Thursday, January 3, 2013

Interview with Liz Schulte

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book?
Dark Passing is the sequel to Dark Corners. Both are standalone mystery novels that follow the snarky, sometimes reluctant heroine, Ella Reynolds. Having made it through the darkest period of her life, Ella is in a good place, but when a woman whose daughter was brutally murdered comes to her for help, she can’t turn her away. Once again, Ella puts her life on the line and goes on the hunt for a murderer.

Do you have a favorite character?
It is hard to choose a favorite character that I write. I love getting into Ella’s mind. She is my first character and therefore very special to me. However, I have several other characters I enjoy writing too. I tend to like the funnier, more ballsy characters best of all.

Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing?
I belong to several writing groups, and I learned a lot from the people in the groups. However, I do not like to let people read my work until it’s finished, so I do not use a critique partner until I have a completed draft.

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish to Amazon?
I never considered self-publishing as an option, but I then one day I read a book by an indie writer who did quite well self-publishing. I contacted her and she explained both sides of the industry to me.

What is your writing process?
I start with an idea and I let it roll around in my mind until I have a really good first line. Once I have that I follow that line to an opening scene and so on and so forth. I write linear and I do not often outline, but sometimes I do create a time line to make sure I keep up with continuity.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
I hired two editors. The first editor is a copy editor and the second, just before publication, is a proofreader.

What have you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
That you always have to keep thinking and stay on the forefront of the industry of you will be buried in a sea of books.

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
My books are also for sale on Barnes and Noble, Itunes, Kobo and Smashwords. At the moment Dark Corners, the first book, is free at all of these and on sale at Amazon for .99.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
Time is always an issue for writers. It is hard to balance writing and marketing, but it is a necessary evil. Neither one can be neglected.

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
Start talking to other writers. Find a writing group and learn from others successes and failures. Also if you can’t afford anything else, make sure you hire an editor. It is the single most important thing you can do for your book.