Hello! Of course I can. I’m an author, first off. I write mostly fantasy, but I do go into mystery from time to time. I also started an editing/review company for all authors and it’s kicking off very well. Better than I expected it to. Aside from writing, I’m a huge 49ers fan. I like the Golden State Warriors, the Tampa Bay Rays, and the San Francisco Giants. Video games are my weakness, well good ones, and I have a Husky who has more energy than I thought possible!
When did you decide you wanted to become a writer?
When I was about ten. I used to read The Boxcar Children when I was younger and thought, “I can do that.” Of course, I didn’t understand then what I do now; writing a book is not as easy as it looks. At least, not for me.
You’re an adult Fantasy and Mystery author. What is it about the genres that you love so much?
A. Well, for mystery, I love leaving pieces for my readers to follow. Bringing up questions in their heads, making them wonder if a piece of “evidence” is important or not. As far as fantasy, I love creating an entire world. New creatures, different cities and people, it’s one of the most entertaining things about writing, I think.
You have a book out, called ‘Reborn’. What’s it about?
Well, I have to be honest, that book is off the market now. I recently retained the rights to it and I’m rewriting it. The new book preview is called Three’s Company (Reborn), and is available on Amazon. The book is about a man who has been thrust into the role of savior in a world he doesn’t know. He wakes up to a burning town and a woman telling him to run. It’s during this escape that he learns about where he is and what’s happened to him, and what he now has to do.
Where did you find your inspiration to write the book?
I’d been working on the first printing of the book for about seven or so years. I started it back in high school and published it last year. I fell in love with fantasy after reading Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series. My biggest inspiration was in college, though. I went to school at University of Dubuque in Iowa. I had a professor there that was revered as one of the best English professors there. I took research writing class with him; hardly talked with the man. After I turned in a research paper one day, he personally came to my computer, put his hand on my shoulder, and said, “you’re a brilliant writer.” That was enough for me.
If you had to choose, who is your favourite author and why?
A. Ooo…well I’ll always have a love for Terry Goodkind. His world is so real. He has such a vivid imagination and his messages are so clear and true. A very close second is Crista McHugh. Her Tears of Elios is the most enthralling read.
What book are you currently reading?
I’m reading several. I’m still working on Breath of Air by Katie Jennings (sorry, Katie). Then there’s Accountable to None, which is terrific so far, by Ashley Fontainne. And I’m rereading, for the fifteenth time, Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind.
How do you think social media has changed the way people can access literature and authors can get their work read?
Oh there’s hundreds of ways now. Authors don’t even need to solicit for an agent or publisher anymore, and I’ve read authors who are great without them. It’s more work for the author, but it’s just as rewarding, if not more. You get to keep more of your profit, and you connect directly with your fans. Facebook and Twitter, to name a couple, changed the game forever as far as advertising goes. Amazon completely shifted the publishing industry. There are a couple things I find annoying, though. I follow a lot of independent writers and I see a lot of the “read my book! It’s only $0.99! Read my book! It’s great! Read my book…” I try not to get sucked into the constant pushing of advertisement. I’m more likely to follow you if you present yourself like a person rather than a bot trying to boost its numbers. That’s why I try to post up something that everyone can use every now and again. I do post about my stories, but only when I receive a great bit of news, like a great review or something.
One more thing. Authors – if you follow another author simply to have them follow you back so you can load up their News Feeds with your self-promotion, you’re not doing it right. Would you talk to someone who walked up to you and said, “buy my book. It’s available on Amazon for $0.99”? I’d nod politely, say “okay I’ll look into it,” and keep moving with no intention on ever buying their book. I believe the same thing applies to social media. Present yourself like a person who has emotions and feelings and aspirations and a family. I will, and do, filter through my Facebook and Twitter. If I go to your profile and see, “read my book, read my book, read my book…” I swiftly hit Unfollow. That’s not to say that your work is bad – it might be the next best thing on the market – but I’m not going to respond, or even want to read your work if you do that. I always try to talk with the authors that follow me. Get a feel for them as a person. If you’re interesting and real, your work probably will be, too, and I’ll be more likely to read and review them. That’s really what I want – people to read because they want to.
What’s been the most life-changing or poignant book you’ve read?
I think every read book is a life-changer. I always take something out of the works that I read. I’d have to say the Sword of Truth series have messages that are more direct than any other story I’ve read. Plus it’s all fantasy.
What would you say the best thing about writing is?
Two words: Starting and Finishing. I’m always excited to start a new book and I’m more excited to hit the period on that last word, even more than the gem of a sentence that I type every once in a while. Finishing a book is one of the best feelings in the world.
And the worst?
Editing. Just hearing the word makes me cringe. It takes so long, and always involves getting rid of something I see as literary gold. But it must be done. Several times over.
What other projects are you involved in?
A. As I said before, I’ve started a business that edits manuscripts and reviews completed works. It’s called II Piece Blue Productions (www.iipieceblue.com). We take one to three projects a month. Between reading, writing, and editing or reviewing, I’m pretty busy. I have about three books started, including Reborn and the sequel, and I’m constantly looking at someone else’s writing. Plus I have a family.
If you had to give advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
First, know why you write. Second, keep writing. Don’t ever give up. Third, and this is going to sound weird, listen to what others are telling you about your writing. If it’s negative, figure out why, then work to make it better. If it’s positive, figure out why, then keep doing it.
In a sentence, persuade readers to buy your book.
A. Persuading readers isn’t my strongest quality; I believe an author must present themselves in their writings as they present themselves in public.
Where can people buy ‘Reborn’? Where can they find out more about you and your work?
This has been such an honor for me. Thank you for the interview. The book preview is called Three’s Company (Reborn). It’s available on Amazon electronically only. To find out more about me and my writing, go to www.forallmyefforts.wordpress.com, or just send me a message.
For information on my company, II Piece Blue Productions, go to www.iipieceblue.com or you can email us any questions at email@example.com. If you have a manuscript you want us to look at, I’d encourage you to email your genre and wait for a response before you send your manuscript. We try to connect the piece with the right editor first and foremost to see if they are able to take on the project. Obviously, editors have their own personal preferences when it comes to genres.
I also have Facebook and Twitter if you want to connect with me that way.
Thanks again, Laura!