In today's Authors in the Spotlight, we have authors Jessica M. Chittester and Kamau Mahakoe!
How long have you been published? 4-5 years I would say. I published my first novel shortly after college when I was between the ages 19-20.
What's the worst part about being published? The learning as you go part. Being an author doesn't come with an instruction manual. It's a bit of a sink or swim experience - there's no one that can tell you what's the best way to get to shore. You just gotta get your bearings and work your way there.
What's the best part about being published? Seeing your work, your words, in print. There's no better feeling or experience quite like seeing a copy of your book in print. I love that part.
Are you self published or did you go through a publishing company? A little bit of both. My first book I wanted to try and go through 'proper' channels to get in published and I wound up stuck with a vanity press. It was a terrible experience. Front then on out I self published the rest of my work. For that I go through Amazon's Createspace. Self-publishing is a lot of work but it's very satisfying.
Highs: getting to be a part of the creative process. I love every minute of it.
Lows: it's a lot of hard work and often a lonely one. But, luckily, I'm part of several wonderful writing Facebook groups. They are a blessing and a big help.
What is the name of your book(s)? Ice Fortress Book One: The Chronicles of Eden (a fantasy novel)
Copper: The Giant (a non-fiction children's book)
Diarrhea of the Brain (a poetry book)
Was it/were they an easy write for you? My children's book and my poetry book were the easiest for me to write.
What's the hardest part about writing a book? Actually sitting down and writing is, for me, the hardest part of the writing/author process. Time, energy, and motivation are hard to find sometimes. But, if you want to call yourself an author, you gotta do the time and write.
What's the easiest part about writing a book? Probably coming up with the ideas for my books. I seem to have very over reactive creative mind and I can create story idea after story idea with little issue.
Where can interested readers purchase their copy of your book(s)? Amazon is by far that best way to find my books. Interested readers/reviewers can easily type in my name or book titles and they should find them without any problem.
Do you have any future projects in the works? *Is there a tentative release date? Yes! I'm in the beta reading process of a post-apocalypse novel titled 'Today I Am'. I've loved writing this book. I don't have a release date yet but I'm hoping to get it published in the next few months.
Do you have any social media sites that you would like to share with my readers? I'm terrible at social media. I haven't been able to create a proper author site on anything. It's in my to-do list. At least I hope so in the near future.
Thank you for your time and I look forward to reading more from you in the future! Thank you for interviewing me.
How long have you been published? I published my first book in 2000; However, most of my fourteen books have been published since 2014. All my books have been self-published, through Createspace. Where I live in Jamaica, there is not much opportunity for authors to get published through regular channels.
What's the worst part about being published? The worst part about being published is that I live in a country where reading is not a popular past time of most people, and so majority of my sales comes from overseas. I would love to see my people read more and appreciate literature with deep plots and messages, as opposed to sensational fiction that are a dime a dozen!
What's the best part about being published? The best part about being published, particularly being self-published, is the autonomy and pride that comes with it. I feel like I have complete control over not only the content but the design. I love seeing my books in print and knowing that I brought all these characters to life, so others may learn from them and/or be entertained by them.
Are you self published or did you go through a publishing company? I am self-published, through Createspace.
*What are the highs, if any? Createspace is a wonderful medium for self-publishing. It is very user-friendly from the get-go straight through to the finished product. The support team responds almost immediately and are very helpful.
*What are the lows, if any? There is still a stigma out there that self-published books are of inferior quality to mainstream-published books, which is not necessarily so. Some competitions, for example the Booker Prize, don't accept self-published work. Given, the market is flooded with dollar-novels but there are real gems among the "authorpreneurs"!
What is the name of your book(s)? Barefooted and Clean; I Love All My Wives: Yellow and Me; There's Something You Should Know About Leroy; I Choose My Men The Same Way I Choose My Jewellery; Good Morning, Mr. Daye! Please Clear The Way and Let Me Pass; Landed Gentry; Keep The Change: The Untrained I; Spotty Dopey; Prayer to the Motivator; The Fighter In the Family; The Student's Master Plan. (14!)
Was it/were they an easy write for you? Writing flows out of me. It is never hard. I always say, I don't have writer's block; I have writer's barrage.
What's the hardest part about writing a book? For me, the time factor, because I teach and attend college as well. I am a mother and a martial artist and many other things, and many times all I wanna do is write, but it has to be put on the back burner.
What's the easiest part about writing a book? The easiest and most enjoyable part is the prose, just developing the prose and letting the characters come through it. I love that. I also love structuring the dialogue. This is very important to me.
Where can interested readers purchase their copy of your book(s)? My books are available at Amazon and on Kindle.
Do you have any future projects in the works? *Is there a tentative release date? I certainly do! I am working on several novels concurrently, to be released this year.
Do you have any social media sites that you would like to share with my readers? I am on Facebook at Kamau A. N. Mahakoe. I also manage six other Facebook pages. Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5, and Page 6.