All authors do things differently.
That’s a good thing.
And every author has a different style and technique.
That’s an even better thing.
Q. I WANT TO BE AN AUTHOR. HOW DO I START?
A. Just do it.
- Step 1: Read everything you can get your hands on, from fiction to non-fiction, true crime to romance. Sit down and read the back of your cereal box. Never, ever stop reading.
- Step 2: Write something, anything then throw it away and start over. Keep writing. Join a local writing group and find some critique partners. Write some more then edit and rewrite it again. But never stop writing.
- Step 3: Publish your work. Also be aware that enticing someone to be interested in your work is an uphill battle. Be prepared for rejection. Or maybe that’s when it’s time to Self publish. You CAN become an author without an agent? Plenty of writers do it.
Q. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE?
A. On my eleventh birthday I received a pen, as a gift. At that moment I knew, one day, I would write a book. I have now written 20 books: 4 non-fiction, 10 adult fiction and 6 middle grade/youth novels.
Q. WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
A. Don’t whine, don’t complain and just be ‘you’. If you have a dream do it – don’t let anyone stand in your way.
Q. WHAT SCARES YOU AS A WRITER?
A. Losing the ability to concentrate, to express my ideas through my writing. A writer must pay attention to detail and have a good memory, imagination and intuition. My memory is not what it used to me but I want to write until the day die.
Q. WILL YOU REVIEW MY BOOK?
A. Time-wise, I cannot take on another commitment. There are book blogging sites where you can connect then possibly send your book for review. I wish you all the best of luck with your writing.
Q. WILL YOU PROVIDE FEEDBACK ON WHAT I AM WRITING?
A. Sorry, I can’t. I suggest that you research online critique groups as a place to send your work.
Q. WHY DID YOU SELF-PUBLISH?
A. I decided that I would rather write another book, or ten, rather than wasting years writing synopses, sending out manuscripts and riding the roller coaster of unanswered emails and or rejections. Amazon publishing has devised an amazing user friendly program and it’s free. However, self publishing is not for everyone. There are dozens of publishing agents and publishers – problem is, many are not taking submissions.
Q. WHY ARE YOUR NOVELS SO ECLECTIC?
A. I write fiction novels about everyday people with real issues. Yes, it is well-known that by sticking to one genre there is a higher possibility that I would establish a larger fan club more quickly. But that would prevent me from fully expressing myself. I don’t want to write books where others have dictated the genre and the subject. Sometimes it is not about the money. It is about writing for the love of writing and writing about subjects that matter.
Q. WHY DON’T YOU WRITE HORROR OR ZOMBIE STORIES?
A. To tell the truth, I do my best to avoid horror movies and I have read a few horror novels. Following that I was too terrified to sleep…they haunted me for months afterwards.
Q. DO I NEED A WEBSITE?
This answer is simple…YES
- An author without a website is like a race car driver without a car.
- You need a place to show off your stuff.
Q. HOW DO YOU CHARACTER BUILD?
A. My dad used to say that shovelling out the pig pens was all a part of character building. He was right in more ways than one but at the time I felt certain that he just needed an extra hand, or welcomed my company. But aside…begin your character with a name (a pronounceable name), develop a physical appearance, visualize how they walk, talk and dress then bring them to life. Make your reader hate your character so much that they have to read all the way through the book to see that he/she gets their just-rewards. Or make your reader love your character – because once that emotional bond is made there will be more impact should he or she have to die. My characters are real, to me, and I love them. When they cry I cry along with them.
Q. HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO WRITE A BOOK?
A. Every now and then, someone will ask me how long it takes me to write a book. The speed of my writing varies. I could write a full-length, 80,000 word novel in about three months – first draft and a very rudimentary copy. One of my novels has taken me more than 10 years to write because other things keep getting in my way. I am my own person and have no deadlines. The most consuming part about writing is research which often takes four times longer than the actual writing. Every story has to be factual and believable. If your novel is not factual or believable then it is not going to sell or the reader will raise an eyebrow – wondering why you would make such a blunder. Take your time and get it right. More research is better than less.
Q. HOW MANY BOOKS DO YOU READ IN ONE YEAR?
A. I would estimate that it is somewhere between 10 and 20. Most of my time is spent writing. I like to read when I go to bed. It is my way of getting into another author’s frame of mind. There was a time when I read one book a week, sometimes one in a day. Now I write. 😉
Q. HOW DO YOU TACKLE WRITER’S BLOCK?
A. I haven’t really had writer’s block…yet. What I get is writer’s surge. I find that winter is my season to hibernate and I write. I often begin writing at 7am and stopping at 5pm. By spring I am so exhausted that I spend the summer mulling over those first drafts and by the time autumn arrives I am ready to begin writing again – rewriting and shaping the draft into a novel. That is not to say that I don’t write anything over the hot summer days, because I do. I write every day, be it journaling, blogging or researching ideas for my next book. I love writing.
Tip: never stop reading and never stop writing.
You owe it to yourself and you owe it to your readers.