D.D. Chant, author of Broken City, talks about her approach to writing and her plans for the future.
Why do you write? Is it something you’ve always done, or always wanted to do? Or is it something that you started fairly recently?
I’ve always loved writing and I was 16 when I attempted my first full length book, and although I finished it I decided to be merciful and not inflict it on the innocent public!!! My aunt told me she’d never read a more confusing story(actually I think the word she used was crazy!) but she encouraged me to try again as she thought the next one would be more coherent! I was 18 when I started ‘Broken City’ and my family have encouraged me a lot, they’ve been really supportive and listened to me talk about my plots for hours!
Writing the first book gave me a lot of confidence even if it wasn’t good enough to print. One of my biggest worries was that I wouldn’t be able to tie up all the threads of the story tidily and end it, it really helped to have finished one and realise that I could do it.
Tell me a little about your books.
‘Broken City’ is set in the near future after an apocalypse has brought the world to a standstill. The story is told by Deeta the heroine who has lived her life never leaving the building she was born in and longs to see the world outside. Her best friend is Tom but Tom is keeping secrets…
‘The Promise’ is a Saxon romance and the start of the ‘Lady Quill Chronicles’ series. It tells the story of how one battle changes the lives of five foster brothers forever, this book is the story of Rafe and Adele and the promise that binds them together…..
Are there any authors who inspire you?
I love Georgette Heyer, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen and Elizabeth Gaskell…all the usual suspects! I’m not naive enough to suppose that I’m up to their standard though!!!
How do you write? Do you make yourself write a certain number of words per day?
I always have a pad and pen nearby, even when I’m out so that if I suddenly have an idea I can quickly write it down. I can’t seem to write straight on to a computer, you don’t get the same satisfaction of turning a page that you’ve filled up with your ideas. I write between a thousand and three thousand words a day when I’m on a roll, if I’m not feeling very inspired I don’t try to write because I know that I just end up erasing it from the final edit any way!
Did you try to get a conventional publisher or agent interested before you opted for self-publishing?
No I didn’t: I love the idea of indie publishing, of being able to pass your work on for a cheaper price, as a reader as well as a writer I can really get behind that cost cutting idea!
What goals have you set yourself? Do you want to sell a certain number of books in 2012? Is there some way you measure success, on your own terms?
I hope to be able to produce a book a year, which is my most important goal! As to success, I have had so many people asking me to write a sequel to ‘Broken City’ because they loved it so much and want to hear more about Deeta’s world, to me that is success and I started writing ‘Broken City: Truce’ this month.
How have you marketed your books? Have you used social media (Twitter, Facebook etc)? Have you paid for any advertising (Facebook Ads, Google Ads etc)? And how did it go?
Mainly I use Goodreads as my promotional platform, I have a blog and I’m on facebook. I don’t pay for advertising or reviews; I think that if your book is good enough you will be recommended by real readers who have read your story and that sort of advertising is priceless!!!
Have you signed up for KDP Select? If you have, how has it gone for you? Do you think free promotions are helping with your paid sales? If you haven’t signed up, why not? Are you worried about the exclusivity clause?
No I haven’t signed up to KDP select, I have no problem with free books in fact as a reader I’m all for them but I don’t like the exclusivity. It might be something I do in the future though.
Away from Amazon, have you had much luck with other outlets? Do you use Smashwords, Barnes & Noble etc?
Smashwords. I love Smashwords! It is the easiest platform for gifting your books and the fact that it can convert your book in to so many formats is brilliant!
Do you worry about Amazon gaining a monopoly in the eBook market?
I find it very hard to censure Amazon at all: they gave Indies a chance when no one else would and they gave it to us for free! They’re very fair to authors allowing them the freedom of pricing their books at a reasonable price so that readers are willing to take a chance on them. Yes Amazon are making money out of it too but why shouldn’t they?
What’s next? Are you working on anything at the moment? Do you have anything new coming out in 2012?
‘The Promise’ is new out this year so I’m excited to see how it will do!
I’m editing my next book ‘Fracture’ now, it is a dystopian adventure set a few hundred years in the future. Three super powers rule the world. Two of the super powers, the Tula and the Una, are at war and the third, The Free Nation must choose a side to form an alliance with. The book shows what happens when people from the different nations are thrown together and must overcome their distrust of each other.