(Author’s note: This is adapted from the FAQ page on my series site, ElementalMysteries.com. I did take out the ninja pictures.)
1. Where did you get the inspiration for your books?
This is a really common question with no clear answer except my overactive imagination. In a more general sense, I usually start with characters first. That is, characters come to my fevered brain, and the plots to my books usually follow that, not the other way round. For instance, the inspiration for the Elemental Mysteries was the character of Giovanni Vecchio.
2. Why romance?
Because I think love and relationships are worth writing about. And while I love happy endings, I don’t think real love is easy. It probably shouldn’t be.
3. Why paranormal?
Why not!? I love being able to write about characters who are thousands of years old. I love being able to inject magic and mystery in my books. I love, love, love being able to build a world where everyday reality is twisted. The real world has real drama, and I love writing about it, but my first love is fantasy and probably always will be.
4. Did you submit your books to a publisher first?
Nope. Never queried/submitted/etc. Nothing against those who do; everyone takes a different path in their profession. I’ve detailed some of the reasons why I chose indie-publishing here.
5. Why do you call yourself an indie-publisher and not self-published?
I don’t have any real objection to being called “self-published.” After all, if it’s good enough for Mark Twain and Charles Dickens, I’d be a real snob to buy into the stigma. “Indie-published” just seems more accurate since I have so many other people involved in producing my books. First-readers, editors, proofreaders, formatters, cover artists…there’s only so much “self” in there.
5. But self-publishing is super-easy, and I’ll be able to be an overnight millionaire, right?
Okay not really, but if you are a good writer and are willing to put the work into writing and producing a professional product, over time you can market and sell books and make real money. It’s not a get rich quick scheme, but it’s possible. Write good books and don’t expect to be an overnight success. Plan to spend some time (as in years, not weeks) building your audience and learning to be a better writer. My personal motto is: It’s not who makes a big splash in six months, it’s who is still writing after six years. I want to do this for the rest of my life. It’s fun, and it gives me a good excuse to research obscure trivia.
6. Okay, awesome, so what do I do first?
Go online. Research. There’s tons of information online, and it’s free. Then, if you really, really want to buy a book that tells you how, I recommend David Gaughran’s book, Let’s Get Digital. It’s a great resource and is geared toward new writers who don’t have experience in publishing.
To new writers: Please do not believe anyone who tells you that you need to pay a bunch of money to some company to self-publish. YOU DO NOT. You need to hire an editor, a cover artist, maybe a formatter, but NO ONE needs to be paid a percentage or a flat fee to put your books up at Smashwords, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Again, if you’re serious about publishing, read David’s book.
7. I hate e-readers, why can’t I get your paperbacks at my bookstore?
Sorry you’re not an e-reader fan. I do my paperback publishing through Createspace which is a print-on-demand outfit, and I’m pretty happy with them. Though my books may not be on the shelves of your local bookstore, they should be available for order if you ask your bookseller to look. Createspace distributes through Ingram’s distribution, which is very widely used. They can be printed and shipped through the U.S., Canada, and Europe. All my paperbacks are also available for order at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
8. Why don’t you sell signed copies of your books on your website?
Honestly? ‘Cause I’m kind of lazy and haven’t set it up yet. I probably will in the future, just check back. Or e-mail me and bug me about it. If enough people bug me about it, I’ll probably feel more motivated. Also, please feel free to bring your books to events listed here on the website. Unless otherwise noted, I will be happy to sign a book you’ve brought with you.
9. Why can’t I pre-order your books on Amazon/Barnes & Noble, etc.?
Unless I set myself up as a publisher (which is more complicated than I can handle right now) Amazon and B&N won’t let me do that. Amazon, I believe, says they’re working on it and they love their customers. So if you really want self-publishers to be able to list books for pre-order, email them about it. They respond to readers pretty quickly.
UPDATE: You can pre-order on Amazon now!!! Blood and Sand, the second book in my Elemental World series is available HERE.
Luckily, if you follow me at all on Facebook, Twitter, or on the blog here, I’ll shout to the rafters when I’m releasing a book. After that, I’ll try not to bug you too much with promotions and stuff, so do subscribe to the website if you like the books and want to know more.
10. What are you planning to write next?
I have a lot planned for the future. I’m doing final self-edits on Blood and Sand before it goes to my editor. I’m in the research phase for a new paranormal series, and I’m working on the idea for another novella in the Elemental World. The second Cambio Springs novel is roughly plotted out, and I’ll have a short story in that series out this summer. I have an idea for a contemporary romance stirring and even a historical fiction idea I’m tossing around (that’ll be a while, it’s research-heavy.)
In short, I’m always writing something, planning something, or editing something. I love my job.
11. I am interested in rights to your work. Who should I contact?
Thank you for your interest in my work. I am represented by Dystel and Goderich Literary Management. Please contact them for more information. Thanks!Dystel & Goderich Literary Management 1 Union Square West, Suite 904, New York, NY 10003 P: 212-627-9100 F: 212-627-9313 http://www.dystel.com