Exclusive Interview with

R. A. Schwartz

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When did you start writing?

I've been writing on and off since I was a teenager to cope with my mental illness struggles. I began writing this novel in 2016.

R. A. Schwartz
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What makes writing your passion?

Writing is the way I express myself and my ideals to others best. It's also how I implement my activism and show my support for things like LGBTQ issues and gender equality.

R. A. Schwartz
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How long have you been writing?

Since I was maybe 13 or 14. I started off writing poetry and short stories for school projects and as a hobby.

R. A. Schwartz
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What was the feeling when you published your first book?

I didn't believe it had actually happened! Sometimes I still can't believe it's real and I created this amazing work for the world to see!

R. A. Schwartz
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What’s the story behind your choice of characters?

Harry Potter fanfics. That's what this novel originally was and it ended up taking on a life of its own. I've enjoyed the process immensely!

R. A. Schwartz
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What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?

The no responses. Whether it was pitching this book or pitching articles. It's not as easy to break into freelancing as everyone says. It's also hard to find paid work.

R. A. Schwartz
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How do you get over the “writer’s block”?

I step away from it and focus on something to occupy my mind. My favorite thing is playing Wizard101!

R. A. Schwartz
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We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?

The possibility that I might be that person who changes the world somehow. Start small. Build a following. Be prepared to financially invest in editing, marketing, paid reviews, cover art, etc. It's a lot so don't do it if you're not dedicated to putting the money wnd effort into it.

R. A. Schwartz
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If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?

Being an odd duck is okay. It's the people who are out of step from everyone else who truly leave amazing marks on this world.

R. A. Schwartz
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Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?

No because I have self esteem issues. I tend to avoid reading reviews that are flat out bad. I even avoid mixed reviews to a point as well. Everyone is a critic because it's easy to be. They don't even stop and realize just how personal some people's work truly is. Also, how I write isn't up to them. It's up to me. If they feel they can do better they're welcome to write their own books.

R. A. Schwartz
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What is the feeling when you get a good review?

Like I've actually done well and the message I was trying to get across sunk in. It's an awesome feeling!

R. A. Schwartz
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Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?

Absolutely. My work is incredibly personal and reflective of my personal life and my politics.

R. A. Schwartz
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Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?

Rory Blue is based on me. Hence why my first name in my pen name is Rory. Rory didn't start off in this novel. I was writing a semi biographical book about myself at the same time as this one. Eventually I decided to scrap the story she was in and add her to this one. The rest is history!

R. A. Schwartz
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What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?

The cover art gives the reader a clue about the book's plot so it's definitely important!

R. A. Schwartz
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Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?

I have yet to because my following is still very small. I'm open to it! I'm not much of an orator but I won't let that scare me off from the idea.

R. A. Schwartz
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How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?

Grateful, happy, and proud. I want to make a difference in this world and the more people that see that the better!

R. A. Schwartz
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Who is your favorite author? Why?

Shakespeare. He made me fall in love with the written word.

R. A. Schwartz
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What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?

To impact change in societal attitudes towards LGBTQ people, be financially successful, and be moderately well known. Charlie Chaplin, but that's probably a pipe dream!

R. A. Schwartz
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Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?

I did rewrite this one so many times! I'm a bit of a perfectionist. I'm currently making a major plot change in the novel I'm working on right now.

R. A. Schwartz
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If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?

Jane Austen. I'd love to see what eighteenth century England was like!

R. A. Schwartz
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What would you say to the “trolls” on the internet? We all know them – people who like to write awful reviews to books they’ve never read or didn’t like that much, just to annoy the author.

Thanks for the free publicity and allowing me live rent free in your head. You're very sad and you need to find something better to do!

R. A. Schwartz
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What would you say to your readers?

Thank you. Whether you like my work or not, thanks for giving it a shot! I'm humbled and grateful.

R. A. Schwartz