IAM15 Guest Post…How I Became an Indie Author

IAM 2015 - TopperToday’s guest is Hannah Harvey, author of several contemporary YA fiction novels. After a chance meeting via Twitter, Hannah has previously taken part in our regular Sunday Write-Up creative challenge, and was invited to join this month’s event from that 🙂

So, that’s enough from us, let’s hand over to Hannah for her guest post on how she became an indie author…

How I became an indie author

I’ve always loved writing. I was home educated my entire school life by my mum, and growing up, I’d always loved English the best. I’d love it when my mum would set me the task of writing a short story. This led pretty quickly into me writing not just for school, but for pleasure as well.

Hannah Harvey - Author I started to fill notebooks with stories, and even started a few novels. My main problem, was that I couldn’t finish a novel. I found it too hard to stick to one idea, because I had just so many running around in my head. This is where National Novel Writing Month came in. I started taking part and before long I was finishing full novels. My love of writing grew.

At the same time, I’d started college and I had the plan of becoming a nurse, however I was diagnosed with a condition called Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. Basically meaning that I I was collapsing all the time. I couldn’t attend college anymore, and I still have the condition now over six years later. So I couldn’t go to college anymore, I could hardly stand up in those first months, before I got onto the right medications and got a small amount of control.

So plans had to be reworked. I was at home a lot of the time, and I had my laptop so naturally I started writing. I poured myself into writing, and I had so many finished first drafts, that I just decided it was time I did something with them.

It was round this time that I discovered Kindle Direct Publishing. This seemed like an amazing chance for me, because breaking into the publishing world is so tough, so I thought if I could do it myself then that would be amazing.

It’s hard work. I’m in charge of writing, editing, promotion, the whole lot. It’s also a lot of fun, and I love having the freedom to set my own deadlines and write exactly what I want. I’m learning so much about writing, editing, cover design and promotion, and it’s been incredible.

Currently I’ve published four novels and one novella, and I hope to have another book out in the not too distant future.

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Between Now and Goodbye final - CopyThree friends. One eventful summer.

Libby finally has the settled life she’s always wanted, and never before had. She has a happy family, two best friends Julie and Charles, and loves her home.
This summer will be the best of her life. A summer spent learning in a culinary camp in New York, but when something happens at home and she’s forced to return, how will her summer turn out?

Charles had big dreams for his future, college, medical school, and spending as much time as possible with his girlfriend Julie. This summer will change all of that. His mom’s sick, his dad’s gone and he’s left trying to hold his family together. On top of that, Julie’s pulling away from him. Will he be able to fix things before they fall apart?

Julie is bored. She’s bored of her private school. Bored of always doing the same thing. Bored of having plans cancelled by her boyfriend who’s always busy. She’s bored and she wants a change. When she attempts to liven things up with some of her school friends, she ends up making a mistake. How will that mistake end up shaping her summer?

Follow Libby, Charles and Julie as they fight their way through an emotional summer, as they learn that sometimes theirs no escaping goodbyes, but that they aren’t always bad things.

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

Hannah Harvey is a 23 year old self published author, blogger and avid reader from the UK. When she’s not writing or editing novels, she’s working on three different blogs, and reading a tonne of books.

Amazon     Website
Goodreads     Read First Chapter Free
Twitter @booktowerblog

IAM15 Guest Post…How I Became an Indie Author

IAM 2015 - Topper Ever wonder how people end up as an indie author? Adam McVeigh joins us on the blog today to tell us his story…

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   I’ll keep this brief…or at least as brief as it needs to be. I had no grand childhood plan to become an indie author; nor a grand teenage, or young adult plan for it. I think, if I remember correctly, I actually wanted to be a police officer. Why that didn’t happen? I do not know – something to do with the requirement for a high level of fitness probably. Anyway…one event led to another and my main interest arrived at being a community campaigner for social issues in the town where I live in South Lincolnshire, England.

