I Love Author Interview Thursdays! This week we have a lady who I greatly admire and respect. Wendy Owen helped me out when I published my first children’s book by featuring it on her website that is visited by many children’s book authors. If there’s one thing I can say about Wendy, it’s that she loves helping people. You’ll certainly agree with me by the end of this interview as Wendy is going to share with us how to become better authors and avoid some pitfalls in this industry. Please join me in welcoming Wendy
Tell us about your latest book and what formats is it available in?
My latest and only book so far, is a children’s book about a little pig who goes on a big adventure. It’s a little bit different because it’s got chapters and scene illustrations. It also has a moral to the story. A bit like the children’s books I used to read (like about 100 years ago!)
You can take a look at it here on Amazon:
This book was written using my pen name – Tori Gilbert
Are any of the characters based on real people?
Not on one particular person, but probably on a composite of all the people I have ever met and also those I have never met but have just read about. On reflection Percy (the main character) is perhaps based on me. He does things I would do in a similar situation.
What’s book have you had the most fun writing?
Well Percy is the first book I have ever had published and I did have fun writing it. The book was actually written about seven years ago. I used to work in a real estate office and it was just so boring. I think I wrote just to keep my spirit alive!
Percy remained on my computer all this time and survived two hard drive crashes. I forgot all about him until the Kindle reader came along. Finally Percy had his opportunity!
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I used to write when I was in school. It was called “English Composition” in those days and always received top grades for my stories, although my spelling and grammar wasn’t always perfect! My English teacher suggested I try writing as a career, however I went on another route and did nothing about it until recently.
How long does it take you to write a book?
It can take five days or it can take six months. I am not one of those disciplined people who can sit down for four to six hours a day and just write. I wish I was like that but I’m not and probably never will be. When I get the urge to write I can write for several hours non stop and even forget to eat.
Do you write your initial draft on a computer or with a pen and a pad?
I always write with a pen and paper. There is something about writing by hand that stimulates the right side, or creative part of my brain. Also I find sitting at the computer is too distracting with emails and Facebook messages coming in all the time. I write best outside looking at nature rather than cooped up at a desk.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
This is going to sound strange, but ideas for stories just sometime float into my brain. If I ignore them long enough they go away. However sometimes some of them just need to be written. So I grab my pen and just write until I’m done.
Do you believe in writer’s block and what do you do to overcome it?
Yes I think writer’s block is very real and I can’t force myself to write. If writer’s block strikes, I simply get up and do something else. I wait until I feel like writing again. I realize not everyone has this luxury, so I am lucky. However for those who have to churn out a given number of words every day, I have this tip:
Just start writing about anything. It could be the weather, politics, things you hate about driving in heavy traffic. Even if the words don’t make sense and are spelled wrong. This will help unblock your mind.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I have websites that I have created. They are mainly in the natural health niche. Updating them and building links to them takes up a lot of time. I read whenever I get the chance.
Do you have any pets?
Yes I have my favourite dog “Peaches” who is a little Shih Tzu crossed with Miniature Maltese. She puts up with my swearing when nothing is going right!
If you were abandoned on a deserted island, what 3 items would you wish for?
My Kindle, my glasses to read it with and a nice bottle of champagne!
Anything else that you’d like to add?
Yes I would like to tell you about my experience in publishing this book. This may serve as a warning for people to always publish your own book. Even if it looks complicated and even if you think you can’t!
I had a lady that I met online publish my book for me on her account, because I was clueless on how to do it and every time I tried, Amazon seemed to find something wrong with my submission.
I had a successful promotion and people downloaded lots of copies and left me some wonderful reviews. A couple of days later, I discovered that I had forgotten to put in my illustrator’s name in the credits. A friend of mine also found a couple of inevitable typos, so I made the corrections and asked my publisher to take the original down and re-upload the new version.
To my horror she threw it back at me and told me to do it myself. A day later the book was nowhere to be found. She had taken it down.
Long story short, it’s back up again (with the help of a very kind friend) and all the reviews came back again too.
So I can’t emphasize enough the importance of having your own account and learning to do your own thing.
Thanks for interviewing me!
The pleasure was all mine Wendy. Thanks for sharing with us about the certain obstacles you had to overcome while publishing your first book. Despite the hassle Amazon gave you, you still persevered. Despite the hassle your publisher gave you, you still persevered and Percy is still up for the world to see. This really encourages me and I hope it’s inspired you too. All things are possible, if you believe. You can visit Wendy’s page on Amazon at the link below to see all her published work.
You can also visit Wendy blog at http://www.kidsfictionbooks.com