I am in a unique position as an author because I write with co-author, David W. Small. Dave is not only my co-author, but he is also my brother. We grew up reading the same type of books, fantasy and science fiction, and that love of books resulted in our collaboration years later.
As authors know, it is hard work coming up with ideas for a new book, putting those ideas to paper and then editing those words into a book that is ready for public consumption. Having two authors trying to accomplish this takes extra effort and it means leaving egos at the door. Every idea must be vetted and our reasoning is "if you can’t justify why it should be included, out it goes." We do extensive outlines for the world we are creating, the plot lines and the characters. We found out with our first book that it is imperative to do all this background work first. It certainly saves a lot of editing at the end.
I live on the East Coast, Dave lives on the West Coast and we both work full-time so we each must dedicate a portion of a day to writing. My best time to write is first thing in the morning and Dave likes to write at night. This schedule actually works out well because I can edit what Dave writes and he gets to read new lines most days. We don’t impose a word quota on each other; sometimes one of us writes a paragraph and the other finishes the rest of the chapter or we each write a few paragraphs. Because of our hectic schedules, it usually takes a year to finish a book. We are currently working on a new fantasy involving assassins, witches and the Stone of Prophesy. If all goes according to plan, we should finish this story by the end of 2011.
It’s been a year since we published QUEST FOR NOBILITY and the sequel, THE CRYSTAL FAÇADE in our Rule of Otharia series on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. What a difference a year makes! First, we have to thank our graphic artist, T.M. Roy, for both of the covers. They are awesome! One of the hardest things authors have to do once their book has been published is letting the public know about it. This is where social media is key. New authors should plan on having a website or a blog, an account on Facebook and also on Twitter. Don’t continually spam people about your books; rather engage others in conversation about common interests. Once people get to know you, they’ll be interested in your books as well.
I also manage a writing blog, TWO ENDS OF THE PEN, and it started out as a blog about our writing, but I soon realized that I would like to help other authors get recognition for their work as well. I started offering author interviews, panel discussions and reviews of indie books. It was my way of paying it forward to my fellow authors. Now 3 years after my first blog post, the site gets 200-300 hits a day. I’m happy that readers find it interesting enough to keep coming back every day.
Writing a book is just the first step on this crazy journey of being an author, but I wouldn’t change any of it. I thoroughly enjoying writing stories and am happy that readers keep buying the books. Thanks very much Tim for inviting me to your blog and letting me chatter on about my writing.