Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
This is part of a series, The Devices of War. The series is about one man trying to make his world a better place. He gets rid of one tyrant only to realize there’s another right behind her ready to take her place.
In this book, he discovers that the real enemy is hiding behind the faces he’s been fighting, and he has to try to save his people from their plan to annihilate their planet.
Do you have a favorite character?
Right now, my favorite character is Neira. She’s a great leader in that she understands her people and her land. She has a great love for them and is willing to do what is needed for them.
She has so many layers, and she was a total surprise character. Originally, I’d created her because I didn’t want Synn to take over the leadership of the League. Well, he refused and I had to come up with a Plan B. However, the more I get to know her, the more I realize she’s a pretty awesome person.
Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I outline and go where my muse takes me.
I keep track of my pace by word count. By 1,000 words, we need to reach the inciting incident. By 5,000, we need to know what the theme of the book is. Etc., etc., etc. But that is all rather loose. I usually outline (loosely) the first five to ten chapters, and then work backward from the end for about three chapters.
Then, as I go, I outline each chapter. I write down what the point of the chapter is, show that to my characters, and then let them go. Sometimes, the outline is fairly detailed. Most times, it’s just a word or two, or even part of a conversation that needs to be had.
As I progress the story forward, I look at the end again and work it backward. My objective is to always keep my characters on track and to never let the pacing drag. If I don’t, my characters tend to take over the story and talk and talk and talk about stuff that doesn’t matter to anyone.
Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
I always hire an editor. The few times I didn’t were epic failures. It means that I have to eat hot dogs and mac’n cheese, and watch 10 pounds added to my butt because of it. But going without editing has proven to be disastrous.
My writing is pretty clean, typically. But! There are times when I see, hear, and know what’s going on in a scene, and it just doesn’t translate. I just survived a small stint where all my editors were crazy busy and my deadline was super tight.
I’ve learned that it’s best to just push back the publishing deadline and wait. I’ve discovered a few more good editors, too. So, that helps.
What have you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
A great cover means sales!
But, also, it doesn’t mean everything. They might purchase the book because your cover is amazing, but that doesn’t mean that they will read your book.
Giving away your work for a reduced/free price doesn’t always equal sales.
What that means is that people will buy your book. Great. It’s on their cell phone, Kindle, iPad, tablet, whatever. But they’re not reading it. When they don’t read it, they don’t go looking for the next book. When they don’t go looking for the next book, they don’t buy the next book.
So, sometimes, having a book at a higher price is like reminding people, “Hey! I bought that book. I should go read it.” Instead of forgetting about it.
The flipside of that coin, though, is that you get fewer downloads. So, you really just know how many people are ignoring your books instead of wondering where all your reviews are.
Quality matters…and it doesn’t.
When people are justifying themselves on why they didn’t read your book, they pick out the one typo you had on page 15 and say, “It was riddled with typos and was in desperate need of an editor.” Which is fine. Every book could use a little more help, even from the Big 5.
But, then, you see them give another book high reviews and it was one that you put down for the same reasons.
Editing is hugely important. Don’t get me wrong.
But if you can just hit your reader’s “interest bone” just right, it doesn’t really matter if there are typos or not.
Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
My issue is that on some sites some of my books are under S.M. Blooding and some are under SM Blooding. It’s very frustrating, but all my books are here.
Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
I used to. A year ago, that was the hardest thing for me because as I’m marketing my Devices of War novel, I’m writing/editing my next Whiskey Witches novel. They’re two very different series. They have two very different plots and sets of characters, two extremely different voices.
But I took last year off from writing. I had some major changes in my life, new people added to my everyday routines.
And now, it’s not so tough. I’m back to writing what needs to be written in the allotted space/time I have. Zero excuses. I either get it done, or I quit. I want to make this my full-time job, and I can’t do that if I allow myself a whole bunch of excuses.
So, I learned how to juggle.
What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
Prepare for some really hard work. Yeah. Yeah. I hear you. You think you’ve done hard work before. I did, too.
I’ve been working my butt off in this arena for nineteen years. My first book was published in 1997. I’ve been picked up by a traditional publisher, and then dropped. I’ve been picked up by a couple of small publishers, and then dropped. I’ve had to fight to get my rights back after a publisher folded.
