Nealy Gihan is one of the authors of Perception, A New Adult anthology which I did a cover release and is now out and ready to be enjoyed… and I’m very glad that she decided to let me get to know her better and so here’s a little something about Nealy Gihan…
2. Other than writing, what is your favorite hobby or thing you enjoy for fun?
Circus arts. A few years ago I took up pole fitness on and off again, which lead me to aerial silks and, just this past spring, fire eating. I’m a ways away from being good at any of it, but it’s so empowering to do things like this I never imagined I’d be able to do.
3. How long have you been writing? How many books have you written? They don’t have to be published.
I’ve been writing as long as I’ve been able to hold a pencil in my hand. My first story ever shared with anyone was in third grade. It was titled The Man Who Fell in Love with Kimberly. No joke. While there was only one copy, created with lined and construction paper, it got passed around my elementary school and even made it all the way the middle school.
Since then, in my adult life, I’ve e-published four additional short stories and have a couple of screenplays that have been performed on stage (and, fingers crossed, will one day be filmed).
4. What genres do you like writing the most? And why? Is this genre the same as the one you prefer to read?
Even as a child, I’ve always been a big realistic fiction writer and reader. I don’t know why. Every now and again, I’ll pick up something sci-fi or fantasy, but I tend to gravitate toward what could happen in real life. Maybe it helps me to vicariously live through the characters easier?
5. Are you currently writing anything now? If so tell us about it? If not make something up…
Yes. While I still have a few short stories in the works for a short-story cycle collection, I am very excited to be working on my first novel. At this stage my characters are still growing and being fleshed out so I can’t say much about what will happen just yet. But my inspiration for this story came from a photo of a dear friend’s wedding dress.
6. How do you typically begin your projects? Do you create outlines and character profiles or jump in head first with the initial idea? And do you focus on just one at a time?
I am still learning how to be more disciplined in my planning. That’s my absolute weakness because I’ll get excited about an idea and start going all full-force. And I tend to approach each story differently in terms of mapping, outlining and using pretty colored index cards. I do consistently start with creating the characters, though. My stories are very character-driven—so much so that my characters sometimes dictate what they do. For Drive, for example, I had a totally different ending initially in mind. But it was almost like my main characters took over. I love when that happens!
7. What aspect of your writing do you consider your strength? Your weakness?
So, with all of that said, I’d say my strength is in character development. My weakness is creating suspense. I need to work on that more.
8. After publishing, the next trouble facing writers is marketing. What do you typically do when marketing your novel? Do you have tips you’d like to share?
My tip: Find people as awesome as Heather Hildenbrand and Amanda Aksel with Elephantine Publishing. I’m just starting out and learning so much from them!
9. What advice would you give a writer who is starting out?
The best advice that has been given to me is to just keep doing it. Also, I started out as a newspaper journalist and was blessed to have one of the best mentors in the business, USA Today pioneer and editor Dick Thien. He taught me to capture everything that appeals to all of your senses and to always keep your audience in mind.