Thursday, January 29, 2015

Interview with Bonnie Paulson, RIDING REDEMPTION

Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
Yes! Actually, the villain in the Lonely Lace series (Devlyn Caracus) is the father of all 5 girls in the Redemption series. I didn’t know that was going to happen so it really took a lot to plot out and plan around. But no, it didn’t change either series, just made for some fun discoveries along the way as I wrote them.

Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
I did that route for quite a while. I was traditionally published in 2009 and again in 2011. I had the whole agent thing going on, too. I highly suggest the traditional route for anyone who is new to publishing, but that is only if they don’t understand the ins and outs required of authors/publishers. Knowledge is key in this industry.

Are you currently under a traditional publishing contract for future books or do you have manuscripts that you will self-publish?
I am not under contract for any traditional publishing as of right now. The reason for this is because my release schedule for 2015 is too insane. I have a book releasing every 6 to 8 weeks (in different genres and I stagger them), and in order to maintain quality and deadlines, I don’t have time to create anything for a publisher or agent right now.

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your book(s)?
I’m a slight control freak. One of my traditionally published books underwent such a change (new title, storyline, character arc), that it became less my story and more theirs. That hurt. I didn’t write the story for the publishers, I wrote it for the readers. For me. And… well I felt that was compromised. So I leapt into Indie-publishing and I haven’t looked back.

If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
My cover artist, Ashley Byland of Redbird Designs, is amazing. She has designed all 24 of my currently released book covers as well as the 15 upcoming releases this year. I learned while working with her that if I try to direct her from the starting gate, neither of us is happy (and I’m not surprised, I’m not an artist but there I was trying to tell her how to do her job – ANNOYING). If I give her pertinent information to the story, she comes back with images and covers that I could never have imagined. I’m in love with all of my covers. Seriously, in love! And she’s done an amazing job with them at such an affordable price. She’s awesome!

Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing?
I have two critique partners – a group tends to have too many hands in the kitchen helping. Yes, they’ve definitely helped my writing improve and grow. They both look at different aspects of the story and have done wonderfully regarding the arcs, etc. I don’t know where I would be without them.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I used to just go with it, but then I tried plotting and my efficiency skyrocketed. I no longer experienced writer’s block and was able to work and be much more prolific. I outline everything now.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
ALWAYS. As well as a proofreader. This is non-negotiable for me. And still once in a while errors slip through. I can’t imagine what would happen if I didn’t hire one!

What have you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
That I have a lot to learn still!

What’s next for you?
I have multiple releases coming up. Resisting Redemption, book #3 of the Redemption series releases in April. I have a psychological thriller releasing in February (that was FUN!). And so much more – if anyone is interested in finding out more, I give out first sneak peeks on my Survival newsletter at my website.

Thank you so much for having me! I love the layout of your site as well as the fun articles you’re always posting. It was a pleasure being here! Stay Alive!