I’ve published over 20 books in that time period. Some can’t be republished for a very long time. Some shouldn’t be republished. Ever.
If you’re going to make it, you’re going to have to make your own luck. That “luck” is going to look a lot like hard work. Some authors truly are lucky. They publish their first book. The readers overlook all their newbie mistakes.
But, chances are, you aren’t going to be that person. Chances are, you’re going to be the one who launches a book and then it’s instantly destroyed. Or completely ignored.
So, if you’re going to walk this path, be sure this is something you really, really, really want to do. You will hate it at times. It will make you cry at times. It’ll make you rue the day you ever said, “Hey, I could write a book.”
Anyone can write a book.
Fewer can write that book, fall flat on their face, get up, and do it again.
Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
OMW. Do I have other passions? That is such a silly question. LOL!
Most of my passions are writing/publishing related right now because that’s what I have time for. Graphics design. Website design. Music. Writing. Researching. Editing.
But I’m a crafter/creator. I crochet. I sew. I quilt. I’m helping my dear, dear friend and almost sister-in-law start her soap business (PinUpSoapS.com).
I spend a lot of my time supporting other artists. By “a lot,” I mean, my free time—which I don’t have a lot of—by helping them with their websites, and their marketing. I do what they need done so they can concentrate on their art because I want them to be successful.
I love wine. Oh, dear. Yes. I love wine.
I love my Darling Dork and his two girls, Things 1 & 2. I’ve really taken to this Wicked Step-Mother role. I love it.
One day—one day—I’m going to re-engage a few of my other passions. Traveling, for one. Hiking and camping for another. I love to shoot. I’d love to learn to fish. I love being outside and need to get back to that again.
What’s next for you?
Devices of War will continue in 2017 with the continuation series that is tentatively called The Skyborne Saga. I’m working on the origin short story this month, Planet Fall. That’s a working title, but I’m very excited about it. I love telling stories about villains (as the people of Devices of War see the Skyborne right now), and then showing them as living people. That’s what that short story will do. It’ll be free to those who subscribe to my newsletter.
There’s a very real possibility that a series of episodes will be written for either Captain Rose and her Sky Gypsies, or for Haji and his group—which needs a name so badly. Right now, I’m calling them the Marines, but I can’t use that term.
Right now, however, I’m working on Blood Moon Magick, which will launch May 30. Following that, is Barrel of Whiskey that will launch in June. Witches of the West is currently set for an October release. That’s all for my supernatural Whiskey Witches series.
It looks like Dreamland Stories will finally launch in December with Mechanic’s Nightmare. Not a super sexy title, but—for the love of Pete—I LOVE this series! I love it!
And Dream Killers will finally, finally continue early 2017 with a set of stories from Wonderland. Dreamland’s version of Wonderland. So, you just never know what could happen. I love Dreamland.
The world has changed. The Great Families are no longer in power. Queen Nix of the Hands of Tarot has been stripped of her title and incarcerated. The League of Cities has been formed to provide a new line of defense to the smaller tribal nations. Not without consequences, though. Another of the original Great Families has been destroyed. As the new leaders rise from the ashes, a new threat comes to light; something no one saw coming, something that had been lurking under the surface of their society for generations. The Skyborne. As they discover just how deep the Skyborne’s influences are, they realize the war they thought they’d been fighting . . . . . . wasn’t the real one.
Amazon / Whistling Book Press Get book 1 and book 2 HERE
Meet the Author:
SM “Frankie” Blooding lives in Colorado with her pet rock, Rockie, and Jack the Bird. Jack has refused to let her to take up the piano again, but is warming to the guitar. It might help that Frankie has learned more than two strings. She’s added a few more Arabic words to her vocabulary, but don’t invite her into conversation yet—unless, of course, you’re willing to have a very . . . slow . . . conversation. She’s dated vampires, werewolves, sorcerers, weapons smugglers and US Government assassins. Yes. She has stories.
She’s also an investigator with a local paranormal investigation group, Colorado Paranormal Rescue!
Find out more about her at:
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