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Interview with Vampire Queen, Jodie Pierce

2 Mar
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This week, I interviewed Jodie Pierce, an author who has been published  traditionally, but later chose to self-publish. Read on to find out more.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m working on a charity anthology of vampire tales by various authors that will come out on Halloween 2013. All the proceeds of the book will go to benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. I’m also working on a vampire story that I had in a weird and twisted dream but I don’t have a title for it. Titles are the last thing I do after it’s finished.

What inspired you to write about vampires?

I’ve always had a fascination with vampires since I was a child. It wasn’t until I read The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice that I started writing about vampires and have never looked back.

Do you have a favourite vampire film?

Queen of the Damned, a book by Anne Rice as well…go figure…LOL!

When and where do you write?

I write when the mood hits me or I have a crazy dream. Also, in the middle of writing books, I have a dream sequence that will fit into my story. It’s weird really.

What sort of books do you like to read?

I like most paranormal books (but no zombies or werewolves). Some romance and fantasy are okay as well.

Why did you choose to self-publish?

I got published traditionally and found out that I was making very little profit and doing all the promotions myself anyway. So, I read online about self publishing and am going to continue down that road from now on.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Go for your dreams. When it’s meant to happen, it will. It took me 17 years to get published so never give up.

What would you do if you met a real vampire?

Hug him/her, make out with them (always wanted to feel their fangs on my tongue), ask them to make me like them and then turn my wonderful hubby into one to keep me going through eternity.

If you were a vampire, who would you bite?

Probably only women…red heads…voluptious women only…don’t like sticks though…LOL!

Jodie Pierce is the author of The Vampire Queen, The Vampire Chronicles and Demise of the Vampire Queen.

 

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Gearing up for publication

7 Feb

With just over a month to go until FRY goes live, I’ve been running around with my hair on fire, trying to get everything ready. No mean feat, when you’re a full-time mum to two active toddlers!Image

I’ve got a few blogs signed up for my blog tour, but I need to do more work on that. I continue to be active on Twitter and Facebook, have increased my network on Linked in, and have been exploring places like Goodreads, where I already have a good number of friends, but I haven’t interacted much yet.

Feedback has been tricking in from my beta readers. I’m still waiting on a few key people, but I’m getting a good overall picture. It’s interesting how people spot different things when they beta read. Some people pick through the book, line by line, querying hundreds of little points of grammar or fact. Others just enjoy the book and tell me they couldn’t put it down. The main query I’ve had is that it’s not completely clear that the book is set in the UK. I need to make some subtle changes to some of my police facts to put it more in line with the UK procedures. But also, the names of some of my characters, as well as the name of the town the book is set in, do not necessarily scream ‘England!’. Some readers thought it was set in America. One said Australia. I need to decide how important that is.

FRY launches on Amazon on the 12th March, and will be free for one day on March the 14th.

What do you think are the most important things you need to go to prepare for publication?

Next week there will be a guest blog from Cinthia Ritchie.

To beta readers and beyond!

9 Jan

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My kids have been watching a lot of Toy Story lately. Can you tell?

Sex, Nazis, Bank robbers. This post has them all. Read on!

This week, I have been frantically proofreading my novel so that I can send it out to my beta readers to critique. This has taken significantly longer than expected. FRY comes in at under 80,000 words, so it’s hardly War and Peace, but still more than I can read in one sitting. And I’m a full-time mum by day, so I really only have the evenings to work on it, although I have just enrolled my kids in nursery one morning a week. I’m glad I’ve done this. I’ll really need a little extra time as I approach my publication date in March.

But it’s not just the late nights that are conspiring against me. I went out and bought a new printer in the January sales. Took my dad with me, actually and nodded in all the right places as he talked about duplexes and printer cables. We walked away with a black and white laser jet, which seemed perfectly adequate for my needs. However when I sat down and really thought about my requirements, I realised I had a problem. To get FRY out to my beta readers, I needed 12 copies of around 190 pages each. But my printer is not a fast one and it only does about 700 pages per cartridge. Of which I only have one, because they didn’t have any more in the shop. To get round this problem, I’ve had to order some photocopies (proto-type books, actually – they should look pretty nice.) This will inevitably delay getting the manuscript out to my beta readers. I have at least sent out email copies to the advance party, who live abroad, so it’s good to know that some copies have already reached their destinations. I had originally allowed my beta readers five weeks to comment, but given the problems I’ve encountered, some will only end up with about three and a half. I really hope that’s enough!

So what was my criteria for choosing beta readers? Well, obviously I’ve looked to friends and family first, but I wanted to get the right mix of people. I wanted some who would be the target audience for my book, but also others who have experience or skills in areas related to my book. So I asked a former policeman and a former Police Community Support Officer to read from the police perspective. I choose a couple of people with legal backgrounds to check out my court scene (lawyer types, not bank robbers). I needed a couple of friends with shop or supermarket experience, as this is where some of my key scenes are set, and another friend with a background in psychiatry to check the medical facts. Besides this, I have some avid readers on my list, and my journalistic sister-in-law to check the copy. The very last person to read it will be the ultimate Grammar Nazi, my mum (although I don’t think she’d much appreciate being labelled a Nazi.) I’m also not sure what she’ll make of my sex scene. Gulp!

How do you choose your beta readers? Would you let your mum read your sex scenes?

New Year, New Blog!

2 Jan

Greetings, readers and welcome to my new blogtopia. I will be publishing my first novel, a psychological thriller called FRY on Amazon in March and this blog will plot my trials and tribulations as a self-published writer.

As this is my first post, perhaps I should tell you all a little bit about myself. I am a politics, social psychology and European Studies graduate. I have worked mainly in the British civil service, primarily at the Home Office. I have two small children who keep me highly amused and I suppose I am a little bit quirky. I have an unlikely fondness for My Little Ponies (yup, that’s the children’s toy) and used to help organise conventions. I love the Eurovision song contest – I haven’t missed it in 15 years and nor has my poor husband. We even went to see it live for the 50th anniversary in Kiev. I once met the Dalai Lama on a plane (he smiled kindly at my son) and I am very, very fond of coffee and chocolate.

I was named after the novel, Lorna Doone, so really, I had no choice but to become a writer. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do. I just hope I’m not jinxing myself by launching my first book in 2013!

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