I’m excited to introduce my first guest, Sue Seabury, author of the fascinating YA stories Miss Taken, Miss Understanding, and, her latest, Miss Calculation.
JR: How do you set about writing? Do you work from an outline, or do you prefer to see where an idea takes you?
Sue: Nothing beats the thrill of just letting things happen.
But after many painful hours in the editing seat, I have picked up the habit of plotting somewhat beforehand, so I know where these people are headed, vaguely. Less fun than making it up as I go along, but less rewriting later on, or so I console myself.
JR: If there were one aspect of your current work that was true in real life, what would you want it to be?
Sue: Ooh, I’d love to get to travel to all the places I’ve written about. I’ve been to some, but then I ran out of interesting ones, so I’ve been forced to pretend I’ve been to a bunch of exotic locations. Thank heaven for Google.
JR: Paper or plastic? Do you prefer traditional books or e-books?
Sue: I love “real” books: the feel, the smell, the taste. . .
(Kidding about the last. Although hot sauce makes just about anything palatable.)
I like being able to see where I am in the book using the time-honored tradition of squeezing the “read” and “unread” sections with two hands, as well as the ability to easily skip over long, boring descriptions flip forward and back to reread good parts, but e-books are a godsend for travel. A hundred stories in my pocket. Can’t beat that.
JR: Why did you choose self-publishing? Any advice for a newbie to self-pub?
Sue: I got fed up with waiting around, just to get a “no” from traditional publishing. I didn’t have any grand desires when I wrote my first book. I never thought it’d sell a million copies; I just wanted to see if I could do it. (Of course now I want to hit the top of the New York Times best seller list, but a gal has the right to change her mind.)
For newcomers, unless you have an amazing marketing strategy it’s really hard to get noticed in the vast sea of self-pubbed works. But then it’s really hard to get noticed by traditional publishing too.
I’m glad this alternate method exists. Maybe you’ll hit the jackpot and become famous, but in the meantime, your stories don’t need to languish in a drawer. Even if it’s only friends and family who ever read me, I’m proud of my accomplishment.
JR: How much do you hate the idea of marketing?
Sue: Glad you asked. Many, maybe most, writers are introverts. The skills required for writing a book are more or less the opposite of those for touting it. The mere idea of getting out there with a bullhorn yelling, “Look at how awesome I am!” gives me a bad case of ajida. But I’m trying.
*insert shameless plug for blog here*
Sue lives with her family in suburban Baltimore where the plain vanilla setting gives scope to her imagination, or so she claims.
She has published 4 of the approximately 10 gazillion stories swirling around inside her head.