Author Interview: Robin Storey

Question #1: What made you want to become an author?
I’ve written stories, ever since I learnt to write, but like many authors I came to novel writing by a circuitous route. I was a freelance writer for many years, writing articles for newspapers and magazines, having no ambitions to be an author. But one day, out of the blue, I had an idea for a novel and began to write it, which ultimately became my romantic comedy novel Perfect Sex.

‘Never again,’ I groaned after finishing it. But it was too late, I’d already become addicted. There is nothing to equal the feeling of satisfaction and achievement of finishing a novel and sending it out into the world – something that I have created purely out of my imagination which then takes on a life of its own. And when people read it and tell me they enjoyed it – that’s the ultimate high.

I enjoy everything about it – the process of coming up with an idea, developing the story, fleshing out the characters, then getting stuck into the writing. I often find the first draft difficult and enjoy much more the process of re-writing, moulding and polishing. I am about to invest in Dragon Naturally Speaking and am going to try dictating my next book in the hope it will make the process easier and quicker.

Question #2: What genre of books do you write?
I have written 6 books so far in a variety of genres. The reason for this is that it has taken me a while to find my author voice. The first few books I wrote had a large comedy element, but when a reviewer brought to my attention that my books also have a dark, macabre undercurrent, I realised, in one of those light bulb moments, that what I really enjoy writing is noir – and it’s what I love reading as well.

So novel number 5 is a noir suspense/romance called An Affair With Danger and my work in progress, A Time For Penance, to be published in May 2017, is crime-noir. This is the genre I intend to keep writing in, though within these novels there will still be the occasional spark of black humour, because I can’t help myself.

Question #3: How long have you been writing books?
I started writing Perfect Sex in 2002, so 15 years at the time of writing this. I can’t believe it’s been that long – I have learnt so much since that time, and my writing has improved out of sight, and will continue to improve with each book.

After writing Perfect Sex I shipped it around but got no takers for publication (this was before e-books). So it became my trunk manuscript and I went on to write more novels. After about 9 years, I hauled it out and did some drastic surgery on it. It ended up being a much better book as my writing had improved a lot over the years and the weaknesses were very clear. After I re-wrote it, it then became my second published book, after How Not To Commit Murder.

Question #4: Are you self-published or traditionally published? And tell us why you chose either.
I am an indie author (I prefer that term to self-published). After I’d finished my comedy crime novel How Not To Commit Murder in 2012, I sent it to a number of traditional publishers, but was unable to get a publishing contract, so then had to decide whether to continue down that path or self-publish. I decided I had nothing to lose by self-publishing, (and being in my fifties, I didn’t want to wait years to begin my author career), so I published it on Amazon in 2013, and it was the best thing I ever did. The reviews I got from readers saying how much they enjoyed the book vindicated my decision, so I have self-published every book since then.

Being an indie author is hard work, as the marketing alone is a full time job and you have to fit it in with your writing, but I love that I am in control of my work and my success is purely up to me.

Question #5: What’s the best tip you can give to a new author?
Read, write, study. I think reading well-written books in all sorts of genres has been the single thing that has contributed most to improving my writing. Learning is an ongoing process, and I am also a voracious reader of books on various aspects of the writing craft. There is always something to be learned from every book. Attending workshops, either online or face to face, is also a great way to improve your skills and make connections with other authors.

But then you actually have to write as well.

Question #6: What’s your writing routine like?
Since I retired from my job about 18 months ago, I have had the luxury of being a full time writer, and I love it. But you have to treat it like a job, otherwise you get nothing done. I make sure I am at my desk by 9am at the latest, start writing and knock off between 3.30 and 4pm. I try to make sure I get up from my desk every hour and walk around. My writing is number one priority and I fit everything else around it – I try to make appointments in the afternoon where at all possible so that I can still get something done in the morning before my routine is interrupted.

Then at night after dinner, I do a couple more hours, which is usually admin, social media and other marketing. I write on Saturdays as well, then Sundays is my day off – my digital detox day. No computers, no writing. My partner and I get out into nature, either in the bush or on the beach, and recharge our batteries. I would go stir crazy if I didn’t do this.

