Sunday Spotlight is a new, trial feature here at Novellique in which I do a quick interview with an author I’ve previously reviewed for. I wanted to do this because it allows me to spotlight (mostly Indie) authors who wouldn’t otherwise get much recognition. This week, Adara Quick!
Sunday Spotlight #1
For my Sunday Spotlight interview with Adara Quick, I asked her five questions about the writing process. Here’s what she said!
1. PLANNING. Do you plan your writing – if so, how?
I’m definitely a planner. My story was written as a gift for my niece, Deirdre. And when she was five years old we would play a game I called “planning.” Each person got to list some games they wanted to play and each person also got to kick out the one game they really didn’t want to play. So, it taught her some basic analysis skills and let me never have to play dolls. So, yes, I am pretty planful! Writing for me is similar. I make a list of possible scenes and plot twists. Then I use elimination to pick the threads that work together the best.
2. WRITING. What’s your favourite writing spot?
My favourite writing spot is definitely my garden. I have a tiny and lovely city garden in my back yard. It has a slate sitting area and my rose bushes grow along the edges at the fence. In my future world, my characters are completely cut off from nature and only experience the beauty of the Irish countryside in the dream world. So when I’m in my garden, I feel a biting sadness for what has been stolen from my characters. I think it helps me as a writer to hold onto that feeling and I pour it into my characters.
3. DRAFT. First draft: handwritten or digital?
I write my stories entirely by long hand. The internet is so distracting that I find it extremely difficult to create new content on my laptop. So, I do everything on paper with a pen. This includes a master outline of scenes and a mini-outline of each scene. Then when I have assembled enough notes, I take out new paper and generate about 1000-2000 words a day. Since I have first drafts written for the next two books in the series, I have huge stacks of hand-written sheets on my bookshelf. When I get stuck, I take a walk or talk to someone in my writing group about what I’m trying to work out.
4. PUBLISH. Industry secrets: debunk an assumption about self publishing.
The most difficult struggle as an indie author is getting optics on your book. And it’s only then that you can start to gauge whether you have an audience or not. The new media has led to an explosion of creative production. But this results in more “noise” in the book world, making it difficult for people to find your book. The best approach is to rely on the quality and craftsmanship of your product. Good work always rises, however you get it out there (indie or traditional publishing). But it can’t rise unless people SEE it and get a chance to react.
Traditional publishers have a basic strategy that has been very effective. But it relies on big market buys and connections to brick and mortar booksellers. Indie authors don’t usually have access to those strategies so we have to find different ways to promote our books. As an indie author, I’ve done the best with organic marketing strategies. For me, the main things that I did to stand out in book land were to write the best book I could, go through multiple rounds with an editor, network on multiple social media sites, and launch my book using NetGalley.
I wasn’t getting traction as an indie author until I started using NetGalley to promote my book. NetGalley is a platform traditionally used by conventional publishers to distribute ARCs, find beta readers for an author, and create buzz around a new title. In the past NetGalley was solely used by conventional publishers and now it is opening up to indie authors. It’s an awesome method for indie authors to get the attention of “readers of influence” in the book world. It gets your book reviewed and lets readers know that your book has been vetted.
I am so excited about all of the great stuff that indie authors are doing. There is no longer the ivory tower of the publishing world that is controlling the gates of what is seen and read. Now, it’s more of a grassroots process where readers and bloggers organically filter out their preferences. Write on indie authors!
5. REVIEWS. What types of reviews are most satisfying/helpful?
Its always best to get reviews that are a blend of positive comments and constructive criticism. Writing is a journey of developing your craft and reviews are a chance to see the weak spots in your writing and learn from them. But when you are a new author, getting mixed reviews can be hard at first. You just poured all of yourself into your art and of course you want everyone to love it as much as you do. But not everyone on the internet is kind and so you have to develop a thick skin pretty quickly. Take in the lessons, forget the rest, and get back to writing!
Congratulations to Adara for winning the IndieBRAG medallion for Indie Publishing. She’d also like to thank her cover designer and editor at Creative Digital Studios for all their help!
Do you guys like this idea? Want me to continue Sunday Spotlight? What questions would you like me to ask indie authors? Let me know in the comments!
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