For one whole week, I will be talking to Indie Author's about what it is like to be an Indie Author and their books!
Next up on the tour, we have Author Lori R. Lopez!
What is it like to be an Indie Author?
It isn't easy. It can be quite challenging, yet also rewarding in terms of the control it gives writers over everything about their books from the cover design to the editing and marketing. At the same time, that's what poses a tremendous challenge. Writers no longer can focus on writing. Indie or not, times have changed and most of us need to fill a number of other roles that used to be "taken care of". For me, some of it is welcome. I prefer to do my own covers and editing. That is frowned upon in general, but I believe I have the skills to pull it off. I think my covers are unique and reflect my own artistic vision. I also have my unique style of writing, as well as my own rules. I don't like my style to be tampered with. So I have chosen to self-publish in order to maintain that degree of control.
Can you tell us any pro’s/con’s about being an Indie?
I think the hardest part, besides balancing the time to write with time for all of the other tasks needing to be done, is that there is more competition than ever these days. Getting noticed is extremely difficult. Promotion is not only tiring, it makes me feel uncomfortable to be waving my arms and saying, "Look at me, look what I've done!" I'd prefer to let my written words speak for themselves. I tried that after publishing my first three books (print volumes) since 2008. The trouble was, nobody read them. I finally had to join the crowd and become a self-promoter, but I want to find different ways to stand out from that crowd. Being an indie author, I have the freedom and flexibility to do things my way. I can work with my sons, who have been assisting me in the technical aspects and have their own creative projects. So it can be a family thing, instead of working with some big company concerned about their profit margin. The art can come first as an indie.
I'd like to mention that book bloggers such as you are really really important for indie authors . . . in spreading the word, telling readers about us, helping us gain vital attention. So thank you very much for interviewing me and spotlighting my work!
Your most welcome! Can you tell us about an important experience in your Indie journey? Good or bad?
I released my first E-book, CHOCOLATE-COVERED EYES, just before last Halloween. Consequently, I have become a selling author. I now have four digital books and am about to release a fifth. In addition, I have a good variety of short stories out as individual E-books. It's what every author dreams of, to start connecting with readers. I've gotten to know some of them on Facebook. It feels great to hear that others are viewing my words and are not only entertained, but are actually moved by them.
Do you have any advice to aspiring authors about being an Indie?
I just tell them to keep writing and not give up if it's a part of who they are. That's what it takes. You have to love it. If you do, then it will hold meaning whatever happens. It will be time well spent. Don't expect to get rich. Don't expect to get somewhere fast. It takes a lot of effort. At least for me it does.
Tell us about An Ill Wind Blows!
I'd be happy to! The book is my second novel. Like the first one, DANCE OF THE CHUPACABRAS, it is an amusingly offbeat fantasy-horror adventure. This one, however, was written in a month for a contest. The other I had spent years researching and writing drafts for. I'm especially proud of AN ILL WIND BLOWS because I tend to be a slow writer, and I used to take weeks or months on some of my short stories, like "Bedeviled" and "Beyond The Stump". I do not to this day know how I wrote ILL WIND as well as I did in just thirty days. In fact, it won the competition! I did very little editing before its publication. I know this sounds bad, but it is surprisingly a pretty good book. One of my best, in my opinion.
As for the story itself, it will take you on a nonstop journey in search of a magic stone while swallowed by a wicked wind.
The quirky characters are lost in a stormworld. There are stories within the story, and a lot of imaginative details. No explicit content. It's one of those adventures that most ages can enjoy. I will also be releasing an illustrated print edition this year.
Do you read for motivation? Anything in particular?
I love to read. These days I am so busy with the writing and artwork, I can find little time to read more than an occasional short story or chapter that I'm editing as favors to friends. Once I catch up with the projects that I feel should already be out, that I started or even finished years ago, I plan to make more time to read. It can be motivational, like a good movie. I cover a range of genres, often together, but if I'm doing something that's predominantly a fantasy or sci fi or horror tale, I like to read or watch something in the same genre. It puts me in the right mood.
Did you always want to be a writer?
Since I was small, I believed I would be a famous writer. I also wanted to be an artist and actress and musician. I still do. But writing is what I feel I'm best at. It's what I'm most confident about. It's what I get up every morning eager to do.
Future Books in the works?
Many. Eight sequels to my first novel, as well as to my diverse OUT-OF-MIND EXPERIENCES collection and my first volume of verse KEEP THE HEART OF A CHILD based on my monthly "Poetic Reflections" column. A nonfiction book series about my life. More collections, including some dark fairytales.
In the immediate future I plan to launch a horror collection titled THE MACABRE MIND OF LORI R. LOPEZ. This year I hope to release a peculiar collection titled ODDS AND ENDS. There's the illustrated print version of ILL WIND. For next year, among my goals are a pirate adventure novel, some children's books, and a set of three Halloween novellas. I have ideas for a lot of other projects too, but that's off the top of my head.
Do you think I have time for hobbies? Ha ha. Seriously, do you?
I love using my talents. To relax I enjoy movies, T.V., books (when I can), and music. I like to play cards and boardgames, old-fashioned things like that. I like walking in a forest and hugging the trees. Is chocolate a hobby? Rainy days. That should be a hobby.
Special writing habits?
I can listen to music when I'm in the final editing stage. While writing, silence works best. I tend to edit as I go, so there usually isn't much left to do at the end. But then it's best to let it sit a week or more. Read it again with fresh eyes. I have a lot of little notes all over my desk. I also have a lot of binders thick with handwritten notes for older projects. Several years ago I got organized and started recording notes on my computer in notepads and documents. I have a lot of digital files. But I still end up with the little sheets of paper too. Reminders. And yet I find myself using few notes when I actually write.
Favourite book? (Apart from your own of course!)
I think Lewis Carroll's ALICE IN WONDERLAND and THROUGH THE LOOKING-GLASS are brilliant. Jerry W. McKinney has an amazing collection titled DUG UP. I was honored with writing a foreword for the book. I'm editing a stunning memoir titled STONEWALLS by Geri Small-Graham. And there are many classic books I have loved for ages. One book? I can't decide.
Thank you to Lori R. Lopez for stopping by and having a chat with us!
You can find more about Lori at her website here!
Lori has decided to donate some prizes for a giveaway today! We are giving away one ecopy each of the following three books!
There will be three winners, one winning Chocolate-Covered Eyes, one winning Out-Of-Mind Experiences and one winning Dance of the Chupacabras.