Featured Author: Andrea L. Staum – A World Unimagined

Andrea L. Staum

Featured Author: Andrea L. Staum
Featured Author: Andrea L. Staum

Featured Author: Andrea L. Staum is the author of the Dragonchild Lore series, The Attic’s Secret novella, Scattered Dreams short story collection, and has contributed to several best-selling anthologies. She’s a trained motorcycle technician, an amateur home renovator, and somehow manages to find time to write. She lives in south central Wisconsin with her husband and three overlords…err…cats.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/AuthorAndreaLStaum
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DragonchildLore
Website: https://dragonchildlore.wordpress.com/
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Andrea-Staum/e/B00DDAVLK2/

Featured Author: Andrea L. Staum Interview

LHP: How long have you been writing?

Andrea L. Staum: I have always had stories going and had entered my first story contest in sixth grade which grew into the seed plot for my Dragonchild Lore series. That seed would germinate for ten years before it came to anything of length (which ended up being the last book of the series) and another eight would pass before Book 1 would come to light. Back to top >>>

LHP: What genre do you prefer to write in?

Andrea L. Staum: I tend to stick to fantasy or science fiction. I like writing epic fantasy that also brings about character growth. My dragons are there but they aren’t the main force that drives the story. Urban fantasy allows me to play with metaphysics and other-worldly creatures in our modern world. I also dabble with steampunk and sci-fi. I like to challenge my creative possibilities.
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LHP: What/who inspired you to be a writer?

Andrea L. Staum: My dad is a poet. I grew up with scraps of paper around the house with writings on them. I also had really supportive English teachers who saw and encouraged my potential.
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LHP: Describe your writing process. What comes first–character or plot? Do you “pants” it or outline?

Andrea L. Staum: I am a hybrid. I have a general outline but nothing in-depth. I don’t want to confine the stories to just where or how I think it should go. I honestly don’t know where the origins of my stories come from because they all originate differently. I look for open calls and use those to ponder on a topic I might not think about and see where the thoughts take me.
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LHP: What is your daily/weekly routine as a writer?

Andrea L. Staum: I am really lax for having a pattern. Part of the reason is I’m currently in edits and am dragging my feet. I try to spend a few hours a week devoted to writing, but there is not a set routine.
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LHP: Are there any software tools, resources, or websites you use often while writing?

A World Unimagined, a sci-fi anthology by Left Hand Publishers
A World Unimagined, a sci-fi anthology by Left Hand Publishers

Andrea L. Staum: The resource that I make use of the most is naming books and sites. I like knowing the meaning behind names and how it can shape the character. Otherwise trips to my library when I have a specific topic to read up on can result in piles of material. I still prefer print to screen reading.
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LHP: What are some of your biggest challenges you feel like you have to overcome in your writing career?

Andrea L. Staum: My self-doubt. There is always a feeling that the stories aren’t as good as they could be and I am fooling myself. Then I go back and read them after the fact and am like “wow, I did this?” The other thing that helped is rereading books that inspired me and seeing the slight errors that made it through the entire editing/publishing process makes me realize I’m not so bad after all. At least I’am sending my words into the world as the best I can present them; I can’t control if others read or like them
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LHP: Do set word counts or other goals?

Andrea L. Staum: I put out goals for completion and timelines to reach depending on the project. That is why I like open calls. It gives me a definitive deadline. At the beginning of the year I set up my writing goals. This usually includes a certain number of submissions to publishers per quarter and my own major projects.
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LHP: How much time is spent on “the business of writing”, queries, seeking an agent or publisher, marketing/sales?

Andrea L. Staum: I think this ongoing and never ending so devoted time is hard to say. Marketing and branding of self is continuous. I’ll usually take an hour a two a week to look at what calls are out there and see if the themes are something that speak to me and that I am comfortable with.
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LHP: Do you prefer short stories or full length novels in your writing?

Andrea L. Staum: I like the challenge of short stories. I like having a limited amount words to tell a full plot with relatable stories. That being said, I love the worlds that my longer works inhabit but even they are used in some of my short stories. There are innumerous possibilities just like in the real world since there are so many secondary characters.
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LHP: Can you give some us some insight into your story?

Andrea L. Staum: “Space Junk” is about Aefel, who is a crewman of a salvage ship. My dad actually ran his own salvage business for years and I grew up knowing how the “junk” business works here on Earth. I took that knowledge and launched it into space. Even now there are derelict satellites orbiting the planet, what will happen in the future when there are whole hulks of colonies of ships abandoned in the black? That being said, Aefel has his own salvage mission when their target haul is the colony where he was born and that mission is what “Space Junk” focuses on.
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LHP: What advice can you give other writers?

Andrea L. Staum:Write what calls to you. Don’t try and stuff yourself into some little box just because it is what is hot and trendy if that isn’t what you like to write. There are markets out there for what you love to write. There are readers out there that want what only you can offer. It might take time to find them and it might seem daunting and hard, but that’s okay. Don’t let it discourage you. Make the frustration and aggravation from each rejection work for you and hone your craft to prove to the naysayers that you are good and worth a second look.
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A World Unimagined

Andrea L. Staum recently authored “Space Junk” for A World Unimagined, on sale now.

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