Damian: This is your first published novel. What were some of the jobs you held prior to becoming a writer?
Pike: I like to joke that my daughter was made of Burger King hamburgers. I worked in the food industry for seven years before I quit to raise my daughter, and while I was pregnant with her I was the Assistant Manager at a Burger King. I don’t like to eat there anymore. Soon after she was born I had the opportunity to evaluate manuscripts for a small religious press and I learned so much from reading other people’s manuscripts, both good and bad. I also learned to look at manuscripts from a business perspective which has been invaluable in the very business-y world of publishing. I’d like to think it helped me get to where I am now.
Damian: How much of your plot-lines, scenes, and character development were preconceived before you began writing, and how much developed during the writing process? Was there anything that surprised you as it unfolded during the writing of the book?
Pike: I have written books both flying by the seat of my pants and with a detailed outline. Wings was somewhere in the middle. However, when I started it, what I had was a mythos, a main character, and a wisp of a story. I got to a point almost a hundred pages into the book where I slowly began to realize that I was off-track. Waaaayyyoff-track. I actually had to back up about fifty pages, delete half the story, and start over. That was when I realized that I prefer to write — perhaps not with a detailed outline — but with a very solid storyline in my head. However, that experience did give me my best surprise in the Wings series, and that’s Tamani. He didn’t even exist yet (David did!) and I just named him off-handedly as one of the guards at Laurel’s old home. But when I backed up and started again, he stepped forward and became not only a main character, but one without whom the series could not be complete. I’m so glad for that total de-railment that brought me one of my main characters!