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Author Interview - L.M. Sherwin, Author of Night Bells

Hi everyone! Today, I have a special author interview with L.M. Sherwin. When I first entered the Twitterverse a few months back, the magnificent L.M. Sherwin was one of the very first writers I came across. As writers, we sometimes lose the motivation and focus to write -- but reading about the journey and progress of another writer can inspire us -- and L.M. Sherwin was one such writer. So do you want great advice and inspiration to start writing for the first time? Do you want to re-energize your midi-chlorians? Do you want to see Chris Hemsworth shirtless? If you answered 'yes' to all of the above, then this is the interview to read!

L.M Sherwin, holding Night Bells, a novel she started in her senior dorm room.
1. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE?
As soon as I learned to read and write (around the age of 3
or 4), I began scribbling away on short stories. My mother kept many of them and I enjoyed creating mini-books with notebook paper and markers. I knew I wanted to become an author when I was in third grade. Our teacher made us write a story and bind it in a blank book. At the back of the book, we had to have a picture of ourselves in author-glasses (read: gigantic, black-rimmed monstrosities) and a description of ourselves.

Fans of Glee and gigantic black-rimmed glasses -- your prayers have been answered.
I knew then that when I grew up, I wanted to write books professionally. I have always been a voracious reader and fantasy stories speak to me in particular. I started writing my first serious novel attempts in middle school. I didn't have the skill at the time to limit my word counts or plot out my thoughts, however, and my stories never went anywhere (except in my brain). In college, I decided I was going to sit down and start writing a serious novel that I intended to finish.
Click the cover to buy Night Bells on Amazon.
My first book, Night Bells, started in my senior dorm room. I finished it after my husband and I got married. I love writing. It is something I feel compelled to do. Growing up, books helped me to make sense of the world and my maturing mind. I wanted to be able to provide that experience for readers. My fantasy books are appropriate for young adults and adults alike, because I want my stories to be approachable for the majority of people. I want to enchant the minds of my readers just as I was enchanted by novels growing up (and still am!)

2. CAN WRITERS CHANGE THE WORLD?

Oh absolutely, we can! Writers provide commentary on life. Even if one's story is a fantasy that takes place in a fictional world, no doubt the characters one creates will experience issues and situations that are comparable to those found in our realities. I think everyone (who is a voracious reader) can raise their hand and share a book or writer that heavily influenced their life in the real world.

C.S. Lewis' Narnia -- quite possibly the greatest story set inside a wardrobe ever.
For me, those writers are folks like C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Juliet Marillier. Those writers certainly helped to change my world. No doubt there are millions of people all over this earth who can tell you authors and books that changed their lives. Bam! The world has been changed, because one individual at a time, writing changed people.

3. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE BOOK AND WHY?

There have been so many influential books in my life, but the book that I keep coming back to over and over again (since I was 13) is Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier. If you haven't read this book, shame on you! Go out there right now and read it. I mean it! It is fantastic.
 

Daughter of the Forest was a finalist for the 2000 Aurealis Awards for Fantasy Novel.
When I read it for the first time at 13, I was immediately sucked into the heroine's tale. She was around my age and her journey through hardships in this retelling of the Six Swans absolutely shaped my ideas about what it meant to be a woman. Marillier writes with such tender, beautiful abandon. Her words, imagery, and plots are dazzling every single time.
Juliet Marillier, author of Daughter of the Forest and winner of New Zealand's Sir Julius Vogel Award, given to the best young adult novel (2008).
I've read it at least four times and each time, I always glean something different from the experience. As I age, I identify with different characters and situations. Always, though, I am inspired by the love story in this novel. It is truly awe-inspiring. Unless something equally incredible comes along (very hard to imagine, for me) this will most likely remain my favorite book forever.

4. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR NEW AND UP-AND-COMING WRITERS?

When I was just starting to get serious about pursuing publishing, my husband issued me a challenge. He told me, "If you're serious about becoming an author, you need to sit down for an hour every single day and write." I took his challenge...and I did it

I wrote for an hour every single day for a year. In that year, I wrote four manuscripts -- the first of which became Night Bells. After that year, my dreams for publishing began to turn into a reality. I continued my regimen of daily writing and by August 2012, I had published my first novel. I don't write every single day now, but on the days I do write, I typically write for far longer than an hour (so it balances out for the week). 

My advice to any up-and-coming writer would be this: if you're really serious about writing, set a writing schedule for yourself and stick to it. For you, it might not be feasible to sit an hour a day and write. It might be better for you to set word count goals for yourself. Whatever you need to do to structure your challenge -- do it. If you stick to your guns and stay focused, you will be amazed at the progress you can make in a year, two years, and beyond!

5. IF YOUR BOOK WAS TURNED INTO A MOVIE, WHO WOULD DIRECT IT? WHO WOULD STAR IN IT?


Director J.J. Abrams -- a fellow black-rimmed glasses enthusiast.
WOW...tough question. If Night Bells were going to be turned into a movie, I'd have to have either Steven Spielberg or J.J. Abrams direct it. Night Bells takes place on an ice planet, but has all the elements of a great fantasy: magic, secrets, and relationships. It would need to have an appropriately epic feel and "look".

Chloe Grace Moretz can smile. Please take note, Kristen Stewart. Humans are capable of smiling.
As far as who would star in it, I'd have to have Asa Butterfield (Hugo) play Soryn. Also from Hugo, Chloë Grace Moretz would be an excellent Arna. Ulla would be voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock). Those are my two must-haves.

Chris Hemsworth, struggling to put his shirt on.
The other actors are much harder for me to assign. I'd say Stigg would be played by Chris Hemsworth, due to his blondness, ruggedness, and overall bulk. ;-) Fanndis could be played by either Judi Dench or Helen Mirren. This was a really fun question to think about! *Starts daydreaming...*

6
. IF YOU WEREN'T A WRITER, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING NOW?
Well, I think I'd have to be doing something involving books, so I'd have to say "librarian". In college, I worked for the school's library and loved it. I just have to be surrounded by books if I'm going to be useful to the world.

7. IF THE WORLD ENDED TOMORROW, WHAT WOULD YOU DO TODAY?

I would take my husband and spend the whole day together reminiscing about the wonderful life we've had. Maybe we'd try to squeeze in a little bit of all the great things we love to do and then curl up and go to sleep, so that our last moments would be spent in each others' arms. (I'm a romantic!)


Thank you L.M. Sherwin. It was a joy talking to you. 

L.M. Sherwin is giving away Night Bells for FREE on Smashwords until Febraury 28th, 2013. Click here for details.

You can connect with L.M. Sherwin via the links below:

Twitter: @LM_Sherwin
 

Website: http://lmsherwin.com 
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/L.M.SherwinBooks 
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6505775.L_M_Sherwin 
Wattpad: http://www.wattpad.com/user/LMSherwin 

You can purchase her books on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble:
http://www.amazon.com/L.M.-Sherwin/e/B0093OVQ48/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/l.m.-sherwin


Thanks for reading!

Feel free to follow me on Twitter: @Tuan_Ho444

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Until next time, something wonderful awaits!
Author Interview - L.M. Sherwin, Author of Night Bells Reviewed by Tuan Ho on 10:55 Rating: 5
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