Reyna: Today, we’re very happy to speak with Andrea Buginsky, author of The Chosen and New Avalon series.
Please, give our readers a bit about who you are…your personality.
Andrea: I’m 40 going on 16, or maybe 13… I haven’t quite decided. I’m very young at heart, love all things YA, and love hanging out on Facebook. I feel like I’m a bit shy, but get me together with friends, or at a place I love, like Disney, and I’ll be the first to jump in when they ask the audience to participate. I don’t think my friends or family would consider me shy. I love to watch TV and movies and read.
Reyna: Can you tell us something a little more personal? Like…what’s your guilty pleasure?
Andrea: I guess my guilty pleasure is soap operas. I’ve watch General Hospital forever, and I love Mistresses. TV has been a constant companion of mine since I was a kid. I grew up with heart disease, and missed out on a lot of things, so I lived life through my favorite characters on my favorite shows. I made up my own storylines to fit what I wanted, and now I create my own storylines and adventures in my books.
Reyna: If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
Andrea: Hawaii. I love the beach, and the water. I would love to live in a climate where I could sit and watch the waves all year long. However, my friends and family will have to move there with me. Kansas is far enough from my friends and family in Florida, my sister in Michigan, and my best friend in Georgia.
Reyna: Out of all your characters, which one would you take with you?
Andrea: Halli. She is mini me. I wouldn’t want to go anywhere without her. She and I can sit together quietly and read, talk about our favorite books, and commiserate with one another when things are down.
Reyna: Bear with me, if you could live in the world you created, would you?
Andrea: I’m not entirely sure. I think if I could live in one of two possible areas of my world, Drumple or The Castle of the Elves, I would. But I’d be terrified to visit some of the other areas of Phantasma.
Reyna: When and why did you start on the path to become an author?
Andrea: After college, I started freelancing with different websites, writing SEO articles on different subjects. I decided I wanted to try my hand at a book, and started an adult romance. But it wasn’t my forte. One day, I was watching the movie The Seeker: The Dark is Rising, and thought, “Hey! I should write fantasy!” I love the genre. At the time, I was playing an online RPG game with my family, so I decided to create a world for our characters to live in, and adventures for them to go on. The Chosen was born.
Reyna: Do you read books that are the same genre as your work?
Andrea: Definitely. I love YA fantasy.
Reyna: Who do you write for? The audience or yourself?
Reyna: In The Chosen, who is your favorite? How and why did you create them?
Andrea: Halli. I based her on myself, and made her to be what I always wanted. She’s shy, but her friends and family bring her out of her shell. She’s lived a quiet, unadventurous life, reading her books, and enjoying being with her family. But her life forever changes when she joins the Chosen and starts to see her world and go on great adventures. I get to do the same with her when I write the books.
Reyna: Who would you compare Halli with?
Andrea: As I said, Halli is based on me, but a mix of the me that I am, and the me I would like to be.
Reyna: If Halli were a real person, would you hang out with them?
Reyna: Are you totally separated from your characters or is there a bit of you inside?
Andrea: I am definitely a part of Halli, and Lumina too. Lumina is the kid in me that will never grow up. Kaidyla is the epitome of strength that I’d love to be as well.
Reyna: Can we have a short blurb about Striker’s Apprentice: The Chosen Series, Book Three?
Andrea: As a young hunter seeks a trainer, The Chosen prepare for an unforgettable adventure.
With Nature and Phantasma back in order, Halli and Silvor have settled into their new life in Drumple. During a visit from Striker, Kaidyla and Lumina, a request from an old friend of Halli’s family sparks a new challenge when she asks Striker if he’ll train their young son, Dylan. Working with Dylan gives Striker a chance to be a mentor once again, as he had been in his past.
This brings The Chosen to an area of Phantasma Halli has never seen before. What new dangers might be lurking in the forest? Will Halli have a reason to use her powers?
But Halli and Silvor are facing a new journey of their own, one that will change their lives forever. What is in store for The Chosen’s future? Will this latest escapade prepare them for what is yet to come?
Reyna: What books, movie or play inspired you?
Andrea: Harry Potter is my biggest influencer. I love how J.K. Rowling created the wonderful characters, places, and storylines in the series. And the biographical movie, Magic Beyond Words: The JK Rowling Story, showed me that your dreams can come true, if you work hard enough for them.
Reyna: What is the hardest part to being an author?
Andrea: Building a readership. As hard as it is to write the books and make them available at the online stores, it’s even harder to get the word about your books out to the world. It takes a lot of time. I’m still working on that.
Reyna: What’s your technique? Plan it out or make it up as you go?
Andrea: I used to be a pantser, and just write what came to mind. But I’ve been having trouble with that over the last year, so I started to outline. I’ll still find myself writing what comes to me at times, and I love when that happens, but having the outline helps me see where I am going.
Reyna: If you could, what part of the publishing process would you tell to go to Hades?
Andrea: The formatting! It takes forever, and can be very temperamental.
Reyna: Who are your two most favorite authors? And why?
Andrea: J.K. Rowling for the reasons I mentioned above. John Green, whom I just started reading. His stories are amazing. The way he writes his characters. They are so real and powerful, and the adventures they go on feel so real, like something you’d see today’s kids actually doing.
Reyna: What are your thoughts on good & bad reviews? Do you learn from them, take with a grain of salt…or, a little bit of both?
Andrea: The good reviews are wonderful, and can make you feel like all the work you did was worth it. The bad reviews sting, but help me see where I need to grow as a writer.
Reyna: We love your book cover. Who made the design?
Andrea: My wonderful cousin created the covers for The Chosen books, and YA author Natasha Brown, http://natashasbrown.com/ created the covers for the New Avalon books and My Open Heart.
Reyna: For newbie writers, what advice would you give them?
Andrea: Never give up. Keep writing, keep editing, keep coming up with new ideas. You will find the book you’re meant to write, and then have fun creating it. There will be tough times, but you need to fight your way through them. Get up from your desk, watch a movie, listen to music, whatever you have to do to clear your head, and then get back to work. Read a book or watch a movie about authors and writing to inspire you.
Reyna: Your answers are so awesome, we love you! (Too personal? Sorry about that.) Well…you gave a great interview. How can our readers get in touch with you and see what else you have in store?
Reyna: Andrea, thank you so much for taking the time to come over and talk with us. You have just saved my job and I am eternally grateful.
Reyna: In conclusion: Please check out The Chosen and New Avalon series by Andrea Buginsky and let us know what you think.