away somewhere with food and drink so I can write!
4. What are the difficulties you faced and how did you overcome?
Answer: Oh my, challenges – there are so many! What and whom to cut from the text, what’s the best turn of phrase that does not sound like it’s been translated from some other language, how to get my editor to give me edits on time, how to make myself write when I don’t feel like it, how to promote and sell my books, get beta readers, what to wear to book launches, should I go with traditional publishing or self-publishing, etc etc. What helps me NOT to get overwhelmed and stressed out is putting things I need to do on paper as tasks and then breaking them down to smaller steps. If I want to do this/achieve that, what needs to happen before, in what sequence and when and what do I need to and have time to do right now, who can help me, where can I get more information, who can I follow on FB&IG to get ideas, etc. Indie authors without a huge team to help them have to do everything themselves and this can kill the will to write. SO…it’s important to remind yourself once in a while that whenever there is a challenge, you are learning something new – what works and what doesn’t – and for me it makes it fun again. Fun is where I find my lost motivation to keep going.
5. Your message to the audience/beginners?
Answer: Experiment! If you feel like writing a poem, write a poem. If you feel like writing a synopsis first and then flesh it out into a short story or a screenplay or a novel, do that. If a scene or a dialogue comes to you and you don’t yet know how it might develop into a story – write it down and listen to what your characters are telling you, how they want to act, react and where this takes you. There are a million ways and styles of writing, cross-genre is completely ok and all you have to do is get your stories out there. Of course, having a friend who is an editor and loves your books as well as taking an occasional creative writing class to develop and hone your style is always a good idea.
6. Where can the people find you?
Answer: Instagram (sommers_sky) is probably the best place to find me and see what I’m up to. There, I post unpublished backstories of my characters and how they became who they are, as well as tips and tricks of what to do and not to do in writing, editing, publishing – things that frequently come up in the FB writers’ groups. And, of course, there are awesome previews of illustrations that go into the books – if you like that kind of thing.
Thank you, Sky Sommers, for taking the time to participate in our weekly column “Writer of the Week“.
Best wishes from Phonic Words for your future endeavours.