What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Take your time. Prepare first by learning all you can about writing. Next, practice writing - you will write a lot of badly written pieces before you start writing gems; it’s all part of the process. Finally, publish some of the gems to get used to other people reading your writing, to get feedback on your writing, and to get over the initial shyness involved with sharing your writing.
Are there any New Authors you are interested in for us to watch out for? and Why should we watch out for them?
John Prescott. He wrote two fabulous books - Pray and Hell - which are about the end of the world. They are very adventurous stories with a paranormal twist. I am awaiting the third book in the series, which will be coming out in December 2012. He is a very talented writer with the gift of crafting a powerful story.
Did you read a lot at school and write lots of stories or is being a writer something newer in your life?
I’ve always liked to read and write. My parents read me children books every night when I was little, and I began writing when I was three years old. I read most of the Nancy Drew series as a child and then quite a few V.C. Andrews books, which I inherited from my mother from when she was a child. Then I got into horror books and Christopher Pike was my favorite author, and my favorite book by him was The Season of Passage. I wrote short stories in grade school and junior high. I also wrote poetry in junior high. I started journal writing when I was nine years old. I also went to college for writing for over two years and wrote a lot then.
Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
Absolutely, but probably not for a very long time. Print books will be around for as long as they remain physically intact, but ebooks will become the norm. Technology is advancing and will leave paper books behind. Which is good in a way, because it is better for the environment.
What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it? (ebook, hardback or paperback)
I am currently reading Anywhere but Here by Sherri Moorer. I have it on my Kindle ereader. It is about a girl in her twenties who goes through increasingly bad life experiences and deals with people who are not honest to her and try to bring her down. She has dreams that reflect aspects of her life in a fantasy kind of way, which are told as part of the story. The book leaves me guessing about what will happen next. It is an interesting and captivating book with a great storyline. I can relate to the main character, who is trying to move up in the world of business, which is what I was doing before I became a professional writer.
Which format of book do you prefer, ebook, hardback, or paperback?
I definitely prefer ebooks on my Kindle. I find it very cumbersome to hold a print book. An ereader is so much more efficient and practical. I read a lot more with my Kindle than I did with print books. I bought the Kindle Touch recently, because I wanted a good ereader, but I didn’t want special Web browsing features. I wanted it to be like I was reading a paperback - so black and white on the pages. I’m very happy with it. Plus, I love Amazon.
Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
With my latest book, Freelance Writing Guide: What to Expect in Your First Year as a Freelance Writer, I had the title planned and a detailed outline completed before I started writing the book. It was tremendously helpful. It kept the content of my book organized. And because I had all of my main ideas and some of the details planned out, it was easier to write the book. I didn’t have to think about what I was going to write each time I sat down to write, because all of the information was there in front of me. I highly recommend outlining a book before beginning to write.
How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books? Who designed the Cover of your books?
I came up with the title of Freelance Writing Guide: What to Expect in Your First Year as a Freelance Writer by brainstorming. I knew what my topic would be - freelance writing - but I needed to decide on a slant that made it unique compared to other books of the same topic. So I literally sat down with a pen and paper and let my mind flow around the topic of freelance writing until I came up with a bunch of ideas for a title. Then I reviewed the title ideas, narrowed them down, and edited a title until it accurately reflected what I wanted my book to be about. The cover I designed myself. I purchased the background design from Dreamstime, saved it to my computer, uploaded the image to a PowerPoint slide, added the title and my name, and formatted it exactly how I wanted it. I’m happy with how it came out and it only cost me $10.
Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
Never. I would not have the audacity to do so, and I find it very inappropriate to do. I don’t mind negative reviews, because I know that not every reader is going to like my books. Reading preference is subjective and sometimes readers pick up a book that isn’t to their liking. And that’s okay. People need to see the negative reviews as well as the positive ones, because it’s best to have many viewpoints on the book and a wide range of opinions to give readers a well-rounded perspective on what the book is about to help them decide which books they want to read.
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
Yes! I love getting reviews of my books. I like to hear what my readers think about my books and I like to learn more about my readers’ opinions. My readers are very dear to me, and I appreciate every time a person reads one of my books.
Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?
I self-publish all of my books. The books I’ve published so far have been shorter works, so a traditional publisher probably wouldn’t pick them up anyway. I did try once to get a nonfiction idea approved by an agent, by sending out book proposals to twenty different agents, but no one liked the idea. I never ended up publishing that book anyway. I’m very much a do-it-myself person, because I’m independent and like to learn new things. If I can do it myself, I don’t find it necessary to hire someone else to do it. I feel better when I self-publish, because I get to do all parts of the publishing process. I like having that involvement with my books, which are dear to me, like my readers.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
My latest book is Freelance Writing Guide: What to Expect in Your First Year as a Freelance Writer. My summary: Freelance Writing Guide is a book about all the things a writer needs to know to become a freelance writer. Wow, that’s exactly 20 words!
Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I wanted to be many different people throughout my lifetime: actress, lawyer, model, psychologist, fashion designer, business person, and veterinary technician. I wanted to be a writer seven years ago, and I have achieved my dream and stayed with the career for the longest of any career I’ve had in the past. This is the career and life for me!