Check out Awaken: A young adult novel where the good guys aren’t always good and the bad guys are even worse.
By Heather C. Myers, indie author of FOUR SIDES OF A TRIANGLE, a modern retelling of Emma.
This week, I’m featuring an author outside of my normal reading genre. Crossing genres is not only healthy, it’s important to keep your creative juices flowing. Think of it kind of like rotating crops on a field. Your mind needs the variety. Steven Vincent tells tales that are between Fantasy and Science Fiction. As a kid, he was immersed in video games. They were 16-bit and not much for plot, but that prompted him to create his own stories. This is where his storytelling began.
How would you describe your writing persona in 5 words?
Determined to entertain people.
Try to describe yourself in one sentence.
I’m probably the most ambitious person you’ll ever meet!
Where would you live if you could live anywhere in the world?
I live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and that seems to have worked well for the last 22 years! I would like to see Ireland or Japan someday though, if that counts.
Did you have support during your decision to be a writer?
Oh, for sure! My whole family was behind me all the way, and still supports me on every leg of the race.?Process:
Do you read reviews written about your work?
I think reviews are very important, good or bad. There does come a point where criticism becomes someone’s noisy opinion though, and every person – author or not – has to know when to smile and nod, then move on. That’s actually one of the major themes of Dawn of the Knight.
What’s your creative process?
I get an idea, and let it sit in the back of my mind for a month or so without paying it much thought. You’d be surprised how quickly material builds up subconsciously, so that when you sit down to ‘flesh’ the book out, you’re all set.
Do you write on a desktop or laptop?
I wish I had a laptop! But then again, I’ve been writing on the same computer for so long I’m not sure I could make a switch.
Do you have a day job?
‘Help Wanted’ signs are hard-pressed for work around here! Writing is my preferred job though, and it’s picking up pretty fast, so I’ve got my hands full anyways.
Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?
Yes, especially to those who choose to self-publish; learn the market. Get to know some other authors or bloggers, find out what sales techniques grab your attention, learn how to use the social networking tools like Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads, and learn the market a bit. You can write a great book, but it doesn’t go very far if nobody can see it! At the end of the day though, there’s nothing like hands-on experience.
There was a woman on Twitter who amazed me with her followership (then 16,000) and also her humor. Her #TellmeTuesday meme she had going kept me turning over ideas in my head for something to write each week. When I saw she was talking social media clients, other indie authors like me, and helping them figure out the Internet jungle, I jumped at the chance to work with Rachel Thompson.
We did everything from a blog overhaul to keywords for my books on Amazon.com. Now she has over 139,000 followers and a new book out, Broken Pieces. No stopping this woman. We had great fun in the Writer’s Studio this week. Here’s what she had to say about her ideal place to live, where she works, and why you need a brand.
How would you describe your writing persona in 5 words or less? Mining experiences for universal truths.
Describe yourself in one sentence I’m a passionate yet introspective person who writes about the things most people try to forget.
Where would you live if you could live anywhere in the world? London.
Did you have support for your decision to be a writer? I wanted to write starting at age ten and my folks were great about it. As an adult, my husband supported it (and still does) but the practical things suffer: housework, appointments, etc,. and my kids don’t understand why I have to shut my door.
Do you read reviews written about your work? Yes. I’ve learned (from my many years as a sales and marketing rep) not to take anything people say personally and always look for ways to learn or improve.
What’s your creative process? I’m fascinated by the human condition so I’m always thinking about an experience or story I’ve read and figuring out a way to write about it.
Where do you write? I have a MacBook Air and I love it. I write in an office, though many times, when I’m with my kids, I’m writing wherever they are.
Do you have a day job? I started my own business in 2011 – BadRedheadMedia.com – to help authors learn what I’ve learned about social media and book marketing.
Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers? Ignore everyone else and just sit down and write. We all have our own style. Trust your vision. Once you’ve got it down, then work with professionals: editor, proofreader, graphic artist, formatter, marketing consultant. Focus on the writing, first and foremost.
Rachel breaks down some key terms the online author needs to know.
Meme: (rhymes with ‘theme). A meme is a theme, basically. Participate in writer and reader centric memes to connect with your audience (i.e., #MondayBlogs, #TagItTuesday, #WriterWednesday) etc. I also started the @MondayBlogs stream so people can share their latest post and retweet others that day (though you can post any day of the week – just use the #MondayBlogs hashtag and/or cc me at @MondayBlogs) and I’ll retweet you.
Branding: Figure out the main keywords you use and make those consistent across all channels of your author platform. We as humans are naturally drawn to the topics we write about. For example, I write about women and men, love and loss, relationships and sex. Therefore, I tweet about those subjects, blog on them, share information from others about them, as well as promoting my own work.