Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Cole Gibsen, author of KATANA and SENSHI, and also a member of the Scene 13 blog!
Thank you for joining us, Cole. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi! I’m a professional dog trainer who has trained dogs for both police and the military, I sing and play harmonica in a cover band, I love to sew, and my nail polish is always chipped.
You must be very busy! With all of that, it's amazing you get your nails painted at all. I'm impressed.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing ever since the fifth grade when Mrs. Lochman had write daily in writing journals. I always wanted to be a writer, but because of my dyslexia I didn’t have the confidence to actively pursue the career until several years ago.
Thank goodness for awesome teachers. Tell us about SENSHI. What’s the story about?
SENSHI is the sequel to KATANA which is about a seventeen-year-old girl who gets possessed by the spirit of a fifteenth-century samurai.
That sounds so cool! I have a bit of a soft spot for the martial arts. How did the idea of the story come to you?
The idea actually came to me after having my ass handed to me in a taekwondo sparring match. I remember sitting on the sidelines nursing a black eye and wishing the spirit of Bruce Lee would possess me long enough to win a match.
Ha! Well, at least something good came out of that black eye. Do you have a critique group/partner or beta readers, or do you self-edit?
I absolutely have critique partners—I’d be lost without them!
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
It’s interesting because I used to be a pantser, but now that I have deadlines I’ve found I work so much better with an outline to use as a guideline. I don’t always stick to the outline, but it keeps me from getting totally off track.
What’s the hardest part of writing for you?
For me personally, the hardest part is not letting my internal editor get the best of me. Growing up, I had someone in my life that was an incredibly negative influence. The result of that is, even to this day, my self confidence is a little shaky. So while I’m writing sometimes my internal editor with whisper things like, “This sucks!” or “You’re such a joke of a writer.” And it can be pretty hard sometimes to ignore that voice and plow ahead.
That internal editor can be a blessing and a curse, for sure. What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?
My notebook. I like to handwrite a summary of every scene I write before I write on the computer.
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
Flying! I was in a car accident several years ago that left me a little fearful of interstate travel. How awesome would it be to just go outside, but off from the ground, and be off?
What's the weirdest thing you've googled?
Oh geez, I have to pick just one? I was recently working on a short story involving a search and rescue team so I was researching decomposition. Interestingly enough, a decomposing pig is the closest scent you can get to decomposing human. The more you know, right?
Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: sword, gown, and reluctant.
I was reluctant, but I hacked at the gown draped across my bed with my sword anyway, because there was no way I was going to let that spider get away.
Eww... I'd hack at that spider, too!
Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ...
Who would you like to thank for supporting you through your writing journey?
Oh my goodness, so many people. My crit partners (Brad, Teresa, Sarah, and Michelle), my awesome agent Nicole Resciniti, and all the awesome writerly peeps from my debut group the Apocalypsies.
And finally, where can people find you and your books online?