Author Interview with C.L. Ogilvie
Updated: Aug 28, 2018
My next author interview is with one of my favorite Twitter writers, C. L. Ogilvie. C. L. is a fantasy and paranormal romance author, who writes about funny and strong female protagonists who learn their lesson the hard way.
Ready to learn more about what makes this author tick? Well, grab a drink, make yourself comfortable and let's get started!
1. Why do you write?
I really wish I had a clever or meaningful answer for this one, but honestly, I write because I love it. When I was a kid, I used to write plays and perform them for Show and Tell. I wrote my first “book” when I was seven.
2. What’s an interesting fact about you?
One of my ancestors was a member of Mary Queen of Scots’ royal council and my birthday is her execution date.
3. Do you have any other artistic talents beyond writing?
Both of my parents are talented artists, so I used to draw and paint a lot. I also used to draw a comic strip for a Canadian military lifestyle magazine.
4. Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Depends on what I’m writing. Working on more emotional or dark material can be draining for me. I always try and approach those scenes by drawing from past experiences or emotions and reliving that can take its toll after a while. I think that’s why I tend to gravitate towards fun, light-hearted stories more often because it can be such a great pick-me-up. I think my writing is just my way of releasing whatever is inside that needs to come out, and right now it’s laughter.
5. Does a big ego help or hurt writers?
I don’t think a big ego is necessarily bad, as long as it’s healthy. It’s okay to be proud of your work and want proper compensation or recognition for it, but that doesn’t mean you’re entitled to fame and wealth, or that your writing is above criticism. Success in this industry is heavily dependent on connections made, both with readers and other authors, and I think when you let your ego overshadow those connections and start alienating people, that’s when you’ll get yourself into trouble.
6. What is your writing Kryptonite?
NaNoWriMo. I have so much respect for authors who have completed it. I’ve tried so many times, and it’s always a spectacular failure. If I feel like I have to write, I will invent any excuse not to write.
Also, sex scenes. Can’t do them. I may as well be writing a technical manual.
7. Have you ever gotten writer’s block?
Sometimes I think writer’s block is my default setting. I suffer from it so often it’s a household joke. If I’m stressed out or struggling with personal issues, my motivation is the first thing to go. One of the downsides, I think, with writing comedies is that you really have to be in the right mindset to be funny. There’s timing, atmosphere, word choice, relationship dynamics (some jokes can land harder coming from a specific character), etc. It’s a lot to take into account and if I feel like my world is a burning trash-fire of misery, it’s hard to get into the groove.
8. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
C.L. Ogilvie is a pseudonym. I chose to use one because when I decided to self-publish my first novel, I was really insecure about it, and just thought, “This way, if I fail miserably, it’ll be my little secret.” But my family and friends were extremely supportive (so grateful for that). I decided to keep using it, though, because it gives me a buffer of sorts between my online persona and my private life.
9. Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I like to think I add my own spin to the common tropes, but each genre comes with its own set of expectations. There are certain elements that need to be there because that’s what readers are looking for. But I also think playing with those expectations can be really fun.
10. Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
I think anyone can be a writer. I don’t buy into the whole “you have to [insert list of specific actions] in order to be a real writer” mentality. Do you have a story to tell? Are you putting words on the page? Are you having fun? Congratulations, you’re a writer.
Also, I think emotional growth and strong character work can definitely enhance a reader’s enjoyment, but I also think it depends on the chosen genre. For example, with romance and YA, it’s expected, so readers may be disappointed if that’s lacking or absent. But with genres like action/adventure or political thrillers, though, it may not be as necessary because those stories tend to be driven more by the plot, in my opinion.
11. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Okay, this is where I get nervous because my fear is that I start naming other authors as friends when really, I’m just an awkward superfan. But here it goes:
Natalie Summers, my writing bestie. Whenever I write myself into a plot corner (which is more often than I care to admit) she’s amazing at talking me out of it. She’s one of the most creative people I’ve met, and actually inspired one of my current WIPs. And she doesn’t let me get away with lazy writing. She makes me defend my choices, and I appreciate the heck out of her for it.
R.Q. Woodard, she’s a fantasy writer and a total renaissance woman. I think I don’t think I’ve asked her a single question yet that she didn’t know the answer to. She’s one of the reasons Skipping Out on Henry isn’t littered with historical inaccuracies. She’s an awesome beta reader, too. She keeps me on my toes with continuity issues and character traits.
Also, Stefanie Simpson is an awesome romance writer who writes strong female characters and whose books deal with very moving themes of sexuality and trauma. One of her posts on ableist language made me reconsider the words I was using and the flippant way I was tossing some words around. I think my writing is stronger now for that. Plus, if I’m ever having a rough day, I can always count on her for a Tom Hiddleston GIF.
12. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar?
A sloth. :)
13. How do you select the names of your characters?
I throw out a random name and see if it sticks. I’ve changed a character’s name halfway through a draft simply because I didn’t like typing it anymore. I have a character named Plaid. It’s total chaos.
14. What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
Balancing writing with my personal life. Sometimes it feels like I’m not writing enough. Sometimes it feels like I’m writing too much. I can go months without writing anything. I can go days without doing anything else. I have to work on that.
15. Does your family support your career as a writer?
My family is amazing when it comes to my writing. My books wouldn’t exist without them. I love them.
16. Tell us about your new book?
Right now, I’m working on another romance/buddy comedy with magical elements. It started out as a novella, but it’s grown into a full manuscript.
17. Who’s your favorite character?
That would have to be Scott, a former Canadian Forces member who now works as a telephone psychic. I’m having a lot of fun writing him. He’s the epitome of living life on your own terms. He’s loosely based on a guy we were friends with while my husband was still in the military.
18. Why should we read it? Give me your best elevator pitch.
Two former high school rivals team up for a little magical revenge on their cheating ex-boyfriend. Sabrina the Teenage Witch meets John Tucker Must Die.
19. What’s your idea of success about this book?
Honestly, I just to finish it. I love these characters so much, I can’t wait to introduce them to the world. Anything that happens after that would just be gravy on the poutine.
20. Where can we find your books?
You find them here on amazon. Click here.
21. If someone wrote a book about your life what would it be called? Who would play you?
The Know-It-All Who Knew Nothing. Open casting call. Let’s get some new blood in Hollywood.
22. Epitaph on your grave.
Here lies C.L. Ogilvie, loving wife and noted smartass.
I'd like to thank C. L. for being my guest interview this week. If you're on Twitter, make sure to say hi. And don't forget to check out her books on amazon.
You can also find C. L. on the web at chicklitarmy.wordpress.com.