Indie Book Lounge Author Interview
What was the first book you read that inspired you to become a writer?
I think it was an Enid Blyton book, as I read all of them. My favourite was The folk of the faraway tree. Either that or Fantastic Mr Fox.
Did you try the traditional publishing route before going indie and if so, what was that experience like?
Yes, I sent my children’s book to a publisher about 10 years ago. I sent two chapters and a synopsis. They sent me a rejection letter, stating that due to the Harry Potter phenomenon they were inundated with children’s books. I didn’t try again!! I also write poetry, and read all about how to publish it. Everywhere said that the only way was to keep entering competitions and maybe your poem would win, and perhaps then it would appear in an anthology. I kept reading that only well known poets got published. And to get known you had to win competitions. So I stopped trying and just wrote for myself.
Besides the genre you currently write in, what other genre would you like to try?
I’ve written a children’s book and poetry. I also write adult books. I think I’d like to try one with murder and mayhem in it, or fantasy.
What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
A good plot; interesting characters; an experience or event that the reader can relate to; humour; something different and original, or an original turn on something old; freshness; good writing; the element of surprise; drama; a mystery of some kind; and a good ending!
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
I was never too disciplined – probably why I didn’t contact a lot of publishers! My big flaw is laziness! And it’s hard if you work full-time to find time to write and also do all the other things you want to do in your precious free time! Now I’m trying to find more time for writing and to marketing, which is even harder. Before I would write when the mood took me or I would have ideas in my head, but lack the time to put them on paper. So there could be big gaps in between. I had stopped writing stories, and had switched to poetry, so I have a lot of half-finished things. I’m now trying to finish them!
Dogs or cats?
Do you think people DO judge books by their cover?
Yes and no. I always skim-read the back. A bad cover would not put me off, but a terrific one would grab my attention.
What's the best and worst things about being an author?
Finding time to write! Also, writer’s block can be bad! Rejection letters are bad. I also thought I would just never get anything published until I discovered self-publishing in March. But, the best thing is when someone says that they have enjoyed what you have written. When I self-published my poetry book, only one friend had read some of them, so I wasn’t too confident about it, and I was overwhelmed when I got some positive feedback. The same with the cat book – it’s an amazing feeling when someone tells you that your book entertained them. Marketing your book is hard. I’m learning that... slowly. It’s sort of embarrassing putting your book out, so if you lack confidence you just have to ignore the embarrassment and just go for it. It’s great to see your book out there!
What are you working on right now?
A follow-up to Kiwi in Cat City.
Besides writing, what other hobbies or interests do you have?
Socialising, films, music, art, reading, travelling, nature, fluffy animals, tarot, sleeping.
This interview first appeared on the Indie Book Lounge website