I quickly learned that being part of an active community meant that social media was an essential tool, and being able to use it efficiently even more so. I started many campaigns and did my best to rally fellow residents by establishing and posting regularly to a blog. Over a period of four years, I think I must have typed enough words to fill several novels, and I enjoyed doing it.

I eventually hooked up with a friend and together we founded a community group. It wasn’t long before we found ourselves right in the middle of what was to be a two year, fairly high profile, campaign against a development company. When things were going well (a rarity) he suggested that given my love for writing and documenting, it would be good for me to write a book about our experiences fighting…well, I guess, ‘The Man.’ That was it for me; instantly I had visions of the completed product. But, as every indie author knows, the vision is one thing – achieving it is another.

I got straight down to typing out the beginnings of the manuscript without a clue as to what I was doing or what lay ahead. As you would imagine, I came unstuck very quickly and put the project to one side. The idea, nestled snugly at the back of mind, never really left me, and I would be constantly reminded of my friend’s belief in me during interviews with the local press. He would always answer the first question put to us by firing back to the interviewer the proposition that they should hire me as a freelance writer. Was I really good enough to be a freelance writer for the local press? Most certainly not, but his cheering was always appreciated though.

Sadly, he didn’t get to see the end of our campaign as he died three months before it was concluded. It was with his death that I decided to make completing the book a priority, and with little money and even less time to spare, I dived into the world of the indie author. I had a lot to learn. In fact, I still have a lot to learn. But, although I wrote much of the book with a heavy heart, I found the joy and satisfaction in running a long project to its end with the amazing feeling of seeing the finished product. It was because of that joy and satisfaction that my motivation carried me forwards to keep writing, and now I’ve settled in the genres of fiction.

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kindlecoverzephaniahChristmas nineteen ninety-five: a physics teacher takes his family on holiday to the snow-covered village of Gwennal, in Cornwall. When his five-year-old daughter tells him that she has seen Santa Claus, unwelcome and chilling events begin to plague the family’s stay at their seventeenth-century cottage. His choice of accommodation is further brought into question when his wife suffers a series of mind-bending paranormal horrors. Firmly believing scientific explanation-just like his fourteen-year-old son who plans to follow in the career footsteps carved-out before him-he suspects that she has relapsed to her abuse of prescription painkillers. Until, that is, the comfort blanket of science becomes an instrument of torture when staff at a local museum reveal more than he can bear to discover.

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

Author picture Adam McVeigh lives in South Lincolnshire, England. His first book, Keep Off The Grass, a narrative non fiction account of his time as a community and political campaigner, was released as an independently published paperback in January 2015. His fictional works are primarily psychological and paranormal thrillers that are inspired by real life events and scenarios, including recent titles: Polly, and The Hanging Bridge. Both are short, quick read stories that form a ten volume collection due for publication in 2016.

 

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Zephaniah-Horror-Novella-Adam-McVeigh-ebook/dp/B00UGFVZ80

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13706575.Adam_McVeigh

Author website: http://adammcveigh.com

IAM15 Guest Post…Author talk-show ‘Changes’

IAM 2015 - TopperToday we’re pleased to welcome author Sally Ember to Indie Author Month.

The experiences of every author are different – how they come to write in the first place…how their writing evolves over time…how their life experiences shape their work…

Sally’s guest post is one of the most interesting and in-depth we’ve had for an author feature on the blog. We hope you enjoy reading it and learning more about her work, just as we did.

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Sally Ember - Author  “Why I Started a LIVE Talk Show: *CHANGES* conversations between authors on Google+ Hangouts On Air (HOA) and YouTube”

 In early April, 2014, I had just completed and uploaded Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, of my science-fiction/romance/ multiverse/ utopian/ paranormal (psi) ebooks in The Spanners Series for adults, New and Young Adults, and joined two new writers’ groups in the East Bay (one in Berkeley and one in Hayward, California, where I had been living), when I was in a terrible accident. The resulting broken nose has been healing fine and didn’t require surgery; the concussion has proven to be a lot more problematic.

