Monday, April 27, 2009
Sometime ago, I was scheduled to be interviewed on a podcast. As usual, any time I plan anything in advance, something screws it up. So, since I wasted a entire afternoon thinking of, and then answering questions about myself, I decided to share my interview of me with you.
So without further ado...Stepping up to the microphone...Ginger Simpson, the author: *Thundering applause*
1. What prompted you to become an author?
Years and years of reading historical romance and wondering if I could write a story myself.
2. Assuming you succeeded, how did you go about finding a publisher?
The same way every author does...endless hours of query letters, a good synopsis and a blurb that hooked the submission editor into wanting to read more.
3. Once you found a publisher, what presented the most difficult challenge?
Knowing there were a million things I need to ask but now knowing how to form questions to get the right answers. I blogged about this very thing sometime back because I know there are tons of new authors out there who feel just as lost as I did.
4. How did you get the answers? I joined the author's loop for my publishing company and I lurked, hoping someone would stimulate a conversation that helped me. From there, I branched to otheer,m and now I'm on so many I can't manage them all. It's a vicious but necessary circle.
5. Do you have a blog? Of course... (sorta obvious). Blogging is a valuable tool for promotion, plus it gives readers and fans good insight into me as a person. Maintaining a blog provides me with immediate interaction to those leaving comments. Of course, I've recently become a ranting idiot over issues best not mixed with my writing side, so now I have two blogs.
6. Have you suffered any major disappointments since you began? Who hasn't? If you don't have a tough skin, you really need to cultivate one before you begin this journey. I've been luckier than most, though, only receiving two rejections at this publishing level. I'm finding it much more difficult to break into mainstream, but then competition is tough and the numbers vying for the same honor grows every single day. And then there are book review to death with.
7. Reviews? Tell us about them.
Book reviews play a major part in promoting ones work. Once is book is signed, the author sets about sending out PDF copies to review sites to request someone read and comment on the novel. The response time has greatly increased since I first started, but even then, it was a nerve-wracking ordeal. You sit and chew your nails to the nubs while waiting to read one person's opinion. We all know how varying those can be, so you learn to glean the good from the bad if someone didn't quite love your baby as much as you do. It's amazing what reviewers pick up on to nitpick or glow about. I've been so fortunate to have reviews on the higher end of the scale. I've read some that weren't and I really felt horrible for the authors. Unfavorable reviews are another reason to grow that tough skin I talked about earlier.
8. Has it all been worth it?
Of course. I've now published eight novels and five novellas, and have five in the works. My final goal is to see at least one book in Walmart next to Nora Roberts, but that may never happen. Still, it never hurts to dream. The friends and colleagues I've met on this journey have made my life so much richer, so there's the true reward. It's hard to explain how one can develop such a fondness for people I've never seen, but my internet friendships are every bit as real and tangible as those I've established face-to-face. Of course, if I'm being honest, you meet a few people best avoided.
9. If hear you've been nominated for an EPPIE? What is that exactly?
Why funny you should mention that. The nomination came as a pleasant surprise. EPIC, an organization for internet-published authors, has done a tremendous amount of work in helping establish the industry as a legitimate business and recognized achievement. Each year, a competition is held for books published during that period. Embezzled Love finaled in its category, and although I didn't win, the nomination in itself is quite an honor given the competition.
10. Any words of advice to those contemplating publication?
Write from your heart. Use your own voice and don't let anyone change it. Be open to advice, but take what enhances your story and leave the rest. Of course...remember the skin hint.