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I was lucky enough to be able to interview the stupendous Erica Crouch not that long ago, and the time has come for her answers to be heard (read?)! I absolutely adore Erica as a person and an author, and I could not be happier to interview her. But I’ll cease the fangirling and get straight to the chase!

Was Ignite the first novel idea that you had, or were there ones before it? If so, care to share?

ignite

Ignite wasn’t my very first novel idea. I had a few practice novels that I wrote, all through high school. Of course there was a lot of fan fiction (I think the first full-length story I ever wrote was fan fiction, actually, which is pretty funny!). I had a few original novel ideas that I wrote, but I started them with the intention of them being practice. Ignite was the first novel, though, that I wrote with the intention to publish—and that’s what really made it stand apart for me.

One story I trunked, for example, was about an orphanage of witches. I loved the idea, but reading it now makes me cringe a lot. It was the first time I created a world and characters of my own, and it was a lot of trial and error writing. I was exploring voice and point of view, discovering how I liked to write and what my own style was. The plot was all over the place, but I remember it being so much fun to write! There might be a day when I revisit the stories I trunked and make them into something better/publishable. I had some good ideas, just poor execution! :)

You write in a wide range of genres (Paranormal! Fantasy! Sci-fi! Fairytales!): is there one that is your ultimate favourite?

Hmm…I don’t think I hold any one genre above the others! For me, I get bored easily if I’m boxed in to one subject, topic, genre, etc. It’s always been that way—I can’t seem to sit still. I knew that when I decided to be a writer, I wanted to be a writer of multiple genres. It’s a lot of fun to explore the different possibilities of genre. I am really excited about the sci-fi piece I’m working on, though. It’s given me a chance to work a lot on world building!

If you could read one book again for the very first time, which one would it be, and why?

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A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. Really that entire series, actually. Libba Bray is one of my favorite authors, and the Gemma Doyle series was so spectacularly written. I remember the first time I tore through those books, I kept finding surprises and twists in the plot that blew my pants off (a step above knocking my socks off). I still love rereading it know, searching for clues and foreshadowing, but it would be great to read it again for the first time, not remembering what’s going to happen next.

Who or what had the greatest influence on your decision to become a writer?

Interestingly enough, I think school had the greatest influence on my decision to be a writer. I always really loved writing and reading, but I thought being an author was one of those probably-unlikely things that children say they want to be when they grow up, like a race car driver or an astronaut. So I was studying Communications (Journalism and Public Relations) and Humanities in school, and I was enjoying the classes, but I wasn’t loving them, and I had this moment where I thought, “If I’m paying thousands of dollars for a college education, I should be doing something I am absolutely enamored with.” And that was writing. I switched degree programs, took a few creative writing classes and fictions writing workshops and—while it was a ton of hard work—loved every minute of it. Then I just took a chance on myself and decided to make that probably-unlikely dream happen, and published Ignite.

Patchwork Press is pretty much the cutest name in the world how did you come up with it?

pwp

Thanks! It’s actually a pretty funny story about how we came up with Patchwork Press. Kellie Sheridan and I, once we knew we were going to open a press together, sent about fifty emails back and forth discussing only the name. We had a few ideas tossed around, but nothing seemed right. We knew that the name can be a super important aspect—you remember names, if they catch your attention. Your name is your brand. It took a while for us to land on Patchwork Press. I sent her a list of suggestions, and then would mock up sample logos, and then she’d send another list, and I’d mock up more logos. One name on Kellie’s list was Patchwork Press, and something about that clicked. We wanted to be a publisher that patches together people’s skills and talents, to get authors to come together and help one another out in a community of publishing. We were a patchwork publisher, so it made perfect sense to us to be Patchwork Press! And then, as we continued emailing, one of us (I think me, probably) abbreviated it to PWP. I think I was just feeling too lazy or typing too quickly to write out Patchwork Press. And that’s how PWP/Patchwork Press came to be!

Your cover designs are absolutely gorgeous! When did you discover your love and flare for designing book covers?

Multiple Collage

*blushes* Oh man, thank you. I do work really hard on designing covers, for myself and the other authors at PWP, so that means a lot. I started designing covers because I’m cheap. When I went to publish Ignite, I was (and still am) a broke college student, so I had very little money for editing. In fact, all of my money went into editing, and I didn’t really have anything to invest in designing a cover. We all know how books are judged first and foremost by their covers, and I didn’t want mine to look “self-published”in that negative, stereotypical way. I already knew how to use photoshop, and I’d had experience with design, so I took on the task myself. And I haven’t stopped since. The answer of how I started designing covers is because I am a cheap control freak. Plus, it’s so awesome to see the different stages of design and find great images to use.

What can readers look forward to in your upcoming works?

A lot, hopefully! I’ve got a few different series in the works, and even more stories on the back burner, waiting to be written after I write everything that’s already been announced. The next book I’m publishing will come out incredibly soon, I’m thinking late June, and it’s a young adult romance with a paranormal twist, inspired by an Edgar Allan Poe poem. There’s also the Robin Hood gender-bent retelling, the new adult sci-fi, and of course, Incite. I also have plans for a young adult horror story (Bloody Mary, anyone?) and a spy/assassin novel.

Share a random fact about yourself!

My house is haunted, and the most active ghost is “basement ghost”who likes to turn on and off the lights and peek around corners to me. The weirdest part is, our house was built in 1990, we’ve been the only owners, and no one has died here. This has led most everyone to conclude that my house isn’t haunted, but rather Im haunted.

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erica

Erica Crouch is a young adult author from the colorful city of Baltimore, Maryland. Currently, she is studying English and Creative Writing with a specialization in Fiction at Southern New Hampshire University. She is the cofounder and head of editorial services and design at Patchwork Press.

