Thanks to the lovely Linda Hawley for taking the time to do this interview with me.
She has generously donated a signed print or ecopy of her book Dreams Unleashed to be given away to one lucky commenter. All you need to do to enter is leave a comment on what you think the future will be like and your name will be entered into the drawing to win your copy of Dreams Unleashed. Make sure to leave your email address in your comment. Feel free to follow and share this interview with others. This giveaway will run from 6/15/11 to 11:59 pm EST 6/17/11
What made you decide to go Indie instead of traditional?
There were five primary reasons that I published the Indie route:
1) Short Lead Time: Since my book is set in the future, it's time-sensitive, and I simply cannot wait a year for it to be published. The clock is ticking.
2) No Physical Book Tour: I had a long career in sales and marketing where I was a "road warrior." After many years of that, I had no desire to be on the road again--even if it's a book tour. I've taken that book tour time and am writing a very good second novel in The Prophecies trilogy.
3) Maintaining Control: This could be bad a bad thing if my ego was big and I was reluctant to listen to my test-readers or the professional content editor that I pay. My sales and marketing experience is of great value to me in finding the right individuals to help me make good choices. In traditional publishing, the author has zero control over anything.
4) Maintaining Copyright Forever: I see this not only as right (considering that I put my heart and soul into writing these novels), but I see it as an endowment for my children. I am particularly affected by being the perpetual owner of my own copyright.
5) More Profits: This is a no-brainer, self-publishing wins.
If you could be any of your characters, who would you choose and why?
That’s going to have to be Ann; she’s the main character. She’s the ideal woman in my mind!
What inspires you?
I think all authors take their life experiences and put bits and pieces in their novels. What inspires me is the chance to change our world for the better through my stories.
What do you do to overcome writer's block?
I don’t have a serious problem with writers block, but I’ll confess that I abhor the editing process. Let me say now that I have a Special Forces content editor; she is gifted. However, it’s the process of loosing words (I lost 20,000 words in the Dreams Unleashed edit) that is very hard for me. How do I overcome that? I talk with her about how it can be better in editing the next book. I also talk to my husband, who reassures me that it’s a finite process. He’s usually right.
How do you connect with your characters? Do you have conversations in your head? Dreams about them?
I have found that once I flesh out a character, they become real to me. That’s when I start to dream about them. I do dream up new chapters; I get lots of ideas that way.
If you could choose a movie to define your life, what would it be and why?
Oh this is truly impossible. I often have those close to me say that I should write my biography, because they’ve never heard of anyone having the experiences I’ve had. They are right; my life has been unique. I put this in my stories, which I hope makes them unique too.
What advice do you have to share with other writers like myself just starting out?
Never give up. Keep learning. Keep asking questions. Stay humble.
How do you create your story?? Do you see your beginning, middle and ending or do your characters suprise you?
I wrote the last chapter of Dreams Unleashed first, based upon a personal experience I had. Once I wrote down (in story format) the experience, the character, Ann, came alive. From there I couldn’t stop her from telling her story. It was as if she had become alive. It has been so empowering.
What is your favorite book and why??
The Passage by Justin Cronin absolutely blew my mind. I’ve read it twice, and am itching to read it again soon. I think he’s the best dystopian author of our time. I think everyone on the planet should read it; it’s not a story that you can forget.
And if you could have dinner with anyone alive or dead, who would it be and why??
That would have to be my grandfather. He died in WWII as a hero. I never got to meet him, but I have written his biography. In 2012 I will publish a novel based upon his life story. I look forward to meeting him one day in the hereafter. I have a lot of questions for grandpa!
An add-on piece:
The main plot of Dreams Unleashed is certainly dystopian, but I have worked hard as the author to give readers well-rounded characters, some good humor, international adventure, and a heartfelt love story. Early on in writing the trilogy, I made a decision that I would not include any profanity nor premarital sex in the book. (Although Ann does know how to use a Taser, and does, in her defense.) I did this because I wanted anyone of any age to be comfortable reading my trilogy. I was overjoyed to see that teens have started reading Dreams Unleashed, and are talking about it--they love the technology, the dog Lulu, and the love story. If you've never read a dystopian novel before, Dreams Unleashed might be the first one to try.
My website is: http://lindahawley.com/
My blog is: http://lindahawley.com/b2e/blog5.php
The print copy of Dreams Unleashed is due to be published about June 10th.
The eBook version of Dreams Unleashed is available for purchase now (for all eBook readers) at Smashwords, link: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/61373 and of course at Amazon, link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0051VDGJK
You can read a free sample of Dreams Unleashed at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0051VDGJK