Hi! First, I’d like to welcome you to the blog. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and your work?
Hi! I’m a Canadian author and book nerd, living in the Pacific Northwest. I work as a beta reader for Hot Tree Editing, a book blogger, and am a stay at home wife, and mom of two. I’m an introvert with a foul mouth and TV/Netflix binge addiction. How long have you been writing and publishing your work? What inspired you to start writing and publishing your work? -I hit publish on my first novel, Phoenyx Rising in 2015, and its follow up duet, Titan Elite in 2016. I have always jotted down story ideas knowing one day I would write a book. Phoenyx Rising was an idea that snowballed into a few scenes jotted down and three years later I hit publish. The sequel I finished in a year. The idea and its characters would not leave me alone, until I started writing.
Do you work with a publisher or are you selfpublished? Why that route and what have your thoughts been on it?
I self-published my first two books, the first I self-published because the very idea of submitting to a publisher gave me serious anxiety. The second was self-published mainly due to the fact most publishers won’t touch a previously published series. Self-publishing is freeing but also take so much time, and effort. You have to obsess over every detail and pay a team of people to help edit, for,at, proofread, and design cover art etc. This past winter I swallowed my nerves and submitted to a publisher for the first time and in January I got a short story published in an anthology via Hot Tree Publishing. This was my first experience with a publisher and it was so wonderful I would definitely do it again. I personally, struggle a bit with self publishing, mainly marketing aspects and getting readers attention. Going with a publisher was so freeing, I really enjoyed it. Someone else obsesses over all the details and their team handles ALMOST everything. It’s nerve wracking to put yourself out there but it’s worth it.
If you could offer any advice to writers out there (published or nonpublished) what would it be?
Don’t put it off. The time will pass anyway and a year from now you’d wish you would have started today. It’s a long and daunting process (writing and everything that comes after) but if it’s truly your passion, just DO IT! Find time each day, or each week, set aside time to get those words down. Also, try NaNoWriMo (National Write a Novel Month) in November, it’s exhausting and empowering and has a huge support system behind it. It’s a great way to force yourself to get into a habit of writing every day.
Not just writing advice, what kind of marketing/networking advice would you offer?
Network as much as you can, with blogs, other authors etc. Writing is an isolating affair, try to make time to touch base with others in the trenches. Marketing, I wish I had advice but this is my toughest area right now. Struggling to get your book in readers hands in an over saturated market is so difficult for me. I’m trying and learning everyday what works and what doesn’t. I’ve given away over 100 books on Instafreebie etc and received zero reviews so far. Yes, incredibly frustrating but thus is the life of an indie.
What is one thing you wish you knew before you started publishing or that you wish you could tell people about writing/publishing?
Editors are worth heir weight in gold. Check and recheck and that’s right, recheck again before you hit publish, I had errors in my first book I had to go back and fix AFTER publishing, I was a know-nothing newbie back then. Edit yourself as much as possible before handing over to an editor. Like most aspects of life, beware of jerks, get recommendations from others always before signing on with any PR or self-publishing companies. Don’t get me wrong some are brilliant, but there are a few seriously bad eggs.
Finally, what is in store for the future? Do you have any plans you’re currently working on?
I have taken a step away from Urban Fantasy and am almost finished my first full length Contemporary Second-chance Romance, Exposure. It’s exciting, after spending years in the Demigod world to jump into something challenging and rewarding. I haven’t decided if I will self publish or submit to publisher, yet. I will most likely submit it to a publisher. After Exposure, I have another contemporary romance in its early stages but I can’t tell you much about that just yet.
Kolleen is a Canadian wife, mom, author, beta reader and book blogger. When she isn’t being a mom & wife, she enjoys reading everything from paranormal to romance to YA and dark stories. She spends her free time being held hostage by her current work in progress and letting her characters come to life through her words on paper.