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Interview with Cole Gibsen

The Blog Ring of Power Presents…
An Interview with Author Cole Gibsen


picture of author Cole GibsenWhen Cole Gibsen isn't writing books for young adults, she can be found rocking out with her band, sewing crazy costumes for the fun of it, picking off her nail polish, or drinking milk straight from the jug--provided no one is looking. She debuts in March with two young adult novels--KATANA on March 8 from Flux and BREATHLESS by March 27 from Crescent Moon Press.



Today, Cole stopped by to talk about the technical and business aspects of writing. This is the last segment of a five-part interview. Be sure to check out the other BRoP sites for the rest of the interview: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4



BRoP: Is there anything you find particularly challenging to write?

Cole: I cannot for the life of me write short stories. I’ve tried so many times, and every time my “short story” ends up becoming “Chapter One.”


BRoP: What are the most important elements of good writing?

Cole: Every sentence you write must further the progress of your story. Every single one. If it doesn’t, even if it’s brilliant, you must cut it.


BRoP: What tools are must-haves for writers?

Cole: The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman, On Writing by Stephen King, Write or Die writing software, and a good critique group.


BRoP: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Cole: When writing a first draft, focus on quantity instead of quality. Get that first draft done and finished before you worry about editing. Otherwise, you’ll get yourself so frustrated and depressed, you’ll never make it past a couple of chapters. Every writer’s first draft is crap. In fact, I call my first draft the “Zero Draft” because it’s barely readable. I’m so focused on finishing that I won’t even pause to fix a misspelled word.


BRoP: Tell us about your route to success – how did you land your agent and publisher?

Cole: My goal was always to be traditionally published because I wanted to see my books inside brick and mortar stores. It wasn’t easy. It took me over two years and two hundred rejections before I landed my agent. It took me another year and several frustratingly near-misses before I landed my publisher.


BRoP: How do you deal with rejection and/or negative reviews?

Cole: The best way I’ve found to deal with negative reviews is to not read them.


BRoP: What do you feel is the key to your success?

 Cole: Perseverance. There were many times I felt like giving up. But each time I did, I’d tell myself, “I’ll quit tomorrow.” And when tomorrow came I’d keep plugging away and tell myself, “I’ll quit tomorrow.”


BRoP: How did you come up with the title – did it come from you or the publisher?

 Cole: KATANA is the name of the Japanese sword that is a central element to my story. My publisher liked it enough to not change it.


Where can your readers stalk you?

 Is your book in print, ebook or both? Both!


book cover of KatanaKATANA: Kill Bill meets Buffy in this supernatural samurai tale. Rileigh Martin would love to believe that adrenaline gave her the uncanny courage and strength to fend off three muggers. But it doesn't explain her dreams of fifteenth-century Japan, the incredible fighting skills she suddenly possesses, or the strange voice giving her battle tips and danger warnings. While worrying that she's going crazy (always a reputation ruiner), Rileigh gets a visit from Kim, a handsome martial arts instructor, who tells Rileigh she's harboring the spirit of a five-hundred-year-old samurai warrior. Relentlessly attacked by ninjas, Rileigh has no choice but to master the katana--a deadly Japanese sword that's also the key to her past. As the spirit grows stronger and her feelings for Kim intensify, Rileigh is torn between continuing as the girl she's always been and embracing the warrior inside her.


book cover for BreathlessBREATHLESS: In a world where death is an ever-present shadow and motives are as dark as the bottom of the ocean, Edith must decide if her life is worth risking for a love that can't survive past the shore. Obituary-reading emo girl Edith Small is broken - the end result of forcing herself inside a mold that doesn't fit. All she wants is to conform to her strict sergeant stepfather's rules long enough to make it to graduation day. But a boat accident threatens to unravel the life Edith has worked so hard to keep. After waking up in a hospital with a lacerated shoulder, Edith fakes amnesia. Because admitting she received her injuries from a blue-haired girl who breathes underwater is all the reason Sir needs to send Edith on the first bus to military school. Safe at home, Edith struggles to put the nightmare behind her. But the mysterious creatures that live in the ocean aren't about to let her forget. After meeting Bastin - a strange boy with silver hair and black eyes - on a secluded dock, Edith learns about the war raging undersea to end human existence. A war that Edith, unwittingly, has become the key to winning.