For several months, it was as if I were in a fog. I wasn’t allowed to do any serious computer work, reading or thinking (I had been about halfway through Volume III, This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change, when I got hurt). Since I couldn’t wear my glasses without causing myself enormous pain (glasses would be sitting on the broken nose, right?), and I was overwhelmingly aphasic, exhausted, confused and injured, unable to process much, the respite from writing, reading and working seemed necessary. The accident had also caused extreme damage to my arms, hands, shoulders and upper back, so keyboarding wasn’t all that feasible, anyway. Plus, when I did type, I made more errors than words, typed very slowly (usually over 100 WPM; then, about 40 WPM, with numerous mistakes).

However, once the enforced hiatus was over, I still couldn’t return to my regular life. My memory was horrible, both short- and long-term. I couldn’t find words, or the right words, to speak or write. I no longer sounded as if I were drunk, but I was still extremely slower and less able, all around, than I had been prior to the brain injury. I usually function in the top 10 percent of intellectuals, with an extremely large vocabulary and many types of intelligence. I had been fortunate, up until the accident, to be a wide reader of many subjects, with both formal and informal education beyond the doctoral level and a larger variety of knowledge, experiences and insights than most people. Post-concussion, I was barely above-average and often, not even that.

 Before the injury to my brain, I had been writing my fiction series quite quickly, often exceeding 2,000 words per day. My creativity seemed boundless, my energy matching it. Volume I’s first draft had been completed in under two months, and it was over 130,000 words. I had developed a spreadsheet to record my (very brief) notes on my series’ dozens of human, animal and alien characters, multiple timelines, overlapping realities, historical and future events and people, but most of the series’ details and plans had been in my brain which had been injured to the point of being severely compromised.

 In July of last year, I discovered all I could create were short, nonfiction blog and other posts, and it took “forever” to finalize each one, since I typed sentences that were riddled with errors. Each post needed to be proofread multiple times. I could barely read others’ blogs and reblog/share, almost couldn’t read short pieces/stories.

 Yes, after a few months I was improving and could do these with increasingly better understanding, but I still couldn’t return to my fiction series. My “executive functions” and “working memory” were still extremely low-performing due to the post-concussion syndrome I had been diagnosed with in June.

 I wasn’t well enough to return to my “regular” life of work or writing, but I was well enough to be bored. Luckily, I had discovered Google+ the previous year. During the winter and spring of 2014, I had been attending Hangouts On Air (HOAs) somewhat regularly. I attended and participated (when that was allowed) in many HOAs by leaving comments, questions, and interactions with others also viewing or presenting, on topics ranging from books, book marketing, authors, writing, marketing, social media, spirituality/meditation and more. I watched most on Google+, but they were also archived so I could watch those I missed on YouTube, where I found even more entertaining, informative videos.

After my accident, watching videos was about the only thing I could do, since reading, writing and other glass-wearing activities were excluded. I got into watching one HOA in particular, “Lights, Camera, HOA!”, run by an excellent trio of women: Meloney Hall, Rayne Dowell and Sheila Strover.

 After I attended a few shows, Rayne read Volume I of my series and reached out to invite me onto the show to learn more about being in/on a HOA. The entire reason for this show’s existence is to help newbies (like me) get comfortable with the HOA format and technology, both on- and off-camera. I LOVED it! What a great service this show provides. THANK YOU! https://plus.google.com/u/0/+Bigupticksociallightscamerahoa/about

 As a former actor/performer, being “on camera” wasn’t hard for me. As a writer/author, being able to interact with viewers LIVE was so much better than having readers I almost never hear from or meet. I was hooked on HOAs and wanted my own. I learned everything I could in the next several months, wondering if I’d be able to manage my own show.

