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Video Q&A

Yes, you read the subject correctly.

I had an idea several weeks ago about doing just that (a video Q&A). Knowing my anxiety (it’s like a real person to me, watching over my shoulder), my first thought after the idea struck was, ‘Yeah, that’s a good idea.’ (Please imagine that being thought in a sarcastic inner voice.)

I mulled it over (cue Harry Potter thought path . . . moving on . . .) for a while. After doing as much (and talking to Husband about it and hearing his opinion), I tossed the idea out there to a couple friends. Most said, “DO IT!”

(All but one really said as much, and admittedly that friend is freakily similar to me in a lot of ways so I can definitely understand her saying she didn’t know.)

I have my obvious issues with it:

1) That I will make an ass out of myself.

2) That words worse than ass might slip out of my mouth on accident. (I frequently use ‘bad’ language, but only when I feel it’s ‘appropriate’ to do so. I try not to use those words on here because I consider this something along the lines of being ‘out in public,’ where my ‘bad language’ is all used in my head. (That’s the way I was raised.) Hence me starring things out (for the most part) when I either feel like I can’t or don’t want to get around using a particular word.)

3) I write much better than I speak. (Hence me being a writer and not a public speaker. Or public ANYTHING.) Do I really want everyone to hear this stammering I occasionally post about on here? Not particularly. Do I want anyone to hear ummm come out of my mouth about fifty times? No, but it most assuredly would happen. (Not to mention that I make absolutely HORRENDOUS faces while I talk. I really do.)

4) Do I really want to send myself into all the anxiety attacks this would surely induce for absolutely nobody to even watch it? No.

There are the good sides to it:

1) As much as I prefer writing to speaking, obviously you can get more out faster with the latter.

2) I would really like to hear any questions people might potentially have for me, and then answer them.

3) As hesitant as I am about literally putting a face to the name, I don’t really think it would be a bad idea to essentially say, ‘Hey, here I am.’ (Then follow it up afterward with, ‘I bet you can see why I sit alone and write books now, huh?’ 😉 )

4) Even if it might stress me out, it might actually be fun.

I do video diaries for myself to keep up with things going on in my life (because I have a horrible memory), and I’m sure doing a video Q&A then sharing it with everyone would let people see that the way I go about writing on here is very much how I am in real-


(All the parenthetical asides in posts/comments/messages is how my mind works when I’m not writing books. Really. I am a mess. ha)

Anyway, I didn’t want to make an ass out of myself with even asking if it wouldn’t be something people were actually interested in seeing. (Who would want to watch me ramble?) But better to ask than not because someone out there might have something they’d really like to ask me. Who knows?


SO! If anyone is interested in this (the rambling/stammering/etc./etc./etc.), please let me know. Feel free to start asking questions. I don’t really care what sort of questions they are, to be honest. They can be work-related. (About characters/writing/publishing/etc.) They can be ridiculous and have nothing to do with anything. (Why do I love Merlin so much? What’s my gamerscore on XBox? I’m kind of proud of that last one. Just saying.) I don’t mind.

I only have ONE stipulation with this though. Just one.

If any of the questions contain spoilers for either of the books I have out, please ask me those questions privately. I will try to find a way to answer them in the video regardless because I’m pretty used to being careful with how I word talk of these books. If I can’t do as much but feel I can answer your question privately, I will do as much.

Anyway, feel free to comment on here or Facebook. If you would rather ask the question privately (either for the reason mentioned above or because you don’t want me to use your [first] name in the video), you can do so by messaging me on either my Facebook page or GoodReads. (Also feel free to add me as a friend on there if you’d like while you’re at it.) Or you can shoot me an email at cmillauthor (at) gmail (dot) com.

If there aren’t enough questions asked to warrant doing this, I WILL answer the questions asked via whatever means you contacted me.

One more thing:

I will not give away any spoilers. Not for any of the books, whether released yet or not.


(Please excuse me while I mentally go hide under a rock.)

