Author Interview – Holden Robinson

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.

Robinson - marketing photo for cat's pajamasThis week I interviewed Deb Nam-Krane. Have a look at her profile and books here.

What inspired you to become an author? I began my first book in 2005 when my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The idea of losing him was unbearable, and I needed a safe place to put all those feelings about losing my dad. Writing was my safe haven, my good friend, something I could cry over in my darkest hours. In 2008, I began writing comedy, and I continue to do so. I think God smiles when someone laughs. I love that I have made people laugh. It truly is the cheapest medicine on today’s market. Be careful, laughter is addictive.

 

If you couldn’t be an author what would you like to be? I aspire to become successful enough to open Tenth Life Respite Home, a sanctuary for senior cats. I would love to be on Broadway one day, and I’d love to be twenty years younger when that happens.

Do you write full time? No, but I’d like to.  I feel confident there is a delightfully rich fella out there who would love to have a quirky wife who writes full time and heats up a mean Stouffers.  He must love cats, (in case you know of someone). I work retail management.  Despite the daunting nature of this, it has given birth to Tommy’s Tool Town, a blog devoted to the hilarious reality of retail.  Tommy’s has drawn readers from all over the globe, proving that the one thing that links us all, is that we each have a retail horror story.

How do you fit writing into your routine? Some days I don’t, which is incredibly frustrating.  It’s hard to know there’s something else you’re meant to be doing.

Where do you write? I write at home or at a beautiful coffee shop I discovered on a snowy, serendipitous morning.

Do you have daily word targets? I shoot for ten pages.  Yesterday, I didn’t hit ten words.

Before writing, do you plan your books to the last detail? No.  I have a loose outline, and I write the ending early on.  I liken it to a map.  If you don’t know where you’re going, how in the world are you going to get there?

How do you decide on your characters and what they will be like? They tend to develop themselves, as odd as it sounds.  When I write a scene and introduce the character(s), I imagine then in the scene as if it were a play.  What do they look like?  What are their mannerisms?  I have also used biographies on my characters.  It is extremely helpful.

How do you get over the fear of a blank page? I once used a grocery list for filler.  I write through it, even if it’s garbage.  I go back later and edit it all out.

How do you target your audience effectively? I have not yet mastered targeting my market effectively.  I am up for any good advice.  I’d love for someone to say, “you’re doing it wrong, try this.”

BML CoverWhat ways do you promote yourself online? If I have a weakness, this is it.  I utilize Facebook and Twitter, but not nearly as much as I should.  I try to market at least an hour a day, and this works well until the phone rings, the dogs need to go out, the cat produces a hair ball the size of a small planet, or it’s time to hit the day job.

How much time do you spend promoting yourself in social media? I try for an hour daily.  That doesn’t always happen.  The procrastination, however, is coming along fabulously.

What’s been your most effective way of promoting yourself? I did a virtual tour when I first launched.  The reviews were great, but the tour hosts had few followers.  I think with the right hosts, the virtual tour is most effective.

What offline promotion do you take part in? I have done a lot of book signing events, and have participated in events at venues that carry my books.  This has been fairly successful.

What made you decide to publish independently? The big houses couldn’t connect with my characters, which I liken to “the check is in the mail.”  I think it’s a standard response in today’s market.  I don’t think the large players want to take a chance on an unknown author.  Black Rose Writing is all about taking chances on new authors.  I was impressed with what they had to offer, and I remain so.  I wrote to be read.  Black Rose gave me that opportunity.

What do you think the future of traditional publishing will be? I think eventually all authors will be seen as equals, but we’re not there yet.  There is a great focus on Indie writers, and the beautiful work we produce.  I’d like to think we’ll see a day when books will be celebrated for what they give to the world, and not because a celebrity wrote them.  I think we’re getting there.

Is it necessary for authors to have agents these days? Unless they’re trying to break into the big houses, which is something MacGyver probably couldn’t do nowadays, I really don’t think so. It all comes down to the author, to what they’re willing to do, and how many cats and dogs they have to keep them from applying their marketing time wisely.

How do you deal with rejection or a less favourable review? For a few seconds, I want to quit, go off the grid into the mountains and raise goats.  Once that hissy fit passes, I try to determine what it was that created the poor review or rejection.  I look for the lesson in it, as cliché as that sounds.  What I don’t like is the occasional review that says simply, “poorly written,” or “this book just stinks.”  If you’re going to say something like that about something that took a writer hundreds of hours to produce, be decent enough to elaborate.

How do you keep yourself motivated?  I imagine the beautiful animals I will one day be able to save.  I know they’re waiting for me.  How could I possibly quit?

What’s your top tip for aspiring authors? Believe in your work and keep writing.

Thank you for being part of this interview.

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