About L. S. O’Dea:
L. S. O’Dea grew up the youngest of seven. She always wanted to do what her older siblings were doing, especially reading stories.
Ill at a young age, she immersed herself in books. Her life changed when she read a short story written by her older brother and realized that normal (somewhat anyway, since her brother was a bit weird in her opinion) people created these amazing stories. From that day forward, she wanted to write.
However, as with all good stories, obstacles rose in her path (mostly self-created obstacles) and it took her many years to put finger to keyboard and write/type her first book.
What inspires you to write?
I’m not sure that anything inspires me to write, it is just something that I do now. I delayed writing for many years and then took a class. I haven’t stopped writing since.
During the years that I did not write, I used to have dreams of floating underwater and looking into a grand castle at the bottom of the sea. Inside, there were hundreds of people at a party and no one noticed me floating at the window.
Slowly, I would drift away. At one point, after having this half-sleep/half-awake dream for many years, as I drifted away, no longer able to see inside the castle, I ended up inside my own rock formation of sorts. I began to make my own castle with my own guests. I now believe that the guests are the characters inside my head, just waiting to be given life through my pen (keyboard).
Tell us about your writing process.
I start with an idea (I know, not too unique) and then I let it take me where it wants to go. As an example, my first book “Lake Of Sins: Escape” started as a little boy and his baby sister being forced to flee the camp by thier mother. A security guard with a german shephard comes across them hiding in the forest, but he doesn’t turn them in.
Somehow, that boy became a girl. The baby sister disappeared and the security guard and dog became Mirra and Gaar (mythical creatures).
So, my process is just to write. Put words on paper and then go back and remove what isn’t working. Mostly, my stories take shape by the motivations of the characters. I try to understand all my character’s motivation, not just the main character.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Oh, I listen to them, but not talk to them. When writing, I need to get from point A to point Z but I let my characters fill in the rest of the alphabet. And honestly, they often convince me that my point Z is not the correct one so I let them choose that too.
What advice would you give other writers?
Again, cliched but — WRITE. Don’t worry if what you are writing isn’t working. You can throw it out later. Get words on paper and your characters will take over your fingers and direct you to their true selves, and that is an interesting journey.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I tried the traditional route. I had some feedback from several agents. Each of them would suggest that I change my story in one way or another. I’d make the changes, send it off and then never hear a word back. So, after researching (a lot of reading on Hugh Howey’s website), I decided that since the agents and publishers still make the new authors market the books themselves, why not go it alone.
I will admit though that even though the first draft of my book started better, I didn’t know my main character too well. I do now, after the revisions.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
As with most self-published, I don’t see the “big five” staying in the game too long. They have too much overhead and that affects cost. People want books free or cheap.
What do you use?: Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Thriller, Romance, Young Adult
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print