57 thoughts on “Video Q&A

  1. You could do a few dry runs to practice before taping. Maybe even tape a few times and watch yourself before the final attempt. As for questions:

    Did you feel different releasing your second book than when you released your first book?

    Is there anything that you need when writing like music, certain pens, or anything that many would consider an author’s quirk?

    • I would definitely have to do quite a lot of dry runs, just to try and get my thoughts in a straight enough line. I really do get sidetracked too easily. (Almost got sidetracked here, but am stopping myself.)

      Thanks for participating. I really figured I would post this and get zero questions, lol.
      So I appreciate it. 🙂

      • I’m doing something similar with Windemere, but using blog posts to explain. I got a few questions, but I had to think up some of my own in order to pad out the numbers. So writing some questions for yourself could help. It can be basic stuff that helps you focus on an introduction and an ending for the video.

      • I’m so long-winded in my blog posts. What would take me 1,000 words to explain would take all of two minutes to say. (But it wouldn’t come out as well, for sure.) Maybe someone will get a laugh out of it if they take the time to watch, at the very least.

        I could definitely do that, especially for a beginning/ending sort of thing, but I’d have to think on it for a bit.

        Hopefully you got some good questions with yours. Looking forward to reading them!

      • I got a few good ones. Not as much as I would have liked, but I get to have some fun with it. Realized that some people have specific areas of focus like a question about there being a halfling city.

      • I’m glad to hear that. 🙂

        It’s kind of strange what people sort of . . . ‘fixate on’ (would that be the right thing to call it?) when reading books. I’ve been a bit stunned over some things when chatting with people about mine. Like, “I didn’t plan for that, but okay.” Certain characters and whatnot.
        It’s pretty awesome though. I like seeing the different things people get out of the same thing. Interesting stuff!

        And I think it’s really great to have this whole interactive aspect. I could get into that more, but I’m worried about keeping you from your outlining . . .

      • The only real fixations I’ve seen are the halflings from one person and Fizzle. I tend to get very little specific feedback from people. So I don’t really know if there are scenes that had major impact or if some characters (besides Fizzle) have more popularity than others.

        The outlining isn’t too bad. I need to design an island to test a powerful vampire after he is made mortal because he needs to become stronger to defeat someone that nearly killed him. Going for 11 challenges and I only have one. 😦

      • I’ve seen people talking about Fizzle in your comments and stuff before. It’s good that people love any of your characters that much, you know?
        Did you expect people to love him that much? I mean, I don’t know if any of us really EXPECT anything, but would you have ever thought that before publishing?

        I wish I got to have more legitimate conversations with people after they read my book(s), but I don’t want to bother anybody. I don’t know about you, but I could talk about mine for . . . long time. haha (‘a’ purposely excluded there.)

        Do you mean designing it like drawing a map or just writing details down about it? I am so horrible at drawing maps. It’s laughable, really.

        Hm. Well I guess the positive way to look at one out of eleven is that the day is still young?
        Why do you only hear the night is still young and never the day?
        Why am I bombarding you with questions when I know you’re busy?

        Sorry. >.<

      • I expected Fizzle to get a fan following because he is a cute mascot type of character, but has a big use in the plot too. I was surprised at how Luke Callindor isn’t high up there and how the Lich has a few fans. Fritz was another surprise. The character I feel most sorry for is Aedyn Karwyn because I rarely hear people talk about him. I used to bug people for a favorite character, but I stopped.

        Writing details and a plot outline down. I’m aiming for a Labors of Hercules theme only the hero has been depowered beforehand. I should probably suck up my pride and try to use the real labors as influence. Make my life easier.

        The day is when we work and nobody wants that to last forever. 😉 Night is when we play and feel younger.

      • Isn’t it weird?
        I’ve had people latch onto characters I REALLY wasn’t expecting them to, wondering if they have more of a role than they actually do and whatnot.

        LOL, are you PLANNING on sucking up your pride with that? Or are you going to keep powering forward?

        I guess that’s where I got confused with the day/night thing, since I’m mostly nocturnal. (Apart from today, I suppose…) Everything is reversed!

