*** To all about-to-be, or preparing-to-be, published authors out there - this is exactly what you should be doing AHEAD of publication. I can't urge you enough to follow Elizabeth's example. It is so important if you want to be successful ***
I've been lucky enough to interview Elizabeth about the writing of her book. Do take a look, it makes fascinating reading:
*** In the next day or so I'll be posting an excerpt of Darkspell - so stay "toooonnned..."
On with the interview:
Sue: What inspired DarkSpell?
Elizabeth: If you venture into Gail Carson Levine’s Writing Magic, on page 4, there is a writing prompt. It is the 5th one down if you want to see how Darkspell was born! The characters came full-born to me; inspiration comes easy to me. You’ll find the prompt within the first 30 pages of my novel. (I checked this out on Amazon - it's there alright! Hmmm...that might be a book to buy as well LOL)
S: How long has it taken since you started writing to publication date?
E: It took me about 2 months to write the entire book, but add on another few months for rewrites and revision. After a few submissions along with rejections, I decided to continue with other novels. It wasn’t until March of this year that I decided to pull Darkspell from its resting place for resubmission. (That was very wise - a lesson to us all)
S: What age-group are you targeting? Is there any explicit sex in DS? What subjects are, in your opinion, taboo in YA (at the age-range you're aiming for).
E: I’m targeting 12 to 18. I chose this wide range because I feel they would make a fast connection with the characters and conflicts they face. I have no sex in this book. In my opinion, sex, foul language and violence are taboo. Why? Because it is not cool to hurt others as violence seems to portray. Using questionable words only cheapens a person. Sex isn’t as glamorous as the media portrays—there are a lot of repercussions involved behind the scenes of sex that is glossed over, and the consequences are deep.
S: To help newly or about to be published authors, what advice and tips would you give about the marketing of their books? What have you done pre-DarkSpell publication?
E: Wow, this is a great question to ask. First of all, if you have the slightest dream of becoming published, I urge you to set up your own blog, Facebook account, Twitter—any social network where you can connect with other people. (Sound advice)
I have a recently published friend who didn’t set up a blog until her book came out. Building your name is a slow process, so make sure you start as soon as you can. Remember that it’s never too early to start.
I started blogging and signed up with Goodreads in 2009 with a small goal for publishing. I didn’t know that 2 years later Darkspell would be picked up. (I did the same - I only started when the book was published. I wish I'd started earlier)
Since my book was picked up, I set up Twitter account—something I was dreading because I was afraid of something different. My husband introduced me to LinkedIn. There are many other social networks that you can look into as well.
I made an official announcement that TreasureLine Books picked Darkspell on my blog and Facebook. I created my website and Tweeted that. For the entire month of July, I’m celebrating Darkspell’s release with an online tour of interviews and giveaways. I’ve done chats and a presentation at a school.
S: Will adults enjoy DS and why?
E: I believe they will. There are unexpected turns that will leave the reader guessing. Adults still feel that uncertainty that young people do with their decisions of life and love. I think they will connect with Winter as she endures the feelings of loss as well as new love and the shock of an ancient secret.
TreasureLine Books online bookstore, Barnes & Noble ebook and paperback, ebooks: B&N, Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Borders, Diesel, Sony, and Scrollmotion.
You can order/reserve a personalized copy through my website soon!
Please join me in my celebration for Darkspell’s fall release all July long! A pre-booklaunch party if you will. Click here for details.
If you'd like to follow Elizabeth's tour and see how it all should be done, here is her schedule:
July 1 Sue Roebuck
July 4 Charlene Wilson
July 5 S. B. NiccumJuly 7 Roland Yeomans
July 11 Alex J. Cavanaugh
July 12 M. S. Hatch
July 13 Tristi Pinkston
July 14 Susan Gourley
July 18 Jo Schaffer
July 19 Konstanz Silverbow
July 20 Melissa Kline
July 23 Lisa Turner
July 25 J. D. Brown
She's going to be a busy girl - but I wish her all the luck in the world and I'm sure you do too :)