Featured Indie Author/Artist: Ren Black

Welcome to Indie Author Monday. Today we feature an interview with fantasy artist and author Ren Black. I love her chutzpah and guts! I for one look forward to reading her fantasy novel. Enjoy!

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Ren Black lives in Texas with her Husband. They have four wonderful children, four computers, two pianos and about two thousand books.  She loves melding art and writing, particularly through character portraits. She’s currently seeking publication for Secrets of the Dragon Seal and continuing to write on a variety of projects. She is a Featured Author at the New Authors’ Fellowship Blog. She helped illustrate Port Yonder Press’s elven anthology, The Book of Sylvari which will be released soon.

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Beth: Thanks for joining us here, Ren! What got you into writing your current work-in-progress book in the first place?

Ren: Arrogance.

A school teacher asked us to write a short story. As I watched classmates turn in half-baked junk to check it off, I decided I would show them all. Thus was born The Secrets of the Dragon Seal, a story of brother and sister whose reality is torn apart by a thousand year old family secret.  He must betray everything he was taught and those who love him in order to save his sister’s life. Meanwhile, she must fight to control her rogue magic before she kills again.

Beth: Oooh! I look forward to reading it! What was the most fun thing to do during the writing, producing or marketing of your book?

Ren: Torturing unsuspecting characters!
Beth: LOL! So, what inspires you about writing fantasy?

Ren: I’m not the type to take any flat “no.” Impossibilities seem more a fence to push on and a world beyond to explore, even just in the mind.

Beth: As a fantasy writer myself, I totally understand… Why did you decide to Indie publish?

Jen: Although I haven’t closed off to other options, I favor small publishers because I love building close relationships and partnerships. I like knowing that I’m a significant player, not just another number or title to add to their lists.

Beth: Sweet. So, what advice do you have to authors just starting out? And what’s one thing you’d like to know more about?

Ren: Write! Play with lots of ideas, short stories and longer. Don’t let yourself freeze up, waiting or searching for the perfect phrase, brilliant story idea or for your life to pause and free up the time. The habit of writing is priceless and we learn by doing. The idea that tomorrow we’ll have m

ore time to write is a treacherous illusion.

Next, finish. Short or long, finish something.

I think too many seek out criticism too soon, then get discouraged and never finish.

As for me, I’m constantly learning. One of the biggest things I’m still exploring is bringing my art more into the digital age. I’ve been a pencil and paper artist, but I’d love to tap the endless potentials of digital art.

Beth: Love your art that you’ve shared with us here today. Anything else you’d like to share?!

Ren: I don’t believe in a perfect first draft. I believe in the power of revision and specifically re-envisioning our stories. With multiple novels, I’ve written the full draft in six months or so, then I invest 2 years in revisions and drastic changes. Just like people, I think fear of change holds too many stories back from their true potential.

Beth: I so agree! Thanks for stopping by, Ren!

For more information on Ren Black and a Blurb for Secrets of the Dragon Seal (aka Hall of Masters) look here: http://newauthors.wordpress.com/ren-black/

For more of her art, look here: http://newauthors.wordpress.com/2010/11/23/mixing-art-and-writing/

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