Question #7: What do you hope readers take away after reading one of your books?
I hope they take away a sense of enjoyment from having read a book that entertained them, and perhaps made them think. Ideally I’d like to think I’ve evoked some sort of emotion in the reader, as that’s the aim of writing it in the first place.

Bonus Question: Why should a reader want to read your book?
It’s a short read at 46 000 words, so you can read it in a day, but it packs a powerful emotional punch, with a suspenseful story and engaging and believable characters. It’s had some excellent reviews, with the reviewers endorsing my comments – it has an average of 4.6 stars.

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Author Interview: William Rubin

Question #1: What made you want to become an author?
I love telling stories and entertaining people.

Question #2: What genre of books do you write?
Medical thrillers, medical fiction, mysteries.

Question #3: How long have you been writing books?
Three years

Question #4: Are you self-published or traditionally published? And tell us why you chose either.
Self published. I enjoy having complete control over the process and getting my works to market quickly.

Question #5: What’s the best tip you can give to a new author?
Keep writing!

Question #6: What’s your writing routine like?
I write each morning before going to work and a lot on weekends.

Question #7: What do you hope readers take away after reading one of your books?
I hope they felt they were on a rollercoaster ride of emotions and enjoyed the book’s ending.

Bonus Question: Why should a reader want to read your book?
Because it is an entertaining, suspenseful, keeps you guessing medical thriller!

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Author Interview: Glenda Shaw

Question #1: What made you want to become an author?
I always loved reading, writing, and learning, and over the years I have been encouraged to write by many friends. A couple of months before I retired, this past June, I wrote a very short booklet to answer some of the questions about the industry that I had spent the last decade in. I have since unpublished that little booklet as I have another plan for it. My second book came from notes I made as I wrote letters to my granddaughter to help give her deal with some of the life challenges she was facing.

Question #2: What genre of books do you write?
So far I have the one nonfiction book published, but I am working on a children’s book that I hope to have ready for a fall launch. I have also started working on my memoir. I have some interesting and entertaining things to share, especially the miracles that I feel should be shared.

Question #3: How long have you been writing books?
Since grammar school, but my family laughed because I was a terrible speller! Who knew that spell check, and Grammarly and other programs would come along and change our history!

Question #4: Are you self-published or traditionally published? And tell us why you chose either.
Self-published and I am so glad that I took the plunge.

Question #5: What’s the best tip you can give to a new author?
Learn about marketing and launching before you publish! Joann Penn has some great information to help anyone starting out.

Question #6: What’s your writing routine like?
I try to write 1000 words or more in the mornings, then I try to promote for an hour or two. My office is an enclosed porch with plenty of natural light and beautiful views.

Question #7: What do you hope readers take away after reading one of your books?
I would like to think that the readers of my books would feel empowered to overcome something, be it lack of knowledge or the ability to realize that if life gives you lemons, you can cry or you can get on board and build a lemon aid stand!

Bonus Question: Why should a reader want to read your book?
To gain knowledge, encouragement, to grow in skills and become a more confident person. My book is not fluff, it is written to help therefore it is not entertaining.

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Author Interview: Frances A. Garcia

Question #1: What made you want to become an author?
I have always admired the skill of storytelling, even by listening to my grandfather talk about his life. His humor and skill held me spellbound. I want to influence my readers in that way. I want to teach my readers to follow their journey in life with goodness and a fulfilling life.

Question #2: What genre of books do you write?
My initiation into self-publishing is nonfiction, but I am in the process of collecting my short stories (fiction of course) into an e-book anthology.

Question #3: How long have you been writing books?
I focus on the life of those who are catholic, and those who are interested in the issues that people who are catholic face. However, now that I am retired from my full time job, I will concentrate my efforts to self-publishing many fiction and nonfiction books. For now I have the nonfiction, Self-Discipline for the Young Catholic, which centers on sexual issues for young people. I am also in the process of writing a mainstream novel, which is forthcoming.

Question #4: Are you self-published or traditionally published? And tell us why you chose either.
I self-published my book because I am 68 years old and do not have the luxury of time to publish the traditional way. I would like to bring as many stories and issues I can to my readers, and I feel that I would not accomplish my goals if I published traditionally.