      • I like it when a random character gets fans. Means I did something right and I can improve other characters.

        Right now I’m just moving forward slowly. Hard to make challenges for this character when I’m not used to him being so weak. He’s combat-centered and most of what I have can’t be fixed by brute force.

      • Yeah, I definitely agree with that. It’s good to have input either way.

        How are things going with that character now? Have the past couple days helped?

      • Slowly, but I’m caught up in the delayed debut. If it gets pushed back any further then I’ll have to do everything while my son is home from school. So I’m trying to get as much prepared now as I can.

        I’ll have to go back to that character later when my head isn’t as frazzled.

      • I definitely understand that. Sometimes things take precedence.

        I really hope this stuff with your debut gets straightened out. That is NOT fun, all the scrambling/frustration/etc. I also hope it doesn’t take away from the happiness/excitement of releasing another.

      • I won’t deny that I might hit a ‘finally’ moment with the debut. Hard to keep the excitement going when I’m just waiting to put the final pieces together.

  2. I myself have issues getting out there. My publisher keeps suggesting to get out and do speaking engagements….I panic at the idea -imagine if I actually tried it? I think video is the way to be public and not die of panic. So I give you total support! Well wishes!

    • I know what you mean.
      Everyone is like, “Hey, book signings!”
      And, “Hey, you should go to [insert example here]!” (Renaissance fairs have been suggested, which sounds fun, but . . . anxiety!)
      I wish I could put a picture here of what my face looks like when I hear that.

      I know I need to be doing that sort of thing. I figured this would kind of be a start to getting me farther out of my comfort zone (while in a safe/secure environment with no back-and-forth interaction, which is terrifying for me). To be honest, the stuff I already do is out of my comfort zone.

      Thanks for the support. I really did/do worry that nobody would have any interest at all in it.

      I hope you’re able to do that sort of stuff one day! (I hope we both will. 🙂 )

  3. I love this idea of a Video Q&A and wish you all the best in filming it 🙂 As for questions I have a couple. I occasionally dabble at writing myself but it’s what I’d call a work in progress 🙂 What advice would you give to aspiring writers? I was also wondering what inspires you while your writing? Also, how different was it going from having one book published to now having two? Was it that same ‘oh my god I’m published’ feeling I assume you would have had the first time around or was it a little more calm and collective because you had already experienced it?

    Honestly, I have to say I’m a little late as I only discovered your books today but they’re on my to-read list now and I cannot wait to dive into them. They sound amazing and I’m a little little upset that I didn’t discover them sooner! 🙂 Good luck with your Q&A!

    • Thanks, I’m gonna need a lot of luck and ‘best’ in filming it!
      I really am horrible at talking! haha

      I’m really glad you asked me those questions (both specifically those and just in general). I really appreciate you taking part in it!

      Getting books discovered is . . . whew. It’s not easy.
      But I really hope you enjoy them when you get around to it!

      I’ll keep you updated on the Q&A, so you can know when it goes up. Hopefully a few more people will be interested in it. 🙂

      • I’m sure you’re better than you think you are. Once you get started it should just flow and everything hopefully goes to plan. I’m really looking forward to this. I’m letting my friends know about your books because they sound awesome! 🙂 Books get discovered by recommendations and I’ll certainly be giving a few once I’ve read them 🙂

        I’ll look forward to watching the Q&A whenever it goes up 🙂

      • Hahaha, I really am horrible at speaking. I will have to go over it A LOT to try to keep it as cohesive as possible when actually doing it. Hopefully I can keep the stammering and ummming to a minimum.

