Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Interview with Gurpreet Kaur Sidhu, STORM

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
Storm is about the main character, Evan Storm, who is able to remember his past life. His past life horrifies him and he feels there’s a reason why he remembers specific parts of it. When he meets Shadow Hex, everything begins to make sense. But being a part of Shadow’s life comes with a consequence. The story explores the themes of reincarnation and karma. This is the first book in the series. I left some questions unanswered which will be addressed in the second book and what doesn’t make sense in the first book will come together in the second one.

Do you have a favorite character?
I would have to say that Marvin Stone is my favorite character because I had a lot of fun creating him. He’s definitely not the good guy in the story but the type of person he is and what he wants was exciting for me to bring to life.  He isn’t a straightforward character, whereas some of the other characters are all on the normal side of the spectrum and were a lot easier to give a voice to.

Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
Yes! It didn’t change the direction of the novel for the first book, but it’s changed the second one for sure. It’s opened up different storylines that can take place, which makes it interesting for me. It’s all a puzzle, really. Sometimes when one piece doesn’t quite fit, you know the perfect one exists – you just have to find it. Sometimes it’s just right there, sitting under your nose the entire time and that’s how it plays out with my characters.

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your book(s)?
The idea of self-publishing was always there but I had my heart set on getting representation. When I received one rejection email after another, I realized that I was knocking on the wrong door. My editor is a huge advocate for self-publishing because the author holds all the rights and is in control. I just dreaded the marketing aspect of it, so self-publishing was never my go-to option because of that reason. However, I am working with some amazing people who work tirelessly to help me get where I want to be. So, I’m happy with having self-published this book!

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
I will listen to music when I write. I can’t write without it. My writing process is kind of odd and I think you’ll agree too. Before I write, I usually have to get myself in the mood to write. I’ll read some inspirational/motivational quotes, listen to some motivational videos, which I haven’t done in a while, and surf through Pinterest. I usually like looking at nice houses and interior because one of my goals in life is to be able to afford a nice home on my own. So, that inspires me to get to work and not waste any time. Sometimes I’ll daydream just to get my mind to wander. I’ll revisit conversations that happened earlier and just allow myself to get lost in my subconscious. After my daydream session, I’ll get straight into writing and knock out a few hours without even looking at the clock.

What have you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
I learned how exhausting it is! This is when the real work starts. Since I’m in the driver’s seat, I’ve had to hire the right people to take on the tasks that I can’t tackle on my own. There’s a lot of research that has to be done and I know I haven’t done it all, but through the process, you learn what you need to do before putting your book up for the world to purchase. Marketing your book before and after the launch is a must. You can have an amazing book but if the marketing effort isn’t there, the world will never get a chance to read your work! I’m intimated by the marketing aspect of this journey, so I hired someone who has done this work in the past. Self-publishing is a lot of work but I’m having fun with it!

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
Yes! You can purchase paperbacks and a signed paperback copy by me on my website: gurpreetkaursidhu.com. Storm is also available on Nook, Kindle, Google Play Books, Barnes and Noble and iBooks. For iBooks, it will be available on July 24th

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
I would first recommend getting an editor. You want your work to be the best it can be before it hits the online market. I would also say that it’s a long and overwhelming journey. I wasn’t aware of that until I started my journey. You need to make sure you’re marketing it constantly and if marketing is an aspect of the publication you’re not good at, hire someone. It’s better to invest money in someone who knows what they’re doing rather dipping in one toe in the pond, seeing if you can tackle it on your own; that’s if you’re not confident on handling the marketing part of it. 

Also, hire a publicist! I’m working with someone who is very passionate about what she does and I absolutely adore her for it! Invest money in a good cover designer. You want the book’s cover to be appealing. Even though we should never judge a book by its cover, I think it happens whether we want it to or not. With the book cover, I learned was that it’s going to cost you more money than you expected, if you want a good cover designer. There are a lot of people out there who say they design book covers, but there’s a huge difference between their work compared to someone who strictly works on book design. If you’re hesitant, just remind yourself that it’s a long term investment and it will be well worth it in the end.

Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
I love to cook and bake. I’ve always wanted to open up a small shop with baked goods and some lunch items.  I remember when I first got into baking and cooking, I was probably nine or ten years old. When I would try a new recipe, I would pretend I was filming for my own cooking show! It makes me laugh when I look back at that. Being in the kitchen is also therapeutic for me like writing is.

What’s next for you?
I want to make this book a success because it has a lot of potential and I believe that’s a long journey in itself. In parallel, I will be editing my screenplay. I’ve always wanted to write a movie script and have written TV shows in the past. So, I’ll be working on getting the screenplay out to agents. I will also finish writing the second book. I was invited to Seattle’s Book Expo, so there’s a chance I might attend the expo. But I really just want a little sleep! Hopefully I’ll get some time to relax and enjoy this milestone. 


Blurb:
The first in a series, Storm is a twists-and-turns thriller driven by compelling characters challenged by dangerous forces, both external, internal, and eternal. Evan Storm had been confronted by his past (an unpleasant one at that) in his dreams, and now in his waking life. He is struggling to reconcile the evil that lurks in his soul. Shadow Hex is his new neighbor, who also fears a dangerous past – her former fiancĂ© who works for the Secret Eye Agency (which is as shadowy and sinister as it sounds). Does Shadow hold the key to Evan’s redemption? Is redemption even possible? 
Buy link:  

Amazon 

 

Born and raised in California, Gurpreet Kaur Sidhu always had an insatiable appetite for reading and writing. She would often be reprimanded for working on literary ventures when she should have been paying attention to teachers. In addition to being a highly accomplished writer, Sidhu is a passionate businesswoman, holding a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and running a women’s clothing company with her younger sister.    

Author site pricing: pre-sale now until July 23: paperback $14.99, signed by author $16.95 on sale July 24: paperback $16.95, signed by author $19.95 For more information about Storm and Gurpreet Kaur Sidhu, please visit and follow:
Official author website: gurpreetkaursidhu.com
Twitter: @gurpreetksidhu

Enter to win 1 of 5 Signed Paperbacks from the author! Fill out the form to enter.