Once upon a time there lived a girl who happened to stumble upon the Goodreads page of one of her favorite authors, Autumn Doughton. The girl decided to take a chance and send her a message, informing her about a playlist she had made based on one of Doughton’s books. Imagine the girl’s surprise when Autumn replies to her message. Through a few mails exchanged, the girl sends her playlist to Autumn (who shared it on her facebook page), and being who she is (*wink*), she asks her to do an interview for her blog. And the rest is…well, just read on to know the rest.
For those who do not know about Autumn Doughton, she writes YA contemporary romances. 4 of her distinct works are:
1. In this Moment
2. I’ll Be Here
3. This Sky (click to see review)
4. On An Edge Of Glass
The first few questions are sort of routine questions that I love asking ANYBODY…
1. What is your favorite quote??
“All your tomorrows start here.” This is a Neil Gaiman quote and I have it all over the place–in art, painted on furniture, etc. I love that it’s simple but hopeful. People always complain about what they “should have done” or try to analyze the past. Learn from your errors but sometimes looking back can become a kind of prison. I try to remember that no matter what my goal is or where I’m going, my tomorrows start now. That’s what matters.
2. What is your favorite color?
Green. Greeny-blue. Ocean colors… specifically the Gulf of Mexico
3. Favorite contemporary and classic authors?
It might be trite but I have to admit I love Jane Austen. I can always use a Pride and Prejudice reread! For contemporary writers, I admire Neil Gaiman greatly. For the rest, I read most genres so it depends on what I’m in the mood for… Melina Marcetta for YA, Karen Marie Moning and Juliet Marillier for fantasy, Toni Morrison and Carlos Ruiz Zafon for fiction/lit., and Paublo Neruda for poetry. I read a lot of New Adult and romance (as you probably guessed) but it’s so hard for me to narrow down which of those authors I love the most, especially since I get to see them at book signings in person and fall even more in love. If I had to pick, I would have to say that Colleen Hoover, Tammara Webber and S.C. Stephens top my list. I was at a signing with Colleen Hoover this past summer and I definitely fan-girled like a lunatic 🙂
4. Favorite book and song??
Eeeeek! It was nearly impossible for me to pick my favorite authors so my favorite book is waaaaay hard. But, if I have to choose, I’ll say A Room with a View by E.M. Forster. It has been one of my favorites since I was 14 and I still read it every few years to remember why I loved it so much. For music, it should be noted that music is a really important part of my writing process. I tend to gravitate toward indie music and I would say my tastes wobble between rock and pop but that changes based on what I am working on. Right now my fave bands are Typhoon and The Paper Kites, but I’m also listening to a lot of Ed Sheeran because he reminds me of the book I’m working on.
The next questions are directed mainly to the author in you..
5. Do you base your characters on any real person? (Not-so-subtle hint: Do guys like Cole Everly and Landon Young really exist?)
Yes and no. I use elements of real people in all of my characters. Some are based off my close friends and others off of people I encountered in school or in my daily life. I always fictionalize parts of them or combine two or three people into one character so no one is exactly like someone I know. Also, there’s a lot of me in all of the characters. Not totally, but I try to think of specific times in life when I felt a certain way–sad or bitchy or upbeat or angry and I try to imagine what it would be like to feel like that all of the time if that’s the personality I’m going for. It’s almost like acting–you create these fictional backgrounds for even the minor characters.
And, yes, in a way guys like Cole Everly and Landon Young do exist! I use old boyfriends and past date experiences–the good, the bad and the ugly–when I’m writing male characters. And I don’t mean to sound completely cheesy but I use my husband for inspiration. He’s hot and smart and seriously one of the nice guys. It’s the little things he does–the small gestures to make me know he cares. I posted this on Facebook last week and I think this explains it:
I’m blind as a bat and every single night, I fall asleep reading or watching TV with my glasses on. After I’ve drifted off, my husband comes to bed and he always removes my glasses. And then in the morning, I have to try to figure out where he put them.
It’s one of my favorite parts of the day.
See what I mean? Sometimes love is just about glasses.
