Your writing is precious, author, Bitten Twice, reminds us. She has written multiple books during the last 3-years and I had the pleasure of doing a quick Q & Q with this talented writer. She was kind enough to share her writing experience and give some tips that we writers can learn from, whether published or unpublished.
Q. When did you decide that you wanted to be an author and is penning books your full time profession?
A. I realized I wanted to write back in 2007 when I tapped out my first novel, but I didn’t understand the ramifications of doing so until 2009. By that time I had two novels fermenting and my father’s passing triggered the need to do something with my writing. That was the time that I set the wheels in motion to become a published author.
I wish writing was a full-time job for me. I would produce much more. Right now I have a shy alter ego that works, and Bitten Twice emerges when the sun goes down.
Q. What part of the writing process excites you the most, for instance, coming up with book titles, creating characters, setting, etc.?
A. The whole thing is pretty exciting. One moment I’m sitting there in front of a blank screen and the next thing you know the letters are dancing all over the page. I have a hunk of a leading man (alive or un-dead) or a saucy leading lady. Either one of the headstrong characters seem to direct their own fate. I think the story is going one way and lo and behold the plot twists and thickens.
Q. Your predominant writing is based on vampirism, why does this genre appeal to you?
A. Ah, the illusive vampire. Vampirism is quite a curious concept. Depending on your values, religious beliefs and demography, the question of vampirism produces different thoughts. But one commonality exists throughout the variety of cultural vampires… blood is involved. Many times when we think of the vampire we think of the European version, but many more exist.
The genre appeals to me personally because it is an escape from reality. Vampires can be predatory by nature; thirsting for blood. They often have supernatural powers or elements along with sexual allure.
Think of a gentleman in your life today. Imagine if he had a couple of hundred years or more to perfect his abilities to interface with us women. How perfect is that? Knowing when to say all the right things, make the right moves, and possibly when to let us win. Many of the vampires that I work with in my stories have been around for a while and they don’t always get it right the first time, but you can believe they know how to make amends.
Q. Over the last 3-years, you have published 3 books from the Macedo Ink Series, one stand-alone and numerous short stories. What has this achievement done for your confidence?
A. You can’t see me right now, but I’m smiling like I’ve been possessed by the Cheshire Cat. It has been a confidence booster to see that the books have been so well received. In the beginning I was quite timid about releasing my book to the world. So many questions… “What if people didn’t like it? What if they sneered? What if…?”
Well the “what if’s” came and went. Some people loved it, some liked it, and some eh! For me, the majority of readers has embraced the books and has been kind enough to leave feedback in some form or fashion along the way. This feedback has given me the courage to keep writing. Knowing that there are folks out there that are loving the books in the same way that I am enjoying writing them gives me the motivation to continue tapping out the crazy plots and sort out all of the voices that churn in my head.
Q. What steps do you take to market and promote your books, and in your view, how important is marketing and promotion for an author?
A. Marketing and promotion is key. The writing of the book has turned out to be the easiest part. The marketing and promotion is an ongoing and never ending activity. As a self-published author with a limited marketing budget, I always have to be on the lookout for an opportunity to self-promote. Marketing is literally a full-time job in itself.
I use social media to help me. I have a blog that I’m semi-consistent with and I link that to my Facebook and Twitter account. I also use LinkedIn to surround myself with like-minded individuals to increase my circle of influence. If you can find authors in your genre you can guest blog to help promote each other. I don’t do too much on Google+ or Stumble Upon, though once in a while I’ll get an urge to go on there.
I’m a lifetime member of the Florida Writer Association (FWA), so I network with them heavily. Other than that, I use online reader groups to make comments. I try to meet people when I’m out and about and leave flyers in bookstores or coffee shops. I definitely brand; my name is a conversation starter.
Let me not forget the contest that’s currently going on at Goodreads.com. Ten (10) copies of ‘As Blood Rages’ are being given away for FREE. Go here to enter.
Q. Are you involved in any writing groups/community? If so, does this form of interaction help you as an author?
A. I just started a Pembroke Pines chapter of a writing group for FWA. It’s a small group right now, but I’m looking forward to growing it. Writing groups are an excellent means of strengthening your novel/writing. You have instant beta readers who can help you with critiques, they can also help motivate you to reach your goals, help you through writer’s block.
You know in emotional times, both in crisis or extreme happiness you need to engulf yourself with friends to share the emotion. Writing is no different. Who else but a writer will understand the extreme happiness associated with the sale of the first book, or the confusion at the sight of a returned eBook?
Q. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
A. Hone your craft. Keep an open mind. Your writing is precious to you; however, you are too close to be objective. Embrace any criticism from those who are kind enough to give it and learn from it. Know where you want to be as a writer, set achievable goals and work towards them. Develop a sense of urgency and priority. Most of all, understand that no one will ever acknowledge you as a writer unless you recognize the writer in you first and meet the primary requirement – to write.
Thank you Bitten Twice for taking time out of your busy schedule to share your experiences with readers. I enjoyed our time together and thank you, too, for the solid tips.
To learn more about Bitten Twice, visit her website at: http://www.bitten2ice.com/
Write It, Work It, Publish it!
© 2012 Cherry-Ann Carew
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Cherry-Ann Carew, aka The Power Writing Coach, Editor, Best-selling author and Founder of Writetastic Solutions is passionate about helping aspiring fiction and non-fiction writers bring out their creative expression to write their books. Learn how her coaching and editing services can help you at http://www.writetasticsolutions.com.