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.
All this week I will be releasing segments of an interview I conducted with fellow sci-fi / fantasy author, Monique Rockliffe. Have a look at her profile and books here.
Part 1 : Monique’s inspiration and aspirations
What did you read as a child? Since a child I’ve always been a brilliant storyteller. I could keep my friends enthralled for hours and make up a story about anything – usually a fantasy or sci-fi story ‘cause what’s better than that? I read a lot of comics and adventure books like The Famous Five, The Secret Seven, Nancy Drew, and The Hardy Boys, and when I was old enough I started reading Stephen King. But comics were definitely my favourite – the heroes, where they came from, how they became heroes and got their powers, this intrigued me and I longed to be like them. Now I write about those places and create powerful characters that fascinate and inspire me.
If you couldn’t be an author, what would you be? Well, for most of my life I was a dancer. I went to Art School, majoring in ballet, Spanish, and classical Greek dance, and then joined three professional dance companies over twenty years performing classical ballet, contemporary, jazz, tap, and many other dance forms, including singing and dancing in a few musicals. Only writing equals the joy and passion of dance for me.
What’s your goal for your writing? I so wish I could write full time; it is my eventual goal. The plan is to keep writing and marketing and self-promoting as much as possible. It’s impossible to predict when writing full time will become a reality. My responsibility is to look out for the opportunities that present themselves and be willing and ready to take them the moment they appear. For the moment, to pay the bills, I teach ballet at a dance studio called Dancers where I train girls from the age of around twelve-years to adults. That happens in the afternoons about two to three times a week. In the mornings and my days off I write.
So how do you fit writing into your daily routine? I grab every spare moment I have when I’m not teaching to write. I can sit for an entire day and bash out a chapter or two; Book 4 is being written as I write this along with a shorter novel I began for NaNoWriMo. This was my first NaNo and I loved the challenge. I managed to reach the word count goal a whole week before the deadline and it produced the current novel I’m working on, a novel in a different genre (or genres) than I’m used to, which was scary yet fun to do. I have actually just finished writing the first draft. I’ve mixed a few genres in this story – sci-fi, urban fantasy, western, romance, action adventure, horror – and I’ve loved trying something new, out of my comfort zone, so to speak. It’s a great way to practice my writing skills, and it’s based on a vivid dream I had. My sci-fi short story, The Door, is also based on a dream.
Where do you write? In summer I have a nook in our dining room where it’s cool and relaxing. In winter our bedroom is flooded with sun so that’s where I hole-up. I’ve already moved in. Autumn has arrived in South Africa, and, boy, do my cats love me on the bed with them! I need quiet and peace. My home is the only place I can write with no distractions. My hubby knows to stay away from me until I switch off the computer.
How did you become published? My epic fantasy novels are published through Xlibris Publishing. I only learned about self-publishing on Amazon and Smashwords after writing and publishing my first novel. I will complete my tetralogy with Xlibris as I need the four books to look exactly the same, and then I think I’ll keep to doing ebooks. My sci-fi short story, The Door, was published straight to Smashwords as an ebook, and is also available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and a few others.I have many stories that I want to share with the world; I don’t have the patience to wait for someone to notice me first. If they notice me after the books are out then maybe we’ll take it from there (if I like what I hear, of course!)
Do you use editors or cover artists? Editing costs a fortune, unfortunately, especially when you’ve written a 700 page novel!! This means I have to do the editing myself for now. I have plans to republish one day when I can afford a professional editor. As for cover art, I find the images I want to use online after obtaining permission from the artists, and Xlibris then designs the covers for me. Xlibris is a huge publishing company and therefore have fantastic marketing packages on offer. Again, though, it all costs money and it requires me to save up for them. Living in a foreign country means the costs can get pretty steep! It takes me a few months to save up to pay for the publishing alone.
In Part 2, Monique talks about how she writes as well as targeting her audience.