Monday, 17 July 2017

Getting to Know the Authors: Featuring Chani Lynn Feener!

       Chani Lynn Feener has wanted to be a writer since the age of ten during fifth grade storytime. She majored in Creative Writing at Johnson State College in Vermont. To pay her bills, she has worked many odd jobs, including, but not limited to, telemarketing, order picking in a warehouse, and filling ink cartridges. When she isn’t writing, she’s binging TV shows, drawing, or frequenting zoos/aquariums. Chani is also the author of teen paranormal series, The Underworld Saga, originally written under the penname Tempest C. Avery. She currently resides in Connecticut, but lives on
What has she written?
She has written (for YA):

Now on to the Interview!
1) How old were you when you started writing, in your opinion?
     When I started seriously writing? Probably 15. I've known I wanted to become a writer since I was 10, but 15 is when I first tried my and at something other than fanfiction and decided to start taking learning and honing my skills seriously.
2) What do you want a reader to gain from reading your works?
     Honestly, I just want them to have a good time and forget about their troubles for a bit. I love classic literature, and Shakespeare. But when I was a teen, reading all of that assigned literature for school, there were many occasions I wanted to read something lighter, that I could immerse myself with and not have to pick apart. Being a teenager is stressful, and I really just want to provide a momentary escape from that with good characters, an interesting plot, and maybe a little magic (or aliens, as the case is for Amid Stars and Darkness).

3) What are your three top suggestions on becoming an author, or being a pleasure writer?
     My first would be to just do it. Stop making excuses about how you're not good enough, or about how you're too busy, or how you'll never make it. The only way to get better is to practice, just like anything else. And now matter how busy you are, you can put aside five minutes a day. It doesn't sound like much, but even if you only get a couple of sentences down, that's still more than nothing. Most authors don't have connections to the business when they start, so they begin the same way you would: writing in their bedroom or their library or their kitchen. If they can get a book published (heck, if I can) you definitely can! You just have to want it badly enough, and do something about that.
     My second suggestion would be not to worry about what people will think, either about your genre choice, or the fact you're reaching for a pretty high goal. Write what you want to write, because if you don't love it, no one will. If you want to write about witches and vampires, do it. The next great American Novel? Go for it. Romance? Why not! You're not the only one who loves these genres, so even if your friends think writing paranormal books are lame, there's an entire community out there who does not!
      Lastly, find a process that works for you. There's no right way to write a book. Some writers like to plot the whole thing out, and some people like to just sit down with no idea what they're doing and go for it (I happen to be the latter). If you're not sure which works for you, try them both. You might even find the process is different for each book you write. Basically, don't think you can look up a "how to" with this. You aren't building furniture from Ikea. It's okay to be unsure how to start, or finish. Just trust your gut, and if later on you don't like something you wrote, that's what the backspace button is for.

4) What is your favourite novel, why?
     I have five, and I cannot choose between them, so I'll list quickly! The Road by Cormac McCarthy, Life of Pi by Yann Martel, The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, and Make You Mine by Jackie Ashenden. All of these books are really different, and aren't all from the same genre either, but I love them because I resonated with the characters in each of these books so deeply. All of these authors have the ability to put you into their characters heads, and surround you in a plot and setting super believable and easy to imagine. They all also make you think about who you are as a person, and I love books that force you to step back and wonder what you would do or how you feel about something.

5) Who is your favourite author, why?
     Again, that's way too hard a question. I'll say I love Shakespeare, Maggie Stiefvater, Jackie Ashenden, and...actually, I'll stop there. The why would be that I've loved (or at least liked) most if not everything by these authors that I've read. If I see their name on something, I'll buy it without having to read the blurb.

6) What are your favorite pass times besides writing?
     I draw a lot. I actually thought I was going to be an artist from the age of five until I really made the decision to just write at 15. I also love watching tv shows and going to the movies, and I'm a big fan of visiting aquariums and zoos. And, obviously, I read. A lot. I wish I could say I have more active pass times but....aside from roller blading, I really don't.

7) Who in your life do you credit your imagination to the most?
     I don't think I can credit any one person. I get inspiration from everyone and from everywhere's not like my mom or one of my favorite authors, or even my favorite show, can take more of the credit than another thing or person. Depending on the book or project I'm doing, my imagination will get sparked by different things.

 8) What are the top five things on your bucket list?
 1. Go parasailing.
 2. Visit Cornwall.
 3. Visit Ireland.
 4. Make the NY Times best sellers list eventually.
 5. Attend Funko Fundays (and SDCC).

 9) What is your funniest childhood memory?
       Most of my funniest childhood memories are of my siblings doing stupid stuff so...I can't say without upsetting them.

10) To the youth of today, if you could tell them one thing, what would it be?
       Explore as much as you can. The sooner you figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life, the sooner you can start making that happen.

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