I think my publishing journey is still going on, but I can let you know how it’s gone so far, at least. I think it’s definitely an interesting journey so far.
I’ve always been interested in writing, but I didn’t get extremely serious about it until a little over 6 years ago. The thing that got me more into the idea and taking it more seriously was Stephen King’s book, On Writing. So… just following his advice in the book, I started writing 2,000 words a day. I tried to do this every day, at least as best I could, and after 2 years I had a lot of words written, haha.
I initially thought I’d edit it and then seek out a literary agent and go with the traditional publishing route, but editing is a lot different from writing, and it took something like another year (while also still writing 2,000 words a day almost every day) before I really got the hang of writing. I also tried to get used to working on a deadline with a small side project website thing.
From there, the idea of self-publishing really seemed attractive to me, but to be honest I didn’t know where to start. I forget how, but I ended up running across the Smashwords website and reading through Mark Coker’s style guide, figuring out the formatting aspects of it, doing it wrong, figuring it out better, doing it wrong again… until finally I actually figured it out and I had something for sale.
It took me a few months after that to get more serious about self-publishing, though. There’s a few things that helped a lot, though. Piers Anthony has always offered advice for free on his website about small press publishing and self-publishing, and I liked his ideas and opinions there. Some of it’s kind of obsolete now, but when I first read it way back when, it was good stuff. And then Stephen King’s advice in On Writing that (paraphrased) basically says if you ever make money from selling your writing, and then you use that money to pay an electric bill, he considers you a successful writer no matter what.
From then on I really focused on figuring out everything. I still do it all mostly on my own in regards to creating my e-books. I’ve learned the formatting and don’t have issues with it now, I’ve learned graphic design. Faster and more productive ways to edit and tricks to catch mistakes. Writing descriptions for my books was probably one of the hardest things to learn, but I’ve got a decent handle on it now. Paperback formatting, audiobooks, and a ton more, too.
I coordinate and share information with a lot of other self-published/indie authors, too, which I think is one of the best things anyone looking to get into self-publishing/being an indie author can do.
What do you love about being an author?
This is going to sound kind of weird, maybe, but I love the control of everything. I mentioned above that I’ve learned how to do most everything in regards to creating my own books, and it’s a really satisfying feeling. I get to browse through images that I buy in order to make covers, which is a lot of fun. After I finish a paperback, I buy one and put it on my bookshelf, haha. Audiobooks are a lot of fun, too, and listening to a professional narrator bring my characters and my story to life.
It’s a lot of hard work, but seeing what I can do when I put my mind to it is really rewarding and enjoyable to me.
If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?
So… this is a really weird one, but I’d like to have dinner with Amarante from Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Legacy books (the Imriel Trilogy), because she seems really nice and fun. Also, I want to ask her about Mavros, because I’m pretty sure there’s something going on there behind the scenes. (I’m still holding out hope that Jacqueline Carey will publish a story about the two of them. Even if it’s short, I’m fine with it).
I’m not sure what we’d eat. Hm… Probably some delicacy from Terre d’Ange? Something light, like fresh fruit would be nice.
This is always so difficult. I’ve gotten this question about different books before and… sometimes I have no idea. I hadn’t thought about it before, haha.
Hm… for The Monster Within, I think…
I’d like Jessica Alba for Bastion’s sister, Faith. I think she’d do a good job of it.
For Solace… I have no idea. Maybe Blake Lively?
I have no idea why, but I really like Channing Tatum, so I’ll go with him for Bastion.
I’m so bad at this.
Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?
A little of both! I think there’s definitely a certain appeal to vampires being dangerous, but I also like a bit of sophistication to them, you know? I really like the new Dracula show and how he’s portrayed in that one. The same with The Vampire Diaries for some of the characters. I love Klaus and think he’s a lot of fun, but maybe less crazy than that?
So kind of in between, I guess. Sexy, but maybe a little bit dangerous sometimes…
If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?
I don’t know if anyone remembers this one. It’s not that old, but it kind of died down in popularity. Anyways! I loved the show Terra Nova, and I think that’d be fun. Like, having a time machine that could go back to prehistoric times and set up a civilization there? Except I’d prefer to have some advanced technology and solar panels and all of that.
I really like the idea of having a small society in the middle of nowhere, though. It seems like it could be fun. I’d want to be able to come back to the present and visit, though. I wouldn’t want to be stuck in time or anything.
What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?
One thing that’s always bothered me is that when everyone is younger, a lot of times people tell you that you can be whatever you want when you grow up, you know? I remember I wanted to be an archaeologist when I was seven or eight, and me and my cousin would look at these dinosaur books. It was exciting! Kind of a weird career choice for a young kid, but she and I thought it was the best thing ever. And my mom and her mom would buy us dinosaur books and they were supportive of it in that way that I think most parents are, but…
Once you graduate high school, things change a lot, too. Everyone says you need to be an adult now, and if I told people I wanted to be an archaeologist then, they’d just kind of look at me funny, you know? People expect you to get a “regular” job and kind of give up on your dreams, but I think that’s dumb.
So my advice that I wish someone had given me sooner, and stuck with it, is that you really can do whatever you want and be whatever you want, as long as you’re willing to put in the work. If you just like something as a hobby, that’s fine. I mean, if someone just likes dinosaurs and they want to know a lot about them, that’s different from being an archaeologist, right? But if that person really wants to be an archaeologist and it’s their passion in life, then I think they can and should do it.
People can be very negative sometimes if they think someone else’s dream is silly or “wrong” in some way, just because it’s different, and I think people should be given good advice in how to ignore other people’s negativity, both at a young age and basically forever into the future.
What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?
I read the weirdest selections of books, haha. The absolute last book I read and finished was Knight & Play by Kitty French, which I enjoyed. I liked the ending and the beginning a lot. The middle was good, too, but I liked the ending and beginning a bit more. I definitely want to get the second eventually.
While I was reading that, I actually also read The Great Gatsby and I enjoyed it, too. I know that it’s told from Nick’s perspective, which is fine, but I kind of wish there were more scenes with Daisy and Jordan, though.
I’m also currently reading Snow White Sorrow by Cameron Jace, and I enjoy it. I really like fairytales and different retellings of them, so this one is fun. It took a little bit to get into it in the beginning, but now I really like it. It’s a little goofy at times, but it’s a fun story.
Where can fans find you online?
Facebook and my website are the two easiest places!
I’m also on Goodreads
My books can be found most everywhere, too. Amazon, B&N, iTunes, Kobo, Smashwords, All Romance eBooks, and Audible are the main ones, but they’re on a lot of smaller, international retailer sites, too.