I’m so excited to be interviewing fellow author Indigo Skye. I have known Indigo for several years now, and am glad that she is finally following her dream. After much encouragement, she leaped and has never looked back. Indigo is a children’s book author and has published two books, Where Were We Before We Were Born and What Do You See When You Look At Me. She has had quite an exciting journey so far, read on to learn more about her and her career.
Interview with the Author: Indigo Skye
1. What made you first realize you were a writer?
The first time I ever really remember feeling proud of myself was in fourth grade. I wrote a story for an assignment, and my teacher liked it so much, she asked me if she could keep it. Later on, in junior high, I received a lot of compliments from my English teachers, and one of them suggested that I consider Journalism as a career. Those early interactions set the tone and planted the seed.
2. How long have you been writing?
I really began writing regularly while I was in high school. I wrote a lot of poetry, short stories, songs – you name it!
3. What is your writing background?
I was a writer and editor for the high school newspaper, a member of the Young Writers Workshop club, and took classes on journalism, short stories and poetry, creative writing, etc. When I went to college, I thought that because I enjoyed writing, Journalism should be my career path of choice. I was so wrong. I craved the creativity that is a lot more limited when the emphasis is about covering specific details or events, getting your facts straight, etc. For most of my life, I have written poetry, song lyrics, and short stories, which I would place in a folder and tuck away somewhere, for my own enjoyment.
4. Where do you get your ideas?
My ideas just come to me. I rarely sit down with a topic in mind and begin writing. I have to jump on the ideas when they come to me – usually at very inconvenient times, where I’m not in a position to write, such as when I am in the shower or driving. If I’m driving and have the time to do so, I pull over and write it down while it’s fresh. Sometimes it is just the first line or two of a poem, a few lyrics for a song, or a page or two for a children’s book. In these cases, they are filed away – and I use the term “filed” very loosely – to spark ideas for the rest of the piece at a later time. It might be later that day, or several years from now before I take the notes out and feel compelled to finish them. As I mentioned, it has to come to me. I rarely go looking for it. The most common time that ideas come to me is during what I call the twilight between wakefulness and drifting off to sleep. When that happens, I have to get out of bed and write it down immediately. I have made the mistake of thinking I’ll remember something in the morning, but POOF, it’s gone! I get out of bed and go out into the living room, doing my best to be very quiet and keep the lights dim, so as not to wake anyone. The silence inspires me. Once my pen hits the paper (yes, I still write the old-fashioned way), the ideas keep flowing. I can usually count on writing for about three hours before the drive stops abruptly. 3:00 A.M. is not an uncommon time for me to finally return to bed. It usually results in me being very tired throughout the next day.
5. Do you prefer to write fiction or nonfiction? Why?
That’s easy!!! Fiction is more appealing to me. While it is possible to write nonfiction creatively, I like the creative freedom that is afforded only to fiction! I’m a very passionate person, in all aspects of my life. I am all about feeling a sense of freedom. I enjoy being free to be my own person and do my own thing, even if it’s a bit different from the mainstream. With fiction, the possibilities are endless! I can create anything that comes to me. I have to make sure that I have a pen and paper with me at all times.
6. What was the process of writing your first book like?
How much time do you have? A friend of mine, who leaped first, knew that I was a “closet writer.” She asked me repeatedly why I didn’t try to publish any of the things I wrote. I was nervous about taking that first leap of faith, but she pushed me mercilessly. LOL. She guided me, baby step by baby step, through my first publishing experience. The funny thing is, the first thing I published wasn’t anything I’d had sitting around for years. Instead, it was a story my children came up with when they were little. I changed it a bit, but it was still basically their story. I involved them in every step of the publication process, let them choose pen names, as co-authors, etc. They enjoyed writing their author bios and creating cookie recipes for the back of the book, “Where Were We Before We Were Born?” Years from now, I think it will be fun for them to look back on the fact that we all published a book together.
7. What is the message you hope people will receive from it?
All of my children’s books have some message about love, acceptance, friendship, communication, etc. The world needs more of those things.
8. When is your ideal time to write? (Morning/Afternoon/Night)
I tend to do my best work late at night when the house is quiet, and everyone else is asleep. I’m not much of a morning person. I’m usually dragging throughout the day, and get most of my energy in the evening.
