Vernita, this is a surprising interview, to say the least. We’re on opposite sides of the religious spectrum. Your book, Capturing the Spirit of God’s Word with Vernita, is a thoughtful exposition of embracing God’s work. My book, Operation Cosmic Teapot, is a satirical look at how God is ultimately powerless in this world. How do you respond to people like me?
This time last year, I was browsing the books at a book fair, looking for some great bargains. I wasn’t particularly thinking about writing – my first book was coming out in March 2015. I was not thinking of writing something new. As I browsed the travel section, I picked up the books about Greece. It’s my heritage, so holds a special interest. I love to go there and love to see it written about in books. All the books were either travel guides or were fictional stories set in Greece as the writer or a hero/heroine dealt with some life issue or another while on a Greek island. Where was mainland Greece (besides Athens)? Did no one want to write about the stunning locations on the mainland, many not well known to tourists who don’t venture off the beaten track?
I mused over this briefly but soon preparation for the release of ‘When Study Goes Wrong’ took over. It was published in March in paperback and then on Kindle in April. It was over, yet the marketing and promotion needed constant efforts. Despite all that, in April I somehow sat down and wrote some ideas for a travel book down. I remembered my trip to the book fair and somehow ended up with a skeleton plan for a new book. Writing another book after the exhaustion and ups and downs related to my first book was not something I wanted to do. Yet…the idea was there and by May I was starting to research locations, their history and writing chapters.
I made plans to physically visit places that I wanted to include but had not yet seen. My trip was in August and September, by which time I had written half of the book’s content and outlined the remainder of the chapters that I would write once I had visited the other areas. I had researched and written about their histories and left myself the scope to include other areas I would discover while in Greece.
In Greece, I had the unique experience of writing about areas I had not previously visited as I explored them. I took copious notes by hand as I wandered around with a pen and notebook. (more…)
In today’s writing world really anyone can publish a novel. Some people do it within hours. Fantastic. So for those who spent weeks, months, even years on their manuscripts how can you distinguish yourselves above…well above all the slush to be blunt?
The easiest way to stand out is to have a clean, error free manuscript. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but you have a neighbor who got an ‘A’ in high school English so you’re having them read your book. That’s super, and I encourage beta-readers, BUT the best investment you can make as an Indie author, or even an author reaching out to agents is to have your manuscript professionally edited before publication, or submission. I assure it will be money well spent.
Aisha La Rosa is stained by history. Born to parents expelled from Libya after the 1969 Libyan coup d’état, her identification between conflicting national boundaries torments her in a Europe haunted by political violence.
Alicia Hooper has some experience traveling, and living in, the Middle East. Tell us a little bit about those places.
I’d like to say I went indie for all the traditional reasons. I’ve read many author interviews of self-published authors, and one question that comes up a lot is “why indie?” Answers often have key elements in common—power over content, royalty rates, freedom with deadlines. I can’t say I’m too different. I like the royalty rates offered by self-publishing. The deadline freedom isn’t bad either, but I’d say that my biggest reason for going indie is having complete power over the content of my work.
Sometimes one of the many issues we run into as authors is to which genre does our book fall under? Yes in most cases it’s easy to distinguish a books place and where it should fall but sometimes that’s not so