Friday, August 30, 2013

Author Interview - Carissa Andrews author of "Pendomus" due out October 10th

Carissa Andrews
Carissa Andrews is another author I've had the pleasure of meeting via Twitter. It has been 3 years since the first time we began to tweet back and forth, and now - years later - I have the pleasure to interviewing her for her up coming book release, "Pendomus"

What is your genre of choice, and why? 

Sci-fi/fantasy has turned out to by my pen of choice. I enjoy the freedom to explore pretty much anything I want to, but still dig myself into a world entrenched with technology and science. Two areas I love in real life.

How many books have you published? (self or otherwise) 

I’m publishing my first novel, "Pendomus", this October. "Pendomus" is the first book in a three-book series about a seventeen-year-old girl and her quest to save the planet she lives on.

Tell me about your current project.

Right now, I’m currently wrapping up "Pendomus", reworking the flow based on recommendations from my editor. It’s been a challenging process, but I’ve learned a lot just in these past few months of piecing the puzzle back together.

"Taking place on a tidally-locked planet known as Pendomus, humanity has evolved. Having left Earth long ago, we’ve found a way to survive on what should be a desolate planet. Taking root on the temperate band between light and dark, where it’s is always perpetual dawn, the Helix commands its presence to be known. Operating under the assumption that everyone works in total fulfillment of their higher-calling, no one questions their daily routines.
There is more than meets the eye to this planet, however. It is Runa Cophem’s calling to find out her place in the world, far beyond the confines of the Helix. Destruction and havoc will follow in her wake. The only question is, will it be for the betterment of all?"

Where can I buy copies of your work? 

"Pendomus" will be available October 10th on, or you can visit my Kickstarter project to pledge for an advance copy. The Kickstarter project runs today (August 26th through September 9th)

What are you reading right now? 

For pleasure reading, I’m in the middle of the naughty indulgence of the 50 Shades series. With all I’ve been working on, it’s been hard to get around to all the great books out there. For work purposes, I’m also reading "Story Physics", by Larry Brooks.

What keeps you going on those days when writing gets hard? (e.g., a favorite quote or a personal motto) 

I love Jillian Michael’s quote, “Why choose failure, when success is an option.”

What advice can you give other aspiring writers out there? 

Keep writing. It doesn’t matter what you write, how you write, or where you write. Just make it a goal and keep at it every single day. In the beginning, your words may not be great—but they’re aspiring to be. One day, you’ll look back and realize your writing has grown with you.

What cautions do you have? 

Don’t limit yourself to what you think will sell. There are a lot of other authors out there who will go on the hunt for the “next big thing”. Don’t be one of them… If there’s a story gnawing at your mind, it needs to be told. End of story. ;)

Do you work on more than one project at a time? 

Yes – but not book-wise. I’d like to think I could do so, but my brain would have a meltdown with all those voices. So I limit my extra projects to a different medium. I am a graphic designer by trade, so on the side—and when I get stuck—I will switch gears and dabble with my visual art. In addition to "The Pendomus Chronicles", I am also in the middle of getting Malarkey Publishing and Design up and running.

Do you have a process? (e.g., outlining, character creation, location) 

I go through a series of daydreams first. I write down the basic principle, the concept of the story and expand it from there. I try to write outlines, but they never really stick for me—but I think that’s because my process is evolving. I go deep into backgrounds for characters, trying to come up with reasoning for their behaviors and actions. I love imagining the worlds, the technology, etc. I have so many notes I don’t know what to do with them all!

Where do your ideas come from? What inspires you? 

"Pendomus" sort of just struck me out of nowhere. But as time has gone on (I’ve been working on it for the past three years), I see a lot of influences in it. Particularly influences from my favorite writer, Joss Whedon. But really, writing inspires me. Living life and looking at the world around me and the way we take technology inspires me.

If you could do it all over, is there anything you would change about finding an agent and finally publishing? 

Honestly, I’m glad things turned out the way they have. I have a background in printing, marketing and graphic design, amongst my interest in writing. So really, taking my authorship to the next level myself, was a logical decision. I am, however, glad that I sent off my queries, tried for an agent, because it validated what I knew already anyway. That I wanted to try this myself first.

What has been your toughest criticism? What has been your greatest compliment? 

My toughest criticism was actually from my beta-reader-extraordinaire the very first time I got a chapter back from her. When I first started writing, I was hoping to be a natural. However, her criticism had me spinning. It was detailed and driven. After first prickling at such a brutal criticism, I realized she was totally right. I was able to incorporate her feedback, and ultimately, grow as a writer and make the scene stronger. Since then, any time I get feedback and criticism I know not to take it personally and dive into changes. These people only want to make my work shine as much as I do.

So far, my greatest compliment has been from beta readers who have said my characters are very three-dimensional. As I make all the changes I’ve been introducing, I hope I maintain that same level throughout the final version of Pendomus.

Who is your greatest influence(s) 

My greatest influence is definitely Joss Whedon. I love his style of story telling. But I have many others closer to home—There are many friends I have made in my journey to become an author and their stories always inspire me. People like Pavarti K. Tyler, Cassia Leo, and of course, my husband, Colin Andrews.

Who are your favorite people to follow on Twitter & why? (e.g., authors, non-authors) 

I love following people who will actually respond back and have a conversation. I pay very little attention to the constant blasts of “My book is on sale again – go buy it!” So it really depends on the day and who pulls me into a conversation or responds back to something I’ve said.

Do you have any other passions besides writing? 

If we exclude the obvious ones like hanging out with my gorgeous husband and kids… I love astrophysics and all things space or hell, science-y. Then again, I love neuroscience, too. I’m kind of a big nerd.

When did you know you wanted to write? 

On some level, I would have to say at a very young age. In the 7th grade, I wrote a full length YA novel that was sort of emulating a dream I had. I can still remember the dream like it was yesterday. Who knows, maybe someday I will have to go back in and rewrite it. ;)

Do you have a day job? 

Yes, I do. I work as Marketing and Sales Coordinator for a SaaS (Software as a Service) company. I get to do a lot of the same fun things I do for self-publishing… Social Media, ordering fun trinkets, scheduling and launching events. It’s pretty awesome.

Final question, why do you write? 

If I didn’t, those voices would only get louder and more obnoxious.

About the Author:

Born and raised in central MN, Carissa Andrews has always loved books. She started her career at 15 in a bookstore, just to be able to afford her book fetish. By 19, she worked for a magazine publisher. At 22, she was working for printers to learn their trade. At 27, she went back to school for graphic design, and became an award winning designer. Little did she know all of her experiences would lead her to becoming a self-publishing power house. 

To learn more about Carissa Andrews and "Pendomus"- visit her website. Also check her out on Facebook (Author page), Facebook (Pendoums page) Twitter and Goodreads


  1. Thanks so much for taking the time to interview me, Aryn! <3 ya!

    1. It was my pleasure! I'm excited to read Pendomus. It just hit me, can you pre-order?