Last night I interviewed Cairn Rodrigues, a fantasy writer who’s actually written 3 1/2 books at this point but only self published one so far, called The Last Prospector. I thought she’d be fascinating to interview because I’ve talked to her a few times before, including a long Hangout she hosted with Holly Jahangiri, who I also interviewed both on this blog and on the video channel.
What’s fascinating about her is that she was actually a professionally trained chef, went to culinary school, owned a restaurant, had that dream snatched away, and eventually came to this story that was swimming in her mind that she absolutely had to write down. She wrote 900 pages in a month… let me say that again, 900 pages in a month!!! And some people complain that they can’t write a 400 word blog post even once a week. 🙂
We talked about a lot of things during the interview, including something called “marzipan”, and I’m not going to give away everything we talked about because I believe you should go and watch the video, and then think about buying the book (which I have an electronic version of).
Instead, I’m going to give you 5 takeaways from the interview, things she said and didn’t say and how you can apply the lessons to your life. Yup, one of those motivational posts. Ready? Here we go:
1. Don’t let setbacks keep you from pushing forward. She had a biggie, which she mentions in the interview, and it took her a couple of years to find her way back. But she came back and with a vengeance, finding a renewed passion she never saw coming.
2. Who says you need experience at something? Cairn admitted in the interview that, other than school papers, she’d never written anything before, including her blog. Once the bug hit her, after reading a fantasy novel that left her frustrated, she decided she could do a better job, and based on the reviews on the Amazon page it seems she succeeded.
3. It’s okay to let things flow. I asked Cairn if she had an outline for the book series and she said no. I asked her if her characters all had bios and she said only a few of them, because she never thought the story would go where it went once she started writing. She introduced a great many number of characters she hadn’t envisioned before writing the story, and overall she keeps them all in her head. She’s proof that you don’t have to start with a perfect beginning to produce a quality product.
4. Sometimes you have to step back and take another look at what you’ve done. I mentioned those 900 pages above. Well, she wrote it all, then realized that it was too long for a first book, as well as actually having a point where it became a second story. So she edited things a bit and it’s become two books, although she still only has one out right now. This isn’t something I do often but it’s not a bad idea, especially if you have a feeling that you might not have gotten your words quite right.
5. You can’t wait for people you know to discover you. Just like a blog post I wrote many years ago lamenting how none of my family members and few of my friends actually read any of my stuff, she said that she had hoped to get some family support as well as local friends. We all must realize that sometimes the people we know see us as one thing and only that one thing, and if we wait for them to acknowledge us we’ll never accomplish anything in life. So get out there and do it, become successful, and show them you were more than just a pretty face! 🙂
The Last Prospector is the book; buy it by clicking on the book above or clicking on this link. With that said, here’s the video; enjoy!