        See, to refer to our other commenting, this particular comment really made me smile.
        I seriously hope you enjoy the book(s) enough that you would WANT to tell all your friends about them. That’s always one of the hopes with it, that people will love some aspect of it and NEED to share. I definitely know that NEED TO SHARE feeling with books, and I’d like to hope I’m capable of making someone feel that. (Or feel anything, really.)
        Thanks. 😀

      • I HATE public speaking. I used to hate it at school when they made you stand in front of class and read. Once I got started I was always fine, it’s the initial fear and the fact that before you do it you’re thinking about it a lot. When the times come and you sit down to do it the fear will disappear and the answers will just roll. 🙂 I’m really excited to hear your answers 🙂

        I’ve read a couple non-spoiler reviews for your first book and it’s got me even more excited for getting my hands on a copy. The way they talk about your story and your characters is pretty amazing. I for one can’t wait to read it so I to can review the book and get my friends to read it. It’s rare you find a book that you’re so excited to read even before you have the book. I can’t wait!! 🙂

        I have a feeling you’ve already made a few people feel the need to share your book. I’ve read nothing but lovely amazing thoughts and like I’ve said so many times I’m excited to get my hands on the book. I feel like I’m repeating myself but I am really excited! 🙂

      • I hope you’re right about that. (I always hated having to stand up in front of the class in school as well.)
        Hopefully you can tolerate listening to all of it. I did a ‘dry run’ yesterday and it was like . . . half an hour? O.o

        I’ve been REALLY lucky thus far in that all the reviews that have been left are spoiler-free. I’ve been waiting for that first spoiler-filled one to come along and ruin the entire book (which is essentially a series of twists). I reaaaaally don’t want that to happen, but I know it will at some point. I guess people see how big a deal the ‘spoilers’ are and haven’t wanted to ‘spill the beans’. I seriously appreciate that.

        I’ve been pretty taken aback at the feedback on it, to be honest. It’s the most awesome feeling to know that people enjoy what you put out hoping people WILL enjoy. It’s awesome. 😀

        I’m worried about you going into it that excited. It reminds me of when I went to see the second Transformers movie (and the first Hobbit movie). I hyped them up so much in my head that I had no hopes to be anything but disappointed. (And I was.) Eep!

        I really do hope you enjoy it when you get around to it/them. Seriously do.

      • I don’t think that’s too bad I’ve watched videos that were longer 🙂 I’m excited 🙂

        I always leave spoiler free reviews and if it isn’t then I make it clear before they go on a read anything. I hate getting things wasted so I wouldn’t wish that on anyone else 🙂

        I can imagine. I mean that’s your words, your characters, everything you spent months working towards and to hear such lovely wonderful thoughts about it must be the best feeling ever! 🙂

        I loved the first Transformers (I cried), the second was meh and I didn’t like the 3rd. The only times I’ve ever been this hyped for books where I only read the blurbs were The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns and The Hunger Games and I’ve never been disappointed and I’m 100% sure yours won’t disappoint either 🙂

        I think I’m going to order them at the end of August so they should then be on my September/October to-read list 🙂

      • It ended up being about forty minutes. O.o
        I’ll probably post it in a few days, after I’ve messed around with it a bit. Debating on cutting it into separate videos.

        I hope you’re right about the book(s) not being a disappointment! I’ll try not to freak out in September/October when you might be reading it/them. haha

        And that really is pretty much the best feeling ever. 🙂

      • That would be a good idea actually – cutting into separate videos. Say you done 4 videos that were 10 minutes each you could realise them over a period of time and it would also mean that you weren’t having to cut down your answers so they were vague. It’s up to you but I’m excited to hear your answers 🙂

        I’ll let you know when I have them 🙂

      • I need to apologize about fifty times for it taking me so long to reply to this. I haven’t really been on here. (Apart from writing up posts and not posting them. >.<)
        So sorry! And also sorry that I haven't gotten this done yet.

      • Don’t worry about it I understand that you’re busy and have other things to do. Take your time with the video there is no hurry, 🙂 Hope you’ve been well 🙂

      • I wasn’t as busy as I should’ve been, that’s for sure. Really needed a bit of a break. But back to the busyness!

        I hope you’ve been well too!

  4. I’ve got a question. How much of your main character is you and how much is fiction? When I first started writing I just pushed a lot of my personality into what the character was like, but the more I wrote, the more I found him being different and independent of me. How has that worked for you?

    • Thanks, Ben. I knew I could count on you to participate.

