What got you interested in children's books and what was the specific impetus that set the project in motion?
1) I've always been a writer, but I've never pursued it as a career as I've always seen it as more of a hobby. I've been screenwriting and writing novels for many years as side projects, but I finally decided to venture into children's books because I finally had a short, concise idea that really worked well visually. The story just fit in the children's book mould very well, so I chose to take it in that direction. As for the specific impetus, there really wasn't much of one. I'm constantly working on multiple writing projects at once, and as certain works begin to get fleshed out more and more, I tend to give them more attention over the others. So the work builds more quickly and eventually it takes center stage.
What kind of books do you like to read for personal enjoyment and which authors give you the most inspiration?
2) For personal enjoyment, nothing beats the "His Dark Materials" trilogy. All three books were just absolutely fantastic and I've yet to find any other book or series I've liked more. However, for inspiration, I tend to look more toward dialogue-heavy writers. But not just amounts of dialogue, but carefully-crafted dialogue. And for that I always end up with George R.R. Martin. The dialogue is so painstakingly tweaked in his work that each and every word is absolutely necessary. And above that, his exposition itself reads much like a dialogue as well. So looking through his work always paints such an incredible image for me, that I strive to replicate that feeling within my own work.
What have you found to be the most frustrating part of the process when publishing your first book?
3) I found the most frustrating process to be the wait. Waiting for shipping from my printers in China really was the only frustrating portion. My illustrator worked extremely quickly and beautifully, to the point where out of 50 or so illustrations for the book, I only made 1 small request at a tweak for one illustration. So after I sent her my "doodles" for each page, I was basically hands-off. The printers were very helpful and I ran into no problems there. So the wait truly was the only upset, as unavoidable as it may be!
Do you have plans to write anything for older age groups or adults?
4) Oh yes. I have a few projects I'm working on at the moment, and they're demographics really spread quite wide. I have two more children's books awaiting illustration, one novel geared toward young adults, and one much darker novel for a much older audience.
Now that the book is out, is there anything you wish you could change or do differently?
5) I'm honestly very happy with how everything turned out. It all went smoothly and I have only one aspect I'd prefer to change. On the "legal page" within the book, where it offers the ISBN, website, copyright info, etc., the portion where it warns against unauthorized use or production of the work (the anti-plagiarism portion basically) has the text much too large. Aesthetically, nothing is off, but I feel that by going with such a large text size somewhat says, 'DON'T STEAL MY WORK. I'M SUPER WORRIED ABOUT THEFT', when in reality, I'm not at all worried about theft as I understand how rare it is. Seeing that large text just seems to be a bit amateurish in feel, so that would be the only aspect I'd change.
What types of projects do you see in the future for The WilderWay LLC?
6) The WilderWay LLC is actually a widely-branching company. We of course have many new books (as described above) coming down the line, but we also are developing niche products, other forms of media (film) and "foodstuffs". We will remain primarily story-based, but just with the interesting product or two. So we hope to very soon expand our selection and truly make it a wilder way.
Lastly, where can we find your website and where can we get a copy of Charlotte, Wander On?
7) You can find our website at: https://www.thewilderway.com/
You can grab a copy directly off our website, or you can find it on Amazon.com as well by searching, "Charlotte, Wander On."