An Indie Author Shares Her Thoughts
This is your first book. How does it feel?
It feels really great! I’ve always known that I wanted to write ever since I was a little kid, but to see something in print has been crazy, and it took a lot longer than I imagined it would.
So, you always wanted to be a writer?
Pretty much. My aspiration took root at seven, which is the age of reason, so yeah.
I remember in second grade my teacher kept a cupboard full of “big kid” books. After I had blown through the course curriculum, she went in there and pulled out a Nancy Drew. I’m pretty sure it was The Bungalow Mystery. I went home and read it in two hours. I was mind blown! Suddenly I realized that books could incorporate whole worlds and create characters so real that you wished they were your friends.
After that I would write little stories with pictures about animals at the zoo and such things. My mother always really encouraged me in my writing aspirations and believed I could make it, and her support really had an impact on my dreams forming solid roots.
For readers new to The Cursed Chronicles series, could you say a little on the topic?
Yes, so the series is set in an alternative 1800’s India shortly after Governor General Richard Wellesley’s attempted takeover. Interestingly, Wellesley was violating treaties in place at the time, and he did not actually have the Crown’s authority to attack, but he believed that if he was successful all would be forgiven. Historically, Wellesley led a very successful campaign, and his gamble paid off. Ironically however, as an Irishman, he never received the level of glory that he craved. The timeline in The Cursed Chronicles veers sharply off the historical path when the dead arise and begin to devour the living, reshaping the powers that be.
Our heroes, an orphaned half-caste, a young Brit foot soldier, a fierce Indian princess, and her clever younger brother, find themselves in this back drop. Book one, Enemy Rising, deals with their initial meeting, which will have a long-lasting impact on the course of their lives. They all have different paths to tread, but they are united in their struggle to find purpose in the chaos.
Your book is somewhat unique in that it has follows four characters’ points of view? How did this come about?
Honestly, somewhat by accident. Originally the story was set to follow eleven-year-old orphan Sarah Wright’s point of view only. When I was about fifty pages in to my first manuscript I tried writing a section from Charlie, the young Brit foot soldier’s, perspective. I liked how it turned out a great deal, and I ran it by some beta readers. They felt the same way, so I began to incorporate all the characters’ perspectives.
I hope that my readers will enjoy the effect. One reviewer online brought up the choice and claimed that although multiple character switches usually “drive them crazy,” apparently I “did them so beautifully that it became a work of art.” That was obviously quite nice to hear, and I hope there are others who will feel the same way.
So, it sounds like you do read reviews then?
Yes! What’s the old writer sentiment? You’re terrified that someone will read your work, but you’re also scared no one will.
Honestly, maybe I should avoid reviews. Generally, I have been blessed that they have been favorable so far, but the exceptions can really sting. I try to take it all with a grain of salt, and I’ve received a few criticisms that helped me to improve the series, so if I ever ran across those individuals, I could honestly say thank you!
Do you think that approach to constructive criticism is necessary as an indie author? And what other challenges do you face as an indie author?
Yes, probably. At least, it feels that way for me.
For me, one of the biggest challenges as an indie author is marketing. It’s harder work than you imagine when you get going. On the other hand, it’s really fun.
I suppose as second issue, although it isn’t necessarily unique to indie authors, even if it is exacerbated by marketing, is time management. I am currently in my final year of law school, and carving out time to write book two, create copy for book one, blog, and so on can be tough. I think the key is consistency. I’m a scheduled person, so if I can fall into a rhythm, it really helps.
Final question. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
I would give all aspiring authors the same advice I received. Writer’s write. If you love something, you will make time for it. You have the ability and the talent, now put in the work. I believe in you. Get to it!
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