Interview With Author CeeRee Fields

Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!

My name is CeeRee Fields, and I write romance.

My fantasy romance series has many books: Birch’s Faith in the Woven Destinies series and in my Scavenger’s Bonded series there is D’Reaper’s Destiny, Vyolet’s Stryfe, Sara’s Kaos, and Naktmerie’s Monster all set in future America. Each can be read as a stand-alone book, but each story has the characters from the other stories too.

I also have a romantic suspense series called The Rayburn Mysteries with Gravedigger being the first that is published through Soul Mate Publishing.

What is/are the story(ies) behind your book(s)?

If you mean a central backstory, then I have them. In my contemporary romance, it is Josephine’s dedication to police work she learned from her father and sense of family she learned from both parents as well as her quirky family.

However, it is more apparent in my Woven Destinies and Scavenger’s Bonded books.

The books are parts of series with their own continuity. In Woven Destinies and Scavenger’s Bonded, I have built an entire society based on a recovering post-apocalyptic world. Where each story can be read as a stand-alone or as a whole. The society is placed well after the event that killed off eighty-five percent of humanity, so cities, villages, and new cultures have emerged. So there is an entire history that has taken place between the event up until the beginning of my first book.

This is the link for those who want to see how my world is built:

https://ceereefields.com/amelorica-culture/

And for those who enjoy watching a map be built:

That’s just a bit of the backstory for the new adult fantasy books I have out now and barely covers all the cultures.

What inspires/inspired your creativity?

My inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere. Birch’s Faith came from a nightmare I had. I wrote the nightmare out and thought… huh, that might be an exciting book. And it went from there. D’Reaper’s Destiny came from a picture I’d seen and wondered what would make a glass coffin shatter from the inside out. Vyolet’s Stryfe came from my memories of Alcatraz and wanting to incorporate a piece of that within my series, but I wanted the island to move so I had to research how that would be possible. Sara’s Kaos came from a Nickleback song. And Naktmerie’s Monster came about because I really wanted one of my heroes to be kind of a jerk, but I also wanted the female character to be a bitch to help balance him out. And since she sets him up to be kidnapped and he basically uses her for sex while they travel, I figure its a pretty good trade-off.

As for Gravedigger that came about from me researching another series. I was in the middle of googling when ‘Russian Body Snatcher 2011’ popped up on my search, no idea why since I was researching a serial killer based in California, but sometimes these digital side trips can be fun. So, being a curious writer, I, of course, clicked the link. Needless to say, after reading all the articles and investigative information I could find I was fascinated. Which kicked my imagination into high gear and Gravedigger was born.

How do you deal with creative block?

I’ve never had creative block, but that could be because I don’t sit down and write on one book non-stop. I usually work on several until I hit about 50 pages then I’ll place the one that’s the furthermost along first and try to write at least 500-600 words a day on it to finish it up.

If I’m feeling uninspired, then I’ll go and listen to music, watch television, play a game, or look at photos. Something will usually trigger me, and I can get back to writing.

What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?

I don’t consider these mistakes, but they throw me out of a story when I’m reading and come across them so I do everything I can not to repeat them as a writer.

I highly recommend keeping a series bible if someone is writing more than one book. I’ve read a few series where an author had a character with a backstory in another book then finally released the secondary character’s book and the name isn’t at all the same but the backstory and everything else, including the love interest, is exactly the same. It throws me out of the story every time reading a different name. I always encourage authors if you’re doing a series keep a series bible handy and keep your notes current. A quick copy and paste as you’re re-reading what you’ve written for the day and it’s done. As for what a series bible is: It’s a document, spreadsheet, or whatever the author wants to use that holds vital details about those characters or about their world.

Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?

With covers, I go to an online bookseller and lookup the genre I’m writing in. Then I’ll scroll through current covers for the past six months to get an idea of what is out there. As I’m looking at the covers, I grab the links of the covers I like the look of and narrow it down to between two and three, so I can send it to my designer. That’s what I’ve done for my romantic suspense and contemporary romances.

Woven Destinies and Scavenger’s Bonded series was different. I designed those covers because I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for anywhere. Being that they are not shifter/mage based fantasies and have some science fiction aspects, the glowy hands and futuristic buildings didn’t fit any of the stories. So, I decided to design them myself based on a pivotal scene in each book.

I wouldn’t recommend this route as it took me several tries before I finally understood the science behind designing a cover.

Titles are harder. I might have two or three, and I’ll toss them around with my critique group to figure out which works. Or they might come up with something totally different that sounds a lot better.

How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?

I don’t look at reviews very often. Otherwise, I’d probably stress about how to make that specific book or story better. So my husband looks at them first then says ‘Okay, this is what’s being said…’ and we go from there.

Negative feedback, for me, is very different than a review. When I think of feedback, I think of a critique partner(s) or an editor’s revisions. I take these with a grain of salt as no one knows your characters voices better than the writer. However, the two groups help refine my stories and make them flow smoother.

Luckily my CPs mix negative and positive but even then with the negative I’ll note it in a spreadsheet until I have all the critiques then I’ll sit down and see which scenes need to be rewritten. If there is more than one comment about it. I’ll dig in and try to figure out why it’s being noted. If there’s only one comment, then I’ll look at the scene and might keep it as is and chalk the comment up to creative differences.

