Meet the Writer: IgnitedMoth

Meet the Writer is a feature for which I interview authors who identify as women or nonbinary. We talk less about a single book or work and more about where they’ve been and how their lives affect their writing. Today, please welcome IgnitedMoth (she/her). IgnitedMoth is a digital artist, horror fanatic, and fantasy writer who is working on polishing a manuscript for publication. Learn more about IgnitedMoth and her work on her website.

Grab the Lapels: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

IgnitedMoth: For as long as I can remember, stories have been a huge part of my life. My mom says I used to make up little stories for fun before I could actually write them down myself, and my dad says I was so eager to read and write on my own that I would cry about it until I learned to do so. Books were magical to me and I loved everything about them. Needless to say, not much has changed. I started making my own little story books in elementary school, which eventually turned into me writing longer chapter books and comics as I got older. 

GTL: How have you developed creatively since then? 

IM: My attention span has never been the greatest, so I really have to write about things that I enjoy and try to shake things up a lot to stay focused. I used to be a notorious project hopper, very rarely ever finishing one project before I was moving onto something different. Thankfully, I’ve been able to work on this issue. When inspiration strikes, I just jot it down somewhere safe, so I can explore that story later on without the fear of forgetting it.

GTL: What is your writing process like? Which do you favor, starting or revising?

IM: I’m definitely a planner — to the point that I sometimes have to reel myself back in to get down to actually writing the story. I love worldbuilding and have only more recently recovered from a chronic case of World Builder’s Disease. I usually start out thinking of a story like a puzzle. I’ll put all my pieces I know I want in the story out on the table, and then I shuffle them around and find what order they fit best in. From there I can figure out what I need to do to fill in the gaps in between. I also think about who my characters are and how each of them would handle the obstacles set in front of them and how they will interact with one another. Sometimes the plot leads me to where I need to go, and sometimes the characters do. It isn’t uncommon for my characters to completely hijack the plot that I originally had planned and make it their own.

My go-to planner to, as the cover implies, get shit done. Also my arsenal of multi colored pens for taking notes and making many, many to-do lists. Like, possibly an unhealthy number of to-do lists.

Despite being a planner, I do like to see where my imagination will take me, so starting a new project is always a lot of fun. Everything is so fresh and shiny, and there’s the constant excitement of new ideas as they strike. Revising tends to be both incredibly satisfying and hellishly torturous. I can get obsessive with revisions similarly to how I used to be when it came to worldbuilding, so I am still in the process of finding that healthy balance to call something finished and be satisfied with it.

I’m extremely lucky to have as great of a support system as I do when it comes to my writing. My parents, a couple friends, and my husband are always there to cheer me on and give me a push when I need it. Having my best friend Ashleigh be a beta reader for the first draft was a massive help. The initial reason being that it made me accountable to finish the draft in time for her to read by the date we’d decided on. It was also great to get someone else’s feedback since it had literally just been me staring at this story for months. I know things in my head about the story that a new reader would not if I don’t present the characters and information correctly, so it was great to see what info I was able to successfully convey to the reader, as well as the things I needed to elaborate on more.

Ashleigh is a huge book worm, so I was really excited for her honest feelings about the story I’d written. Even though we’re best friends, I know she is someone I can trust to be brutally honest when she needs to be, because it isn’t being mean if she points out any issues — it’s helping ensure my story turns out the best that it can be. She’s also great at reminding me not to get too into my head when writing, and to always have fun with it. I loved reading through her notes and discussing things that, up until then, had lived only in my head. It was exciting to have someone know the characters and places I’d been creating.

I have more people set to beta read the next draft when it’s complete, so I’m really looking forward to seeing the different types of feedback I get from them as well. It can be terrifying having someone read your personal work, almost to the point that I’d compare it to handing over your personal diary even, but it’s so worth it for the feedback.

GTL: Are you writing anything right now?

IM: I am! I’ve recently completed the first draft of a novel I hope will eventually see the light of day. I grew up with an early understanding of death and the finality of having to say goodbye from a young age. I wanted to explore the themes of death and grief in a dark fantasy story where I could play with myths and legends as well as my own imagination.

I’m still working on a title, but it’s a tale of omens, death, and a theater that promises the impossible. If I had to give a little blurb for the story it would be something like:

It was supposed to be just another routine night of work. Get into the theater, collect the souls of the dead, and get the hell out of there. But for disgraced reaper Arthur Beasley and his omen Lux, all hell breaks loose after they encounter a mysterious girl with the rather inconvenient habit of cheating death. Caught between a rock and a hard place, they have no choice but to bring the girl back with them to try to find some answers in the Crossroads, a city between the land of the living and the true afterlife where reapers, omens, and necromancers dwell. What unravels is a slew of angry death deities, conspiracies, hidden truths, and chaos all centered around a girl who should not exist.

I saw this mug and knew it had to be mine. lol.

GTL: If you could change places for a day with any one of your characters, who would it be, and why?

