Darlene Jones, author of Embattled and Empowered, 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?
Writing is something I’ve always wanted to do. I started playing around writing stories a few years ago, and gradually realized that I could produce a novel. I went to writers’ conferences, joined critiquing groups. Everything I learned made my writing stronger.
Tell me a little about your books.
Beings from “out there somewhere” take over Em’s life. Problem is the being controlling her is a rookie on his first assignment. Of course he messes up. When I began writing I only planned one novel, but the story and characters took over and grew to four novels. I’m writing the fourth now and I think it will be the “happily ever after.”
What’s next? Are you working on anything at the moment? Do you have anything new coming out in 2012?
Book three will be out in a couple of months and book four as soon as I can get it finished and formatted.
Are there any authors who inspire you?
I love so many authors, Kathy Page, Amar Lakhous, Elizabeth Cadell, Ellis Peters … a rather eclectic lot. I can only hope to entertain my readers and engage their intellect as these authors have done for me.
How do you write? Do you make yourself write a certain number of words per day?
I write a bit every day. But there are times when I have to stay away from my work for a few weeks or months. Then when ideas start whirling in my head, I know it’s time to get back at it.
Did you try to get a conventional publisher or agent interested before you opted for self-publishing?
Oh my goodness! Don’t get me started. To read the whole story scroll down to “Why I decided to self-publish” here. In a nutshell I think agents (and publishers) have shot themselves in the foot by not keeping up with technology and jumping on the bandwagon of ebooks.
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 would like to have awesome sales, no question, but I’ve achieved my main goal already – I’ve written a novel. And that novel is not sitting idly on my computer. It’s out there. People are reading it. I have a hard copy on my bookshelf. I’ve done it!
How have you marketed your books?
I’m using social media, but finding that marketing is a long and time consuming job. Being able to post on sites like yours and having readers post reviews is so helpful.