How has your creation process improved over time?

I’m more focused now. I try to write at least 1k words a day on whatever manuscript has caught my attention. I’ve also been reading a lot more and puzzling out why I like certain wording and why something doesn’t work for me. It’s helped my own writing a lot. Action scenes I’ve really begun getting the hang of now that I know the best words to use, the sentence structure, and how to better pace them.

What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book(s)?

The best is how helpful indie writers are. If I don’t know something, there’s always someone willing to point me in the right direction. I’m still trying to figure out the whole marketing thing, but I love every aspect from writing my first draft to publishing my books. From putting together the small adverts for Twitter and FB to figuring out how to put together a trailer to learning to give helpful critiques.

The most surprising is how I wake up excited to start work every morning. I’ve never had this much passion for my jobs. I have had jobs I’ve enjoyed, but never been passionate about. I can see the difference now.

The worst is the amount of information on the internet for new authors. It is overwhelming. A lot of it is misleading too, such as paying publishers up front to publish a book. No. A reputable publisher won’t charge to publish a story. Yet, there are so many authors who are excited to belong to a publishing house they pay up and realize what a mistake they made after. And there’s very little anyone can do to help, especially, if they have signed the rights away.

Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?

I try to balance them. I write what I’m passionate about, which helps my stories feel more natural. I enjoy writing about damaged characters that find their soulmates as well as incorporating action, adventure, and fantasy in the stories as they each learn to merge their lives. But I also try to keep in mind what I enjoy as a reader as well. Which is why my fantasy series can be read as stand alone books with a new couple meeting and falling in love. I keep the continuity alive by using characters, places, and events from previous books.

I don’t like building toss away characters if I can help it. I want readers to be able to step into each story and feel like they are surrounded by friends. Friends and places they know and can point to and say ‘Oh, that’s where Sara tried to kick Kael’s butt in the combat ring.’ Or ‘That’s where Draper gave Zroya an apple.’ and so on.

What role do emotions play in creativity?

Sometimes that’s a hard one. If I’m feeling happy, but I’m at a scene where the characters need to argue it’s a nightmare to write it. Mostly because I don’t go for the jugular and in a heated argument going for those soft places is what is needed. So I don’t write argument scenes when I’m happy, the flip-side is I don’t write happy scenes when I’m unhappy as they come across as fake when I re-read them.

Most times, I’ll write scenes out of order if my mood is one way or another, then merge them into the story. Which, for me, works great as the characters feel more realistic.

Do you have any creativity tricks?

Yes, very much so… the best trick ever: Work hard and put in the time it’ll come.

I know, not really a trick and maybe not creative, but I don’t need tricks to be creative, there are so many ideas, so it’s more a matter of putting the work in and getting the stories fleshed out.

What are your plans for future books?

I have a LOT of plans for future books. I have outlines for several books in my fantasy series. I plan to release a new series called Assassins of Hellam later this year. The title for the first book right now is Styx with at least two more stories following it, Fawn, and Phantom. Then I have the fifth in my Scavenger’s Bonded series that’s rumbling around in my head I just need to get a few kinks in the storyline to settle down before I start working on the ending.

And that’s not to mention a handful of other books in my romantic suspense and contemporary romance genres I’ve been working on in between when I need to let a plot or scene simmer on one of my fantasy books.

Tell us some quirky facts about yourself

I’m a gamer, and I met my hubby on a game we’ve now played for almost fourteen years. It was not ‘love at first pixel.’ More like me yelling at him over my head then teleporting away because he was ignoring me. Come to find out he was afk (away from keyboard), so he didn’t see any of the writing over my head. Now, we’re married. I moved from Alabama to the Netherlands and just attained dual citizenship a little over a year and a half ago.

I also hate wearing matching socks. I don’t do it if I can help it and to really throw people off in the summer I’ll wear two different color socks as well as two different color canvas sneakers. Sometimes people stop and look at me then ask me about them. It makes for a great ice breaker when meeting new people.

All my books are in KU and below are the links:

New Adult Fantasy Romance:

Birch’s Faith: https://www.amazon.com/Birchs-Faith-Woven-Destinies-Book-ebook/dp/B0160ALCA0/

D’Reaper’s Destiny: https://www.amazon.com/DReapers-Destiny-Scavengers-Bonded-Book-ebook/dp/B01EB6N8XY/

Vyolet’s Stryfe: https://www.amazon.com/Vyolets-Stryfe-Scavengers-Bonded-Book-ebook/dp/B01K23IQPK/

Sara’s Kaos: https://www.amazon.com/Saras-Kaos-Scavengers-Bonded-Book-ebook/dp/B0763KLYTG/

Naktmeri√©’s Monster: https://www.amazon.com/Naktmeri%C3%A9s-Monster-Scavengers-Bonded-Book-ebook/dp/B07MLMMC4J/

Romantic Suspense:

Gravedigger: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07H8R2JJF/

Social Media Links:

Website: https://ceereefields.com/

Twitter: twitter.com/ceereefields

Facebook: facebook.com/ceereefields

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/CeeRee-Fields/e/B0162DLQGA?

Author: NFReads.com

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