Please give a warm welcome to author Crea Reitan
Tell us a bit about yourself
My pen name is Crea Reitan. I live in upstate New York with my husband and husky. I’m an avid reader who has an obsessive amount of dragons, puzzles, Harry Potter paraphernalia, and tea. My harem of book boyfriends grows with each new series I find – the more psychotic, the better. I sleep with more than a dozen pillows, six blankets, and my room hovering somewhere around 55*F year round! No, my husband does not fit in the bed, too, though I make room for the dog.
Have you always wanted to become an author?
I have been writing since I was seven. I’m not sure at which point in my life I actually decided that I’d like to publish someday but it must have been sometime between the angsty high school poems and the early-twenties fanfiction. I loved writing so much that I took a job with a literary agent (have worked with her for seven years now) and pursued my Master’s Degree in Creative Writing (received in 2018). And still I only made the decision to publish when I was stuck home for six months due to the pandemic. It seemed, with all that time on my hands, it was the right time to follow my dream!
What was your inspiration for your current book/series?
This series is a followup from my first completed series, Chronicles of Blood. I intended for that series to be nicely wound up in four books but… I have an issue containing my stories as they should be. It grew too big and now I need to write a follow up series.
BUT, my interest in Wonderland has been a long term love-affair. It’s such an easy place to start writing because you can literally take the story anywhere. Anything goes in Wonderland. Your freedom to create is endless. After reading at least a dozen Wonderland retellings, I decided I needed to write my own.
What are you working on now?
The first book in my Chronicles of Madness series is titled, Finding Nonsense. It follows Mal and her men from the previous series, Chronicles of Blood, as they continue in the post-Bloody Queen Laddenworn, trying to fix the fairy tale by restoring the six ruling queens to their thrones and bringing Wonderland back. But there are new dark forces at work, ones that promise instant death oppose the bloody torture the Queens provided. And the fairy tale that’s infected Wonderland takes a more malevolent turn.
Do you have any quirks while working?
I’ve recently developed a strange habit while I work. For the last several months, I’ve been obsessively focused on obtaining my step goals (10-12,000 steps a day), so every hour, I walk 1,500 steps. While I do this, I’m playing through the next scene in my mind so that by the time I sit down, the words flow like water. Alternatively, if I’m stuck for a scene, I start pacing around my office and let the characters do as they will in my mind until I’m inspired enough that I can sit down again and write.
Fun fact: My dog has since taken to pacing when she’s bored. She’s constantly pacing the downstairs while I pace the upstairs. My husband rolls his eyes at us.
What are your hopes for the future?
I hope to be able to continue to write and gather a readership. I have been telling stories since I was a kid and to be able to share them with a wider audience has been incredibly rewarding. My goal is to be able to rearrange my career so that I can focus more fully on writing as my main source of income. It’s a lofty goal, one so many authors never achieve. But one day, with a lot of hard work, I hope to make it my reality so that I can keep writing.
Do you have any advice for new authors about the publishing world?
My biggest piece of advice is to find yourself a PA who knows what they’re doing. I’m incredibly lucky to have found mine right when I started out. She’s knowledgeable in the industry, experienced, and connected to other authors and PAs. She’s made it possible for me to ‘meet’ other authors and network (yes, it’s actually important in all fields – your teachers were right about this, at least).
Other than that, one of the biggest hurdles is just to go for it. I held back for years. Taking that first leap of faith is going to be the hardest but it’s definitely worth it. Publishing your first book, successful or not, is remarkably rewarding. Getting that first 5 star review (and, those pesky 1 star reviews) is such an incredible feeling. There’s nothing more inspiring that will make you want to keep going, either to gather more praise from the 5 star reviewers or to prove those 1 star reviewers wrong.
Do you have anything to say to your followers?
I know that every author says this but, from the bottom of my heart, thank you! You are the reason I keep publishing. I love to hear your feedback, talk about characters with you, and receive your threats of dismemberment for what I put my characters through. As with all indie authors, reviews go a long way. Word of mouth goes even further. If you like what you read, share it with a friend. Don’t forget to give them the trigger warnings, though. 😛