No schedule, no method per say. Carol Malone simply writes when the idea pops into her head. When that happens, it's like a waterfall of words flowing onto the page. Going to work and eating are a burden. Amazingly, she finished writing her first book in just 3 weeks. Read her full author interview below!
1. List the titles of your published books (include publisher and year published) plus your author website/Facebook page links.
Fight Card Romance: Ladies Night
Ladies Night Christmas
2015 in Anthology
2. When did you start writing your first book? Where did the idea come from?
I wrote my first 6 books in 2008 after inspiration received at the local community college.
I spent a lot of time driving the desert between Utah and California and I thought, “What would it be like to be a young woman driving to meet a fiancé she’d not met before who lived in Utah?” This is a contemporary romance.
3. What was the hardest part about writing your first book? What hurdles did you have to overcome?
I wrote my first book in about 3 weeks. There was nothing hard about it.
Eating and sleeping were a hurdle as well as having to go to work each day.
4. Once your manuscript was finished, what did you do?
I wrote 5 more. I never thought of editing until I went through cancer, surgery, and recovery. Then I thought maybe I should seek an editor. My published book is actually my 7th book written. I consider the first 6 practice.
5. What did you expect from the editing process? How was the experience?
I was unprepared for the editing process and thought I’d hit the jackpot by finding a former professional editor, a 30-year veteran of St. Martin’s press and Bantom Books.
What I didn’t know is that this process with this editor would be a money pit. What she did was critique my chapters for a lot of money. I realized one day after noticing that the others in our group were still working on their first novel after years and years of basic editing. I wanted no more of that and found another book coach.
6. Describe what re-writing involves and how it makes you feel. How is it different than the initial writing?
I basically re-write each chapter when I come back to it the following day. I add in sensory details, scene setting details forgotten, mental, emotional, and action reactions around the dialogue. Only when I’m happy, do I move on to the next chapter.
The initial day is free writing – like putting on the spinning beanie and letting go.
7. Did you have non-editors read your book for feedback (Alpha Readers)? What did you get out of that?
Yes. I belonged to an in-person critique group.
They loved my chapters and gave valuable feedback. I see where I still needed more detail and where I needed to cut it all out.
8. Who designed your cover? How much input did you have? How important is the cover design?
I belonged to a Fight Card Co-Op of authors and designers. A talented gentleman with PhotoShop experience designed my cover, but I found the photo.
There was a Fight Card style guide to follow, so I just had the input of the photo.
This can be the death knell of any book. I’ve seen some real lousy covers out there because people try to do it cheap.
9. How did you go forward with publishing? Why? How was that experience?
Because I published into a series of Fight Card books, it was mandated that we use Amazon Kindle for our publishing.
I feel like the experience was all right. I need to shop it around to the other sales outlets now.
10. How have you marketed your first book?
Because Fight Card is a heavy-niche, there are few places to market the story even though it has universal themes of family, love, and over-coming overwhelming odds.
11. How was the initial feedback from readers?
I’ve received nothing but 4 and 5 star reviews from Amazon readers.
12. How have sales been on your first book? Did they go as expected? What helps you the most to sell books?
Sales are not good. Genre might be the problem.
No. But then, my goal was to publish a book, not promote it. I need a new dream.
I’ve had marginal success with Facebook Book Events.
13. Talk about print vs ebook. Do you get more sales with one than the other?
I was able to sell more print books at book fairs and signings. Ebooks are steady, but lower.
14. Did you set the prices of your print and ebooks? How do you decide how to price them?
I used Amazon’s model
15. What made you decide to write more books? How were those experiences (writing/editing) compared with your first book? Did you do anything differently?
I had more ideas.
The whole experience with my books starting with number 8, was slower and more methodical.
I wrote with more intention after having taken numerous workshops on the writing, editing, publishing, and marketing fields. I’ve even been studying with my own coach to become a book coach.
16. Anything different in the publishing process for your other books?
With my 4th book, a memoir, I used Draft2Digital to format the book and will shop their sales outlets to compare to the big A.
17. When did you consider yourself a "writer"?
As soon as my fingers hit the keys.
18. When do you write? What motivates you to write?
I wish I could say I had a schedule that I followed religiously, but I don’t. If I feel moved, or an idea pops in my head, then I write. Right now, I’m spending the majority of my time editing the last 4 books I wrote for NaNoWriMo, and some other books I’ve written, especially, my sequel to Ladies Night.
A great idea.
19. What do aspiring authors ask you?
Mostly they ask me where I get my inspiration. I tell them in everyday things. I wrote a story based on a Taylor Swift song, a Michael Buble song, a dream, a couple of incidents from my own life (but without me in them), and a title fight for Heavy Weight Champion of the World. Inspiration is everywhere.
20. What advice can you offer for aspiring authors about writing, editing, publishing, and marketing?
The best advice I can offer is find someone who can be your guide without breaking your bank. It’s hard to find someone whom you can trust, but I guarantee, it will be the best money you can spend. Then take workshops of all kinds, read the top books on writing, and join a local writers’ group that both teaches the craft of writing, and hosts speakers on different topics.
There are several online gurus I receive email from and one is David Farland, https://mystorydoctor.com/ an LDS man who was Brandon Sorensen and Stephenie Meyer’s teacher at BYU, and The Write Practice http://thewritepractice.com.