Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Interview with Elizabeth Svigar

Available at Amazon:

Briefly describe your journey in writing your first book. 
The idea for the book came to me on a long drive through the woods. I’ve been a longtime reader of folk tales and love the story of Baba Yaga. I thought she’d be a great character to modernize and bring into a contemporary fantasy. Then of course if you have Baba Yaga, you have to have a Vasilisa, so that’s how the character of Samantha came about.  The other characters arrived as I wrote, several based on character archetypes. Abby is the quintessential troubled heroine. Dr. Dante came to me as a blend of Heathcliff, who is one of my absolute favorite literary characters, and Erik from the Phantom of the Opera.  I didn’t have a “bad guy” for a long time, then a major news story hit that seemed to me to have mythological proportions in terms of someone committing evil acts. I’m curious to see if any readers will figure it out. All in all, the book took me two years, and I wrote and rewrote it several times.

Did you query agents or traditional publishers before publishing on Amazon?
I queried about five agents and one publisher.

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish?
 Querying was too time consuming, with the possibility of little payoff. I did a lot of soul-searching, asking myself why I was writing. The bottom line was that I write because I love it, because it’s therapeutic for me, and because I would like to share what I do with other people. I’m not in it to try to become a bestseller or anything like that. I just want it to be out there for people to read.

Did you design your cover art?  If not, would you care to share your graphic designer’s information? How involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
Victorine from the Kindle Boards designed my cover. She did quite a lovely job.

How did you feel when you got your first sale?  Are you pleased with sales so far?
I was happy, but nervous that someone was going to be reading my work. Until then it’s well protected, safe! Some will love it, some will hate it, and it’s time to detach from that and continue writing. I am pleased and surprised with sales so far as it has done better than I expected. Of course one would always like to see more.

What is the biggest thing you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey.
Edit, edit, edit, and edit again! You’re really publishing. People will read it.

What kinds of social media [twitter, facebook, webpage, blog, writing forums] are you involved with trying to garner attention for your book(s)?
I’ve been working hard to submit my book to several reviewers’ blogs. I also promoted on Facebook, and I’m a newbie but a regular on the Kindle Boards.

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
It’s on sale at Barnes and Noble, formatted for the Nook.

What’s next for you?
I’ve been working on a futuristic YA dystopian about the Internet, where everyone can instantly do a search on everyone else, and there’s no privacy. It relates to cyber-bullying, and also the way the Internet can become Big Brother. It’s called The Web. I hope to have it finished not too long in the future. And I want to revisit Sam, Abby and Xenith from qi soon as well. I envision this current project to be a three-book series.