 What could I have a HOA about, exactly? There were an infinite number of choices. By then, I had been interviewed on several radio shows online and submitted many “author interview” posts to others’ websites, so I was familiar with that format and was beginning to feel it was somewhat overused. Frankly, and no offence to the current website(!), I find most author interviews to be awfully repetitive and, well, boring.

 I did NOT want to interview authors, but I wanted to meet more authors and talk about writing as well as many other interesting topics. By the end of July, four months post-injury, I still couldn’t write for my series, but I was able to talk better and listen very well. I decided to launch in August and to have a show that I would want to watch.

 Since I wanted to be around other writers and hear about their experiences, hoping to be entertained and inspired until my own writing would (hopefully) be accessible to me again, I posted on Twitter, Facebook groups and in general, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+ communities to invite authors to be guests on *CHANGES* conversations between authors. I also ranged around to those sites that posted award winners in science-fiction, particularly, and invited many of those authors on my show as well.

 The response has been more than gratifying. I welcomed Dr. Shay West as my first guest for my August 6, 2014, premier Episode, with several more super authors scheduled to be on subsequent shows. Since then, with a few planned and even fewer unplanned exceptions, I have had an Episode each week. The live show airs three or four times per month (with one week off, to rest) on Wednesdays, 10 – 11 AM Eastern time, and in August 5, 2015, I will air my one-year anniversary show!

 Amazing authors have been guests on *CHANGES* (http://goo.gl/1dbkZV on my website for full schedule of past and upcoming guests). I have had guests who joined me live from France, Spain, England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Canada, and many states in the USA. The authors I have talked with enrich me weekly (and my viewers as well, I hope), writing in every fiction genre and including those who also write nonfiction, plays, screenplays and poetry. Ethnically, my guests have been American mixed-Causasian, African-American, African-Jamaican, Spanish, English, Indian (continent, not tribe), Russian, Jewish, German, Norwegian, and Greek (so far). Editors, publishers (magazine and book), and translators, with an age range, as of August 5, 2015, of 16 – 78 years old, are in my *CHANGES* guests club.

Our conversational topics list is too lengthy to include here, but has been exactly as I had planned: wide variety, high-level subject discussions that are informative, entertaining, insightful, funny and poignant. My guests and I share personal and professional stories, discuss books and writing, publishing and editing, book cover artists and much more.

I am quite happy to say that, as of June, 2015, *CHANGES* Episodes (now up to 32, http://goo.gl/1dbkZV on YouTube) have garnered audiences as large as over 1000 in one day, totalling over 2300 views, so far. My YouTube channel went from having 2 to over 40 subscribers. I now have over 2400 followers on Google+ and Facebook, each (although some are the same people, I’m sure), and almost 5000 on Twitter. Pinterest followers’ number has quadrupled; so has LinkedIn’s. Many compliments, positive comments and excellent questions appear for each *CHANGES* Episode from viewers who watch live or later.

I wish to convert the *CHANGES* videocasts into podcasts, for those who prefer to listen-only, but the podcast hosting sites are not free. I also wish to pay for my next book covers, buy better equipment for my home videocasts, and keep writing, but the concussion has severely limited my ability to work and I am in deep debt. If you’d like to help, http://www.patreon.com/sallyember has a video about my goals and rewards to donors in which I sing (really; not so well, but, hey; I’m not a professional singer!), and more information. $4 gets you a free ebook; larger donations earn you deep discounts on professional editing, proofreading and writing tutor services, all of which can do well, despite the concussion.

Since starting *CHANGES*, I’m delighted to report that downloads of Volume I of my series, which is permafree since I uploaded Volume II (right before my accident), are steady. I do wish for better sales for Volume II, but I’ve heard a series has to have three books released to “really take off.”

About that: in other good news, as of May, 2015, I am back to writing new parts of Volume III! I hope to finish all drafts and revisions (more slowly, but well) by mid-fall, to release it around November or December, if all goes well. Wish me luck!

