In today's Authors in the Spotlight, we have authors David McCaffrey, Christopher Sheriff, and Diana Karanja!
How long have you been published? Two years
What's the best part about being published? Knowing that there is someone out there, reading a story that was precious to you and that you worked hard on and that they’re enjoying it…hopefully! But actually, even negative reviews are always rewarding for two reasons: they can often provide you with valid suggestions you hadn’t considered to help improve your writing in future and secondly, it means that someone actual read something you wrote! Which is always exciting!
What's the worst part about being published? Trying to believe in yourself and that you perhaps have something worthwhile to contribute to the literary world. But then you have to try and take a step back and try and believe that your stories, your characters, your worlds you have created have given someone, maybe just one person a few hours of pleasure and escapism and then that makes is all worthwhile.
Are you self published or did you go through a publishing company? Both actually. I initially found success initially via the crowd funding route with publishing house, Britain’s Next Bestseller. Following that, I went down the indie route with my second book, purely to try a different experience in relation to publishing. I found both rewarding and enlightening, learning a great deal about marketing, promoting and building your mailing list amongst other things. At the moment, I kind of hover between both worlds.
*What are the highs, if any? Definitely seeing the responses to your book, good, bad or indifferent and being able, certainly in regards to the indie publishing route, having more control over your product.
*What are the lows, if any? I haven’t experienced any…yet!
What is the name of your book(s)? My debut novel was titled Hellbound, the follow up was a novella prequel titled In Extremis with a third book in the series on the way titled Nameless. I was also the ghostwriter on Stephen Sayers first crime novel released last year called By Any Means Necessary
Was it/were they an easy write for you? The Hellbound Anthology were fairly straightforward, though I had to go to some dark places to get inside the head of the antagonists I was writing about and some of those thoughts and personality traits were hard to shake afterwards.
As for the ghost writing aspect, I did find it difficult initially as I was taking someone else’s ideas, someone else’s storyline and then trying to do justice to their vision. Initially, I felt I had to try and emulate other authors in that particular genre, but really struggled as you would because people like Martina Cole, Kimberley Chambers, Mel Sharrett etc. are masters at their craft. Once I took a step back and realised I just needed to write in my own way then it all became a great deal easier. It took me a little longer to get to know the characters than it normally would if they were my creation, but once I did I became just as protective of them as I would my own! And Stephen was very pleased with the end result and it has generated some really positive feedback. It was an honor to have been such an integral part of someone’s passionate idea.
What's the easiest part about writing a book? Developing the storyline. I work with a beat sheet, which I create for every book and which is a series of bullet points broadly outlining the plot. Then it’s simply a matter of going back into those bullet points and filling the gaps with detail.
What's the hardest part about writing a book? Hmmm, probably ensuring, especially when it is part of a series, that your continuity is correct and you haven’t left any huge plot holes!
Do you have any future projects in the works? Nameless, the next book in the Hellbound Anthology is due for release the end of March. I have another book lined up with Stephen due around October 2017 and a medical thriller called ‘The Warmest Place to Hide’ which is due towards the end of the year (sneak peek there as the title has never been shared before!).
Do you have any social media sites that you would like to share with my readers? Readers can contact me via Facebook, Twitter, and e mail me at email@example.com. I reply to every single message and e mail I get personally. I love engaging with readers and fans and feel it’s important that you make the time to get to know them. After all, the only reason I am here, doing what I love is because of them.
How long have you been published? I have been published for one month.
What's the worst part about being published? To be honest I can not think of any negative things about being published but if I had to I would say that seeing the lack of numbers on the report is discouraging sometimes.
What's the best part about being published? The best part of being published is that I can say that I accomplished it; I wrote a book and it is something I accomplished that no one else in my family has done. The pride, in a good way, is the best part of being published.
Are you self published or did you go through a publishing company? I am self-published through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing
*What are the highs, if any? The highs of writing my first book were the day I hit publish on KDP, the first download and ending my first week with 300+ total downloads
*What are the lows, if any? The lows were some of the frustration of having “writer’s block” and feeling you should have a better result
What is the name of your book(s)? The name of my book is Three Rules to a Stressed-Less Life
Was it/were they an easy write for you? This book was fairly easy to write compared to what I have heard from others; it seemed to roll off my finger-tips and just appear on the screen.
What's the hardest part about writing a book? I would say that the hardest part of writing a book is simply just making the decision to sit down and make a conscious effort to start. The hardest part of any endeavor is getting started and once you take that first step the rest is easy.
What's the easiest part about writing a book? The easiest part of writing my book was actually the process itself as my book was one I had put into practice for some time now.
Where can interested readers purchase their copy of your book(s)? Amazon.com and Kindle App
Do you have any future projects in the works? I do; 1. How to Be a One Trick Pony, Using Your #1 Talent to Enhance Your Other Talents; and 2. How to Encourage Others, 5 Phrases Everyone Needs to Hear
*Is there a tentative release date? #2 should be released early Feb.; #1 should be released late March
Do you have any social media sites that you would like to share with my readers? My website will be up shortly the url is U-R-G-E.com; I can also be found on Twitter and on Facebook.
How long have you been published? I’ve had my short stories regularly published for about four years in the fiction page of a Regional newspaper, The East African. My first full length novel is only four months old in the market.
What's the worst part about being published? The feeling that perhaps I could have done better—perhaps added more plot twists, more imagery, even though deep down I know I gave it my best.
What's the best part about being published? That’s got to be having strangers buy and read my book. It feels great to get positive reviews from readers who have bought my book because it caught their eye, and not because they’re my family or my friends.
Are you self published or did you go through a publishing company? Self-Published.
*What are the highs, if any? Hitting the ‘Publish’ button on amazon. There is no feeling like that. I doubt I got any sleep that night. I had finally done after years of yearning to get my work out there.
*What are the lows, if any? The realization that I have to do the marketing myself. I’m a writer, not a business person, but with self-publishing, it doesn’t end with writing the novel. You have to wear the business hat, which can get tough for us introverts.
What is the name of your book(s)? Daniella’s Daughter
Was it/were they an easy write for you? Some bits were easy to write, the words forming faster than my fingers could type. And then there were the days when I wondered why I wanted to write a novel in the first place. Those were the days when getting a thousand words on paper was like wringing water from a stone.
What's the hardest part about writing a book? Transitions and figuring out which scenes will work best to carry the story forward.
What's the easiest part about writing a book? The easiest and most interesting part of writing a book for me is the initial foundation work of characterization and plotting. I love bringing my characters to life before beginning the actual writing. I enjoy creating a persona for them and when done right, the novel flows seamlessly.
Where can interested readers purchase their copy of your book(s)? Interested readers can purchase Daniella’s Daughter on Amazon.
Do you have any future projects in the works? I do, though it’s title less for now. The novel explores the lives of two families who are torn apart after the discovery that their children were switched at birth.
*Is there a tentative release date? Yes, in April (Fingers crossed).
Do you have any social media sites that you would like to share with my readers? I write weekly short stories for my blog, http://www.dianakaranja.wordpress.com
Thank you for your time and I look forward to reading more from you in the future! Thank you! It was a pleasure.
Join me on Thursday as I bring you Larry Garner and Peris DeVohn Edward !