Thursday, April 4, 2013

Interview with Beverly Lein

Can you give us a brief overview of the book. Is it part of a series?
It's a stand alone thriller set in the wilds of the Alberta region of Peace River. Two depraved criminals make an escape from prison and terrorize a young woman and a kidnapped child. But at the end of day, it's about rising to the occasion and the strength of the human will!

Do you have a favorite character?
It's actually Sam, the dog! I have a real soft spot for four-legged friends and just couldn't resist writing one into this book.

Did you try traditional route of publishing, agents and publisher’s?
I did, my first book An Elk in the House was actually published traditionally by Newest Press out of Edmonton.

How long before you got your first offer or first contract?
It took me three years of bureaucratic red tape with the first publisher I dealt with. They'd promised me a contract and kept stringing me along. After all that disappointment I finally cut ties with them and found another publisher. Within three months the contract was signed and a year later it was published. It was a good lesson to go with your gut when it comes to publishers. If it doesn't feel right, run away!

What factor influences your decision to go with a particular agent or publisher?
As I said, nowadays I go with my gut instinct. But it's so much hard work finding a publisher—and so much of it is about who you know and timing, rather than whether you have a great story to tell!

What factor influenced your decision to self publish your book?
The publishing world is so competitive, and it's becoming more so every day. For myself, I was tired of rejection letters that told me that I had interesting stories, but that they weren't the right 'fit'. It's even harder if you're not already someone who's well-known. Breaking into the traditional publishing industry when you nobody knows who you are, is nearly impossible.

What is your writing process muse or silence.
Most of my books have been written amid absolutely chaotic conditions. I have five rambunctious grandchildren, an elk farm, my own business, and of course just running my own home!  The only time I can find complete silence is late at night when everyone's gone to bed. So I often write late into the night, otherwise I have to compete with all that insanity!

Do you outline a story or go where the muse takes you.
I don't use an outline. I go where the characters direct me—you can always go back and change things, but I find it breaks my creative flow to feel harnessed by a strict outline.

Do you hire an editor to review manuscript before publisher.
Absolutely! It's crazy not to!

What have you learnt during your self-publisher journey.
If it's really important to you to have your story read, then sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands. Sometimes you quit crying and walk your own walk through life.

Besides Amazon are three other sites the books are for sale.
Barnes and Noble and Ink Water Press are the only other ones I sell through.

What kind of marketing are you involved in for promoting books.
I have a publicist that helps me run my website, books me interviews, and takes care of my social media—she looks after me completely.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing and writing the next.
That's why I have a publicist, so that part of my life is manageable.