Beta readers and reviewers of all Volumes welcomed! Contact me: sallyember AT yahoo DOT com

CHANGES Trailer Image_3

Also, watch a few Episodes of *CHANGES*any time: http://goo.gl/6xjSKl

#Authors and #bloggers, especially those in sci-fi/speculative fiction, but not only those: learn more about and get yourself on *CHANGES*, and #Readers, recommend an #author to be scheduled as a guest. More info, schedule and past/upcoming guests list here: http://goo.gl/1dbkZV.

I strongly suggest you check out others’ HOAs as well: there are some great shows out there in Google+ land! Two good places to find them (and another great G+ community, User2User: LIVE!):

https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/101944073205735325459 for User2User-Live!

Http://www.hangouteventscalendar.com

 

Best to you all!

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This-Changes-Everything----web-and-ebooks  Volume I, This Changes Everything

  The Spanners Series

Dr. Clara Ackerman Branon, 58, begins having secret visits from holographic representations of  beings from the Many Worlds Collective, a consortium of planet and star systems in the multiverse.  When Earth is invited to join the consortium, the secret visits are made public. Now Earthers must adjust their beliefs and ideas about life, religion, culture, identity and everything they think and are. Clara is selected to be the liaison between Earth and the Many Worlds Collective and she chooses Esperanza Enlaces to be the Media Contact. They team up to provide information to stave off riots and uncertainty. The Many Worlds Collective holos train Clara and the Psi-Warriors for the Psi Wars with the rebelling Psi-Defiers, communicate effectively with many species on Earth and off-planet, eliminate ordinary, elected governments and political boundaries, convene a new group of Global Leaders, and deal with family’s and friends’ reactions. In what multiple timelines of the ever-expanding multiverse do Clara and her long-time love, Epifanio Dang, get to be together and which leave Clara alone and lonely as the leader of Earth? This Changes Everything begins the 30-year story of Clara’s term as Earth’s first Chief Communicator, continuing in nine more Volumes of The Spanners Series. Are YOU ready for the changes?

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

Sally Ember, Ed.D., has been passionate about writing since she was nine years old, winning prizes for her poetry, stories, songs and plays from a young age. She also began meditation in her teens. Now, Sally delights fans of psi elements with romance by blurring the lines between fact and fiction in The Spanners Series ebooks, a multiverse of multiple timelines, often including exciting elements of utopian science-fiction and Buddhism, for New Adult/adult/YA audiences; two out (first is permafree) with eight to come, Born Jewish on the cusp of Leo and Virgo, Sally’s life has been infused with change. Currently, she meditates, writes, swims, reads and hosts her Google+ Hangout On Air (HOA) *CHANGES* conversations between authors, LIVE conversations with authors, almost every Wednesday, 10 – 11 AM Eastern time, USA.

 

BOOK LINKS:

Volume I, Permafree:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HFELTG8
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/376197

Volume II, $3.99:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KU5Q7KC

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/424969
OTHER LINKS:

http://www.sallyember.com
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00HEV2UEW  Author Central Amazon page

https://www.twitter.com/sallyemberedd   Twitter: @sallyemberedd

https://www.facebook.com/TheSpannersSeriesbySallyEmber   Spanners Series‘ page on FB

https://www.facebook.com/sally.ember

http://www.pinterest.com/sallyember

http://goo.gl/tZKQpv   Spanners Series‘ page on Google+

http://www.google.com/+SallySueEmber   Sally Sue Ember on Google+

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqnZuobf0YTCiP6silDDL2w/videos

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7237845.Sally_Ember

CROWDFUNDING SITE: http://www.patreon.com/sallyember

IAM15 Interview…Vanessa Morgan

IAM 2015 - TopperToday’s guest is author Vanessa Morgan. A lady of many talents, she is an author, screenwriter, and blogger. Two of her works, The Strangers Outside and A Good Man, have been turned into films. Her short film script Next to Her is currently in pre-production. When she’s not working on her latest book, you can find her reading, watching horror movies, digging through flea markets, or photographing felines for her blog Traveling Cats (http://travelling-cats.blogspot.com). Avalon (the cat) has appeared in several of her books and films.

