Continuing my blog wander, today I have a very special event! By wild coincidence, my friend Lynn also published her first book this month, Feather by Feather and Other Stories. Today we’re doing an interview swap to share about both our books. Read on for Lynn’s thoughts about writing and publishing, and wander over to her blog for my answers to the same questions.
Lynn E. O’Connacht is a writer by twilight and, occasionally, sunlight and moonlight. At all times she is a cisgendered white woman. She holds an MA in English literature with a focus on creative writing and fantasy literature. She has geographically confused spelling despite her education’s best efforts to fix this and has been writing stories for as long as she has been able to write. She used to type her works on an old-fashioned typewriter using red ink, but alas both the equipment and the stories have since been lost to time.
Feather by Feather and Other Stories is, as the title suggests, a collection of short stories and poetry. It’s a bit of a mixed bag. There are some pieces of realistic fiction, but it’s predominantly fantasy. Which isn’t much of an answer, I know. It’s pretty hard to respond to a question like this concisely when you’re dealing with a collection, I’m afraid. There’s such a large range to cover… Which story do you want to know about? It has biscuit-baking demons, QUILTBAG protagonists, utterly alien stories with nary a human in sight, a bunch of fairytale retellings, poetry, a one-legged dog, witches, bobble hats, sentient steam engines, fairies… Actually a lot of fairies. I blame the fairytales. Apart from space ships and the kitchen sink, it might have everything. (Warning: it may not actually have everything.)
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I suppose I realised the moment I learned how to write, because I’ve always been a writer and I was a storyteller before that. It’s not the most exciting answer, but there you are. I’ve always written or told stories in some fashion or other, so there was never any question of what I want to be or not. I just am. ^_^
I think I’ve wanted to be an author since anywhere between the age of four and eight, when I realised that publication is what people did with the stories they wrote. (And then SAnD happened and now I get to relearn everything I thought I knew about my writing processes, but the stories will be told.)
What made you decide to make the leap to publishing?
All lot of different reasons, really, but I think the rise of self-publishing and indie-publishing is probably the most important one. I’m actually working towards becoming a hybrid option, but self-publication gives me a chance to explore some of my more niche stories that I feel strongly about, but which traditional publishers tend to be wary of if you don’t have a lot of authorial clout because of the risk factors involved. Now I’m the one taking all the risks and I’m excited about the possibilities! Feather by Feather contains a couple of those niche stories (one of them, Changeling’s Time, should be at least partially available in the sample feature), so I’m really curious how they’ll go down with readers!
What has been the scariest part of publishing? The most exciting?
Actually publishing things is the scariest! As a self-published/indie author there’s a moment where you have to upload the file and fill in all the metadata information and hit the button to publish it. That’s the scariest part. Did I include everything I needed to include? Did I mention everything? Did I pick the best categories? Oh, god, I misspelled my name, didn’t I? Are there typos in my description? There aren’t, right? Right? Did I spell the title correctly? Heck, did I even select the right file to upload? I can’t tell! How many typos and errors will I find once I’ve published it? How soon before I notice and can fix them? Etc.
That moment gets me. It’s terrifying. That’s the moment where my brain really needs to make that switch from considering the book something I can still tinker with and something that is what I’m putting out into the world in a professional capacity. What if it looks wonky? What if I missed a million and one typos after all? I make quite a lot of them.
The most exciting part… Aside from (hopefully!) hearing people are enjoying the stories? Probably the most exciting part has been finishing up all the formatting and calling the book done, so I could make space in my brain for new stories again. I love the time right after finishing a story and before I’ve picked out a new project to work on. So many choices, so many stories… And of course the sense of achievement, accomplishment and pride in a story told to the best of my (then-current) abilities.
What are you looking forward to doing next?
Everything! *laughs* Sorry. I know that’s a real cop-out answer. (Even if it’s true and the previous question did lead right into it.) As you’re reading this, November is almost at an end. That means NaNoWriMo is almost at an end too. (Good luck with the final stretch to everyone reading this who’s participating this year!)
As I’m writing this, I’ve decided on being a NaNoRebel. This is partially because I realised that none of the projects I had going on are at the “Ready, steady, write!” stage. It’s been the most painful wake-up call that I need to relearn everything I know about my writing processes I’ve had.
Anyway! I’m aiming for the 50,000, but I’m spreading the count over a couple of projects. One is this interview because if I’m going to cheat rebel, I may as well cheat rebel all the way.
Another is a non-fiction post that is finished in draft form. It needs research links and annotations. It’s not very long, and it’s the most rebellious of my projects because it’s non-fiction. And no I am not telling you what this one is about because it’s about a topic I struggle with a lot and while I’d like to share it sometime I’m still not sure I will.
These two are about 3K in total, so they’re not a terribly large chunk of the overall goal.
The second project is a short story or a novelette that I’m writing for a friend of mine. It’s a ghost story set on a distant planet in the far future and it’s about happy endings. That’s all I’m saying because I want it to be a surprise for my friend. This is the most pressing of all the projects and the one that’s giving me the most trouble.
The third project is a novel. It’s about societies in decay, racism, romance (maybe), friendship (definitely), sexuality, family, honour, political shenanigans… And that’s just the first couple of chapters! It’s about two people from different societies meeting up and transforming the worlds they live in just by getting along. Hopefully, I can get it finished, polished, and published sometime next year. We’ll see.
Will I be joining NaNo next year? Probably. Will I be a rebel again? Possibly. I didn’t intend to be a rebel this year, actually, but circumstances forced my hand. Who knows what they’ll be like next year. We’ll see!
Where can your book be found?
Thanks so much for coming by and sharing with us, Lynn! And for all you other lovely readers, I recommend clicking a link up above…I already have my copy. 🙂 If you choose the Smashwords link, Lynn has kindly offered a coupon. Enter the code AL24V at purchase for a 50% discount, and a price of $3 exactly. The coupon expires December 10th, so don’t delay!