At the risk of sounding repetitive, I’m going to say it… I’m so excited for today’s blog post! 😀 (I think I say this almost every week.)
Today’s special guest is one I met late last year when I invited her to be an author at The Annual Twelve Writers of Christmas Facebook Party.
She was incredibly fun to chat with and more then once had me laughing about something we said. Not only that, but she has such a big heart and appreciated her time in answering my questions about web design (more on that in a minute) and/or indie publishing.
However, talking about web design, did you know she is awesome at it? Yeah, for real, and I think she is hiding other cool skills that we’re not aware of. I tried turning into a detective to find some of them, but alas, no such luck. Let me know if you find any more of her “secret” skills.
Despite that my detective skills were lacking, I’m glad she is stopping by to share a few things that are not so secret: Her writing YA.
Grab a blanket and a few pillows for my fun chat with Jamie about writing and indie publishing.
About the Book
Archangels return to Alani, creating a new generation of Serrans… for a price.
Jet Valinor can’t keep his secrets from Darien any longer. Sorvashti seeks revenge against her husband’s killer—a debt that can only be paid in blood.
The Lynx want their base back. The Serrans will fetch a good price for Zekk Sorrowsong, or make excellent slaves… if he can capture them before they’re betrayed from within.
– Hey Jamie! I’m so excited to have you on the blog again! For those who don’t know you, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Howdy! I’m a workaholic marketing specialist/webmaster/graphic artist/indie publisher/author. Apparently that’s a thing…?
I live in central Texas with my Irish cowboy husband, hyperactive toddler, and snuggle-bunny Australian Shepherd. We’re rabid gamers and unashamed nerds.
– Ah I would definitely say that’s a thing, though a busy thing. 😉 What prompted you to start writing?
I knew I loved to create stories since childhood—apparently I won the “storyteller award” in second grade, but not sure if that was for lying. What? I never lie.
But I doubted myself so badly in high school—I was never good at English, and apparently I thought that was a requirement for being a good author. (This is why we have editors, right?) Thus my education and professional path of webmaster.
God had other plans. Even as I was working for a publisher (Thomas Nelson/HarperCollins), He bashed me on the head until I resigned and began full-time writing. It’s been hard work, but His blessings are undeniable, and I couldn’t be happier.
– LOL! That’s pretty awesome and I can totally relate to the whole you-need-to-be-good-at-English-to-be-an-author thing. Pretty much felt the same way growing up, which is why I hadn’t planned to be an author. What inspired you to write the world of The Sentinel Trilogy?
Oh, lots of things! Each country in the world of Alani is based on some collaboration of Earth cultures or locations I’ve visited and love, or historical time periods, or some awesome fantasy people from another work.
Valinor is loosely based upon the United Kingdom. The people of LaKota are inspired by Scottish clans, Native American tribes, and traditions of early Israel. The island of Malaan is similar in its customs to Imperial Japan. And the deadly forests of Katrosi weren’t fully settled until later in the world’s lifeline, making it similar to America in its melting pot of cultures.
I try to keep my world-building based in historical fact, but ooooh, how much fun it is to scheme! >:3
– Ooooo I love this! So many different cultures and ideas mixed into one. Since you’re a self-published author, what aspects of indie publishing have been the most challenging and most rewarding?
It’s challenging to supply your own funds for crafting a professional work all by yourself, but if you know it’s what you want to do as a career and you save up, you’ll find that most all of the pros out there are happy to work with indie authors. Learning the ropes is tough at first, but boy, is it worth it!
One bonus of indie publishing is that you can be a little more… out there… than some publishers might approve of. Yes, you should definitely hire a professional editor or two, but at the end of the day, you get to make the call when your work is ready for the world to see.
Another reward is when the monetary investment returns and you don’t have to pay any middle-men. But if you can land a contract with one of the Big 5 publishers, signing that baby would definitely be worth it!
– I am finding out that many pros are willing to help aspiring indie authors like myself (you included). Talking about aspiring authors…what advice would you share with an aspiring author?
Decide if you want to write for pleasure or for business. It’s OK just to write for pleasure and not publish everything, just like it’s OK to be a hobby artist or musician!
But if you do want to be a career writer, realize that you’re starting a small business—and all small business require a monetary investment and a start-up period of a few years. Be willing to learn, save up, and sacrifice. Surround yourself with professionals—from top editors to bestselling authors to award-winning cover designers to marketing gurus—and I promise your hard work will pay off.
– This is wonderful advice! Thank you so much for sharing, Jamie, and stopping by!
About the Author
YA fantasy author Jamie Foley loves strategy games, home-grown berries, and Texas winters. She’s terrified of plot holes and red wasps.
Her husband is her manly cowboy astronaut muse. They live between Austin, TX and their family cattle ranch, where their hyperactive spawnling and wolfpack can run free.