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1) Who are you again?

I'm Cindy Koepp. I was born in the frozen far north but grew up in the overheated far south. This might explain why I'm a just a little unusual. When I'm not writing or doing crafty stuff, I work in an elementary school with 9- and 10-year-olds. The state of Texas has given me a detailed list of all the stuff fourth graders need to know before fifth grade, and it becomes my job to get it all crammed into their cute, little heads.

2) How in the world do you find time to write and teach elementary?

During the school year, I'm doing fabulously if I can manage a couple hundred words a day. There are many nights when I can't get even that far. I can often do better on the weekends. During the summers and other breaks, I'll often spend the whole day writing, so that's when I get the bulk of my projects finished. This past summer, I finished two half-done drafts, edited two novels, and got started on a new one.

3) What kind of writing do you do?

The easiest way to find my work would be to go to my webpage and click on the individual projects. There's information on each project and a link embedded in the page to take you to the one you're interested in.

The majority of my work is in science fiction or fantasy, including projects in process. I have three published works. One is a science fiction novel called Remnant in the Stars published by Under the Moon, the book imprint for gaming company Final Sword Productions.

The second is a self-published school-related book stuffed full of word problems that I've put together over the last several years. The third is an ongoing serial called The Condemned Courier being published through JukePop Serials. The process is called "agile publishing." Writers post one chapter at a time and receive feedback from readers before writing and submitting the next bit. Theoretically, readers can give the author ideas of what they anticipate next.

I also maintain a blog now and then where I post exegetical and homiletic Bible studies, usually after someone has asked me a complex question or asked me to do a presentation somewhere. Either way, my narrative notes or my research ends up there so others can access it.

4) So, what are Remnant in the Stars and The Condemned Courier about?

Oh, Remnant in the Stars is about 92,000 words. *snicker* Really, though, it's about a father, Sora, who has to choose between staying home to help his youngest child who is has reached a critical time in her development or going out among the stars to find his oldest child who has gotten lost. To complicate things, Sora has been carrying around the guilt of a horrible mistake, and his very good friend Kirsten is struggling to get a recalcitrant prosthetic to cooperate.

The Condemned Courier is about a royal courier who finds plans for a conspiracy to overthrow the king. She has to get the information back to the king in time. I'll have three or four chapters published by the time this interview is posted. At this point, I have some rough ideas, but even I don't know what happens next.

5) What other projects do you have in the works?

I have a fantasy novel, Lines of Succession, at a publisher for consideration. A half-blind girl who'd rather play with her griffin has to rule the kingdom in her brother's place for a while and find out which of her relatives hired her father's killer.

My critique partners are working on proving feedback for a science fiction novel, Drug War. When ambushed on a peacekeeping mission, Thomas fights off his telepathic attacker and teleports his wounded colleague home. His next assignment involves calming the squabbling locals in another war zone long enough negotiate a treaty. Rather than another negotiator to back him up, he's stuck with someone who can find the source of a plague, the same doctor he blames for his colleague's death.

I recently finished drafts for two other novels. One is a fantasy, Bird's Eye. This one is going to need a bit of an overhaul. Telling the whole story from the perspective of a parrot and a dog was a nifty idea, but it didn't quite work so well. The critters weren't always where I needed them to be.

The other recently finished draft is science fiction, Like Herding the Wind. It's set on an alternate Earth in the past. An alien police captain has to help her adopted human son figure out why humans are being targeted.

My last project is the sequel to Remnant in the Stars. For the moment, I'm calling it The Loudest Actions. I've started putting together the plot notes for that one so I can get it going. It's still too early in this project to give you an idea where it's going.

6) In Remnant in the Stars, are you any of the characters?

Most of the time, I am at least one of the characters. In the case of Remnant in the Stars, actually, I'm not one entirely, but many of the good guys have at least a couple of my traits. Sora and Janice share different facets of my weird sense of humor. Kirsten is probably the most like me in personality, except that I can't fly anything other than paper airplanes, and I sure can't kick anyone's gluteus maximus in hand-to-hand combat. Vincent is quiet and likes to draw; so do I. The only member of the crew who isn't me in some degree is Derek. He's a friend of mine from high school.

7) Which Muppet are you most like?

That'd have to be Kermit the Frog: constantly trying to keep everything together while chaos reigns all around. That may not seem like that has much to do with my writing, but then you haven't seen the disaster area that is my desk.



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 19th, 2012 05:14 am (UTC)
Cindy Koepp -- I'm so relieved to hear that I'm not the only writer with a desk that would run screaming from the room if it had legs! I keep TRYING to clean it off -- but then my 'stacks 'n' piles' end up stacked and piled in the floor near the desk. That doesn't help.
Oct. 20th, 2012 12:08 am (UTC)
Re: Desks
I know the feeling. No horizontal surface in my house is safe for more than a day or two after a cleaning spree. Then look out! There is some sense of order to the piles, though, and I can generally find what I need in pretty short order. -- CKoepp
Oct. 19th, 2012 02:21 pm (UTC)
Sounds exactly like my desk, too! It drives my husband up all the wall. You've got so many projects completed & in the works! Plus teaching, wow. And I thought I had a lot on my plate!

The Condemned Courier and it's serial format sounds neat! For some reason it reminds me of a writing project I had way back in middle school. I was home-schooled for middle & high school and that first year (6th grade) I had vocabulary words I was supposed to use in sentences. But that was too easy so I decided I had to use them all in a paragraph. Which took the format of a weekly letter from one imaginary king to his best friend, king of a neighboring country. Trying to use a series of random & unrelated words made for some crazy events happening in that little kingdom!
Oct. 20th, 2012 12:11 am (UTC)
Serial homework
I used to do similar stuff, but I did a short story each week rather than a serial.

JukePop's serial format is interesting. It's weird for me to do these things on the fly. I'm usually a very detailed plotter, so when they told me that I shouldn't get ahead of myself on the chapters, that made me a bit nervous. So, far, however, it's working pretty well.
Nov. 7th, 2012 07:10 pm (UTC)
My ongoing cereal is The Capitan Crunch Series.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )