My name is Regina Sirois, I was born in Missouri and I now live in Kansas.
Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
No. I actually fought it. I grew up surrounded by geniuses (literally- all my siblings are geniuses) and I wanted to be able to do what they could do (math and science). I never counted my talents because I thought writing was easy. I thought it was what people did if they weren’t smart enough to do harder things. I learned with time that it is a beautiful gift to love words and it enhances my life far more than algebra.
When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
The first time I saw strangers blog about my book and pronounce it one of their favorites something happened inside of me. I looked at myself and said, “holy cow. You are a writer.” It felt delicious.
Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
Um… yeah. I gave up. I told myself it didn’t matter if I wrote like Bronte and Shakespeare rolled together (which I don’t, by the by)- nobody wanted a book about a normal girl with normal human powers interacting with normal people. I deleted all my rejection emails and shoved my manuscript in a drawer and pretended it didn’t exist. I got on with life. I learned to see writing as something that made me a better friend- not a destiny to fulfill. And then one day a former test reader asked me for a copy of my manuscript. She said she missed my book. She wanted it to read again. And that did something to me. Lit a fire. I pulled it out, said hello, and tore it apart before I started stitching it back together. I decided to print it for my friends and family to give as gifts. Four days later more than 14,000 people had found it and downloaded it. (I truly have no idea how. No idea.)
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
My debut novel is “On Little Wings.” A secret aunt, a quest for truth, a genius with a scar and a heart taking it’s first flight.
What genre would you place your books into?
Young Adult Literature. I write young adult fiction because that is what I read. Even most of the classics I love were primarily written for young men and women. It is that time of life when people are discovering so many powerful truths and emotions and abilities. I love to be there as my characters are on the verge of themselves.
Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
My favorite character to write is Little. When I had to write her scenes I sat at my computer and laughed because that woman cracks me up! I don’t feel like I invented her. I feel like she was always there waiting to be found. She is a jewel.
Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
I think test readers are critical. I even printed up copies of my book with a pen name and told friends that my “friend” in Utah wrote a book and needed opinions. I didn’t want their feelings to taint their review. It gave them the freedom to be honest. They probably wondered why I was tearing up when they liked it. Or they thought I was a very empathetic “friend.”
Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
Absolutely! If I am asking for their time and efforts and honesty, the least I can do is provide the manuscript.
Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
Never. If someone thought my book fell somewhere between frog legs and yard waste I wouldn’t broadcast it on my reviews page, but I believe when you write, you owe something to your readers. And readers should know the truth. My loyalty is to them, not my ego.
How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?Who designed the Cover of your books?
My husband, known as the Artist in my blog, is an accomplished artist and photographer. There was never any question who would make my cover. When I said, “I don’t know, I need it to be a little more…” He nodded and did it. He has a direct line to my brain and when he asked, “do you think we need to…” I would slap his shoulder and say “definitely.” We were in total unison when it came to the cover.
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
Write the book first! The title for my book eluded me for so long. With one week left before I was supposed to order a proof to give my sister for Christmas I finally figured it out. When it was the right one, I knew it. I could feel it.
How do you market/promote your books?
I don’t. I write and I let it go and hope some good readers catch it before it falls. The most I do is announce on my blog and tell my friends on facebook.
Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?
I love Jerry Spinelli. He teaches me that poetry can be terse, earthy and beautiful without being sentimental. I think you can taste the words of his books.
What is your favourite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
I love I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. I still have the same copy from when I was in high school and it is stained, wrinkled, dog-eared, and worn through! Whenever I start to think I am a good writer I open it up and get schooled.
On my website, my blog and facebook. (Seriously people, I just don’t think twitter is for me)
Your blog details? Tapperandcompany.blogspot.com
Your web site ? reginasirois.com
Your facebook page? Regina Sirois, author