9. Do you have a favorite character that you like to write about specifically?
I don’t have a favorite character, so far. Each of my books so far has an entirely different writing style, different illustration styles, and is intended for different age ranges. For now, I’m happy playing around and trying new things. This is why I am calling my first several books a collection, rather than a series. They are all part of my Love & Acceptance Collection.
10. How do you go about your editing, formatting, and cover design? Can you recommend anyone you work with?
I do my own editing and have my family double check for anything I may have missed. I hire my formatters by referrals or on Fiverr.com. Someone did my illustrations and cover design for my first book from Fiverr.com. He did a great job. I wanted a different style for my second book’s illustrations and cover design. I used someone whose name was given to me as a referral. She was terrific to work with and gave me exactly what I was looking for. She has very diverse abilities in her illustration styles. I have already secured her for my next two books. Jeanine Henning is amazing! If you’re looking for an exceptionally talented illustrator who is easy to work with, she can be reached at jeaninehenning.com.
11. When you aren’t writing, how do you spend your time?
I love adventure and fun! If I could do anything I wanted to, I would spend my time traveling, hang gliding, canoeing, hanging out near waterfalls, exploring caves and castles, and storm chasing! The more common picture, however, is cake decorating, belly dancing, and going to restaurants, movies, and coffee shops.
12. What is your next book about?
My second book, which just came out, is “What Do You See When You Look at Me?” It is designed to address a wide array of differences children might notice in each other, such as Down syndrome, Alopecia, cancer, physical disabilities, Autism, gender, height, weight, ethnicity, etc. It helps children to feel better about themselves, as well as teaching them empathy for others. My next book will be called “Ker-mumbly-watts” and addresses the importance of communication to avoid misunderstandings.
13. What are some of your favorite books?
I love the Young Adult genre of dystopian societies, such as “Hunger Games.” I tend to be a bit of a conspiracy theorist myself, so the dystopian stories fascinate me.
14. Who are some of your favorite authors?
Dr. Seuss is my hero, as far as children’s authors go! Carrie Lowrance wrote an adorable children’s book, called, “Don’t Eat Your Boogers (You’ll Turn Green!)” It’s a clever way to get kids to eat their vegetables. To be honest, I spend more time writing than I do reading, but I like Stephen King quite a bit.
15. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Once you force yourself to take that first scary leap, it gets easier. Jump in, get your feet wet, and know that you may run into a few bumps. Learn from each of those, and use them as stepping stones for the next time.
16. What has been your biggest obstacle as an author?
UGH! Technology is terrifying to me, and everything is done with technology now.
17. Are you glad you went the self-published route? Why or why not?
I’m glad that I’ve done it this way because it allows me to maintain control over the illustrations that are used in my children’s books. As an author, it would be difficult for me to have a vision in my head of what the illustrations should look like, only to have a publisher use their in-house illustrator, who may have a very different version. When I publish some of the books I have begun writing for older kids or adults, where illustrations won’t be needed or will be minimal, I may go the traditional route.
18. What is the one thing you must to have to write?
I prefer the house to be silent and with few distractions when I write.
19. What are you currently reading?
I spend more time writing than I do reading. I recently started a book about Rumi.
20. What is your favorite resource as a writer? (Book, course, magazine, writing software, etc.)
I don’t use many resources outside of my dreams and imagination. I once dreamed an entire philosophy/spirituality book. I was so excited when I woke up the next morning, but much of it was gone. I remembered the title and the basic ideas of the book, but all of the wording was lost when I awoke. I have been working on it here and there, for a few years, as new ideas come to me. It is still a work in progress. I have already purchased my cover design for it. I’m very excited for the day it will come to fruition. It is my plan for this to be my first book for adults.
Indigo Skye strongly believes in the importance of imagination, especially in early childhood, but also throughout life. She also believes that to make this world a better, happier place for children to grow up, it is our responsibility to teach them positive self-esteem, empathy for others, and the social skills necessary for constructive relationships.
Indigo’s Love & Acceptance Collection consists of children’s books for various age ranges, in different writing styles, with messages relating to diversity, compassion, friendship, and the importance of communication.
For more about the author, visit: www.facebook.com/IndigoSkye.Books.