In today's Authors in the Spotlight, we have authors Terry James and Shanell Kyles!
Name: Terry James
How long have you been published? October 1, 2013 (four years and still growing)
What's the worst part about being published? To be honest I have not really had a worse part since I started this journey into the literary world. I think the worst part for aspiring authors who break into the “self-publishing” scene is that some really set their expectations way to high. Would-be-authors generally go with the assumption that they are going to get published and instantly sell thousands, if not millions of books and live the life of fame and fortune. Of course, I fell victim to this same mentality when I first found my book gracing the pages of Amazon, it didn’t take long for me to discover that I was not alone in a sea of millions of other authors shooting for the same dreams, and having about the same small success I had. I wouldn’t so much describe it as being “Worse” as I would say “Disappointing”. Though it may sound horrible, I always tell people to keep your eyes on the prize, but your heart on a shelf of realism.
What's the best part about being published? When someone you don’t know tells you they truly enjoyed and connected with your work. It truly makes every painful moment sitting in front of my laptop (I’m speaking of course about my sore butt and degenerative disk pain) all worthwhile. That, and the pleasure of holding your new book in your hands for the first time, I get excited every time I put a new project out.
Are you self published or did you go through a publishing company? (proudly Self-Published!)
*What are the highs, if any? The best part of being self-published is being 100% in control of my work without the restraints of following the big industry standards and trends.
*What are the lows, if any? The hard part is not having the big budget for promotions, the hours of sending out press releases, and the endless rejection letters from literary agents.
What is the name of your book(s)? I am the author of the “Tales from Eerie County” YA series which includes: “Deceased Denise”, “Tabby and The Hunchback of Eerie County High”, “Tabby and The Dissolution of April”, and the soon to be released “Tabby and The Return of The Blood Elf Empress”. I have also released a collection of short stories and poetry entitled “Selfie Portrait” and am currently working on an adult stand-alone action/super hero/romance “Rival/Armor” and working on more short stories for numerous anthologies to be included in “Selfie Portrait II”.
Was it/were they an easy write for you? Surprisingly, for someone who graduated with a 1.8 GPA with English being my worst subject, I find writing to be quite a smooth task when I have time to get into a groove.
What's the hardest part about writing a book? Finding time to sit down and do it. Being the father of five beautiful children and working full time for the USPS, one learns quickly to take full advantage of the minutes between shifts and chasing little ones. The second hardest thing for me is promoting my work, but I have had a few people who have always gone out of their way to help me out.
What's the easiest part about writing a book? The writing process itself is quite easy once you’ve developed a “Rhythm” in your writing. Coming up with ideas for new and exciting projects also comes quite easy for me. I have an entire file on my laptop of story ideas, unfinished and started projects that I quite literally have to force myself not to dabble in until I finish the project in front of me.
Where can interested readers purchase their copy of your book(s)? All my books are available online at all the major book sellers including Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Do you have any future projects in the works? The conclusion to my YA series, “Tales from Eerie County: Tabby and The Return of The Blood Elf Empress”, then working on my adult stand-alone action/super hero/romance “Rival/Armor” and working on more short stories for numerous anthologies to be included in “Selfie Portrait II” shorts collection.
*Is there a tentative release date? November/December 2017
Do you have any social media sites that you would like to share with my readers? Facebook, Instagram, Author Wordpress, Wordpress, and Amazon.
Name: Shanell Kyles
How long have you been published? 4 months
What's the worst part about being published? I think everyone puts you on this pedestal, expecting you to be some overnight J.K. Rowling when you're published. Not understanding that there is more to selling books than writing one.
What's the best part about being published? You finally get to feel like all of your hard work can be seen. Even if it doesn't get the attention you aim for, you know that you've met a goal and that's the most important thing.
Are you self published or did you go through a publishing company? I went through a company, a self publishing company. I do not get 100% of my royalties so I would say a little bit of both.
*What are the highs, if any? Again, the high is being able to share your work with the world. You also have the opportunity to control your writing and your audience.
*What are the lows, if any? A low I would have to say would be the weight of having to market everything on your own because it takes time from having the freedom to do more of what you love and that is writing the next book.
What is the name of your book(s)? Learning how to get it right (chapters, lessons, & blessings of my life)
Was it/were they an easy write for you? Not exactly because I had never written anything except poetry and a few bad papers in college (LOL) also when you are writing a book about your life you have to revisit the bad times as well as the good - sometimes it can be difficult to put all those emotions in writing. Especially 240 pages worth.
What's the hardest part about writing a book? For me, it was taking the time from working 80 hours a week, being a single mother, and still staying up late and waking up early to the thoughts that would appear in my head that I knew I had to write down. Sometimes revisiting moments in my past were so emotional that I would have to wait 2 months before I would want to go back in and add the next part. That may have been the most difficult part about writing this book. It's all about passion and discipline in my opinion.
What's the easiest part about writing a book? I don't even know if that question is allowed, there is no easy part (LOL). No, but if there is an easy part I'd say that; if it is something you are really passionate about and really meant to do, the book writes you and all you have to do is memorize the words.
Where can interested readers purchase their copy of your book(s)? Great question. My book can be found on Amazon and it is also available in kindle right now for $3.99. It's a great read for all those new year new me resolutions, it is definitely a though provoker. It is also available on Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, Createspace, and if you live in the Toledo area, you can go to any one of our public libraries and checkout a copy.
Do you have any future projects in the works? *Is there a tentative release date? Yes, I have a book of Poetry and Prose coming out in January entitled "Pieces on Paper" and I am currently working on a fiction novel that I hope to release at least by the end of 2018.