Book marketing is one of the, if not THE biggest challenge authors of indie books face in their daily lives, and social media is still a great tool to make cheap book marketing, yet many don’t know how to use it. SO! We invited some of the authors we noticed that are using social media to their advantage in creative ways, such as Lee Hall, Tyler Wittkofsky from Tea with Coffee Media, Ashleigh Bonner and the incredible Ryan Cipriani !
Today I would like to share with you all a recent interview I did with Instagram Superstar and fellow authorEmma Jean. I had a lot of fun talking about social media, authoring and of course Consistent Creative Content. For anyone who wanted to know me a little better or to get an insight into Emma’s awesome content then do check it out.
Click on the graphic below for the link via Instagram.
1. First, introduce yourself a bit. What is your name (or pen name) and where are you from?
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Lee Hall and I am an independently published author from the UK. Indie publishing to me means that I have self-funded my own books from scratch all the way to publication.
2.Next, tell us a bit about your most recent work. Is this your first published book? What is it about and what genre would you classify it as?
My most recent release and seventh book, Consistent Creative Content, is a non-fiction guide for indie authors and bloggers. This part-memoir part-guide lays out my journey as an author and blogger which is full of advice and experiences. Basically stuff I have learned over many years from…
I present you with the latest victim of my random questions author Neil Christiansen.
‘Neil Christiansen has a way with words and imagery that pulls you into the gritty underworld of Chicago, in his modern noir thriller Dark White. Dynamic characters finding their way through the gray landscape of morality. Hold on it’s quiet the ride.’ -My Review of Dark White
Why do you write? Everyone asks this question and I don’t really understand it. I don’t think people ask singers why they sing or bricklayers why they lay bricks. I write because I’m compelled to. I have stories in my head and they belong on paper. I hope people read them and like them, but even if they don’t I still have to write them.
What do you get out of it? At the moment I get pride and my own satisfaction. I also get grief from my family…
The exploration of unique voices in storytelling is back for another Hall of Information Interview. On this occasion we are joined by author Brooklynn Dean who has mastered depth and symbolism in her unique books. From magical realism to rock and roll, you’ll find a lot more in her words than just a story.
Q1. Let’s talk about your unique writing style. Most stories have nowhere near as much depth or inner meaning as ‘The Word of the Rock God’. Part of that depth is a moral story which centres around the themes of good versus evil, temptation and even purity. This is merged with the life of a touring rock band. What influenced you to find and write this story?
“Wow, I feel very complimented by this question! Thank you for saying so.”
“Honestly, I’ve always been interested in Christianity generally and Catholicism specifically as a theological topic of study. I find the lore of the Bible so interesting— the spiritual rules/regulations, the various creatures, the way angels are meant to interact or not interact with humans, angels mutating into demons when they disobey, etc. so when I write magical realism, divine creatures are always my go-to.”
“One night I was driving home from a concert, listening to Palaye Royale, and their song “How Do You Do?” shuffled on. The first line “good morning, how do you do? I’ve been up all night looking for you.” struck me, and I began visualizing a scene in which a stranger might sit down before a person and say these words. Who would this stranger be? Why would she have been searching out this person.
“Having just seen a show, I imagined that person as a rock star. I couldn’t see the stranger who had been stalking him as just a regular old fan of his band, though, and my interests in mythology and Christianity quickly crafted this woman into a demonic figure. But then, why would a demon want him? Well, for his platform, of course, and to use to corrupt as many souls as possible, but why him? What’s so special about his platform? I won’t say here because I don’t want to give away spoilers, but the concepts of morality and good and evil have simply always been intriguing to me. And I love shy, sweet innocent men. I don’t think they get enough credit in media; often they’re relegated to being the butt of a joke or a sidekick, and that doesn’t fly with me.“
“Given that my stalker-character was demonic, it just seemed to me that Max’s innocence should’ve stemmed from his faith. I really don’t feel like I create the characters as much as I discover them. They exist somewhere separate from me, even though that place is inside my mind, and I feel like I sit down with them and let them tell me their stories.“
“One thing that seemed as important to Max as it is to me is the concept of fate and destiny. I imagine we all have a certainty destiny laid out for us, but I vehemently believe that our free will allows us to step outside of what’s been written in the stars for us if we decide to. It was important for me to express that in the text.”
I very much believe that also, we all have the ability to change the stars. It’s very interesting to see how you constructed the story, it kind of makes even more sense now. For anyone who hasn’t read ‘The Word of the Rock God’ I highly recommend it – here’s my recent review.
Q2. Are there similar themes in your other works? Please tell us more about them?