      (Don’t get all bitter over me saying that. XD)

      (But in order to answer that question, I have to ask . . . Are you talking Aster specifically or any of the main characters I’ve written?)

    • I don’t really know much about podcasts, to be honest. Not how they work, or what they’re about, or . . . well, much of anything, as I said. (I’d imagine they can be about pretty much anything . . .)

      It would be pretty cool to do that with some author buddies, if it’s just people sitting around chatting where other people can hear. Apart from the fact that I suck at talking.

      The more I sit here thinking about it, the more fun it sounds.

      • It would definitely be something to look into. Do you think anybody would care to listen to it?
        Are we talking about doing that in general or specifically us and some other people? Just curious . . .

        I’ve got the ‘quirk’ covered. (That’s a nice word to use for what I’m talking about.)

      • Well, my understanding is that pod casting is like your own little ham radio. So, you would do a regular “show” where you get on there and talk about various subjects and have guests or something. The guys who wrote Write. Publish. Repeat. have one which I guess is really successful. I think they have a couple. One is for indie authors and one is something about vampires and they don’t ever talk about vampires and this one draws a different crowd who like their off-kilter humor.

        So, my thought is to do one that is helpful to indie authors, but my hesitation on that is I haven’t particularly “made it” as an indie, if that makes sense. In other words, why listen to me? so that makes me think, well, how about interesting subject matter? Book reviews? I’m not too sure. A mix of all of the above maybe?

        Maybe we could interview other indie authors who have a following and whose readers might like our stuff too? That might be smart at this stage of the game.

      • LoL, a podcast about vampires that has nothing to do with vampires?

        I definitely know what you mean there. I don’t really feel like anyone should listen to much of anything that I have to say. I guess it’s all experience, which is helpful in SOME way.

        Hm. The last bit definitely sounds interesting, and that would be helping other people out as well. Hmmmm….

  5. I think this is an awesome idea!! 🙂 There was a time when the idea of having to ‘put myself out there’ in any way for my novels terrified me, but as I’ve gotten older, and especially in the past six months, that idea doesn’t frighten me anymore. In fact, the idea of being able to connect with readers and followers on multiple platforms is exciting!

    My question: do you have one or more persons who are frequently involved in your creative process, or in other words, someone who you bounce ideas off of regularly (which means they get all the spoilers 😉 ), always beta reads for you, etc?

    • Oh, it STILL terrifies me. I don’t know that I’ll ever get over it, but it’s more a ‘suck it up and do it’ mindset.
      It’s not that I don’t like connecting with people, I genuinely do like that. It just sets off anxiety attacks despite whatever enjoyment.
      I honestly don’t really know why I thought the video would be such a good idea with how I am, but the thought stuck. I have a hard time getting thoughts to go away from where they’re sticking until I do what they want.
      (Does the way I worded that make me sound like a psychopath? O.o I’m sure you get what I’m saying.)

      I’m glad you’ve been able to get in a different mindset with this. It’s pretty scary sometimes.

      Thanks for asking the question. I look forward to answering it.
      Er. I look forward to getting this video out of the way, but also look forward to answering the question at the same time.

      Interacting can be a puzzling experience for introverts . . .


      • Well I’m excited to see how your video turns out, it really is a good idea (which is probably why the thought stuck 🙂 ). And no, it doesn’t make you sound like a psychopath. Unless I am and that’s why it makes sense to me too……….. 😉

        And yes, it really can be a puzzling and intriguing experience. I’m honestly not even sure if I can call myself an introvert anymore…is there such a thing as someone who is in between an introvert and an extrovert? Is it just ‘vert’? (You know, like how you can be overwhelmed and underwhelmed, but can you just be whelmed?)

        Ok, enough random thoughts…

      • I guess we’ll see if it’s a good idea here in a little while. (A few days, maybe.)

        Haha, I guess when you sit around writing people that don’t exist, you’re more often than not able to sound like a psychopath.

