Mason Cooley said, “Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are.”
A Center Stage Moment shines a spotlight on writers who give us great places to visit with the characters we love and want to call friends.
Today, I have the pleasure of introducing to you Lichelle Slater!
Lichelle grew up in Shelley, Idaho, but moved to and currently resides in Utah where she teaches special education preschoolers. She earned one of her bachelor’s degrees in Creative Writing from Utah State University.
Her love for reading and writing stemmed from being read to as a child, and her love for dragons means you will always find a dragon in each story, no matter the genre.
I love reading author bios. Many of them did not start out as writers. Sometimes people stumble upon the craft. Did you always want to be a writer? ALWAYS! My mom always read to us, and one of my fondest memories is when my dad read The Hobbit (J.R.R. Tolkien) and used different voices for each of the characters. I’ve always loved the magic with books and how they can transport you anywhere.
Why did you choose to write your genre? When I was getting my Bachelors in Creative Writing, my professors always emphasized, “you should write what you know.” If I chose to write a crime novel, I would be completely lost. Not saying it can’t be done, but I would need to do a LOT of research. I tend to read young adult, so that’s what I write. I also tend to really enjoy fantasy, clean romance, mystery, etc. so I like to write in those genres.
What is the strangest story you’ve ever written? When I was in my undergrad I once had to write a Western. I don’t read or watch Westerns, so it was a big stretch for me, even though it was fun to try.
What are you currently working on? I am working on a trilogy called the Sirkus av Magi (Norwegian for Circus of Magic). The first book is called Step Right Up and is a scifi/fantasy. [Sounds interesting.]
What motivated the plot of your latest book? My current published book is a clean Christmas romance. My mom started watching Hallmark movies and sucked me into them, and then I figured I could write one too, so I did! As for my WIP, I’m going to Utopia 2017 and the theme is “Step Write Up.” I was tired of just sitting and waiting for my writing career to take off, so I made myself sit down and write it, and now I’ll have my first table at Utopia 2017 with my first two books!
What was the hardest story for you to write? Writing most stories for me can be pretty difficult, because I’m not a big plotter. If I do plot, I plot out the basic gist of where I want things to go, and scenes I want to have. But plotting out an entire series? I struggle with that the absolute most.
What process do you use to plan your novels? If you mean plotting… Ha, ha I do have a board on my wall with sticky notes. Each color is a different character, and each column is a chapter. I’ll put a little note of what each main character is doing in each chapter. I also put it in an Excel document, just in case one or the other gets messed up somehow. I also frantically call/text my closest friends and make them help me.
Who has been your favorite character to write and why? To create? It’s actually a character I haven’t even written a story for. I wrote a short story with him in my undergrad, and I used him in a story with one of my friends, but it never went anywhere. He’s a vampire, and a sassy, handsome, clever, mischievous character. Maybe someday I’ll write something with him. [Can’t wait to read it!]
Have you ever experienced writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it? If anyone tells you they’ve never experienced writer’s block, they’re lying to you. We all hit it at some point or other. One method I learned in school is literally just jot whatever comes to your mind, even if you’re just narrating what you’re doing and what you’re listening to. Buy a book with little writing prompts in it, because it may be a paragraph, but at least you’re writing. Sometimes music can be inspirational, or if you can’t write, read. It’s a great way to get some research in you know you’re going to need to work on for your book. Sometimes I have to get out and go on a walk or exercise, or maybe work on an entirely different project. It really depends on what method works for you at that time. I’ve had to do all of these at different points.
Do any of your characters reflect facets of your personality? I actually think Bell in Secret Santa reflects a lot about me—I love to make sure everyone is at peace, I LOVE hot cocoa, doing things with friends, and I’m also scared to approach guys. I also feel I reflect some things with Lilly (a character from my fantasy WIP) who reacts very emotionally to uncomfortable situations.
If you were to choose another genre to write in, what would it be? Why? I’ve actually got a LOT of different genres of books planned. As mentioned above, I have a Christmas romance, a scifi/fantasy, a fantasy, a paranormal, middle-grade fantasy, summertime romance, etc. all planned in the future. A lot of authors are concerned about branding, but I just want to write the stories I’m inspired to write. [You do you. That is what’s important.]
Which authors inspire you? I love Tolkien’s world building (he’s basically the god of fantasy with all of the familiar creatures we know, he created). I’m also a huge fan of Anne Rice and her ability to create alluring antagonists. I also love the adventures from Brandon Mull.
What novel would you read multiple times? The Phantom of the Opera, Interview With a Vampire, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Chronicles of Narnia, etc.
If you could meet anyone in the world, alive or deceased, who would it be and why? (Person could be a fictional character) Hmm. This is a tough one. I’d LOVE to meet Shakespeare, I think he was brilliant. I’d also love to meet Handel, or Sherlock Holmes, etc.
What is your favorite quote? The quote I’ve been living by this year has been…
What is your favorite animal, real or imaginary? Real: frogs Fantasy: DRAGONS!! (you’ll always find a dragon in one of my stories, no matter the genre!)
What is your favorite color? Lime green!
When you’re not writing… I work full-time as a special education preschool teacher and write when I get home from work.
Catch up with Lichelle Slater online at–
Thanks for stopping by Lichelle! Best of luck to you, girlfriend!
Join me next week when Janet Nissenson will be dropping by.