And here's yet another awesome author on the blog today, telling me about their journey to find their small press publisher and their plans for the future!
Here we go...
I was a print journalist for more than ten years before becoming an author. I am married with three cats and am proudly a member of the LGBTQ+ community. I have PTSD, and I like to include themes of mental health, disability, race, gender, and LGBTQ+ in my stories. I'm addicted to coffee and matcha lattes. I live in Northern Virginia, near DC.
My first book The Pyre Starter follows a suicidal young man named Dakota who is dragged into a world of magic and intrigue. He finds love and a place to belong but soon realizes that he has entered the beginning of a magical war. Powerful people want the magic necklaces that he and the people around him have, and they'll stop at nothing to get them. The Talisman War series follows Dakota, as well as a young girl named Kenna and a twenty-something named Cameron, as they navigate a world descending into war and chaos.
Who are you and what do you write?
I'm a 33-year-old bisexual writer with chronic illness. I write adult fantasy and sci-fi, usually with romantic and horror elements. My books feature compelling and diverse characters who struggle through difficult circumstances where they must find and care for each other.
Where and when and how did the writing life begin for you?
I began writing at a very early age. So early, I'm not sure when it began. But I got really into it my senior year of high school, where I received payment for my journalism work for the first time. I was writing for a local newspaper and had won some awards for my pieces. In college, I took many writing courses. I also edited the Opinions section of the school newspaper, as well as wrote a weekly column. Out of college, I got two jobs in the journalism field and ended up working until 2013. I've been an author ever since then. I wrote seven books in a series between 2013 and 2019 and got them traditionally published by a small press company. I am now working on a sci-fi stand-alone book.
How has the journey to this point been? Can you give us a basic rundown?
What's been the hardest part of your writing/publishing experience so far? And the most enjoyable?
The hardest parts were twofold: trying to write with mental illness and trying to get an agent. I took an entire year off because I was simply too sick with PTSD symptoms to write. I also queried more than 100 agents and got rejected or ignored by every one of them. In the end, small press companies loved my work and accepted it directly. The most enjoyable part was seeing people read my books and enjoy them. I feel like I'm reaching people, and it's a good feeling.
Would you go back and change anything?
I would probably use more than one beta reader. I think the books are pretty polished, but there's always a chance I missed something.
Where would you like to be in 5 years time? And 10? Or, what are your plans for the future?
I would like to have a steady stream of sales in five years, and in ten, I would like to be fairly well-known. The ultimate dream is to be able to live off the money made by the books, but we'll see if that's in the cards for me.
What's one piece of advice you'd give to new writers just starting out?
Apply to publishers directly in addition to querying agents. Seriously, that's how I got published, and it would have saved me a lot of time if I'd done it right away.
And most importantly...
Ketchup or Mayo? - Neither! I'm more of a mustard fan.
Night or Day? - Day.
Inside or Outside? - Outside.
Dogs or Cats? - Cats.
Twitter or Facebook? - Twitter.
e-book or Paperback? - Paperback.
Sun or Rain? - Sun.
Keyboard or Pencil & Notebook? - Keyboard.
Comedy or Drama? - Drama.
Chips or Chocolate? - How could I choose? Both!
Want to guest blog or be interviewed? Got a cover reveal or book coming out?
Get in touch today!