6. When did you first start wanting to be an author?
I think I always wanted to write. I was a voracious reader even when I was very young and that definitely inspired me. But, I delayed starting for a long time simply because I lacked the confidence. I was afraid of sharing my work… afraid people would think I was stupid for trying. It took me a long time to work up the courage to put myself out there. And it’s still a struggle. When I work, about half of my time is spent arguing with myself over what works and what doesn’t. I write, write, write, then I delete, delete, delete. And hopefully by the end of the day, I have gained a full paragraph.
7.Which book (and which part of it) gave you the most amount of trouble while writing it?
Every book I write is the hardest. That’s because my only goal is to get better than I was the last time. I try not compare myself or strive to be like a certain author because I think that’s a losing battle. All I can do is be a better version of me. Every time I write a book, I learn something about pacing, voice, plot, structuring, etc. So I try to carry that over to my next project. I thought writing would get easier with time, but the truth is, my standards increase and writing becomes more challenging. But I feel like if I’m not changing or growing, I’m done. Ya know?
8. Apart from Steering the stars, are you working on, or planning about, another book?
Yes! I am currently co-writing a young adult book with my friend Erica Cope. It’s been so fun to write with someone who I love and admire. Maybe it wouldn’t work for everyone but we are well-matched. I keep getting questions about the story and the best example I can come up with is that it’s like The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants but without the pants.
I also have a few other stories brewing. One is a new adult paranormal and I have a few chapters of that one written. The other is a new adult circadian novel (meaning it takes place in one day). That one is outlined and I have bits and pieces written. Last, I’ve been playing around with a novella for a while. It was inspired by a wedding I went to last year and I think it’s sort of a romantic comedy. I’m not sure which of these will see the light of day first but I will keep you posted!
The obvious questions..
9. Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
About myself? Well, let’s see… I’ve already told you I’m a big reader. I have a mad love for the simple things: movies, dogs, funny cat pictures, avocados, traveling, my daughters, concerts, etc. I grew up in Sarasota, Florida, and because of that, a lot of my inspiration comes from the water and things having to do with the ocean. I love everything about the beach–the way the salt dries on your skin and the way the sun feels in your face.
I’m big into friendship and I’ve had the same two best friends since I was in elementary school. I draw a lot for my stories from my relationships with the two of them and the other close friends I’ve made over the years. People have asked me before how I write such strong friendships. I write strong friendships because I believe in them and I’ve been lucky enough to have them.
And, I’m married with two daughters. We are big animal people so we have cats, dogs, chinchillas and a rabbit. I get a lot of joy just from being home in my extremely loud but fun house.
10. Message to your readers?
What to say to my readers? For one, thank you! It’s hard to sound completely genuine on a computer screen but I do mean it. I’m blown away by the love and support I get and I know that I would be nowhere without you guys. Because people care enough about books and finding new authors, I’m able to live out my dream. That is e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g!
I don’t really have a “message,” but I do have a few life mottos that I try to stick to.
1. EMBRACE THE WEIRD. Seriously. If you find someone a little weird but wonderful, grab them and never let them go.
2. BE KIND. This should go without saying but it shocks me how many people so not embrace this concept. It’s really important to me to treat everyone like they are somebody. I don’t care whether it’s a homeless guy or the CEO of a huge corporation–people matter! The way you treat people is the legacy you leave the world.
3. LET GO. Being nice doesn’t mean that you should let people treat you badly or allow yourself to be walked on. I’ve learned about users and jerks and I’ve stopped trying to make excuses for those people. Surround yourself with people who love you and want good things for you and let go of the rest!
4. SHARE. It took me years to share the part of myself that was a writer, even with the people who were closest to me. I was afraid to peel back the layers that I wore for the world. I was afraid of revealing too much because I thought, “What if they don’t like what I am underneath it all?” Every time I write a new story and people start reading it, my stomach cramps with nerves and I have a mini freak out session. But putting myself out there and doing things from my soul has made my life and my relationships deeper. If people don’t want to know you for who you really are, you don’t want to know them.
5. TRUST YOUR STORY. You have to believe that you are going somewhere and that your tomorrows really do start right here.
I would like to end today’s post by giving a big thank you to Autumn Doughton. I was already your fan, but this conversation onwards, I’m not only an admirer of your books, but also your personality. Keep inspiring us with your awesome writing.
Lots and lots of love,