IM: Oh, man, I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a sadist when it comes to my characters. (Sorry, guys!). I suppose if it was just for one day, I’d choose to swap places with my character Lux. She is the first character introduced in the book, and since she is an omen, she is capable of shapeshifting between different animals long-since recognized as omens of death, and she can sense aspects of the supernatural, which would come in incredibly handy in the world I’ve created. Unfortunately, omens tend to get a raw deal in society in my book, so that’s mainly why I’d be hesitant. That, and I doubt I’d be as enthusiastic about fighting demons as Lux does. 

GTL: Do you think there is a specific “achievement” a person must “unlock” before she can be called a writer?

IM: I think to be called a writer, you just need to write — either for yourself or for others, but either way, just keep writing. Getting published is often the dream, but it isn’t the only thing that makes a writer, at least not in my opinion. Plus, there are so many great things that can be accomplished through writing besides making money and getting your name out there. It’s a great tool for documenting and sharing information, and it can also be extremely therapeutic. Writing has been a constant lifeline for me over the years, and even if I were never to get anything published, I don’t think I could ever regret the time I’ve spent being creative and making stories.

My little writing minion, Bailey!

GTL: Thanks so much to IgnitedMoth for sharing her writing journey, and I’m going to keep my eyes and ears peeled for when her novel is published!

30 comments

  1. Thank you so much for the wonderful opportunity to participate in Meet the Writer and for letting me share my story with your readers! ❤
    You come up with such great and interesting questions and I'm honored to get to join in on the fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t wait to READ THE STORY ALL OVER AGAIN. GIMME!
    This was a great interview. I loved the questions, I loved the answers. Two bad bitches unite!
    This girl is definitely going to get published. I’m 100% confident about that! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m so glad IM has a beta reader like you! I read about this author who used several people in her community to be beta readers, such as baker and housewife, etc. People from all the types of jobs you expect a small town to have, and thus there were so many people rooting for her and waiting for her to finish, so she felt obligated (in a good way) to complete her book and edits.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I swore to her I would be honest, and I have been. I’m incredibly impressed with her writing and love her creativity and I cannot wait for the rest of the world to see it.
        That’s a great idea to have a whole spread of people helping you keep going!

        Liked by 3 people

  3. It seems to me that writers were always going to write, are always writing, it’s a compulsion. People (like me) who say I might write one day are kidding themselves. Melanie, when you were teaching creative writing did you ever get that sense that one student might write well, but that another did the whole daily journal, planning thing and was much more likely to be an author?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hahahah, Bill, I think you and I fall into the same category of “future writer,” though your ambitions sound like a goal and mine sound silly, seeing as I went through so many creative writing programs just to go on and not write fiction.

      As for my students, they were almost all seniors who thought fiction writing would be a blow-off class, though one rather serious student kept producing stories that read like Hemingway or Faulkner attempts, and I think that student took themselves pretty seriously. The other creative writing class I did was full of freshmen who were looking for the credit to fit a category, though I had one student in that class who also took themselves very seriously (and was combative as a result, asking questions such as why they couldn’t just turn in all the poetry they’d been writing since they were 16 (you know, two years ago) instead of doing my assignments that they didn’t speak to them).

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great questions Melanie. As you know I’m not a big reader of horror, fantasy et al, but IgnitedMoth’s blurb completely entertained me.

    BTW I can also relate to her being a better starter than finisher. I’m not a particularly creative person but I do like setting things up only to sometimes lose oomph as I go along!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Look at Bailey! Awww! Lovely to read about the job of the beta reader; I push that concept to my editing clients who aren’t quite ready for their final edit yet and have written articles about what to expect from them so it’s great to see this example out in the wild!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. OMG Bailey!!! Such a cute little man with a bowtie. She’s so right about people just writing – that makes you a writer! Many people approach me and ask how they can become published, and I always ask them why they want to be published – because no one can stop you from being a writer, just write!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I just read that Bailey is a lady cat, which means she’s dressed like she’s from the early 90s. Stylin’! Yeah, the desire to get published is SO tangled up in writing, and I think (for me) the issue is not so much what publishing could do for me, but validation that what I’m doing is interesting (although I can put a story away for a few years, re-read it, and find myself terribly interesting) or having a perceived audience. Writing for yourself is really hard.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Haha thank you so much! And yes, Melanie is correct, Bailey is a girl but she likes to be dapper with her bowties. 😉 I love the spirit of “Just Write!” and how no one can stop you from doing it.

      Like

  7. Hello IM. Late to the party but I have to say that the concept of your novel sounds interesting. I love the idea of shapeshifting into omens. I haven’t read a good shapeshifter book in forever. Got too tired of the romance & sex aspects of them. And I am sorry to say but I read yer main character’s name as Arthur Weasley. Yer kitten is awesome by the way. Arrr!
    x The Captain

    Liked by 3 people

    • Ahoy there! 😉
      Thank you so much, from both me and my kitty. And Omg!! Haha I never once made the connection of Arthur Beasley and Arthur Weasley! Thank you for pointing that out. I can’t believe that never registered in my head like that. Another great example about why it’s important to get feedback along the way! 🙂
      Yeah, I can definitely understand getting bored with all the romance/sex aspects that come with a lot of shapeshifter stories. Not my favorite thing to read about either so I’m with you! I don’t mind some, but sometimes it definitely gets to be a bit much. And some of those covers! lol

      Like

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