Extracted Blog Tour: An Interview with Sherry Ficklin and Tyler Jolley
Ladies and gents, let’s give a warm welcome to Sherry Ficklin and Tyler Jolley, authors of Extracted. Thank you for joining us today guys!
How old were you when your first piece was published?
Tyler – I was a late bloomer and wasn’t published until I was 37. However, I didn’t submit anything until I was 35.
Sherry – I was in High School when I sold my first piece. It was a poem and it was published in a local poetry magazine. I remember holding that $20 in my hand thinking, wow. I’m going to do this forever.
How has social media helped/hindered the promotion of your work?
Tyler – Social media has been awesome. It has made it easy to connect with people all over the world. Our two biggest fans have met us through social media and I’m certain we wouldn’t have connected with them without it.
Sherry – Social media is such a great way to connect with readers and people who are into your work. It’s been especially useful for the Extracted book. We have been sort of adopted by this amazing community of steampunk fans and it’s just wonderful. They are the best people in the world!
What can you tell us about your current project (s)?
Tyler – I’m working on a YA, sci-fi, dystopian book called Chemika. I’m also working on Prodigal, which is book two in The Imperials Series.
Sherry – Right now we are finishing the first draft of Prodigal, The Lost Imperials book 2. And I’m also working on a new YA mythology series and my first ever YA Romance stand alone. That’s a bit weird for me.
How has your writing style changed over the course of your writing career?
Tyler – Well, I ‘m not using crayons anymore and have to use my computer to write. I use words instead of pictures so I’d say it’s come really far.
Sherry – I think with every book you write you get better, become a stronger writer. Good editors help you grow. And I think the more you write, the more you fall into a rhythm and sort of discover who you are as an author.
Do you find that your work is semi autobiographical or based on real events, or is as far from your personal life as possible?
Tyler – Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It’s very gratifying to base an alien creature, whose skin is melting off their body, off one of my teachers.
Extracted is as far an anything real that has ever happened to me, it’s all from the deep, dark, depths of my imagination.
Sherry – I think most of my books start out with a kernel of something real from my life, but they tend to spin wildly out of control from there.
What advice would you give to someone starting in a literary field?
Tyler – Search your soul and find out why you’re writing. Are you writing for fun and for a release, like I did? Are you writing to become famous, like JK Rowling? Are you writing to just get published for self-gratification? Are you writing for your posterity? Figure out why you’re writing and what motivates you.
Sherry – Be bold and have courage. It takes courage to finish a novel, courage to edit a novel, and courage to sell a novel. You just have to push your doubts away and move forward. You are always your own worst enemy.
How do you feel that your publishing journey (or journeys) has changed your outlook on life?
Tyler – It makes me want more and has pushed my limits on what I thought was ‘success’ in writing. At first, I was writing for a stress release and it was fine and dandy. Then I thought, for me, a great hurdle would to be traditionally published. Now I am. We’ve put so much effort into The Lost Imperials that I want to see it go far beyond just being traditionally published.
Sherry – I never thought I would come this far. With every new contract, I sort of get this feeling of, hey, maybe this is what I’m meant to be doing. I really feel like this is my calling in life. It sounds silly, I know. But it gives me faith that if I work hard, I can do anything.Anything.
It take’s tough skin to be able to handle this business. What is your method of getting past negative or hurtful comments?
Tyler – I think it’s all perspective, and you have to consider the source. Is it coming from someone who is trying to help you or hurt you? Often times, you get feedback you don’t want to hear but if you are open and listen to it, it can help you grow. Or if they’re just being a jerk you can always base a character on them in your next book.
Sherry – I cry, eat my feelings in Oreos, then move on. Not a lot you can do about it. Literature is so subjective and there is always going to be someone who hates with a passion your work. You just sort of have to learn to let it roll off. But I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t suck. It really does, like nothing most people can imagine.
Who has been the biggest help or inspiration to your writing career?
Tyler – The majority of my success comes from my support system. Mainly my wife and kids, who let me realize the things that I dream of. Mary, my personal assistant, or as I like to call her, my DAA (director of author affairs) has really helped me when life gets crazy. She’s there to pick up the slack. Sherry took me under her wing, had confidence in me and brought me up in this wonderful world of writing. I feel like a rapper being brought up by a great artist. Without Sherry letting me ride her coattails during the initial stages of writing, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today. The last person who inspires me is my little brother, Keaton, for having the patience to listen to all my crazy and radical stories.
Sherry – That’s hard because I’m constantly inspired by the people around me. My family is a huge support. And My co-author Tyler has been amazing. I wouldn’t be where I am right now without him, I truly believe that.
What was your greatest writing ‘success?’
