Why did you get into writing?
The reason I got into writing is, very simply, that I am addicted to it, and I have been since a kid. My parent raised me on some of the best fantasy and sci-fi books around – epics like LotR and Dune, to classics like CS Lewis and Greek mythology. Those books and stories bewitched me, and when I started getting my own ideas, I threw myself into writing. I would spend all my spare time doing it. I wrote my first full-length novel at 11 and have been at it ever since.
Professionally speaking, I didn’t begin to publish my books until 2009. I’d just graduated from a music academy (another passion of mine), and was working in bars and clubs while trying to make my way with bands and solo project. Unfortunately, they simply weren’t going anywhere, and I decided that it was time for a change – that I was going to write for a living. That decision has led me to where I am today.
How come you chose to self-publish vs traditional publishing? Pros vs. cons?
When I fist started researching how to publish, I realised that I could take the skills I’d learnt as an independent musician and use them as an independent author. DIY self-publishing mirrored a lot of the steps to producing music and building a fanbase. I round out that by taking the reins myself, and going DIY, I could keep more of my royalties, keep creative control, retain my rights, get monthly royalty payments and real-time reporting, and work directly with the stores, all things I couldn’t necessarily do traditionally. Also, I wanted to publish then and there, not wait months to be taken on by an agent. Or, if I were to be successfully taken on by a publisher, the lengthy publishing schedule. Overall, the opportunities of DIY suited my entrepreneurial mindset, and that’s why threw myself into it. I may have been missing out on the advance and punchier marketing power of a traditional publisher, but DIY was what I wanted to do – to carve out a business with myself at the helm, and all the while get to do what I enjoy.