Interview: C.M Estopare Author of Winterskin

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C.M. Estopare is a full-time author, avid yoga enthusiast, and veteran of the United States military. She is the author of HEARTFELT SOUNDS, a young adult coming of age fantasy about the enthralling power of one young woman’s voice.
KINDRED SOULS is a five part epic and dark fantasy series hitting Amazon and Kindle Unlimited beginning in February 2017. Look out for the first book, WINTERSKIN, debuting February 9th, 2017. 
When not writing, C.M. Estopare enjoys reading about the fantastical worlds in the minds of others. She also enjoys playing around with her puppy,Duke, and adventuring with her husband. 

1. What is the first book that made you cry?
“Little Eye” by Andrez Sapkowski is the only story to ever make me cry, a short story about unrequited love. The ending of the story is what truly got me, because what is sadder than not only not having your love unreturned but dying of smallpox with a broken heart? Maybe my heart is just moved by strange things, but that short story brought me to the brink of tears.

2. Does writing energise or exhaust you?
I’d say it is a combination of both. Writing energises me when I am writing the first and second acts of a novel, but getting from act 2 to act 3 tends to exhaust me. Writing the climax of a novel is exhilarating, but getting to the climax can be very trying sometimes.

3. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I am friends with a non-fiction author who would rather not have his true name mentioned. He writes writing and editing books under a pen name. Simply collaborating with him, throwing ideas back and forth or having him read a certain part of my work that is really frustrating me, helps me get out of creative slumps and writing blocks. He has helped me become a better writer by telling me, quite bluntly, if something is working or not.

4. How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
I published my first book about a year ago, “Heartfelt Sounds”, a coming of age fantasy inspired by my travels in Japan and Okinawa. After publishing my first book, I learned that one novel is certainly not enough for the thousands of readers out there. It taught me that finishing one piece doesn’t mean my writing journey is over. After one novel is sent to the editor, immediately move on to writing the next one. And the next, and the next…

5. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Honestly? Headphones. Listening to music while writing helps me deepen my own experience of my storyworld’s setting.

6. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
It’s rumored that in order to publish anything remotely readable, a writer will throw away a good five hundred thousand or so words–so you can probably imagine how many unpublished works I have (fifty or so short stories, two entire novels…). Writing is something you must practice, and sometimes it’s nice to go back and read what you wrote ten years ago–just to see how far you’ve come.

7. What does literary success look like to you?
Having fifty novels out, all selling–at the very least–five copies a day. Entertaining thousands of readers like James Patterson.

8. How do you research for books in the fantasy genre?
I read. Two or three novels a week, sometimes more. Checking what is in the top 100 on Amazon under my intended genre (normally dark fantasy, but sometimes historical fantasy as well) and borrowing some of those books. For a writer, research is ultimately reading. Checking out the intended market to see what is selling and figuring out how to put your own spin on that is also a huge part of genre research.

9. Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?
“Stealing Fire from the Gods” is a go-to craft book for me. Why? Because it puts a beautiful spin on the typical hero’s journey and inspires writers to do the same. Of all of the craft books I’ve read (probably hundreds) “Stealing Fire from the Gods” is the only book that has inspired me to see the hero’s journey beneath a different light. Another one would be “The Virgin’s Promise”, a book specifically about the journey a woman (or an “innocent” person).

10. What do you want readers of this interview to know about you and your novel?
I’d like readers to know that Winterskin isn’t just a dark fantasy, it is also a coming of age journey of a young woman tossed about by a world that seeks to own her. This is also a novel for those just dipping their toes into fantasy. While it isn’t a hard read, it is a fast one. As for me, I’d like all of you to know that I truly appreciate feedback and that I am always open to it.

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Author: C.M. Estopare
Genre: Dark / Epic Fantasy
The Path.
Perilous. Brutal. Deadly.
It is said that if a man journeys in alone, he’ll never return and there will be no corpse to bury.
Thousands of lives hang in the balance. Braving the Path is the key to saving them, but their survival is not guaranteed. For the Path is brimming with flesh ravenous monsters and the threat of a sinister presence known only as “the Lady”, an eerie entity dwelling deep within the confines of the black forest.
Escorted by a chosen few, the Chaperon is prepared to move forward to preserve the lives of a mountain town planted deep within the forest. But even in the dead of winter, the dark creatures prowling the surrounding forest remain unsettled and are bent on decimating any who encroach upon their territory.
Katell Maeva, one of those assigned to escort the Chaperon, will have to prove herself on this journey if she wants to be deemed a full-fledged shieldmaiden. But even her unique abilities may not be strong enough to withstand the brutal attacks they’ll face. Can this young woman, desperate to save her own family, complete her mission to escort the Chaperon and lead the convoy to safety?
For her, this journey is more than just a challenge; it’s the key to her future.
A world frozen within the cusp of winter, teetering upon an age that promises the evolution of mortals into gods, WINTERSKIN weaves the consequences of brutal ambition into the personal tale of shieldmaiden Katell Maeva’s growth into a woman bound in a darkening world gone feral.
WINTERSKIN is book one in the exciting dark fantasy series KINDRED SOULS. A fast-paced read, filled with jaw-dropping action, and savage femme fatales, WINTERSKIN is a riveting page turner that is impossible to put down.

Find out more about: C. M. Estopare Here

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