“A theme I touch on in The Word of the Rock God that I really delve into in Amethyst, 2288, and in my brand new work, Deification, is celebrity and idolization. In Rock God, Max wonders why people are his fans— do they dig into the messages of his songs and lyrics and admire him for what he’s saying, or do they simply see him as a modern deity? Do they admire him because he’s elevated above them on a stage? Does what he say matters or is it simply that he’s got a microphone in which to say it? I think we live in a society that raises us to believe we aren’t good enough (mostly for monetary gain by the major corporations of the world), and when you couple this almost-brainwashing insecurity with the loss of God (or any other deity) it creates a hole that can only be filled with the admiration of another person.”
“I think we enjoy loving each other and praising each other and feeling camaraderie— humans are social animals!— but if we feel inferior while praising someone else, we start to see them as superior to us. Celebrities have very much become modern gods, in my opinion. That’s why Amethyst’s tagline “you’re not god, but your my god” exists as it does. Our main character is extremely pessimistic and nihilistic, so when she sees someone creative and beautiful, she can’t believe he’s human. She immediately puts him on a pedestal instead of focusing on her own creative energy and becoming the god of her own life herself.”
“In 2288, this idea of hero-worship is extended to a dystopian state wherein creatives are classified as Elite and everyone is simply The Citizenship.”
These stories sound awesome. Most books have nowhere near that much depth (including mine)…
Q3. Tell us about your newest release ‘Deification’?
“Deification is most certainly an exploration of Christian creatures. As I’ve said, angels and demons and the anti-Christ are all such intriguing concepts to me. I love the idea of a great End of Days where these creatures mingle with humans on earth, where earth as we know it, is gone.”
“But my main character stemmed from a reading of A Clockwork Orange where I paused to ask myself why isn’t the evil gang leader-murderer ever a woman? Just as I enjoy giving shy guys a spotlight, I very much enjoy giving bold, unsympathetic, selfish women a place to exist too. So Torrence stepped forth from my subconscious and said, “Hey, I’ve got a tale for you. Here’s my life story.””
“I almost always find myself relating to the male character in movies which feature both male and female leads, so I try to write men and women the way I’d relate to them. It’s not the traditional view of gender norms, but I’m writing for the people who don’t see themselves in those traditional roles.”
Q4. I’ve seen on social media you mention reading the work of Anne Rice, do you have any book recommendations from authors you follow and what genres you enjoy?
“I absolutely adore Anne Rice, yes. Since so much of my answers feature idolization and worship, I’ll be the first to admit that she is my god. No doubt about it.”
“I absolutely would recommend your work, Lee, and have done so to quite a few people! I also enjoy the work of Jeremy Megargee and Gillian Dowell, two fellow indie writers whose works deserve attention.”
“Genre-wise, literary fiction is my go-to. I love purple prose, flowery language, sentences that last for paragraphs (shocker considering the length of my answers, huh?) I think everyone should sit down with a book that explores the inner-workings of the characters minds as much as it does the action of the plot. Reading a stranger’s work can become very personal when you realize how deeply the two of you can connect over whatever innately human emotion or thought or concern a fictional character is going through.“
Thank you for mentioning my work and of course recommending it. Much like you I’m all about proper sentences and the characters!
Q5. Moving away from writing and books briefly, what other interests do you have?
“Music is extremely important to me. You’ve read Rock God so I’m sure you might’ve imagined that already. I love how deeply connected, much in the way of books and writing, music and lyrics can make you feel to people you’ve never met before. I can’t tell you how many dear friends I’ve made at concerts— oh, hey, we both like Ice Nine Kills and you drove 3 hours to be here and I drove 2 and a half, and we know nothing else about each other but for the next hour we are going to drink and sing and laugh and enjoy our shared experience here. That’s beautiful. I think because of concerts, music offers a connection other art forms aren’t necessarily able to.”
“Outside of music, I love comic cons. I’m a total nerd. Give me conventions, give me horror movies, give me cosplay. I love it all.”
“And of course, I’m obsessed with cats.”
Beautiful indeed. Nothing beats live entertainment and the energy of a crowd.
Q6. Tea, coffee, beer or wine?
“Tough choice as I love three of the four. We can definitely get rid of beer. Reluctantly I’ll give up tea. I do love wine, but I’m not sure I’d survive without coffee. If I have to choose between the two, I’ll take the coffee. But this question is evil. Haha.”
Q7. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
“Absolute night owl! I hate mornings.”
Q8. You have quite an impressive social media following. What’s your strategy when it comes to social media and does it play a part in selling books?
“I can’t say I have any real strategy. I’ll post or tweet something I think is hilarious or artistic and see a much smaller response than something I was hesitant to post at all will get. I think a big thing for me is my ability to talk to anyone as if they’re my best friend. I know a lot of writers and readers are introverted, so me saying GO TALK TO EVERYONE isn’t exactly helpful. But I really think “be yourself” is an overused cliche for a reason. When you’re fully accepting of who you are and what you like and what you think, it’s very easy for other people who enjoy those same things to find you. I’m not sure if it plays into my book sales. I have friends who buy everything I’ve ever created, and I’ve become friends with people because they’ve read my books and reached out to let me know. I like to think I’m logical and intelligent, but truly I just kind of float through life on gut feelings and meditation, and it works out pretty well for me! I know some people probably cringe at the aloofness of that ramble. I’m kind of a hippy that way.”
