February 16, 2018
By ELIM JO
Blackman High School
Reading has always been part of Elim (pronounced El’m) Jo’s life.
With the encouragement of her family, Jo began reading books she never imagined would interest her. But she empathized with the characters on the page and in turn it taught her to empathize with others in real life.
Jo has attended the two previous SEYA book festivals and loves that she’s not only been able to “meet several fantastic authors,” but has also met “fellow readers close to my age.”
It’s a love of community that will bring her back for a third year.
However, this year is different.
Jo had an opportunity to interview bestselling author C.J. Redwine.
“To be able to interview and meet the author is a wonderful experience,” Jo said. “It allows me to see and better understand the hard work that authors do every day.
“It also allows me to bridge the gap between reader and author and is an incredibly humbling experience.”
Here is their conversation.
Elim Jo: What's some advice for aspiring writers?
C.J. Redwine: Read everything you can get your hands on and pay attention to how the author introduces characters, creates the setting and moves the plot along.
What's the best position and place to read a book?
My (favorite) is the corner of my living room couch under my comfy Tardis blanket. YMMV.
Other than dragons, What's the one thing that you think a good book can't be without?
Interesting characters. If I'm going to spend 400 pages with these people, I want to care about them.
If someone asked you to write a book in an hour, what type of book do you think it'll be? What will it have inside?
In one hour, I could come up with a children's book or maybe a 1,500-word short story. It would be rough around the edges though and would definitely need revision!
Do you think you would battle one duck-sized spider or 100 small spiders?
Dear God, do I have any other options? I mean seriously. Both of these options suck. I guess one duck-sized spider because it would be easy to keep my eye on him and 100 small spiders could flank me and come at me from behind, which just ... GAH. WHY DID YOU PUT THIS IMAGE IN MY HEAD?
How do you read books? With a cup of coffee? Tea? Chocolate?
With a cup of La Croix sparkling lime water. Or a cup of tea if it's cold outside. Or without any beverage at all because all I really need are books.
You're going on a trip to an isolated island for one whole week, what book do you choose and why?
Just one book, huh? Hmm. I guess I'd bring the biggest book from my TBR pile. I have a few 500 page books on there so that would do the trick.
Do you prefer romantic books or sad books? Why?
I like to have both romance and sadness in my books. I love books that give me the full gamut of human emotions. But I don't care for books that end on a sad note. I want my happily ever after, I just like for the characters to have to work hard to earn it.
What's one word you can't seem to stand? What's one word that you absolutely cannot live without?
Moist. Moist is a terrible word. Say it slowly. Think about what it means. Unless you're talking about cake, moist is gross. As for a word I can't live without? Batman. No one should live without Batman.
What book are you currently reading?
The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkowski. It's the second book in one of the best fantasy series I've read lately. I love it.