We’re pleased to be interviewing Vanessa today for Indie Author Month – so let’s find out more about her and her work!

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What is you favorite way to spend a rainy day? In bed, with a cup of hot tea, a cat, a blanket, and a scented candle.

 

What is something people would be surprised to know about you? Most people see me as someone confident who knows what she’s doing. They would be surprised to see that I’m actually insecure and shy.

 

You’ve found a time machine on your driveway this morning – where are you going to go in it? I’d go a few years back in time to be with Avalon my cat who passed away in July 2013.

 

If you could have any superpower, what would you choose? I’d like to cure sick animals and bring the deceased ones back to life.

 

Night owl or early bird? I’m an early bird. I need a fixed schedule to be able to work and write effectively, and the best times to concentrate are during the day.

 

One food you would never eat? Meat.

 

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book. Because cat lovers will laugh and cry, and they will love their cats even more after reading Avalon.

 

What are you working on at the moment – do you have any other books in the works? I’m currently editing a book on animal attack movies. It’s a project for which different movie aficionados from all over the world will write an essay about their favorite film in this sub-genre. The writers are a mix between film historians, bloggers, horror fiction writers, authors of movie reference guides, film festival organizers, film critics, actors, screenwriters, and directors. The book will be released later this year.

 

What inspired you to want to become a writer? Seeing As I Lay Dying on stage in London. I wouldn’t be an author without it.

 

Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book? Kenji Kawai’s theme song from the movie Avalon.

 

If a movie was made about your life, who would you want to play the lead role and why? I asked my friends and everyone agreed on Naomi Watts.

 

Cats or Dogs? I can appreciate any type of animal, but I like the quiet attitude of cats.

 

Facebook or Twitter? Right now, I’m more into Twitter, because my posts reach a wider audience than on Facebook and it’s also easier to share books from fellow authors.

 

Truth or Dare? Truth.

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avalonSome cats need nine lives to make a difference. Avalon only needed one.

From Amazon bestselling author Vanessa Morgan, Avalon is the heartwarming and once-in-a-lifetime love story of a girl and her neurotic Turkish Van cat.

With humor, the author details how Avalon made other creatures cringe in distress whenever he was around, how he threw her dates out by means of special techniques, and how he rendered it almost impossible for her to leave the house. Avalon was so incorrigible that even her landlord ordered her to get rid of him. But beneath Avalon’s demonic boisterousness, Vanessa recognized her own flaws and insecurities, and she understood that abandoning Avalon would be the worst she could do to him. Thanks to her unswerving loyalty, Avalon transformed into a tender feline, and even landed a major role in a horror movie. In turn, Avalon made it his mission to be there for his human companion.

By turns jubilant and deeply moving, Avalon is a memoir for anyone who has ever been obsessively in love with a pet.

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vanessa-Morgan/50159391888

Twitter: http://twitter.com/eeriestories

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/follow/eeriestories

Google+: https://plus.google.com/111498119214855356614/posts

Bloglovin: https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/vanessa-morgan-4135473

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Vanessa-Morgan/

Blog: http://vanessa-morgan.blogspot.com

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2890032.Vanessa_Morgan

 

Purchase links for ‘Avalon’

Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/1FTC8Ep

Amazon.co.uk: http://amzn.to/1ImdPRo

Amazon.fr: http://amzn.to/1JTGIF2

 

IAM15 Interview…with Mel Cusick-Jones

IAM 2015 - TopperHello! Welcome to our fourth annual Indie Author Month on Aside from Writing – I hope you enjoy what we have coming up over the next few weeks in July and get to meet some great new authors, seeing their thoughts and experiences on what it is like to be an indie writer these days.