Tyler – The first time my boys read the advance read copy of Extracted.
Sherry – The day I got my first fan letter from a total stranger. It was this feeling like I did something that touched someone so much they wanted to thank me for it. I was so humbled and honored. I still have that. I burn bad reviews, but fan letters have a special folder in my office.
Do you have a daily writing routine? If so, what is it?
Tyler – My daily writing routine is to write when I can. That could be over my lunch break, in between patients, 10 o’clock at night. Any downtime I can find, I write.
Sherry – I try to write every weekday, weekends only if I’m on deadline. It’s hard to find that balance with writing time and family time. You just have to do your best. I try to work while my kids are at school, then as soon as they get home I put it away and I’m 100% with them. It doesn’t always work, but It’s what I shoot for. Summer vacations are hard. I get almost no work done during the summer ever. I have mad respect for people with full time jobs AND families that also write. I just don’t know how they do it.
What are your creative outlets outside of writing, if any?
Tyler – I don’t know if I have a creative outlet. I stay stress free by farming, hunting, mountain biking, wake surfing, hiking, pretty much anything outdoors.
Sherry – I tinker. I build things and do crafty stuff. I’m a pintrest junkie. It helps sometimes when I have writers block to do something creative. I paint and I love movies and comic books. Pretty much anything that fills my creative tanks.
How do you think that electronic readers have affected global readership? Are you pro e-readers?
Tyler – Yes, it’s made it cool again to read. I am definitely pro e-readers. I have ADD so it makes it easy for me to carry the five books I’m reading all at once.
Sherry – I am pro e-readers. I feel like the format doesn’t matter so much as the content. I love audio books too. Whatever you want to do, I’m good with that. I think e-readers have made books more widely accessible because people aren’t limited to just what’s on the shelf. And I know a lot of people that can’t afford paper books, so e-books give them a way to keep reading and not break their budgets. All good things.
If there was one thing you could change about any of your writing journeys, what would it be and why?
Tyler- I’m pretty content with where I am with my writing. I can’t wait until the day when I can write full-time.
Sherry – You know, I wonder about that sometimes. What I might have done differently, knowing now what I knew then. I honestly feel like, every thing I’ve done has gotten me to where I am so I’d be scared to change anything. I’m really happy with where I’m at and where I’m headed.
Who is your favorite author? (You can list more than one). How has their work influenced yours?
Tyler – James Daschner is my favorite author lately. I like how he can write a very adventurous and intriguing story without all the gratuitous scenes and cusswords. His stories keep my attention to the end. It’s inspiring because we are about the same age and it has been fun to watch him gain popularity as he continues to write.
Sherry – Wow, those are so hard because my favorite authors sort of depend on what I’m in the mood to read. I will say I remember being in high school and picking up a copy of The Great and Secret Show by Clive Barker. It was this amazing fantasy/horror novel and it was the first book I ever read that actually transported me somewhere else. It began my love of genre fiction. I like to escape into books, so other stuff is harder for me. But I think that book is what made me want to do that in writing, to take people out of the normal to somewhere fantastic.
Thanks for joining us guys! You can learn more about Sherry, Tyler and their work at the following links:
Welcome to the war. The Tesla Institute is a premier academy that trains young time travelers called Rifters. Created by Nicola Tesla, the Institute seeks special individuals who can help preserve the time stream against those who try to alter it. The Hollows is a rogue band of Rifters who tear through time with little care for the consequences. Armed with their own group of lost teens–their only desire to find Tesla and put an end to his corruption of the time stream. Torn between them are Lex and Ember, two Rifters with no memories of their life before joining the time war. When Lex’s girlfriend dies during a mission, the only way he can save her is to retrieve the Dox, a piece of tech which allows Rifters to re-enter their own timeline without collapsing the time stream. But the Dox is hidden deep within the Telsa Institute, which means Lex must go into the enemy camp. It’s there he meets Ember, and the past that was stolen from them both comes flooding back. Now armed with the truth of who they are, Lex and Ember must work together to save the future before the battle for time destroys them both again.
About the authors:
Tyler H. Jolley is a sci-fi/fantasy author and full-time orthodontist, periodontist (see: Overachiever). He divides his spare time between writing, reading, mountain biking, and camping with his family.
Sherry D. Ficklin is a full-time writer and internet radio show host with more mouth then good sense. She has a serious book addiction, but continually refuses treatment, much to her husband’s chagrin.
Tyler and Sherry met one fateful day and bonded over their love for books, science fiction, and donuts. Their first co-written novel came shortly after. Now, they still do all those other things, but also go to various steampunk conventions and events under the guise of ‘research’. They can often be found lurking on the Lost Imperials Facebook page or over on the official website, www.thelostimperials.com.