Firstly, a Happy New Year to you all. I hope the writing gods are kind to you in 2020 and inspire you to write many new stories.
It is customary to make goals or resolutions with the arrival of a new year, some will be accomplished others not, but no matter what, we can help ourselves by planning. There are several way to do this, such as:
Making a goal board
Using a planner
Writing out each goal on your calendar so you have a deadline
Work with a group of friends to encourage each other to stay on track
Or even a mixture of some or all of the above!
As you can see from the image, I have four different ‘planning’ tools – I always use the same fridge calendar, where dates are entered for all my ‘writing’ related items such as conferences, meetings and events etc. This year I am attending a new event, When Words Collide and traveling to new parts of Alberta and British Columbia on writing road trips.
The weekly notepad with the lovely floral background now has my facebook/twitter group schedule so we all post the same subject each day enabling us to share and comment. The smaller notebook has freelance projects listed in it with details, contact information and deadlines. I also have a new ‘word of the day’ desk calendar, which I will use to inspire my Muse.
What do you use to keep yourself on track with your writing life?
My husband, he knows what a wild imagination I have and he suggested I put it to good use.
How did you come up with the title?
Before I’d even written the first word of the first book I knew that I wanted to write a fantasy story about a magical place that was hidden from humans. It was therefore very easy to come up with the title for book 1 ‘Hidden Magic’.
The second book in the Liberty Realm Series focuses on the collection and preparation of an army. This army is needed to fight against the ever growing evil of the Nomeds. Everyone knows that the best way to defeat evil is with the power of good, and so book 2 is titled ‘An Army of Good’.
Is this your first book? How many books have you written (published or unpublished)?
I have written two books so far and I’m currently writing the third and final book in the Liberty Realm Series.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Definitely! Unfortunately there is too much selfishness and cruelty in the real world. I hope that my fantasy stories are thought provoking and encourage readers to love and respect the beautiful world that we live in.
How much of the book is realistic?
It’s classed as magical realism so it’s a bit of a mix. There’s lots of fantasy, some of which is set in realistic surroundings, a beach, woodland, house, school and so on. Some of it is high fantasy and other parts are more every day.
Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I have taken many character ideas from family and friends and then added a splash of fantasy to them. The character Mad Mrs Potty Potts is loosely based on a very good friend of mine. Mad Mrs Potty Potts is a fun-loving school teacher who is as mad as a box of frogs. In book two, Mrs Potts, goes to school wearing odd colored shoes, as did my friend in real life!
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, I don’t think I could even if I wanted to. It just comes out how it comes out. I don’t get much control over it. It’s almost as if my books write themselves.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I hope that you enjoy reading the stories as much as I enjoyed writing them.
What is your favorite part/chapter of your book/project?
There are a few. If I had to pick one it would currently be book 2’s chapter 6: Leah. This is the first time that the reader is introduced to a member of the Woodland Kith, Intriguing little characters to say the least.
What is your favorite theme/genre to write?
Fantasy and I don’t think it will ever change.
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?
I’m a child at heart and anything too grown up tends to bore me so I’m unlikely to write anything along the lines of a political thriller or historical fiction.
What book are you reading now?
I’m currently reading Thomas Taylor’s ‘Haunters’. Taylor puts a unique spin on the idea of what ghosts really are and I’m looking forward to finding out how the story concludes.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
No new ones at the moment. Rather embarrassingly I haven’t read the Harry Potter books. I know they aren’t new, but they’re what I’m interested in reading next.
Do you see writing as a career?
It would be nice to write as a career, but I’m equally happy writing as a hobby.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
I really don’t know and not knowing is all part of the adventure.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Yes, punctuation! I rely on the magical powers of copy-editors and proof-readers to help me out with these tricky little blighters.
Have you ever hated something you wrote?
No, not really. I sometimes wish I were more experienced, but I’ve never hated my writing.
What book do you wish you had written?
I’m happy with writing my own, there’s nothing that can compare to it… although J.K. Rowling’s bank balance would be nice!
What is your best marketing tip?
Get your work seen! My own personal experience is that my books sell much better ‘in the flesh’. You don’t get to experience the true magic of a book unless you can hold it in your hands and physically turn the pages.
What genre is your next project? What is it about?
My next project is currently in the hands of some very well known people within the book industry. It’s another children’s fantasy story idea. One that I am very excited about. But for now I’m unable to disclose any further information.
Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
Book 2 in the Liberty Realm Series, ‘An Army of Good’, is due for release May 28th 2015. The second installment in the series sees Grace and Christian whisked through Bluebell Wood upon the noble Zavier. They are taken to the relative safety of Serenity Sunrise Beach where they play, have fun and get used to their new environment and friends. This joy doesn’t last however and it isn’t long before they find themselves at the mercy of the Nomeds and on a roller coaster ride of emotions. An Army of Good has already received some very positive comments. And I feel it is an ideal summer holiday read for children, (including adult children), age 10+.
How do we find your books, blog and bio?
You can find out about me and my books at any of the following:
We all struggle to promote our work and turn to the numerous social media sites as avenues of interaction. We can spend hours posting book links, reviews, book cover art, links to our blog etc. When it comes to determining the success of all this activity, we can feel despondent. A tweet is lost in a multitude of other tweets within seconds, a face book page post may last slightly longer but its place is taken once the feed renews. Now you may feel such random and spasmodic promotion does little to help you become known but take heart in the fact that these efforts are not in vain. Re-tweets and shares are confirmation that someone has seen your post and it spreads to other media sites in the process.
There are analytic pages for most media sites, where you are able to track the success of a particular promotion. You can focus on specific groups or locations as well, giving your promotion an advantage and ensuring the ‘right’ people view the information you supply. I utilize all the usual social media sites but have to confess I am not an everyday user so ‘miss’ whole days or even weeks of potential promotional opportunities.
That is why I was so thrilled to find a site called Co-Promote last year. At the time most of the users were involved in the music business. Once I read how the site worked I was intrigued but thought there was no room for authors. I wrote an email asking if they would be expanding their reach to other enterprises. The reply was quick and favorable. Anyone was welcome to join no matter what their trade, business or creative genre. I was informed new options would be added for books, magazines and blogs. Encouraged by this willingness to accommodate, I joined up and have found this site to be excellent. You can join for free or register for a sliding scale of options. More here: https://copromote.com/about.php The added bonus is that whenever there is a share you are sent an email advising you of who has shared. Each email also shows you new shares, new engagements and the reach of your promotion has achieved. Each promotion can be run for a few days or a few weeks, whichever is preferable to your requirements. My current promotion began on 12th October – so far it has reached 27.5K people! I could not have done that with any other site in such a short time.
So summer is dawning and our thoughts turn to relaxation with a great book, or if you are like me books! I thought this special offer would appeal to many of you. You will find a wide range of books in various genres available at http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/catalog/books
Buy a book (any book, any order) on line in June and July from the Dream Write Publishing catalog >> Read them. Enjoy them at home, at the beach, at the cabin, on the bus… or wherever you might be this summer. >> Review them. Write up a short “how you feel” about the book and send it back via the contact us form on the web site. We will post them on the book’s page so others can read your review (we will only put your first name). Buy 2 books – one in June and one in July – and get the August book 50% off >> Request your 3rd book from Dream Write Publishing via email and we will send it out to you at a discount! To be fair to the third author, please, send us a review for that book, too.
Why not join in the fun?
A good, sympathetic review is always a wonderful surprise. Joyce Carol Oates
As writers go, I have a skin of average thickness. I am pleased by a good review, disappointed by a bad. None of it penetrates far enough to influence the thing I write next. Rachel Cusk