As you’ll probably know, I’m one of the main bloggers for the site, along with my author buddy Tony Talbot. This year, we decided that one of us would open the event as the ‘author of the day’, with the other closing the event at the end of the month.

One thing I realised we’d never done on here, was actually interview ourselves. We’ve interviewed loads of authors over the last few years, particularly during the Indie Author event months, but neither Tony nor I had ever featured in a ‘proper’ interview on the blog. So, for my first feature of the day, I’m doing a snapshot interview with myself 🙂 It’s a lot more normal than it sounds and not at all Taxi Driver scary. Promise.

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A genie grants you three writing-related wishes: what would you wish for and why?

Firstly, I would wish for the little writing cave of my dreams…a cosy little room, with the walls all lined with bookshelves. There would be a nice, comfy couch for my dog to lie on and snooze the hours away as I work. There are some french windows in the room that lead to a garden outside and my desk in next to it… silly items and knick-knacks from my current mini-cave would be on the wall above my desk, to keep inspiring me as I day dream looking out of the window.

My second ‘big’ wish would be, that when I talk through scenes and dialogue in my head, that they magically appear in a notebook ready to use. I can’t count how many good things I’ve thought of and not remembered because I couldn’t write them down at the time. I’ve tried using a dictaphone, but something goes wrong between my head and my mouth and what gets recorded is just a terrible, flat version of what I was thinking of originally!

Final wish would be for an editing fairy…someone else that perfectly edits and finalises my finished work! That’s always the longest part of the project for me.

How do you react to a bad review?

It’s feedback, so generally I try to take any learning points from what’s said and apply that to my work. There’s several improvements (I think) I’ve made to my writing style and editing over the last few years since I started getting reviews of my books. Without the feedback, which wasn’t always given in the nicest of ways, I might not have seen the issue and improved. If you get a ranty review, you might not get anything that useful from it for improving your work, and in those cases I just kind of shrug and get on with something else. Everyone likes different things and I’ve had my share of DNF books that I’ve not enjoyed, so I can understand it from the reader side of things too.

Cirque de la Nuit coverWhat are you working on at the moment – do you have any other books in the works?

My current project is outside the ‘Ambrosia Sequence’ series, which I’ve been working on for the last few years and released the first two books so far – although I am about two-thirds of the way through the third book ‘Outlanders’ and I need to get back to working on it at some point! At the moment, I’m focusing on writing a stand-alone YA paranormal mystery ‘Cirque de la Nuit’ about a uni student who finds herself in the middle of supernatural gang warfare, after a visit to the mysterious Cirque de la Nuit. A bit of change from sci-fi related dystopian, but hopefully people will enjoy it when it’s ready to release.

What inspired you to want to become a writer?

The main inspiration is that I’ve always loved reading and disappearing off into other people’s stories. Because of that, I’ve always dabbled with writing: short stories, couple of plays (don’t ask!) and then when I finished studying English at uni, I started writing as a hobby. The first few things I wrote were really terrible and it took a lot of practice to actually write a full book with beginning, middle, end…sounds daft, but ask most authors and they’ll tell you that they didn’t just sit down and run off a perfect first draft. The first few books I wrote still sit in my laptop and may (with lots of revision) some day be worthy of release…

Who is your favourite character from Cirque de la Nuit and why?

At the moment, my favourite character is Alexander – the vampire ringmaster who gets Beth (the main character whose POV we read the story in) involved in the first place. He is probably the character, aside from Beth, who changes the most during the story. That said, I really like Mikhail, especially when you get him and Beth sparring off one another – I love sarcastic banter!

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Mel Cusick-JonesWant to know more? Check out the links!

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Melanie-Cusick-Jones/214124072009513

Twitter @melabupa     Author Blog http://melcj.com/

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