Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ!)

So I’ve gotten asked a lot (a LOT) of questions on my tumblr blog over the years (and you still can ask there, and I’ll answer!). But a bunch of questions keep coming up, so I thought I’d do a quick FAQ. I’ll add to this from time to time so it’s up to date, but in the meantime, here we go:

1) There’s nothing on the internet about you, and I need to write a report. Why won’t you give me your social security number?!

This … doesn’t sound like a report for school. But if you do need to do one of those, there’s some information in my biography page. If you need more, you can always e-mail me, as I don’t want to just give out all my personal information on the web (for some reason, a lot of teachers want to know where I was born, presumably to travel back in time to stop it, so I put that info in the bio now).

2) Relatedly, how old are you?

See, now you’re just getting nosy.

3) What’s your favorite (color/food/movie/etc)?

If you ask this, I’ll 100% answer as a joke, but only because it always changes … and I have no idea why you’d want to know. Unless you’re asking what kind of cupcakes I like because you’ll be bringing some to a signing! In that case, I’ll definitely answer! 

4) What’s your favorite book? 

Oh, but see, THIS I love talking about. One of my favorite series is THE CHRONICLES OF PRYDAIN by Lloyd Alexander. Read them, they’re great! Also Brandon Mull’s BEYONDERS are amazing. Try ‘em!

5) What’s your favorite book of yours?

All I can see are the things I’d like to fix, so it’s hard to pick a favorite. I’m pretty proud of STORY THIEVES: PICK THE PLOT though. And the ending to TWICE UPON A TIME is just evil, so I love it. But right now, I’m working on the REVENGE OF MAGIC series, to they’re hopefully my best work, and my favorites right now.

6) Can you read my story and give me advice on it?

I wish I could, but I barely have enough time to write my books as it is! The best bet is to ask a close friend or a teacher, someone who will give you their honest opinion (and also be supportive, since that’s important too). That’ll help you get better. But also try reading it yourself. If you’re enjoying it, someone else will too!

7) Can you read my fanfiction about one of your series?

I can’t, actually, because if I read it, and then end up writing something close to what you did, then you could sue me for all my cats. And I love my cats. (My agent won’t let me read any for this reason, though he’s pretty apathetic about my cats.) Sorry! But fan fiction isn’t for the author anyway … it’s for fans, so write it for them!

8) Have you heard of this meme/internet joke/whatever?

Probably not, if history is any indication :(

9) Is the Moira in STORY THIEVES: THE STOLEN CHAPTERS the same as the Moira in ONCE UPON THE END? 

Nope! I just like the name. But now I’ve committed to putting a Moira in every series I write, so a Moira (never the same one) will be showing up somewhere in every one I write. In fact, there’s already a Moira in REVENGE OF MAGIC … for all of one book. Whoops.

10) I found a typo in the books!

UGH, I know, that happens sometimes. Mostly because no matter how many people read it over, we’re still all human, and can make mistakes. But I think most have been found now, and fixed (for future printings). Your copy might still have it, but don’t worry, future readers won’t have to worry about it!

11) Will you write the Kiel Gnomenfoot series?

Probably not. All the plot twists are revealed in Story Thieves, so it’s all been spoiled.

12) What about Kara Dox’s series, or Moira and Doyle?

Moira and Doyle is the most likely, cause their series would be entirely based on what happens after STORY THIEVES: THE STOLEN CHAPTERS. And I love them! Kara’s less likely, cause her series would break my brain (and it’s all already plotted out, even). 

13) Which characters do you ship? Will this character and that character end up together?

I’m never going to say who I think will end up together, because I get to actually say it, in the books. If it’s not explicitedly said in the books, then it’s up to you! (I will sometimes say who I for sure DON’T see together, like Bethany and Owen, but you can ignore that if you want.)

14) Will you write more HALF UPON A TIME or STORY THIEVES books?

Again, probably not. I finished the story in each series, so I don’t have anything else to say about the characters. Beyond that, if I did, I’d have to take away anyone’s happy ending, and that’d be SO mean to do to my characters. 

15) You keep saying you’ve finished so-and-so book. So why isn’t it out yet? Why do books take so long to get published?

I answered that question here

16) I have questions or am looking for advice about writing. Can you help?

Here’s some general advice that I still try to follow (it’s not always easy!):

- Try to write every single day. It’s the only way to get better.

- Don’t worry if your first draft isn’t good. No one’s is. The most important thing to do is finish the draft, then start over and edit it from the beginning, now knowing exactly where you’re going. That’s when a book gets good, in the editing. 

- Read as much as you can, and examine the books you like. What about them appeals to you in the writing? What about the books you don’t like? What could you have done differently to make the book better, in your eyes? 

17) Do you have instagram/twitter/facebook pages? 

Yup! Links are all at the bottom of this page, but just to make it easy, here they are:



Instagram (This is primarily pictures of my cats. I’m not sorry.)

I’ll keep adding questions to this as I come up with more FAQs, so feel free to keep asking!

James RileyComment