Chat with Online Urban Fantasy Series 'Clock Work' Author Erin Bassett

E.L. Bassett, informally Erin and familiarly Rin, has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. Before that she was prone to telling you all about how her sister was an alien and her dog pulled carts for garden fairies and dragging you into to the backyard to show you were Flybys (insect like creatures with powers over the elements) were nesting. Her penchant for the fantastic carried through grade school, evolving into a fascination with Dragons. She was constantly in the library reading everything she could, which of course led to the discovery of J.R.R Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. She then knew she wanted to be a writer and her main genre would be fantasy.

In 4th grade she participated in the ECISD annual Oral Traditions Competition, her story being one complete with unicorns and ogres, taking home 6th place in the city. She can still recall the first 5 lines, which probably has a lot to do with the unicorn.

After joining the North Texas Speculative Fiction Writer’s Workshop while studying at TCU she was included in their chapter book with the science fiction story: Spirit of Hope. Since then she has been published in Indigo Rising, Raven Images and Abandoned Towers Magazine and has a chapbook published by Diminuendo Press.

The serial Clock Work came about when the Managing Editor at Abandoned Towers contacted Erin with the offer. After writing up a brief synopsis on two of the, many, works in progress, Clock Work was chosen. From there illustrator Juliet Doherty was found and the project came to life.

Erin enjoys off beat, out the ordinary writing of the urban fantasy persuasion, but also revels in classic fantasy stories with gripping battles, wizards, dragons or monsters, and epic fight scenes set in far off, mythical or fantastic places. Her book shelves are packed with everything from Holly Black, Martin Miller and Terry Pratchett to Christy Lijewski, Dean Koontz and Hal Duncan.

You can visit Erin Bassett’s website at: www.elbassett.com


Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Erin Bassett. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

A: It’s certainly my pleasure! Well, I am currently Senior Editor for CW Productions, I have a chapbook out from Diminuendo Press, several poems printed in magazines and a 4 year member of North Texas Speculative Fiction Writers group.

I usually tell people I’ve been writing since I learned how to; but I have been making up stories to entertain my sister and family since I could talk. I had an over active imagination as a kid and, honestly, that hasn’t calmed down any since becoming an adult.

Q: Introduce us to your online series. Who is the main character and where is everything taking place?

A: Clock Work is an Urban Fantasy story based around a young girl named Esther St. Claire. After returning to her private High School, Westin Academy, following the death of her parents she is treated to a very odd reception that culminates in the Westin student body being attacked by creatures thought to only exists in myths and story books. Esther is faced with the choice of accepting her role within the chaos and helping to tame it, or ignoring it and continuing life as she has been.


Q: What were some of the biggest challenges you face writing not only in your genre but writing an online series?

A: Time restraints. I am used to having all the time in the world to finish up my novels and chapbooks. I am not restricted in any way other than to finish; eventually. With the serial, it forces me to not only write with a word count, but write linearly. I am a very organic writer and usually start with the middle, move to the end then write scenes that pop into my head. I am left to connect the dots, as it were, after I feel I have finished and that's a huge time sink; as any organic writer can attest to. I absolutely cannot do that with Clock Work; it would never air! So learning, or to be more honest forcing, myself to sit and write what the next episode needs and not skip off into the ether of episode 129 has been the biggest challenge.

Q: Why did you go with writing an online series and not a book or series of books?

A: The opportunity fell in my lap. I was contacted by the Managing Editor of Abandoned Towers about doing a serial for them. After writing up two synopses of the many (many) works in progress I have Clock Work was chosen. We, the publishing house and I, do plan on releasing a hard copy of Clock Work in the near future. It would be a series of books as well since I have an open ended contract and, at this moment, there is no end in sight.

Q: You work with an illustrator for your series. Would you tell us how you found an illustrator and how that relationship works?

A: I found Juliet on Deviant Art. I had been watching her for a while, quietly adoring her work. When my last illustrator didn’t work out I sent Juliet a very shy note asking if she could possibly, maybe, hopefully even consider working with me. I had a backup in mind, but I couldn’t bring myself to even email them until I heard back from Juliet. I thought it was a long shot. Imagine my surprise when she noted me back so positively! I was ecstatic!

Since then we have been working with each other’s very hectic schedules and it’s been marvelous. How we work is that she reads the episode or, if she's in a time crunch, I send her an excerpt I'd like to have illustrated. She then sends me a few sketches and I choose which one works the best for the episode. We work very closely.

It was extremely important for me to have more of a partner in my illustrator then just someone I send ideas to and Juliet has been that and more. I tend to gush over her, but I really couldn’t ask for a more amazingly talented illustrator for Clock Work or for such a great new friend. Please go support her work!

http://kitten-chan.deviantart.com/

Q: Do you have any advice for someone who is planning to start an online series?

A: Be diligent. And daring. Set goals you can meet, but also don't be afraid of challenging yourself. I myself have a few serious health problems that sometimes get in the way of my work and I cannot always post at the stroke of midnight on the 4th. But you will find a fan base if you really give it your all and try. And don't get discouraged! Find one or two people that read you every time you post and don't hesitate to ask their thoughts on the recent episode. Start a dialog. Just talking about your work and seeing the reaction of a reader is a great way to keep motivated!

Q: What’s next for you?

A: I have two more poetry books, one with the photographer Tracy Davis for photo illustrations. I am constantly sending off poems and short stories to magazines and I have the first book of a YA Fantasy series under contract and in editing. I am also taking on clients for in house editing at CW Productions. Good thing I like to stay busy!

Q: Thank you for your interview, Erin. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web?

A: Certainly my pleasure! I can be found:

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/10thMuse
FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Clock-Work/80408507198
Powered by Blogger.