What inspired you to start writing?
I remember the days building up to when I finally decided to write this book. I wanted to tell the story of these three cubs growing up and going separate ways in life. So before I decided to start writing I decided to plan and look for some inspiration. I sat there watching as many “Born Free” movies as possible followed by “The wild Thornberry’s” and any other animal related movie. I then went on to read the butterfly lion by Michell Morporgo and lots of his other books to give me some inspiration. I then began doing research online to help my knowledge of poaching and watching animal documentaries. I even found inspiration in songs when I looked at the lyrics. You can pretty much find inspiration in everything.
How long did your manuscript take to complete?
I originally started to write Fear almost five years ago. It was about 30 pages long and the grammar and characters development was not so good. Over the years I began to develop the plot more and add unique characteristics to the main characters who we all know and love then it developed into the book it is today.
Did you suffer from writers block? If so what advice do you have for other authors who are struggling?
When I was writing Fear I never really suffered from writers block but as I began to write other books it became a great era. I would sit there in my seat knowing what I wanted to write but not knowing how to write it. I usually find that when I hit around 30-40 pages then the writer’s block kicks in. In one of the worst case scenario I had this great book and was reaching an end but when the writer’s block kicked in I just ditched the whole story completely and it’s just rotting away on my computer without the happily ever after ending.
However just because you have writers block doesn’t mean it’s always the end of your book. Sometimes it’s good to leave it for a few weeks or even months then return back to it with some fresh ideas. I also find that it helps to listen to some music or watch a film, maybe even read a book to understand how you’re going to write yours. As I’m going to bed I just think to myself how I would describe that moment in my book and sometimes I have to get my note book out to write the ideas down, actually I do that a lot. Most of the time I find that I suffer from writers block because I have not planned out the book enough so it’s good to look back on your plan. How I plan my book is with a short brief description followed by characters and their roles then I do a time line of when all the action happens and how the tension builds up. As long as you have a good plan, characters and plot then I wish you the very best with your story!
Do you wish you had to start to write sooner in life?
I always had a passion for writing as I was growing up, it felt like it was in my blood. I remember when I was in primary school I made this silly little book made out of scrap paper and showed the teacher. She seemed to be impressed for some strange reason and made me show the head teacher and after a few nervous moments she reviled she loved it. I ended up having to show the book to everyone in assembly and for some strange reason I remember everyone was holding bags of dry pasta and Spaghetti. As everyone held firmly to their pasta the Head teacher suddenly remembered my book and made me stand up in front of everyone to show it off. It was really embarrassing but at the same time it was a really proud moment and it define me from the other kids, it made the writer inside of me shine.
Any tips or advice for other authors out there wanting to Self Publish?
I remember when I was thinking of self-publishing my book, I had no idea which company to choice until my mum handed me this flyer about Spiderwize. At first I thought they were going to be really serious but after a friendly conversation on the phone I realised how kind they were. The company doesn’t have to be big and well known for your book to do well, Spiderwize proved that to me. As long as you advertise your book right and get good reviews then that’s what gets you sales, and if you have a lot of friend to spread the news about your upcoming book too. Sometimes it helps if the company is local so you can pop in to see them personally and discuss the book. Although self-publishing can be scary don’t be afraid to ask question such as how you’re going to get paid in the long going or how to get reviews. If you don’t ask questions then the book might not turn out as great as you imagined.
How did you find the process of self publishing with Spiderwize?
After receiving the flyer from my mum I contacted Spiderwize and they weren’t the big scare people I thought they would be. They were very understanding and listened to my suggestions. When it came to editing the book they didn’t change it completely so that it was almost a different book. They made small tweaks that made it flow much nicer. Then when it came to creating the front page I suggested the picture of this magnificent lion with blue eyes staring at you through the page and although it was a tough choice with a picture of a lion standing in a sunset I decided to choice the one I had suggested. When they sent out the books they were very efficient and it didn’t take long to arrive, they were probably more efficient then me. Even after I have finished my publishing with them I still contacted them with queries about the book. That’s the best thing about them, even when it’s all over they still pay an interest in you and your passion for writing. I would definitely recommend to publish with Spiderwize and will keep doing further business with them in the future.