Q&A With Author J.C. Wing

Want to know what other writers think? Check out our I Am A Writer Series where we ask writers to share tips, experiences, and thoughts about what matters to them.

What is your favourite book of all time? How has it influenced you and your writing?

Without a doubt, my favourite book of all time is To Kill a Mockingbird by the amazing Ms. Harper Lee. I love all genres of books and I read a lot. I’m fond of YA, mysteries, thrillers, historical fiction, and even some horror, but my most favourite genre of all is southern literature. To Kill a Mockingbird was the first novel that fit that description, and I think it had everything to do with my love for all things southern. Not every story I want to write takes place in the south, but I certainly love telling stories about the southern U.S. I believe To Kill a Mockingbird has a lot to do with that.

How do you plan your stories? Do you use story boards?

My first novel, The Color of Thunder, was written over a very long period of time. I had the beginning and middle written before I was married. The book got put on hold when my husband and I started our family, and wasn’t picked up again until our oldest child was twelve. I always loved the idea of that book, and the heart of it stayed the same, but I rewrote the entire thing and gave it a different ending than I had previously planned. With Alabama Skye and the forthcoming A Skye Full of Stars, my approach was different. I wrote detailed outlines for both and knew, for the most part, what was going to happen. Details change as I write. The characters have an uncanny way of telling their own stories. I have been surprised by them many times.

Do you imagine the world you’re going to write about before you write it? Or does it come to you through the story?

A little bit of both. In my first novel, The Color of Thunder, I wrote about Jackson, Mississippi. The story starts in 1946, which was more than thirty years before I was born. I had to do a lot of planning for that novel to make sure things were historically accurate, but I had the personal world of my characters well imagined before I ever sat down to write. In The Gannon Family Series, specifically the second book, A Skye Full of Stars, a large part of the story is about World War II. The catch to that is that it takes place in Scotland and not in the US. A great deal of time was spent researching my facts so I could create a realistic world for my characters. I start with a good foundation of both imagination and research, and keep building on both as I write.

Do you write with a specific word count in mind?

I keep track of my daily or weekly writing progress by watching my word count stack up, and I have a generalized total I like to shoot for when it comes to a completed novel, but I can rarely predict just how many words a story will take to tell.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced while writing? 

I would say the biggest challenge I’ve faced while writing is all of the relocating we’ve done since I began. The Color of Thunder was written in two different states and in two different countries! It was much the same for Alabama Skye. I’ve gotten rather skilled at writing wherever I can, whenever I can.

Author Bio

J.C. Wing is a Colorado native but has lived in both North Carolina as well as southwest Germany. Her debut novel, The Color of Thunder, was published in 2012. Alabama Skye, the first in a trilogy called The Gannon Family Series, was published in June, 2014. A Skye Full of Stars will be released in the summer of 2015, and the third book, Beneath a Southern Skye, will follow soon after.

Share With Us

What is your favourite book of all time?