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Monday, 22 July 2013
This weeks Guest Spot belongs to Martha Bourke, best selling author of the Jaguar Sun and New Breed novels. If you enjoy Martha's interview check out her work here:
1. First, for avid readers, fans, and the curious out there, what's the best way to ask you a question?
The fastest ways to find me are to go to my website, www.marthabourke.com and go under ‘contact’ to email me or to tweet me at @Martha_Bourke. I answer all correspondence from my readers. They’re just awesome.
2. Do you have a favourite character from another author’s book?
I’m in love with so many characters from so many authors, ranging from Dickens to Laini Taylor. As both a reader and writer, it’s all about character for me. Who are these people? What’s their story? What will be their epiphanies? How do they interact with other characters and what’s their role in the story as a whole? Love it! I’m drooling right now just thinking about it.
3. Do you pre-plan your stories or are you a take-it-as-it-comes writer?
You know, I think I’m really a pantser with planner tendencies. I say that because scenes and conversations are always coming to me at random and I put all the puzzle pieces together. I almost always know a story’s big events, including the climax, very early on. And then when everything in between those scenes needs to be filled in is where the pantser part comes in.
4. Where does your inspiration comes from? What motivates you?
Both of my series take place in the same world. They are connected, but can be read independently. One is Young Adult, the Jaguar Sun Trilogy and the other is Adult, the New Breed Novels. I love Paranormal Romance of any kind, but my world focuses on shapeshifters with a Maya twist. I love foreign language, culture, and mythology. I’m a geek about it all, really. The books are all pretty light reading - most readers don’t want a paragraph written in Maya. But those fine touches help bring an originality to the series – at least, I hope they do! (laughs)
5. Do you have set schedule to write to or do you grab the time as it comes?
I am a full time writer, so I write almost every day. Sometimes I’ll skip a day if I’m waiting for a character(s) to let me know where I should be heading. On those days, I handle the business end of things. Interviews, working with my cover artist, updates to my website, beta reading for friends - whatever needs to get done. The things I basically totally ignore if I’m deep into writing a book.
6. How do you take writing interruptions?
Small interruptions at the house are fine. Lunch with my husband in the kitchen (he works from home a lot), the pets, a phone call. Appointments can totally mess me up, especially if it’s midday. Then I usually turn the rest of the day into a business day. That’s what happened today, in fact!
7. What do you enjoy and what do you hate about writing?
Love everything there is about writing. Love, love, love. What I don’t like is everything that goes with it. Editing, proofreading, rewrites, formatting, covers. They’re the worst.
8. Mostly for our other authors out there, what’s your advice as to how to handle a bad review?
One bad review doesn’t bother me too much. For one thing, a review is a review. Very few people bother to do it, so you take what you can get. Strings of bad reviews where an author is being targeted for no apparent reason drive me nuts. Writers work so hard at what they do. What takes someone one or two days to read took someone weeks and weeks to write. Often times, the multiple bad reviews are written by people who haven’t even read the book. Almost everyone I know has had this happen. My advice? Don’t bother trying to have it removed. It’s next to impossible. Make your peace with it any way you can – talk to writer friends, write, whatever – and then move on. No one likes it. Sometimes we feel like our book pages on bookselling sites are more like graffiti walls than anything else. But this too shall pass.
9. What other projects do you have on the boil?
Next out is the second book of the New Breed Novels (as yet untitled), out about August 20th – just a month away! Time goes so fast. After that I will write the third and last novel of the Jaguar Sun Trilogy, Jaguar Hunter, which should be out early next year 2014.
10. Do you have any advice to offer other Indie authors about self-publishing?
Yes. Get an editor. Editing is not the same as writing. It’s an entirely separate skill. Most of us are too close to our own work to edit for ourselves anyway. Then have your manuscript proofed. There’s nothing worse than having someone love your story in a review, but then give it two stars because of all the typos. Not fun. Also, hook up with other Indies. They will guide you through the process of getting on social media, finding editors, blogging, you name it. They’ll listen when you get that bad review. Then, you, in turn, will do all this and more for newbies that come along after you. It’s what being Indie is all about.
11. Does any particular strategy work for you to boost sales?
The most important thing you can do as a writer is build your backlist. Write, write, and write. That’s number one. If you write stand-alones, write more of them. If you write a series, put book one into Amazon KDPS, so that you can use free days to promote and get new readers hooked. You can even back that up with a service, such as BookBub. But the reality is, the more books you have out there, the better your chances that any form of promotion will work to your advantage.
12. Does social networking improve your sales?
Initially, I think it did help some. Now, I don’t think it makes much difference. What I love about it most is keeping in touch with readers and author friends. I think you’d get a different answer to this question from every writer you ask. Should you be on Twitter? Yes. Should you be on Facebook? Absolutely. If nothing else they will help you network and you’ll find amazing writing friends in the Indie community – like you, Dave! (He did not pay me to say that.)
13. What was Maya doing on December 21, 2012?
Oh, you’re sneaky. You have to read Jaguar Sun, the first book in the YA series to find that one out. Trying to get me to give that away. Shame on you, Dave! J
15. What was Martha doing on December 21, 2012?
Martha was writing on the day the Maya calendar ended. There’s a shock. Quick! This man over here needs CPR! I was working on the first book in the adult series and happily awaiting my second favorite time of the year with my family. What’s the first? I write paranormal romance. It’s Halloween, of course!
Thank you, Martha! You are awesome, as always!