Erica’s debut novel, Ignite, was published June 2013. The e-novella sequel, Entice, was released Nov. 2013. The final book in the series, Incite, is expected spring 2014.

Along with the series Ignite, she is working on a new adult series — titled the Undying series, with the first installment, Cut, due 2014 – and a Robin Hood gender-swap retelling — titled the Feathered series, a duology (Robin, Hood) due 2015. When Erica isn’t writing, she’s reading an overwhelming stack of books, watching an obscene amount of Netflix, and procrastinating.

BlogTwitterGoodreadsFacebookTumblrWattpadYouTube

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To celebrate having Erica here on the blog, I decided I would give away one paperback copy of Ignite (if The Book Depository ships to you)! I adore this book more that I can express, and I want to share the love of Erica’s writing (and it’s also a huge week – my 21st birthday, the blog’s 1st blogoversary – there is call for celebration).

As always there are some rules:

– Entrants must be 18 years of age or older, unless they have permission from a parent of guardian

– I will contact the winner via email and Twitter (if possible). If the winner does not reply within 48 hours, then I will allocate a new winner

– I am solely responsible for hosting the giveaway, and release all mentioned parties from any liabilities

– I am not, however, responsible for the condition you receive the prize/s or prize/s being lost in the mail

– Cheating is looked upon harshly, and if attempted: you will be disqualified

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Before I sign off, I just want to say a huge THANK YOU to Erica, and good luck to all those entering the giveaway!

Until next time,

sig-chiara

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Posted on: June 4, 2014 • By: Chiara

23 Responses to Interview with Author Erica Crouch + Giveaway

  1. Kyra says:

    OR your house was built on a site where somebody died, even if it wasn’t in your actual house. They say ghosts walk through walls because they follow the layout of the area as it was when they were alive, even if the floor plan has changed.

  2. Amanda P. says:

    This looked really interesting! Thanks for the awesome interview and giveaway! :)

  3. I love her covers! Orenda is one of my favorite covers. I don’t own any of her books, but I may have to change that. Thanks for a great interview.

  4. Melody says:

    I thought the ghost was just another special effect in the wordnerds video :O!!
    Anyway, I agree that the covers are gorgeous! Thanks for interviewing Erica, I really like to know more about the authors I like! :)

  5. Bonnie Franks says:

    I am commenting for two giveaways! Thank you for the giveaways and congratulations on your 21st birthday and your 1st blogger birthday!

  6. And this one is for Erica, whose book I hope to win and read! I love writers, and this book sounds great! Thank you!

  7. What a great interview! Erica sounds a lot like myself when it comes to following the writing dream. I went to school for psychology, which is a second love, but not loved as much as writing, because of the fact I also felt like becoming an author was a dream job that was unrealistic. However, the late bloomer I am, I will be starting my second bachelor’s this coming August to get a degree in Creative Writing in Fiction at SNHU as well! I really hope to get Ignite, especially with all the rave talking I have heard about it :-)

  8. Melanie Montgomery says:

    I also love the Great and Terrible Beauty Series! It’s one of the first trilogies I’d ever gotten sucked into!

  9. Ri says:

    Wow! I never knew the origin story of Patchwork. I’ve read a couple of their books thanks to NetGalley. What I’ve read was really great!

  10. Designing book covers is an art – and all of those are beautiful :) Lovely interview and a fantastic giveaway!

  11. Ooh I just recently bought all of those Gemma Doyle books. Good to know that she really likes them! Somebody recommended Ignite to me recently (I think it was Kayla?) and I’ve been wanting to read it ever since!

  12. Ellie Chanel says:

    “I like designing covers because I’m cheap” <– BEST THING EVER I HEARD AN AUTHOR SAY!! Erica is awesome!

  13. I absolutely ADORED Ignite and am waiting patiently (or not) for the next one! I already read the novella, too, which was awesome. Her house is definitely haunted. I’ve seen Supernatural, I know how these things work ;P

  14. celeste c says:

    Thanks for the giveaway Erica!!! :)

  15. Kate C says:

    Awesome interview and this book sounds so intriguing. Also Erica is such a talented person. Writing books and designing book covers is a double threat.

  16. Lillian says:

    YES! Erica Crouch makes the prettiest book covers and makes me want to buy them all (and to end up broke XD). I love how friendly she is!
    I had no idea she owned PWP. The books on it are amazing and I look forward to buying Ignite! *_*

  17. That was a lovely interview! I’ve yet to read anything by Erica Crouch but I looove the cover of her books! I didn’t know she designed them herself! So very cool. Also, I love that pic of her- her bookshelf is awesome!

  18. Chofu Deniz says:

    Great interview! Those covers are amazing, i wanna have them all!

  19. Hannah says:

    Thanks for the giveaway!!!!!!<3

  20. Jennifer says:

    *shudders* I don’t like ghosts. There’s been a few in my house too. I simply love those covers! Chiara, you and Marianne have me incredibly curious on reading one of Erica’s books. I shall do so soon, hopefully <3 Great interview, and I hope to know more of Erica too some other time. I can see why you're a big fan now! :D

  21. Her book covers are so pretty! This is a great interview and I’d (REALLY) love to know Erica more. Thanks for this amazing giveaway! :D

  22. Kaja says:

    I’d love to read Erica’s new book – and the one about the orphanage of witches, what a cool idea! I liked A Great and Terrible Beauty as well. Thanks for the interview!

  23. Barbara says:

    What a great interview! Love Erica’s cover design and her book sounds great. I alsoo need to check A Great and Terrible Beauty! Thanks for recommendation! :)

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