It’s not often that a guest author’s birthday coincides with her blogpost, but today it does! Welcome BC Brown. Here is a brief “bio”.
BC Brown was born with six fingers on each hand endowing her with powers, thus enabling her to fight crime. When a freak Cuisinart accident severed the additional digits and her powers, B.C. Was forced to fall back on her secondary talent – writing. Now she lives between the pages of a book – whether or not she has written it. Until she finds the surgeon to restore her fingers and powers, she has published three novels to date and been including in one short story anthology. She enjoys writing mystery, paranormal romance, science fiction, and fantasy but is always in the mood for a challenge to branch out. You can follow her crime fighting or writing at twitter, facebook, or google+.
Have you had other careers before becoming a writer?
I’ve done everything from being a “time to make the donut girl”, selling advertising, and dispatching for 911.
I spend time with my local community theater but I’ve always wanted to be able to sing well. I come from a family of great singers (including a niece who could knock your socks off when she opens her mouth) but, being hearing aid-assisted deaf, I have trouble singing. I do love to do it though, and the folks at karaoke joints near and far can attest to the fact that, at least, I try.
Hmm! You might enjoy my latest book, Haunted Knights. the hero is deaf. How did you get started writing?
I wrote my first short story at age 8, called Bite Me. It was thirty pages long. My first novel attempt was called Swim or Die, and I penned it the summer of my 12th birthday.
Interesting! How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?
My first novel, Sister Light; Book One: Of Shadows, is epic fantasy and currently out of print. My paranormal romantic suspense novels are A Touch of Darkness and A Touch of Madness. Both are available and on sale now. I’ve been included in a transgressive fiction anthology called Fracas: A Collection of Short Friction, and it is also on sale.
As to a favorite… every book I write is my absolute favorite and the best work I’ve ever done – right up until I finish the final edit. Then, while I’m still very proud of the work I’ve done and the story I’ve created, I’m on to my next project, trying to figure out how to make that the best work I’ve ever done.
Sounds like me! Tell us about your current WIP.
A multi-tasker, I have several projects in the works. Currently, juggled with my social life and theater life, I am working on an untitled general fiction about a woman rebuilding her life after an abandonment and bitter divorce; a spin-off novel to the A Touch series, also paranormal romantic suspense, untitled A Sight Unknown; the third book in the A Touch series, entitled A Touch of Chaos.
I have a transgressive short story coming up in Quixotic Love Stories under editor J. Travis Grundon (due out later this year), and am working on another transgressive short story for an anthology (yet untitled) due out 2014. And, finally, re-work of my first published fantasy novel, Sister Light, Book One: Of Shadows, is nearly completed. This will include all three of the original novels combined into one full-length book.
I must admit, I enjoy working on more than one project at a time. What inspired your latest book?
My latest published novel, A Touch of Madness, was the result (as was its predecessor) of a crazy dream. You know, where just about every story authors come up with originate! LOL My upcoming spin-off from the A Touch series, A Sight Unknown, is a dedication novel to my late cousin and inspired by my desire to speak her just one more time. And my untitled general fiction is loosely based on my own life after divorce.
Do you have a blog? How often do you blog? What topics do you find interest people?
I love and hate my blog. Of course I have one. I can’t think of too many authors who don’t. However the extent to which each of us engage readers on our blog varies. I have a give and take on mine. Sometimes I’m a prolific blogger, post article after article on a variety of topics. Other times I disappear off the face of the blogger map, not to be heard from in months. For me, it’s a factor of time and inspiration.
As to the topics I think interest people… We’re supposed to write topics interesting to other people? Gee, that would explain a few things. Hmm.
If you’d like to take a peek at my ramblings, my blog can be found at www.bcbrownbooks.blogspot.com – Readers beware!
What advice do you have for other authors wanting to self-publish?
Plan, organize, and budget. Also, pace yourself. By planning, I mean to take the time to sit down and consider where that great idea is going to end up. Do you know what steps you’re going to take from first draft to editing, to cover design, to publication, to promotion?