        LOL! What was that whelmed thing on? I feel like I heard it in a movie at some point. Clueless, or something, I want to say.
        I feel like this could get us onto a whole different path about why certain words are and others aren’t.
        Next thing you know, I’ll get started on ‘funner’. XD

        Random thoughts are always good. Well, I mean, I suppose that would depend on how you looked at ‘good’. But I enjoy them, at least.

  6. Q&A is a brilliant idea ! I finally get to hear you !! My first memory of writing (sorry, ‘trying to write’ ) independently was as a kid – trying to write an essay of dunno how many words ! But I kept battling a blank page till my dad helped me out ( He helped me many times later, after that first time). I never really improved much beyond that blank-page-stage.When did you develop this passion for writing ? Do you have any secret works from the age of 10-some cute little poems, may be? What has been your biggest writing struggle? Secondly a lot of ‘scribblers’ ( sorry for that term, my brain is having constipation, but I mean to say – not professional writers) find editing really painful (so I’ve heard !). How much of a pain or a pleasure is ‘editing’ ,for an author? Third – I am very curious to know the answer for the question from ‘bensbitterblog’. It is really hard for me to wrap my head around the idea, that something solely fiction can be written (and thereby, ‘authors’ I believe, are the most intelligent species on the earth !!! Kudos to you !!) I mean, isn’t ‘self insertion’ bound to happen at some time in your story – intentionally or unintentionally? Next – how do you manage to keep that little brat called ‘mind’ from wandering away? Last one – I get influenced with certain fictional characters to an extent that – I am still mentally dating a few – Christian Grey (from the 50 shades…), Dr. Mark Sloan of Grey’s anatomy and Dr. House. Basically I like all of them for their (over) confident , charming, alluring and ‘bad boy’ personalities. What has been your favorite character and what kind of characters talk to you? This is the last one I promise- whats up next (writing wise)? Will you try any other genre of writing? ( I know, I have squeezed in too many questions in there! **guilty**) Let me too, go and hide behind some rock now 😛

    • WOW!
      That was a lot of questions (a lot of GOOD questions)!

      I’ll definitely be answering them.
      I do have to ask for clarification: With the question about which favorite character and what sorts of characters speak to me, do you mean in my own writing or in general? I just want to make sure I’m answering the question you want answered and not what I think you mean!

      (Also, do you pronounce your name the way it’s spelled [like div-ya] or differently [dev-ya]??)

      Please don’t hide behind a rock! Those really were some fantastic questions, and I’m really happy you asked them. 😀

      One more thing . . .
      Thanks for telling about your dad helping you out with writing. It’s always nice to learn a little more about people! (Especially the ones you interact with!)

      • LoL, well it was quite a few questions, but I’m happy to answer them! (As long as you don’t mind the amount of time it takes me TO answer them . . .)
        I’m glad I was thinking the right pronunciation, but I just wanted to make sure!

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  8. You’re going to do a video Q&A?! That is both awesome and brave. I don’t know if I could, so bonus points and cookies to you. At least you can edit it as needed, so you can remove any pauses or jumbled words.

    Anyway, my questions might be something you’ve answered already in one of your blog posts, and if so, well I apologize for asking you to repeat yourself.

    Q1: What is your writing process? Do you create an outline first before you start writing, or is it all in your head and you just go from there?

    Q2: In regards to your series. I know you have the Reave series written out already, but for your trilogy, do you write all the books before releasing them, or just do the outlines and then go book by book?

    I look forward to “seeing” you! Thanks in advance for answering my questions 😀

    • Haha, I definitely don’t have enough skills to edit out pauses/messed up words. (Or how many times I said UMM, which was a LOT.)

      I don’t mind answering questions in there that I’ve talked about at whichever points on my blog. Some questions I got, I had talked about, but a REALLY long time before (when I might’ve had ten followers or something).

      Thanks for asking those questions. I put them in when I did the video(s) this morning. Er, yesterday morning.

      It might take me a bit to actually get it/them/it up because I do think I’m going to chop them up a little.

      Anyway, thanks again! I hope I answer them well enough . . .

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