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 2 : Writing and promoting
Do you plan your books down to the last detail? Not really. I know the beginning and the ending and the general outline. The details get filled in as I write. Scenes flourish and flesh out as the story progresses.
How do you decide on your characters and what they will be like? For me the story creates the right characters and they grow as I write. I have sometimes gone back and changed the way a character speaks or says something or reacts to another character or situation because they’re not real enough or too similar to another or they need more depth. If any changes are needed they occur as the story develops.
How do you get over the fear of a blank page? I don’t fear the “blank page” at all. I’ve never been stumped for an idea or left wondering where to go next in the plot. My imagination is always churning out ideas and many different scenarios that I can choose from in any given scene. Once I have my story and the characters are developed and I know how they will act and react, then there’s no stopping me.
Do you belong to reading / writing groups? I belong to a few Facebook groups and pages, some of which have great posts and writing tips. I like the ones where I can learn something everyday. I don’t like spreading myself too thin so I keep my involvement with groups to a minimum. I believe that once you commit to something you must give it your full attention so I choose carefully and I can therefore contribute more effectively.
How do you promote yourself? I’m just learning to be more engaging with current and future fans so I comment and share about my life as much as I can and in between I do self-promotion. I have a Facebook fan page where I let my friends know what’s happening in my life and about the progress I’m making, and, as I said, I belong to a few author/book/reader pages where I promote my books. I always share on Twitter and in my blog.
How do you target your audience? It’s important to belong to sites/pages/groups that share your interests and passions and already like what you write about. It’s also vital to build relationships. Friendship is a powerful thing; once people know you then they will be interested in what you have to offer. I try to spend time every day with my target audience. I tweet and post about my books and my progress as often as possible, and, in the case of authors, I also share and retweet their work and hopefully they do the same for me by sharing what I’ve done with their followers. I mainly target sci-fi and fantasy authors and therefore their readers, and also authors who write in other genres because many of them have readers that like more than one genre. I’ve met quite a few people via my relationships with author friends who show an interest in what I share and write about.
How do you keep yourself motivated? I LOVE what I do. I can’t imagine doing anything else. I have to get these stories out of me, and they bring my life so much joy and excitement they’re all I need to keep going. My stories and the characters within become a powerful part of my life as I tell their story, and I can’t imagine ever stopping, for to stop means they’ll die. Does that sound overly dramatic and a bit looney? Not to me I’m a writer, after all. We’re all a bit looney!!
What’s your top tip for aspiring authors? Balance passion with knowledge, then keep writing.