It's about this time of year that I discover that a third of the year has gone, and I have got a stack of writing left to do. As we swing into March, I fondly refer to this as my Madhatters Month. Things, which I have until this very moment, convinced myself were started I realize were actually just a pile of scribbled notes that need work. My inbox becomes a hive of activity as I reach outwards to seek solace that I am not alone in my underachievement, and as a last resort I write a pile of words on a page only to cross them out and rewrite them again at a later date. Still, whilst tea-parties and rabbits aside, I do occasionally manage to type out a little slice of gold this time of year I was wondering what motivated others. My next two authors were a world of inspiration.
This month's authors:
Christine is the author of the Best-Selling, Young Adult, Paranormal Romance novel, Crimson Forest. Her fiction has been nominated for such awards as The People’s Book Award and The Buckeye Book Award. Christine's been in the Marketing Industry for over 15 years and is currently in charge of the Publicity & Graphics Department at Pandamoon Publishing, a traditional publishing house based out of Austin, Texas. With her wealth of knowledge and experience I was interested to know how she managed it:
When you are looking at submissions from authors, what excites you when you pick out a script?
One of our favorite, exciting things to do, is attending Twitter pitch parties. We've attended PitDark, PitMad, SFFpit, and several more. To see an author take a 50,000 to 80,000-word count manuscript, and shorten it to an eye-catching 240 characters tagline, is amazing. When looking at submissions during these parties, we look for passionate taglines. We also look at their social media posts. Do they love writing? Do they love the book world? We take several things into consideration when looking through these submissions.
How do you juggle both writing books and publishing books? Does one influence the other?
It's a tedious task, to say the least! I generally write in the evenings, while my children are asleep. I'll sit in bed with my laptop, earbuds in, and a hot cup of tea by my side. As for if writing and publishing influence each other, yes, they do! We have a fantastic group of authors that inspire me to write, every day. Let me explain... Our books go through several different processes before publication. During these processes, we spend a significant amount of time with our authors, so much so, that we've become not only a publisher but have created a family type atmosphere. Allan & Zara Kramer have done a wonderful job of creating this atmosphere. Because of this, Pandamoon Publishing is the best publishing company out there, in my opinion. This dynamic makes me want to create more books for our ever-growing, eager, reader base.
What do you find most difficult about the publishing process, or what part of the process utilizes the most of your time?
I'm the Marketing Communications & Publicity Manager, which means most of my time is utilized with setting up interviews, creating graphics for events, and running all applicable social media accounts. The most difficult aspect of this process would be managing social media accounts. We have several different platforms, and each platform requires different "social media language" to get posts noticed. We take our time, and carefully calculate each post with our readers in mind.
If you could visit any book event in the world, which one would you like to attend and why?
The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. This festival has been happening every year since 1996. It's a two-day festival that attracts over 150,000 people every year. There are panels with authors, vendors, publishers, storytelling, and more! It's definitely an event every author should attend at least once in their lifetime.
Christine is on loads of websites, but her main forums are listed below.
www.pandamoonpub.com/our-books I hope you can take a moment to support her by checking out one of her pages, and I extend my thanks for being interviewed!
Debbie has a fascination with theology and religion and a wonderful cross-blend of historical and fiction writing experience. I was keen to learn from her what drives her writing:
With your love of theology what was the most interesting idea that you have uncovered during your research and how did that impact your writing?
My most interesting idea, or should I say revelation, is freedom-one is free to be spiritual in whatever way one wishes. Most folk think they have to follow a conventional path, that they have to be told what to do in their spiritual practice, they want to be told when to pray, they want to be told what to believe, but as my studies progressed I learnt about people that broke free from this kind of thinking. These were people who felt uncomfortable about being told what to worship and how to worship. I am not saying that there is anything wrong with conventional religion, I understand many folks like to be a part of a community and religion offers that but as one follows one’s path one should be able to question the dogma and ritual, perhaps even question what it is that they believe and one should be able to do this without being oppressed. And I think people should be able to question their faith so that they can explore it in a more in-depth way, such questioning, I think, should strengthen one’s faith. I was shocked at how many people over the centuries had been ridiculed, judged and even killed for questioning their belief, for questioning the faith that they were brought up in. So, to be free to believe in whatever one wants, as long as it is not harming another, and to be able to question everything is something that is very important to me.
I found your radio station and Youtube information on your website, do you find that helps engage with your readers?
My podcasts and films have helped me to engage with readers and also other searchers, whether in a spiritual or a historical way. I regard myself as a truth seeker, I am always open for new ideas, new knowledge and for passing on whatever it is that I am learning about myself. The YouTube channel has also brought me many new friends and I am always up for good discussion and to learn new ideas and views. I do enjoy making the podcasts and to interviewing and having a dialogue with people. It is great to pass on knowledge and thought from others, the wisdom and history of the past are there to be shared and we help each other when we pass on experience and information.
If you could time travel, where would you go and why?
Oh, to build a time machine! It is a dream of mine, surely, we can travel in time! If I had to pick only one particular time, I would go back and find out who built the megaliths that are stone circles and standing stones that covered the lands of the ancients-was it giants? Was it humans? Was it with magic? I have been pondering a book on this very subject for some years, I really feel that there is a special, magical element about sites such as Stonehenge, Callanish, and the other amazing stone circles, and one has to remember that back in the day, there were many, many more of them, not just the ones that we know of today.
What process do you like to do when you start a book? Do you plan or do you just start writing?
Before I even pick up a pen, I need to know the beginning, middle, and end of any book that I write. Whatever happens in it can come along as I put it together but I need the skeleton there before I write. I also write longhand, pen, and notebook, and that is not started until I have done all my research. All of my books have a historical, philosophical trait to them, so investigation and research come first, then once the story has begun to form, I start to write.
J Elliott loves to meet through her website- www.debbie-elliott.co.uk She is happy to take emails, and she tries to reply to all comments on her youtube channel.
I hope you can take a moment to support her, and I extend my thanks for being interviewed!
I wish to thank you for taking the time to read and engage with me! Happy reading everyone! VK Tritschler