Question #5: What’s the best tip you can give to a new author?
Market your book first, before you publish! This I have learned from delving into the many accessible videos and opportunities that Author Marketing Club offers. It is not easier to self-publish, just as it is not easier to publish traditionally. However, it will smooth the way for any authors who wants to publish their work.

Question #6: What’s your writing routine like?
A writer needs to practice and work every day. The amount of time devoted to this skill is not as important as doing it consistently. I do not have a set schedule, and when I do find time to sit at my desk, I discover sometimes I run into a block. This is annoying and disrupting, so I recommend to those planning on going into this profession to plan your minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years. There must be a blueprint for your writing career. Currently I am working on a new plan for myself to establish the consistency in writing at least 1,500 words per day.

Question #7: What do you hope readers take away after reading one of your books?
I hope that my readers will take with them some pleasure and knowledge about the topics I write. Humor is very important, but so is learning.

Bonus Question: Why should a reader want to read your book?
Here in the U.S. life is good. We watch the news on TV and movies at the cinema, but do we read? There has been loss in setting aside time to read. My book is short and sweet! It covers the issue of sexuality in the Catholic Church in about 20 pages. It is a guide for young people and especially for parents, but it can fit any family of diverse faith and culture. I hope my readers will enjoy reading the e-book as much as I enjoyed writing it.

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R.F. Kristi Author Interview

rQuestion #1: What made you want to become an author?
The intelligence and allure of cats has always enchanted me. Writing the Inca Cat Series arose out of the blue. I had never dreamed of writing stories for children. I never read romantic novels, science fiction nor fantasy stories. Detective stories on the other hand have me hooked. I am rather nostalgic and like a more ordered world. From watching and interacting with both my cats, Inca and Cara, the Inca Cat Series was born. Loving a good mystery, when I started writing about the cat adventures, the ideas started flowing.

Question #2: What genre of books do you write?
I write children’s books. The idea for the Inca Cat Series came to me, rather from living and observation – and the details in a strange way, from reading rather than from living or observation. “The Cats Who Crossed Over From Paris” is the first in this series and the “Christmas Cats” followed. The third “Cats in Provence” is currently bubbling. I don’t think we choose our genre, I think that a genre chooses us or should I say, Inca and Cara made the choice inevitable.

Question #3: How long have you been writing books?
My specialty in writing, due to my work with International Organizations concentrated on reports and research studies of a technical nature. A world much removed from the milieu of children’s books. I started writing the Inca Cats Stories six months ago, as a fun way to pass the time. It has now become a passion, something that I enjoy very much.

Question #4: Are you self-published or traditionally published? And tell us why you chose either.
Once I finished two books in the Inca Cat Series in my spare time, and having shared them with family and friends who had kids who seemed to enjoy them, even the adults, I started thinking seriously about publishing. From researching the book publishing industry intensively, I found out that it was almost impossible for an unknown author to be accepted by a traditional book publisher, hence I decided to try self-publishing.

Question #5: What’s the best tip you can give to a new author?
In a nutshell, here is my advice to new authors about to embark on the journey of self-publishing:
Decide on your self-publishing agent even before you decide to start writing or while you are writing and definitely prior to hiring an illustrator;

Contact the chosen self-publishing sources and ask them to provide you with the exact specifications for the book. This information may be available on their respective sites. But there is a ream of information available and sometimes for an unfamiliar reader so much technical jargon would be more of a hindrance than help. Hence it is best to contact the self-publishing source either by telephone or email and ask specific questions about their requirements;

Above all, give some thought to your marketing strategy and work with a specialist while writing the book.
Think the entire writing project through: Technical requirements for the script and illustrations, if you are planning on including illustrations; marketing strategy and distribution strategy.

Question #6: What’s your writing routine like?
I like to write mostly during the early morning when all is quiet. However, I have found that once I get into the story and an idea germinates, it is difficult to stop the writing process. So, I would say, in my case, it is difficult to stick to a strict routine.

Question #7: What do you hope readers take away after reading one of your books?
As an animal lover, if I have convinced one more child or adult to understand and love animals, and enjoy their company – that would be sufficient for me.

Bonus Question: Why should a reader want to read your book?
If you wish to have a fun read and discover the intelligence of animals, more about cats, and some French culture, this is the book to introduce to young children and enjoy yourself.

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