Hi, I know you've been a published author for a while and I wondered whether you had any advice for aspiring authors looking to go the same route you've taken?
Hi! My advice is simple and there is a ton of advice out there. I took the path I did because of my own personal circumstances, but if you're looking to go the indie/self pub route, then I have a few pieces of advice.
One - Hire an editor. You do not want to be putting out your novel before it's properly edited and having done some huge mistakes in my time as a published author, I have to say this goes a long way for the reader. If they're checking out you for the first time, then they're gonna want to know that what they're getting is the polished product and not just what you threw up on Amazon without anyone else have a look over it.
Two - Get a professional cover. I am planning to a video on the 28th about my own follies in that area, but I don't want you to make the same mistakes I made. So make sure you get a proper cover, not something drawn in paint.
Three - Don't limit yourself to just Amazon. While KDP exclusive has its perks, there will be readers who want to check you our on other ebook devices. Also, other paperback if its suitable. Createspace may be Amazon, but they also distribute to a number of other stores.
And finally, Four - Be ready to work hard. It's not easy and it comes with many bumps in the road. You're going to get bad reviews, you're going to get criticism, and you're going to want to delete it and just forget about ever doing it, but DON'T give up! It's easy for my to say, but I have to admit that I still have days like this, in fact whole weeks even! It's a hard job, but so worth it! Good luck!
I've been reading the Dying Thoughts series and love it, when is the next one out?
I start editing Dying Thoughts - Fifth Secret on December 1st and it should be with the editor by the beginning of 2017. It has a cover, has promo material and it's just a matter of going through the long editing process, but I hope to release it in May or June of 2017.
On that note, how long will the series be?
I am writing the eighth and final instalment to the series at the moment. I am very close to the end and this book will be released in about three or four years, so you will have Tara for a few more years :)
I know you get asked this a lot, but how do you manage to juggle being sick and being an author? And do you have any tips for a spoonie who wants to do something like writing?
I do get asked a lot, but it's okay :) I juggle being sick and being a writer simply by prioritising what needs to be done and what can be put off to a day when I'm feeling better. I also find writing an escape and something that my doctor has noticed is that I feel better mentally (which then helps feed into being in a better headspace) when I have and make time to write. Now it's not always possible to struggle through a bad day, but I have a lot of support and aids that help keep me writing as much as I can.
My advice is simply to know your limits. There will be days when you find yourself wondering if you'll ever finish this book, or get the blog post done or the interview and all those things. You need to pace yourself and accept that some days, the only thing you'll do is stay alive. That's a big thing too! Sometimes you gotta take the nap, or the break and that's completely fine. You're still a writer even if you take a day, a week, a month off because of health issues. Good luck!
Will you write another series? I love both the standalone books like Blackout and Lynne & Hope, and I love the Dying Thoughts series, but I know it has to end some time and would love a new series?
I am actually finishing up the last Dying Thoughts book and in doing that found an idea for a brand new series. On top of that, one of the books I'm working on right now has shown to be a duology at least, maybe even a trilogy. I'm actually rather excited to be able to continue in Lock's world and I'm excited to meet Jessie and start writing her story! So yes, there will be another series, it will be paranormal and mystery. The duology is a dystopian and as I've always wanted to write one, it's great finally being able to!
Do you have any recommendations for other booktube or vloggers to follow?
I don't have many, but I do love Jenna Moreci who can be found here: Jenna Moreci She has a bunch of videos and is funny, on point and gives great advice. She posts a new video every Wednesday and is an excellent resource. As for any other booktubers, sadly I haven't got any other names. I'm still very much starting out and gaining my own audience, but if I find any more, I'll let you guys know.
How many words have you written in 2016? I love that you do #JoWriMoGo throughout the year, and I wondered what the final tally for 2016 was?
Ah, see this question gave me an idea for a video where I'll reveal that. Pages, words and chapters. I know I've done over 200K because I started both the current works in progress in the middle of the year and I'm almost done! I think it'll be interesting so keep an eye out for that video!
Will you ever write another romance? Or move out of your current genres?
I can't really answer that with a yes or a no. I have books already written that have romance subplots, but I haven't found an idea for a complete romance. I do love writing crime/mystery and paranormal, but it may be in the future I decide to branch out, I just don't know.
Why do you add captions to your videos? And image descriptions on your Instagram posts?
Quite simply because I want to include everyone. I am not as good about image descriptions as I should be, but the captions I do do every time. There's a two pronged answer here. The first is that I have Auditory Processing Disorder which means I find it hard to process words and sounds. I know that I love videos with captions and it helps me to be sure of what's being said. The second prong is that I want everyone to be able to watch my videos and captions, as well as image descriptions help with that. They allow someone who has APD, or is hard of hearing to be able to watch the videos too. Image descriptions are for people with visual impairments who use a screen reader and images without alt text can't be processed.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
At the age of 5 I was pretty sure I was going to be a doctor and worked hard at school to accomplish that. At 12 or 13 I started spending my break periods at school writing stories with a friend or two. When I was medically retired it made sense to follow that dream rather than do nothing. I have always been someone who is good at telling a story and because of that, writing comes naturally to me.
How do you stay so organised? It feels like you plan every second and manage to write a whole chapter in that time!
I am naturally a very organised person, but I use a number of tricks to keep myself on track writing wise. I use Sticky Notes on the computer to map out what I need to do each day of the month and from there I can plan my down time and writing time. As mentioned above, I also have to pace myself because of my conditions and being organised helps with that. As for writing a whole chapter in a second, I'm not that good, at least not yet!
Thanks for all your questions, I'll answer the next batch next week and I can also announce that I have an author interview with Carmilla Voiez coming up so be sure to check that out!