Renee Writes

My Interview on Awesomegang

I was recently interviewed on Awesomegang. I great site where authors can share their work, and readers can meet great new authors!

Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.

I’ve been writing on and off since the mid 90’s, but it’s only been in the last couple of years that I’ve been able to get beyond my fears of publishing my work that I’ve gotten serious about it. Last year (August 2014) I published my first episode of Shadow Stalker, a dark fantasy serial I’m writing. I’ve mainly been focusing on writing the serial so far, but I have a novella, Demon Hunt, plus another I’ve written that will be included in a charity bundle in April 2017, Makari’s Mission. Both are prequels to my Shadow Stalker serial. Soon I’ll be working on a series of novels that take place in the same world. Two of the Shadow Stalker bundles (with six episodes in each) have been published. The first is free to download on my website.

Aside from writing, I love reading, watching movies and playing games and doing science experiments with my daughter. She has ASD and ADHD and hasn’t been able to cope in a school setting, so we homeschool her. 🙂

What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

Shadow Stalker was actually inspired by The Celestine Prophecy. While I was reading it, my character, Kado, just popped into my head. I knew right away he was not going to be the main character, but he was going to be a major part of the story as the main characters “guide”. The story and the world grew slowly in my mind from there, and evolved a lot from it’s original form to what it is today.

Do you have any unusual writing habits?

Not really. Since I homeschool my daughter, and I can’t even set a real writing schedule because I spend a lot of time caring for her, for me it’s more of a just get in there and write when I have the chance. I do a lot of preparation work though, so when I do sit down to write, I don’t waste time staring at a blank screen. I know exactly what I’m going to write.

What authors, or books have influenced you?

I tend to read a lot of stuff, and it’s hard to keep track of it all, but the authors that have really made a difference for me are Terry Goodkind and Lindsay Buroker. Reading Terry Goodkind’s work puts me in the mood for writing and gets my creative juices flowing. Sometimes I have to stop in the middle of one of his books and start writing. Lindsay is a successful indie author who shares a lot of info about how she found her success, which has been a tremendous help. She is my reminder that it’s possible to succeed as an indie author without it turning into a stressful job.

What are you working on now?

Right now I’m continuing my work on my Shadow Stalker serial, which is going to be 24 episodes long. I’m currently about to start publishing weekly chapters of Episode 14 on Patreon. I’m also compiling all my world building and character facts into one file on Scrivener so I can start working on my Savior of the Serpent Isles series, which is going to be about eight novels long and takes place in the same world as Shadow Stalker. Where Shadow Stalker is from the point of view of one character, the novels are going to give a broader view of everything happening in the world during this time.

What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?

I prefer promoting my books through my website. The first bundle of the Shadow Stalker serial is free, so I really try to get people into it by downloading it and if they like it, they can get the second bundle (Episodes 7 – 12) free just by signing up to my newsletter. I also write articles on writing, marketing and self-publishing that I share on my blog and social media as well.

Do you have any advice for new authors?

Focus on building your platform and that means getting to know people, helping people and making yourself as visible as possible. Most of my new readers have come from helping other authors promote their work on my website and my Renee’s Author Spotlight blog.

What is the best advice you have ever heard?

The best advice I’ve gotten is the advice I generally always give, and that’s to build your author platform. If all you do is try to sell your books to complete strangers, you’ll get nowhere fast.

What are you reading now?

At the moment I’m not reading anything, but I’m about to start the Vampire Academy series soon… and I don’t even like stories about vampires. I just saw the movie recently and really liked it, so now I want to read the books.

What’s next for you as a writer?

As I mentioned earlier, I’m working on putting everything together to plan my Savior of the Serpent Isles series. Then next year, once I’m done writing Shadow Stalker, I’ll be starting a new serial about the origin of the shadow stalkers. I asked my readers whether they wanted that or something completely new and different, and they chose that. So I’ll be sticking to the Shadow Stalker world for a while to come. It’s an interesting world though. 😀

If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?

It would probably have to be the first four books of Lindsay Buroker’s, The Emperor’s Edge, series. I love that series… can I bring the whole thing, though?

Read the full article on Awesomegang!

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