My Interview with JULIA SUTTON!
It is always a pleasure to speak with fellow authors, learning about their experiences and writing process. I know how busy your life is, Julia, so I want to thank you for giving us a moment of your precious time! J
1. I think the way a person sees themselves is very telling about who they really are as a person. Therefore, would you please start by describing yourself to us?
Hello there, I’m Julia, 44 years old, married with two children, a dog and a rabbit. I live in Wolverhampton, which is in the West Midlands area of England. I’ve always lived here, surrounded by family and friends, but I love travelling and visiting new places. I currently work in a primary school, looking after young children, which I love, and I spend any spare time I have writing.
I enjoy swimming, walking and of course reading.
I would describe myself as a kind, open minded person with a happy and fun personality.
2. When did you begin writing, and what motivated you to publish?
I began writing when I was about ten years old. I have always loved books and my goal has always been to become a published author. I have written poetry, children’s stories and, most recently, contemporary adult fiction.
3. You’re a new author in the publishing world so I am thrilled to pick your brain. Every writer has a unique path leading them to the literary profession. The next set of questions will be focus on yours.
· Have you ever tried to self-publish or go traditional, seeking a literary agent, for access to the large publishing houses? If yes, can you tell us about that experience?
o I did send my work to a few literary agents and received some positive feedback but found it very challenging to get noticed by a big, traditional publisher.
o Self-publishing works well for many authors, but I felt I needed guidance and wanted to be part of a community of writers, such as Creativia is.
· How did you hear about our indie publisher, Creativia, and what made you sign with them?
o A Facebook friend recommended Creativia to me.
o I sent my work in and was overjoyed that Creativia wanted to publish it. I was impressed by Creativia’s website and their success stories and found them to be very professional and approachable.
· What has been the hardest thing about publishing? Did you expect this challenge? How do you deal with it?
o For me, the publishing process has been completely pain free and a lot simpler than I anticipated, all thanks to Creativia.
· Has joining Creativia made a difference for you where this challenge is concerned? How do you think it has or hasn’t helped, and why?
o Creativia has been so supportive and able to offer me a complete service from editing to book cover design.
o Any queries I have had have been quickly and professionally dealt with.
· What do you think has been the best part of publishing, and why?
o The best part of publishing is seeing your work condensed into an actual book and being made available for others to read.
· What advice would you give to a novice author trying to publish?
o Don’t give up; keep persevering.
o Try not to take criticism to heart.
· What was the best advice you feel you received?
o To write each day, even if it is just a paragraph.
4. There are a lot of opinions about being an indie author. As a new writer on the scene, I’m curious about how you viewed indie publishing before and after you jumped into the mix.
· Do you view yourself as an indie author, or how do you define ‘indie’? What does ‘indie’ mean you? Does it mean you’re self-published, or do you consider being signed with a small press as being indie as well? Why or why not?
o I define an indie author as someone who has not taken the traditional route of publishing (i.e. someone who does not have a literary agent or who is not signed to a big, mainstream publisher), so yes; I do view myself as an ‘indie’ author.
· What did you think of indie authors before you became one yourself? Do you think there is a stigmatism regarding the ‘Indie’ label?
o I do think there is a stigmatism attached to the indie label. A view of which can be that writing quality is poor and bad editing. Having read many indie authors’ work, I can say that this is not true at all. I have read and enjoyed many ‘indie’ works just as much as ‘traditional.’
5. I am always intrigued by the writing process of fellow authors. I’d like to talk about your creative inspirations and development techniques.
· I’ve read you outline your stories. Is that correct?
o I used to be a planner, in that I outlined each chapter, made notes, typed it up and then edited each chapter, but found that method was too time consuming.
o Now, I am more of a ‘pantser’, in that I sit down in front of my laptop and let the story write itself. It seems to be working and I have progressed well with my WIP.
· If so, what does your outline look like? I mean, do you put together notes in order to stay on track or do you actually draw a true outline of the entire novel you intend to write? How detailed do you go during this step of the process?
o I make character lists and use bullet points to highlight the main areas I wish to focus on in my novel.
· What happens to your outline as you progress with the story? I mean, do you develop the story in the outline, replacing the bullets with the text, or do you start clean with the outline as a guide?
o I use my outlines as a rough guide and often my story alters when I least expect it!
· Some people target a specific amount of words they want to write in a day while others wait for inspiration. What motivates you to write?
o I set a daily target of a 1000 words, this has helped me progress well with my novel in a relatively short time frame.
· I previously asked about publishing, but I specifically want to ask what you enjoy the best about writing?
o Being able to utilize my vivid imagination to produce work which others gain enjoyment from.
· What do you find least appealing when it comes to writing? I can tell you, most authors will answer with one word: editing! LOL J
o I used to find editing tiring but actually quite enjoy it now.
o I truly love everything about writing, although I do find it challenging to try to encapsulate the essence of my work into a small blurb.
o I find the self-promotion hard, as I don’t want to come across as being too pushy, but I am getting better at this and have been touched by the encouragement of others, such as friends, family and those on social media.
6. Being indie, authors are required to do a large amount of promotion and networking, whether they’ve signed with a small press or not. What’s your approach to marketing?
I think that Facebook is a great way to connect with others and get your work noticed.
· Did you have a strong presence on social media before you published, or has publishing changed your views or activity levels in any way?
o I love Facebook and have connected with some lovely people on there.
o I’m still getting used to Twitter J
· What do you feel is the best marketing tool available?
o Social media and word of mouth.
7. What can we expect to see from you over the coming year?
Hopefully, the second book of the ‘School of Dreams’ series will be completed and accepted for publication – very exciting!
I am also working on a series of children’s books, which I hope to complete in the near future.
· Would you tell us about your current WIP?
o My current WIP is called ‘Visions of the Heart’ and is the second instalment in ‘the school of dreams’ series, which is a romantic saga about five people who become friends at university. I have just sent it off to Creativia, fingers crossed they will like it and want to publish it.
Again, thank you for allowing me to introduce you to my readers. I wish you all the best in life, Julia. Happy reading and writing!