Friday, April 22, 2016

Interview with Sally Mitchell, EDEN THE EIGHTH DAY


Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
Eden: The Eighth Day is the first of a series of books that sets the stage for a re-telling of the story of creation. The Eighth Day introduces the final empire, Mendacia, the only place to survive a divine curse that wiped out civilisation.  It is ruled by a tyrant emperor and his hoard of demon slaves who terrorise the citizens.

Help for the empire comes from an unlikely source; Vita Dulcas, who, hated by the citizens for her suspected witchcraft, has her work cut out to help them. However, with the aid of her lost love and some more unlikely sources around the palace, she soon learns she has more power than she could ever imagine.

Do you have a favorite character?
My favorite character has to be Minerva. She is an eccentric elderly lady who says what she thinks and feels no fear. I’d like to think when I grow old I would behave in as much as an unruly way as she does.

Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
I tried it, yes, but was unsuccessful. To be honest, as a new author I was never expecting to receive representation but despite the rejection, the level of positive feedback I received on my writing and the story encouraged me to continue with publication. In the end I decided to go with a self-publishing company, Matador, who have been everything and more than I could have wished for.

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your book(s)?
Like I mentioned above, I was spurred on my some of the positive feedback I received on my manuscript from agents but also other authors too.

Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing?
I used to use an online critique group which was helpful, but I also found it very difficult as a novice author. It is difficult, but necessary to have your book pulled apart by other authors. Some are great and really kind in their suggestions, but without receiving some level of criticism I would have never improved my novel to the standard that it is currently at. The critique group definitely helped me to develop a tougher skin.

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
I like silence when I’m writing. I like to be in the characters world and live life as they are. To do this I don’t like to have any external interruptions to my process. I feel like you have to be in there with them to be able to express their hopes and fears and to make the characters as life-like as possible.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I have a post-it story board which helps to keep me on track and I fill notebook after notebook with ideas, but never in an organized fashion. I’m not the type of person who could sit down and plan an entire novel before I start writing it. I tend to add notes as I go along as this helps keep my mind sharp and focused.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
My manuscript has actually received three edits. I was fairly new to the process so I didn’t really know what to go for. Initially I had a basic edit with a reputable firm who corrected my grammar and punctuation. I realized after I received some critiques that it needed more than that so I sought out another editor off a website to try and save some money. This was a big mistake. I had to pay money up-front and the edit was appalling. The editor never even asked for the remainder of the money, so I guess they knew the edit was no good. Although it costs more, I would definitely recommend going with a reputable firm. That’s what I ended up doing with the self-publishing company I’m currently with and I’m finally happy with the standard of the novel.

What have you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
What a difficult world self-publishing is. Originally I had planned on releasing it myself on kindle, which I tried but I really struggled with the marketing. I spent hours going down every avenue I could think of to drum up some interest but the problems I encountered were that all the free marketing avenues were crammed with other authors with the same ideas, but no potential readers. This is why I decided to approach the experts. I chose goddess fish because of a solid reputation for blog tours, and Matador publishing because they were well-established and reputable. If you know that writing is what you want to do, it’s best to do it properly and work with people who are experts.

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
The Eighth Day was officially launched on the 14th of April on all major e-book platforms. While I’m writing this, the book has yet to be released, therefore I can’t provide exact links, although you can access all the details from http://www.troubador.co.uk/book_info.asp?bookid=3979


 BLURB:

Welcome to Mendacia; The city of lies. Saved from a divine apocalypse, its citizens now starve. They are trapped beneath a fire-lit sky and surrounded by a molten river, all to pay for the sins of their ancestors. 

The gods cursed the original generation with eternal life so that their skin would rot and their pain would always remind them of their own horrific crimes. These demons now serve the tyrant emperor, Malum Dolus who uses them to terrorise the citizens, all in the name of maintaining order.

One woman, Vita Dulcas has had enough of his evil ways, but what could she possibly do to help the citizens? They love Malum and hate her, suspecting her of witchcraft after her survival of deadly snake bites. All she can do is stay invisible. That is, until she finds herself backed into a corner and all she can do is fight. Suddenly, she has more power than she could have ever imagined and it becomes clear she is Mendacia’s last hope.
If only she could make the citizens see the truth.


Eden: The Eighth Day will be  $0.99 during the tour.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

I was brought up in a small country village in North Yorkshire, UK. I had always been brought up to work hard and to push myself, skills which came in useful for writing the Eighth Day. I suppose it also helped that I’ve always been a huge bookworm with a love of all things fantasy and all things romance. Pride and Prejudice is my all-time favourite.

Granted those genres are miles apart but I find something incredibly romantic about escaping to a world that has been lovingly created by an author. I enjoy trying to connect with them through their imagination, wondering where they were and what they were doing when they developed such magical worlds.

Writing my own novel was the best experience I’ve ever had career wise, and it makes the struggles I have faced in my past careers all worth the while.

After losing my career as a nurse following a car accident, I began a promising psychology career, even winning an award for my undergraduate degree. However, I became a single parent three years ago and sacrificed another dream to set up a laundry and ironing business, which enabled me to be at home with my son.

Despite many commitments, a further relationship breakdown and 3 family bereavements, I was determined to develop a rewarding career and make my little man proud.

That’s when I decided to begin a writing career and I developed the Eden Saga. Such a path enabled me to stay at home and give him all the extra support he needed whilst also having something for myself.

I’m now the happiest I’ve ever been, I’m closer to my son than ever and I’ve finally released my novel as an e-book which is available on all major platforms.



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