Book Author Circle
Continuing with my current pastime in learning about the journeys to publication from first-time book authors, I’m pleased to feature Laura Howard, a gal I met through last year’s April platform challenge for writers created by Writer’s Digest mogul Robert Lee Brewer.
Laura Howard – Friend to the Books!
It is probably safe to say that Laura is a book nerd, which is not a bad thing to say, by the way. She loves books, loves writing about them, and loves connecting to fellow book lovers through social media.
If you take a look at any of her social media streams, you’ll see that the bulk of her conversations deal with the writing, reading, and publishing of books. Laura is not the self-absorbed writer who markets her own work, though; she freely markets other writers’ books, frequently encouraging her readers to buy such-and-such book because it costs just $0.99 on Amazon. That is how much of a friend to the books is Laura.
Laura, based in Masachusetts, is an interesting gal who reminds me so much of Jane Friedman, though on a more personal level. Both Jane and Laura are social media magnets; one dispenses writing and publishing advice while the other connects seamlessly with her legions of devotees through simple questions. That’s Laura – - posing questions and getting scores of replies in return. It is that personal interaction that makes Laura down- to-earth and accessible.
The Forgotten Ones – Romance and Irish Folklore
Laura wrote and recently self-published her first novel on April 29, 2013, The Forgotten Ones e-book, the first in the Danaan trilogy.
The Forgotten Ones is a romance novel and fantasy that is classified as new adult but reads like a young adult book. It features Irish folklore, with the “forgotten” Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan, a fairyland (Tír na n’Óg), and the wonderland of Fae brought to life in the midst of challenging human relationships with a girl, her father, her schizophrenic mother, and a conflicting love interest. Find out why Laura chose Irish folklore for her book here.
From April 30 – May 14, 2013, Laura and the Forgotten Ones are on a virtual book tour hosted by Itching for Books. Visit the Itching for Books website to see a full listing of Laura’s many blog tour stops! You can follow Laura on Facebook, Twitter, and her blog, Finding Bliss.
Please describe your inspiration for writing this book and a general timeframe of how long it took you to write it.
I started writing The Forgotten Ones in the beginning of the 2009 school year. My son had just started preschool and I found myself writing while he was gone during the day. I’ve since had another child and rewritten it twice.
After you wrote your book, what steps did you take afterward?
I’ve been following publishing blogs all throughout the writing process, and learning from other authors’ experiences. I started my own blog in April 2012 to start dipping my toe in the publishing world, planning to publish my book in December. After getting some feedback from an editor, I changed my plans to rewrite from 3rd person to 1st person POV and pushed my publishing date ahead. I will not put out a book that isn’t the best I can do.
Describe your thought process in choosing the self-publication or traditional publication path. Did someone influence you in your decision? If so, how?
I didn’t take this decision lightly. I used to turn my nose up at the idea of self-publishing. But, after I got on Twitter, I found Joanna Penn’s website which has loads of information on every aspect of publishing, and she successfully self-publishes her books. I then began following other self-published authors and saw their successes. In the beginning of 2012, I decided that I would take my book and make it as well-written and edited as any traditionally published book and self-publish it.
Now that your book is published, what are your next steps with regards to the book? Do you have a marketing plan in place?
I have a pretty detailed marketing plan. I am treating my writing as a business, because a book is a product that needs to be sold. And if I’m not willing to put it out there, it’ll get lost in the crowd. A lot of writers hate the idea of marketing, but it comes naturally to me, and I’ve really enjoyed building a platform and meeting new people that, like me, love books.