Within the Indie Author Hub, you can learn about other authors, their thoughts and opinions, what makes them tick and how their writing process works for them.
This week I am releasing an interview I conducted with fellow author, Sarah Daltry, author of Erotica and Erotic Romance. Have a look at her profile and books here.
Sarah’s Life as a Writer
What inspired you to become an author? I love to write. I have always enjoyed telling stories and it is what I need to do to be happy. I don’t consider myself an author yet because it is a hobby and does not pay the bills. For me, I would like to be able to write for a living. That would mean that I was an author, not a hobbyist. I also think if I was selling more than a few works a day, I would feel more success from my writing.
With the hype surrounding Fifty Shades of Grey, how do you think yours differ and stand out? I chose erotica because I feel as if there is this fear of sex in our society, but it is a stupid fear. It is irrational, as we promote excessive violence and we demonize sex. For me, there is some relief in knowing that there are writers and readers, both men and women, who are open to exploring sexuality in adult ways. I think erotica is a little more complex than pornography and also more of an art. I am not insulting porn, but I do think that erotica requires active participants, whether one individual or a couple, who have to imagine and take the story further for themselves. To be honest, I do not like Fifty Shades much. I think much of my work is more in that style or even smuttier, but The Quiver of a Kiss and the stuff I am working on now is an attempt to tell a good story while also being erotic. There are several writers doing it, but I hope that my topics and ideas are different enough to stand out.
How do you structure your day? I write during lulls at work and at night / on weekends. I feel like I should attempt to write 1000-2000 words per day. Some days I write 10,000. Others I write 10. Music helps to inspire me. Sometimes I read something and think about versions of it that are different. Or I watch TV or a movie. I get a lot of ideas as branches of other ideas. That sounds like plagiarism, I suppose, but my ideas are very different; for example, I will read something with a vampire and think, hmmm, maybe I should do something with vampires. Broad enough but I do think that helps. Another element is, to be honest, my own desire to write and passion for the topic or story. There are days when I am not feeling very erotic and it is challenging to write sex; other days, it is all I think about and the scenes come more naturally!
Do you plan your books? No. I start with a very basic idea and see where it takes me. I feel that characters should be independent of me and if I have to create them, they will not feel real. With Helen of Troy, she was mostly already written – at least factually. I used a new perspective on her life, though. I do not use people I know or people I am in contact with. I feel that it is unfair to them and also to the characters. I cannot write if I do not see the characters and I try to make them come from somewhere outside of my life.
How did you get into print? I use KDP and Smashwords. Many of my work started on KDP and is exclusive for now. By summer, I will be taking my entire library and moving it to Smashwords as well. I am finding that there are two reasons to use Smashwords: first, I see a decent number of sales there directly and based on my ratings on Barnes and Noble, I feel like I am selling a few there as well. The second reason is that Amazon’s refund policy is actually disadvantageous, especially for erotica. There seems to be a trend of people buying the stories, reading them, and returning them. This is not only insulting to authors, but it also makes me not want to be exclusive to Amazon because they are not helping me much. If my sales are almost the same at all three places, and the other two do not offer the same ridiculous refund even after completing a title, it hurts my chances of getting the work out there and making writing a full time job.
What made you decide to publish independently? I just don’t have time to query and wait for publishers. In erotica, I don’t think it is a genre that needs the traditional route as much, because most people are reading ebooks and are doing everything online anyway.
What is the future of publishing? I really do not know. I am so new to it all. I am disgusted by people on both sides. Traditionally published authors and traditional publishers seem to demean indie authors, but indie authors can be arrogant (some) and out of defensiveness or arrogance, they tend to feel anyone who finds a contract with a traditional publisher at some point is a sellout. I think every author needs to do what is best for him or her and the work.
How do you deal with rejection? Honestly? I cry and feel like giving up! I am a girl and I am moody as well as sensitive. But then I tell myself it is just reason to prove them wrong. I think of my idols and I know that no writer became successful by not writing. I cannot just give up or then I definitely will not succeed.
What’s your top tip for aspiring authors? Have faith.