Excellent advice and outlook. I’m kind of just winging it on social media…
Q9. What projects are you currently working on and what can we expect to see next from Brooklynn Dean?
“I’m revisiting an old manuscript I wrote back in 2016-2017ish. It features my trademark shy guy and assertive woman pairing. It’s paranormal. A thriller of sorts, I suppose, though I’d like to try my hand at something romantic.”
Sounds awesome, looking forward to it!
Q10. Finally, a question that I ask all interviewees. If there is one sentence of advice you would give someone with dreams of becoming a writer, what would you say?
“Writing is an art form and you know your story better than anyone, so don’t let people force their own “rules” on you.”
Great advice! Thank you Brooklynn Dean for taking the time to share an insight into your unique world of story telling.
Exploring unique voices in writing can extend across different languages from many places all over the world. For this Hall of Information Interview we speak with an author and blogger who faced the challenge of learning English and succeeded. Her ambition to express feeling through writing has made for some great stories and it’s even been an opportunity to help others. Kristina Gallo has taken the time to share her story so join us as we dive in to the words…
Q1. Let’s start with talking about Language. English is not your native language but that hasn’t stopped you from writing some great books which is impressive. Please tell us your story and how you learned English? Where did your writing journey begin?
“I have been learning English in elementary school and in high school. English is the main foreign language in Croatian schools. We have basic education 12 years and after this we choose the university. I learned English in my University too. But, the real challenge happened when I started to write a blog in English language. I wanted to express my feelings in the internet, to my foreign friends to understand me. I started blog Rebellious rules by Kristina Gallo, that is still active. Four years later, I decide to collect this blog articles in self-help book, because I had reactions of people, they motivated me to write a book. In the year 2018 I hired an American editor. I wanted to write and publish in Amazon, and I start collaboration with editor. So, now I have nine books and book number 10 is on the way.”
9 Books with 10 on the way, that’s impressive!
Q2. All of your fictional books carry many different messages and lessons. Are these inspired by real experiences and people? Can you share more about your books?
“Yes, inspiration is based on real events and people. I passed through bullying and some traumas. My country was in the war during 90’s. Also I had some painful relationships. Some books are based on real events but names are changed and circumstances are modified.”
Some of the best books out there contain some element of truth that’s modified slightly.
Q3. You’ve also written some self-help books, what subjects are they about?
“One book is about breakups, these are problems that many women are dealing with. How to forget an ex boyfriend and find a new one, how to get out from the toxic relationships. Another book is how to survive in the society if you are rebellious person. Also I wrote a book about dangers in the virtual world. The last book had advice about seducing in a satirical way. I wanted to make a parody to magazines like Cosmopolitan, because they share advice about good looking and nice clothes, like this is enough to find a boyfriend. I focused on inside qualities and how to use logic instead of makeup.”
They sound both fun and insightful. Of course many magazines these days set unrealistic expectations.
Q4. What writing project(s) are you currently working on?
“I am working on mystery suspense thriller. It should be released in December.”
Sounds good, you can expect a review sometime after the release!
Q5. Your highly active across many social media platforms and support many different authors.
How important is the writing community to you?
“The writing community is very important to me. I could not get readers without my friends, I get a lot of useful information and reviews. I am grateful for their support.”
Q6. Do you have any interests outside of writing?
“I am working my job in the office , I love movies and football. I am big fan of nature and swimming.”
Q7. Tea, coffee, beer or wine?
“Coffee and beer.”
Q8. Can you name three films or television shows that have inspired you?
“John Wick (all parts)”
Great films, Basic Instinct is a classic and everyone loves some Keanu!
Q9. Back to books. Do you have a short list of must-read books that you would recommend?
“Yes I have.”
“Jitters – Ken Stark“
“The Novice Ghost hunter – Martin J. Best“
“Broken – Donna Siggers“
“The ghost beside me – Lee Hall“
“Best kept secret – Elsa Joseph“
“The Drain – Victor Villestone”
These are some truly excellent choices and recommendations, of course thank you for mentioning mine…
Q10. And finally, a question I like to ask at the end of every interview.
If there was any advice you could give to someone with dreams of becoming a writer, what would you say?
“I would recommend every person who wish to become a writer to use their free time for reading books at first. Then, such person should connect to other writers and learn from them. After that, every future writer should hire an editor.“
“I would also recommend everyone to tie their ego and accept critics. I made progress in my writing because of my reviews that motivated me what to fix and what to avoid.“
Great advice and coming from an author with a unique voice we would like to thank you Kristina Gallo for sharing an insight into your world of words.
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