Organization is also key. Get a planner, collect information on everything from publishers to editors to conventions before you finish writing the first draft. This means research but you’ll find your life will go a lot smoother once you publish, begin promotions of that book, and start on your follow up book if you do this.
Budget. One of the key aspects to getting anywhere with you promotion. When you self publish, you are the key financier and the writer. You have to have essentials for that promotion – advertising, business cards, banners, fliers, print books on hand, etc. The budget should also include pre-publication expenses like editors and cover artists/services.
Lastly, pace yourself. It is easy to get swept up in the excitement of writing a good story and wanting to publish it. Even the most diligent and grounded author can get carried away. But often, like missing a step on the way down a staircase, you can wind up flat on your face and seriously boo-booed if you don’t pace yourself and take each “writer” step one at a time.
Great advice. Can you list some Pros/Cons of self-publishing?
Pros – absolute control. You are the end-all, be-all of your book and its success. Cons – absolute control. You are the end-all, be-all of your book and its success.
This means that while you don’t have to worry about fighting for every word and its importance in your novel, the cover will be exactly how you want it, and the advertising avenues you love will be exploited, you are ultimately responsible. Since you have all of that control, you also have all of that territory to become professional in quickly. And I don’t know about you, but I’m a writer; I’m not really an editor, a cover designer, an advertising specialist, a formatter, a social networking marketer… And the list goes on.
How long have your books been out? How long between books if you have multiple sales—and if you have multiples did you see a bump in sales with subsequent publication?
The first novel, Sister Light, was published in 2007 under a publisher. The second novel, A Touch of Darkness, published in 2012. My short story came out in a collected anthology in 2011, and my third novel published in 2012.
Since A Touch of Darkness and A Touch of Madness are in the same series, I’ll start there. I worried about two years between each book. It seemed a long time, and I was frightened of the potential drag in sales, the restlessness of readers. To my surprise, the first book sold reasonably well (and was only available in print to begin with) but did not stagger me. That was fine. I was breaking into a new market for me, paranormal romantic suspense, and had changed branding from B.B. Walter to BC Brown. The anthology, Fracas: A Collection of Short Friction, surprised my readers, explored a different market from what they or I were used to, and bridged the gap until my second book in the series, A Touch of Madness, was released Spring 2012.
Man, oh man, did my sales skyrocket! It was “Pow! Straight to the moon, Alice.” Not only did my numbers jump for Book One and Book Two in the series, my sales also went up of the short story anthology I was in and my first novel (then still in print).
What advice can you offer to anyone deciding to self-publish?
You want to write – fantastic! You want to publish – wait.
I wholly support people writing stories and telling tales. But this job isn’t for everyone. To be a published author, you have to walk a tightrope coated in grease over an open flame. It isn’t enough to write; you have to write and edit well, learn humility but have ego, and become an instant expert in every field related to writing and publishing a book. It’s daunting and exhausting.
If you find yourself lacking in any of these areas – wait. It doesn’t mean you have to hold off publishing forever, just learn from my mistakes. Take the time to develop the skills you need to become successful because the learning curve is immense and you’ll be struggling to play catch-up forever.
Besides, it never hurts to keep writing and build your back list while you learn. In fact a back list is a very beautiful thing.
Give us an elevator pitch for your book.
Psychics and serial killers. What color are the skeletons in your closet? Abigail St. Michael, former cop, knows.
Thanks for being my guest today. Sounds to me you always knew you wanted to be a writer.
Never been a doubt in my mind that I was and would be a writer.
My guest will give away ten free digital copies today to the first ten commenters. Follow the link to enter.
Facebook – www.facebook.com/bcbrownbooks
Twitter – @BCBrownBooks
Google+ – BC Brown Books
Where can readers find your books? Print/Ebook?
Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/B.-C.-Brown/e/B005JPXBE8
Smashwords (A Touch of Darkness) https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/251265
(A Touch of Madness) https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/251281
Blog – www.bcbrownbooks.blogspot.com