I'm pleased to welcome a successful YouTuber and all around wordsmith who works tirelessly to support authors.
Check it out...
In a deadly circus competition, even hearts are on the line.
Gwendolyn Grimm intended to seduce men and women across the galaxy while working as a ship tinkerer on the finest vessels in the Crescent Star System. Alas, terminal illness is a buzzkill. When a life-saving opportunity struts into her life dressed in a pinstripe suit, she is made an offer she can’t refuse: become a cyborg and work as a tinkerer for Cirque du Borge, the once renowned cyborg circus.
The problem is, a new law has banned the creation of new cyborgs and becoming one means execution if caught. Thus, no one cares to see the wonders of man and machine anymore.
Ticket sales continue to fall as the circus announces a competition to determine which acts will perform for the emperor on his home planet—an opportunity with the potential to save the circus from bankruptcy. But the competition has deadly consequences. Losing acts have their cyborg implants forcibly removed, and those who survive the extraction are banished from the circus.
As the tinkerer, Gwendolyn is forced to perform the revolting task of removing the cyborg implants from the losing performers. When she falls for both the man running the competition and a woman competing in it, she must decide who to protect. But can she risk having to harvest the people she loves the most?
Treasure Planet meets John Scalzi’s The Collapsing Empire in this LGBTQ+ steampunk fairytale mashup.
TRIGGER WARNINGS: This novel contains graphic violence, sexual content, inappropriate language, and references to eating disorders. Reader discretion is advised.
Who are you and what do you write?
Heya! My name is Meg LaTorre. I'm a science fiction and fantasy author and a YouTuber. I'm the host of the YouTube channel, iWriterly, where I talk about writing and publishing books (both traditional and self-publishing). I formerly worked at a literary agency, so my traditional publishing videos are from that perspective.
Currently, I write science fiction and fantasy, but I also have a fantasy romance in the works. I hope to write science fiction, fantasy, and romance throughout my career.
Where and when and how did the writing life begin for you?
Like many writers, I grew up wanting to write books. I think I wrote my first "book" when I was 11. It was hand-written and riddled with exclamation points. It wasn't until late high school/early college that I started taking writing more seriously and dabbled in full-fledged novels. I wrote and queried a few novels before eventually writing The Cyborg Tinkerer (my debut space opera/steampunk mashup that comes out fall 2020), which I decided to self-publish after interviewing countless indie authors on my YouTube channel. Although I had some agent interest in previous novels I'd queried, I decided I wanted to pursue a new project (TCT) and try my hand in the indie space.
How has the journey to this point been? Can you give us a basic rundown?
After having written and queried novels as well as having worked at a literary agency, I'd always thought I would publish my debut novel traditionally. But after I interviewed countless indie authors on my YouTube channel, my mind was opened to how business-savvy self-published authors are (or can be). It massively appealed to my entrepreneur side. But I also watched the traditional market and spoke to agent friends. During that time, I saw how steampunk often had a hard time finding a home. Between those factors (and many others), indie seemed like the perfect way to begin my book publishing career. (I made a whole YouTube video about why I chose to self-publish this novel.) However, I do have aspirations to be a hybrid author. All that to say, I'm really excited to publish The Cyborg Tinkerer under my own label (iWriterly). I have learned so much in the process!
What's been the hardest part of your writing/publishing experience so far? And the most enjoyable?
The hardest part has probably been gaining objectivity to decide where a given book would perform best and line up with my author goals. This is going to be different for every author. I had to do a lot of soul-searching to decide where The Cyborg Tinkerer would best be able to find ideal readers while also making sure I'm hitting my authorly dreams and goals. Not to mention, there is SO MUCH to learn when it comes to self-publishing. But I'm so thankful for my indie author friends, who have generously shared their time with me and answered my (many) questions.
As for most enjoyable, I've found that I really like running my own business. The ability to pivot and be really involved in the publishing process has been a blast.
Would you go back and change anything?
This is tough because I feel that most newbie writers need to make many mistakes before they get the hang of writing books. You can't really teach someone how they write a book. It's something that must be learned through experience (in my opinion). You can learn the principles and research a ton, but you won't know how you operate as a novel writer until you write the thing.
So, I probably wouldn't change my early "mistakes." I might encourage newbie writer Meg to write and not worry about whether or not the book was "good enough" to be published. I would tell myself to enjoy playing around in my imagination and learn as much as I can. Publishing will come later. First, learn the craft and have fun.
Where would you like to be in 5 years time? And 10? Or, what are your plans for the future?
I hope to have both self- and traditionally-published books in 5 or 10 years' time and still be making YouTube videos at iWriterly.
What's one piece of advice you'd give to new writers just starting out?
Don't worry about whether a book is "good enough" to be published when you're first starting out. Focus on learning how you operate as an author. Do you like to write every day or a few time per week? Do you outline or are you a discovery writer? Are you an under-writer or an over-writer? What are your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to craft? How many drafts does it take to polish a book? How many critique partners and beta readers do you like to work with?
First, learn how you operate as a writer. Figuring out how/where you want to publish will come later.
And most importantly...
Ketchup or Mayo? - Both
Night or Day? - Day
Inside or Outside? - Both
Dogs or Cats? - Cats
Twitter or Facebook? - Twitter
ebook or Paperback? - ebook
Sun or Rain? - Sun
Keyboard or Pencil & Notebook? - Keyboard
Comedy or Drama? - Anything with romance and a happy ending LOL
Chips or Chocolate? - Chips! I'm a sucker for good chips
Want to guest blog or be interviewed? Got a cover reveal or book coming out?
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