Sunday, March 30, 2014

Jeramey Kraatz interview

Jeramey Kraatz

 Tell me a bit about yourself.

Hello! I’m Jeramey and I wrote The Cloak Society and Villains Rising, the first two books in a trilogy about a boy born into a family of supervillains (the final book in the series will be out next year). I really like comics, snow cones, horror movies, and my cat, Loki. I live in Texas and eat a lot of chips and queso. When I’m not writing about superpowers, I work at in the animation industry. That means that sometimes it’s my job to spend all day watching cartoons.

What inspired you to become an author?

I’ve always liked telling stories. When I was a kid, I got in the habit of writing a few paragraphs after reading a comic book about what I thought would happen in the next issue. Those little bits of work got longer and longer, until I was writing entirely new stories for the characters (a lot of the time I was in them, too). I never really thought of myself as a writer until I was in college, though. That’s when I realized that what I really wanted to do with my life was what I’d always done—to tell stories.

What is the hardest thing about being an author?

Being an author can be really tough. There are a lot of deadlines and late nights and days where you just stare at the screen without getting much done. I think one of the hardest things isn’t the beginning of a book, but about 25 pages or a few thousand words in. That’s when the excitement of starting something new wears off and you start to realize how much work is ahead of you. (On the opposite side of things, one of the best parts about being a writer is getting to talk to other people about your work, or writing in general.)

If you could have any super power what would it be?

When I was growing up, I always thought I’d want telepathy, the power to read minds. While that would be super useful, I think it would actually make life really boring to know what people around you were thinking. So now, I say telekinesis: the ability to move things with my mind. You can make yourself and other people fly, use it for offense or defense, and can float stuff out of the kitchen and into your hands without ever having to leave your chair. It’s no accident that this is the power the main character in the Cloak Society books has—it’s my favorite. 

How does your writing process go?

Every book and story is different for me, but usually it starts out with a question. For The Cloak Society, it was “What would a kid raised to be a super villain be like?” From there, the questions flooded out. (“Who are his friends?” “What does he want out of his life?” “Is that what his parents want for him?” “Can his powers move people? Cars? Planets?”) In a lot of ways, writing a book is all about answering those questions, and even the stuff that doesn’t make it into the book usually turns out to be useful because it gives you a better sense of your characters and their world.  

What was it like when you published your first book?

It didn’t seem real. It still doesn’t sometimes (it’s only been a little over a year since my first book came out!). I don’t think it all really sank in until I started visiting schools and talking to people who’d read the book who wanted to know more about the Cloak Society and the characters that I was like “This is real! People are reading what I wrote!” That feeling is kind of indescribable.

What is your advice to aspiring authors?

Read. Read as much as you can, and as widely as you can (meaning, as many different types of books, plays, poetry, etc. as possible). Ask yourself what’s good about the stuff you like and what’s not working in the stuff you don’t. And then write. Write about stuff you love or about topics that interest you. Don’t be afraid to write silly stuff, or stories that don’t make sense. What’s important is the act of writing, and figuring out what process works for you. When I was a kid writing adventures about the X-Men or the Avengers, I was just telling stories about characters I loved and never really thought about it as writing. But that stuff was an important step in my life as an author.

Hail Cloak!

Be sure to read the cloak society series:



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