Today, I’m excited to be on the IN MOMENT BEFORE TIME blog tour hosted by Bewitching Book Tours. C. G. Coppola has agreed to share about her New Adult Urban Fantasy and her writing process.
Before we begin the interview, here is a description of IN THE MOMENT OF TIME:
I hate Grayson Knight with a passion. Ever since he pulled a prank on me as kids, I’ve kept him in the mortal-enemy category, and we both prefer it that way. Now we’re seniors in high school and he’s still the same immature jerk. I avoid him as much as possible, but when an argument turns ugly and lands us in detention together, I know my life is over—especially when my dad, the city’s police sergeant, finds out.
I have no idea how we’ll get through this, so I’m surprised when Grayson comes to my rescue after I’m cornered by a sleazy basketball player. Suddenly, the boy I’ve always hated isn’t the enemy. If seeing him with new eyes isn’t confusing enough, a secret kiss sends everything scrambling, leaving me to figure out what I want, and if I can even have it. Because Grayson isn’t like other boys—and I’m starting to find out why.
Hi C. G.! I'm so happy you can join us!
Tell us about yourself and how you became a writer.
Without sounding too cliché, I’ve always wanted to write (lame response, but it’s true.) I’m not sure of a time I didn’t want to write, which is why I’ve steadily been crafting stories since childhood. I loved the creativity so much that I majored in Creative Writing at Florida State in 2008. Unfortunately, social media blossomed a bit later and traditional publishing seemed an unrealistic goal—but I went for it.
It didn’t work out on the traditional front, but I continued working on my craft, writing stories I never planned on sharing with anyone until I decided to self-publish my debut novel, Escape from Harrizel, in 2013. Once I realized I didn’t need a traditional publisher—that I could do it myself—I started self-publishing and haven’t looked back.
Where did you get the idea for In The Moment Before?
So, for the better part of a year, I was working on another book (the first of the main series – this is the first novella of the companion series) and I caught the movie Leap Year when I was visiting family. I absolutely loved the enemies to lovers feel and decided to write one or two small scenes to scratch that itch. The scenes evolved into a short story, and once I went through one full draft, I realized what I was writing – the Robin story.
Without giving too much away, my husband is a huge DC fan. When I say huge, I mean I’ve been forced to watch every Batman film, cartoon series, the documentaries. Everything. You name it—I’ve seen it. I know the villains and their back stories and more than I ever thought I would about the universe. It’s also why I refer to my husband online as “Batman” – his request. With all this said, In The Moment Before, is an enemies-to-lovers novella that features teenager angst against a Gotham City-like backdrop with vigilantes.
How long did it take you to write and edit In The Moment Before and/or The Coyote and the Claw series?
ITMB is actually the first novella I’m publishing, so it went a bit quicker than my normal writing and editing turn-around time. I started writing—and I remember this—in late June/early July after watching an enemies-to-lovers movie in a hotel while visiting family. The word count barely reached 40k words including the bonus scene and reader magnet I ended up writing at the same time. But I got it to the editor by October and finalized edits in November, just in time for a December release.
The rest of the series, well…that’s a different story. My normal book lengths range larger, usually toppling over the 100k mark. I like stories filled with big, elaborate, complicated worlds and characters that like to have adventures within them. Other than one contemporary romance series, I tend to write fantasy and science fiction stories that require more detail and take longer to write. ARPIP for instance (my full-length book coming out in March 2023) took three to four months to write. Add in editing, and it’s about half a year process. But did I mention totally worth it?
Were you a plotter or pantser when you wrote this manuscript? Has this changed since you wrote In The Moment Before?
I’ve always been a panster. Even back in school when they harped on us for having an outline. I tried so hard to make it work for me, but it never did. Not until I understood that I was a hybrid panster/plotter. Basically, my writing process goes like this: I have an idea for either a full story or a scene. Usually, it’s just one scene. So, I write it. Then the scenes evolve into a small story and I loosely run through it (still pansting) and once I realize what I’m writing, I’ll go back and create an outline that fully flushes everything out.
What were the challenges you faced in writing ITMB or the series? How did you overcome it?
I’ve been told I write very realistic fiction. I guess the most difficult part was writing a slightly-asshole male hero who the reader would 1) actually like and 2) keep consistent throughout the story as he gets closer to the heroine. It’s a fine line to write, but I hope I did my characters justice! Just when I get angry at him for doing something, he sweeps in with a swoon-worthy action or comment, which also needed to remain realistic.
So are you self-published, hybrid published, or traditionally published? Why did you choose this route of publication?
I’m self-published because I’m too impatient for traditional publishing. Actually, let me rephrase that: I’ve always wanted to be traditionally published, and have made several attempts, but it’s just never been in the cards for me. I write what I like to write, and life is too short to be waiting for someone else’s approval. And with the world offering the possibilities it now does, I figured I’d be a fool not to self-publish. So, I do.
What tips or tricks can you give a person about the publishing you did?
Tips or tricks? I’m not sure I can give many tricks, but my biggest tip is to start researching now. There are so many things to learn and understand in this business, and they’re constantly changing. I’m still in the beginning of my journey, but I wish I would’ve started researching everything years earlier. Whether I wanted to use distributors, how I should price my books, if I only wanted ebooks or print, and audio too? And that’s just the tip of the publishing iceberg. There’s writing and marketing as well.
How did you market your book? Did you have a marketing plan? If so, what is it? Did you have a publicist? Tell us the route you took in marketing your book.
Aw man, I wish I had a marketing plan. Kind of figuring that one on the fly. This, though, is part of the tiny bit of a plan I had. I have two blog tours set to kick off with my release, and I’ve booked a few newsletter promos and signed up for Bookfunnel and Booksirens to generate some interest via ARCS prior to release. There’s so much more I want to do, but time, energy (and especially) money limits that, so I plan to experiment a bit more with each future book. Since I have four releases in 2023, I’m hopeful to learn and implement new marketing strategies.
What advice would you give a young teen writer?
Don’t give up! Writing is such a wonderful escape…not just for the author, but for the reader too! It’s once we step outside our stories that reality tarnishes the beauty of it. The critiques, the editing, the rejection, the self-doubt—it all exists in our world, and I’d remind young writers not to let any of that keep you from writing. To quote one of the greats:
“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” ~ Ray Bradbury
About the author:
C.G Coppola is the author of the sci-fi adventure series, ARIZALS WARS, and the contemporary romance series, BETTER THAN THIS. In addition to stories that explore magic and the paranormal, she writes realistic fiction set in fantastical universes, usually with a lot of kissing. Married with two fur-babies she spoils rotten, C.G. Coppola lives in Florida where she grew up and attends college. When not writing, she can be found decorating the house, bantering with her husband, or dancing to Meghan Trainor—sometimes all at once. Author website: https://authorcgcoppola.com/
FB page: https://www.facebook.com/cgcoppola