Its Author Interview Thursday and I just have to say our featured authors in the month of August have been amazing. Today’s author in the hot seat is someone whose books I love and have read to my children at bedtime on numerous occasions. There is a uniqueness to her stories and zany appeal to her illustrations that make them stand out. Her books can be found on many best-seller categories in the Amazon Kindle store and she is someone whose work ethic and excellence I admire and celebrate. Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming Angela Muse.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you ended up being a children’s book author?
I grew up in a military family so we moved around a lot. It seemed I was always the new kid in school and it took me a while to warm up to people. During those difficult teen years I started expressing myself through writing poetry and short stories and then song lyrics. When I became a Mom, I started telling stories to my children and they encouraged me to publish. I created one book, Lil Glimmer, in 2009 and then I chickened out and didn’t publish any more. Last year I promised myself I would take more chances with my writing and we completed several picture books. I’m so glad I stuck with it because I’m having so much fun.
Tell us about your latest book and what format is it available in?
Our latest book is titled Monsters Have Mommies and is available in kindle and paperback formats on Amazon. Have you ever wondered if monsters have mommies and daddies? It turns out monsters families are a lot like our families. This monstrous tale about parents and family is perfect for children aged eight and under.
What can a reader expect when they pick up an Angela Muse book?
Most of my stories are told in verse so they can expect lots of rhymes. I also pride myself on working with great illustrators so you can expect engaging pictures to go along with each story. Each story tries to entertain while also importing a positive message to the young reader.
What do you love best about being a children’s book author?
My imagination can take me anywhere. While collecting acorns to decorate our home for Thanksgiving, I came up with the idea of a book about a family of acorn nuts and the adventure a brother or sister might have. This idea resulted in The Nutt Family: An Acorny Adventure. Also, we get to be a small part of shaping young minds imparting messages about bullying, sharing and showing kindness to others.
Where do you usually write your books?
When I get an idea I scribble it down no matter where I am. If I’m at a restaurant, in the car at a red light or at home I keep a notepad handy to jot things down.
Do you believe in writer’s block and what do you do to overcome it?
Oh yes I do. It doesn’t happen to me very often, but just recently I was working on a Christmas book and things just weren’t coming together. I got stuck and left the story alone for a few weeks. When I got ready to go back to it, another better idea came to me so I scrapped the original story. The new story is almost complete. Sometimes you just have to let things go and something better may come along.
What marketing methods are you using to promote your book?
We are enrolled in the Kindle Select program for most of our books which gives us the opportunity to give away free copies of our kindle books in exchange for exposure. We’ve also participated in blog hops with giveaways, sponsored paperback giveaways on Goodreads and Librarything and sought out reviewers and bloggers that speak to our target audience of mothers with young children.
Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing has afforded a lot of indie authors the opportunity to get their books published. Where do you see the industry headed as more people with varying skills and intentions use KDP to publish their books and how are you positioning yourself to stand out in this marketplace?
The marketplace for indie authors is wide open right now and I know many readers have complained about the quality of work that is being churned out by some authors. We will not sacrifice quality. We believe in presenting a good story with beautiful pictures and we will continue to offer that to our readers.
What mistake(s) have you made while publishing your books that you would advise other authors against?
In the beginning I didn’t know what I was doing. I hadn’t researched who the big players were for indies to get exposure. I didn’t know that getting editorial reviews was important and I had a hard time finding other indie authors in my genre to gain knowledge from. I would encourage other authors to do their research, network with authors in your genre before you publish that first book.
How do you deal with bad reviews?
David, everybody gets them. Even the most critically acclaimed authors get one star reviews from time to time. Of course I say this now, but it is quite unsettling when you see that first bad review or two. You have to toughen up quick and realize that not everyone is going to fall in love with the story you gave birth to. As long as you put out quality work there will be readers who will love it to.
Toy Story or Shrek?
Definitely Toy Story. When I was little I always wondered if my toys came to life when I slept so this movie resonated with me.
What is a typical day for Angela Muse?
Writing for me is what I do for fun so my typical day begins at my day job in the finance industry. I commute in my car ninety minutes each way, but this drive time is when I get some of my ideas. After working a full day I head home to spend time with my family. I write either at lunch or at night when my kids are fast asleep.
What can we expect from Angela Muse in the next 12 months?
In the next couple of months you can expect us to release a lovely Christmas book on Amazon. We are also actively working with local independent book stores in the Atlanta area to carry our paperbacks.
Where can fans and readers of your books discover more about you and connect with you?
If you are interested in what we do they can visit our website at www.4eyesbooks.com.
Any advice for authors out there who are either just starting out or getting frustrated with the publishing industry?
For those starting out soak up knowledge from other veteran indie authors by visiting the Writer’s Café at kindleboards.com or joining an indie author Facebook group. Having a support group of people to learn from is so important.
Thanks for spending some time with us today Angela. I really have to agree with you on that last point as joining a facebook author group has really improved my skills as a writer and publisher. You can also connect with Angela on Twitter. Her twitter handle is @amuse663 and you can follow her by clicking this link https://twitter.com/amuse663
You can also discover and buy Angela’s books by visiting her Amazon Author Page at the link below
I love your interviews David they are always so interesting and entertaining
Thanks Janet. I’ve been so blessed to have so many wonderful authors this month and it was a pleasure having Angela with us today.
Great interview, David!
I love Angela’s books and The Bully Bee is my favorite :-).
You love Bee Bully too? That’s fascinating. I got it this month and I’ve read it a couple of times to my cujee wujees. Thanks Charlotte.
I always learn something from your interviews David. This time it was the tip about negative reviews. Makes a lot of sense. Keep up the good work.
That was sound advice from Angela regarding bad reviews. Even the best of the best get them so it is something that comes with the territory. Thanks Wendy.
A fabulous interview with a truly wonderfully talented author. We love Angela’s books. Cheers Julie
Thanks for stopping by Julie and I’m glad you liked the interview.
David Chuka, this is a lovely interview and I find you a very kind and gracious person.
Thanks Susie. It was a joy to have Angela in the hot seat and I learned a lot. Feel free to stop by next week as we have another amazing author.
David, thank you for another interesting author interview. I like how Angela carves out her writing time. Inspires me!
Thanks for stopping by Kathryn. I loved the fact that she’s always prepared to capture her ideas on paper.