Friday, October 28, 2011

Indie Insider - A. K. Taylor

What is the best way to create tension?

Tension can be caused by a lot of ways. A long lasting feud can be one. A person you can stand to be around whatsoever for whatever reason can be another. War is the ultimate climate for tension. Things or people who cause fear also create tension. There really is no best way except to relate to things that causes you tension or what is known to cause tension and then put it into the writing.

Do people judge a book by it’s cover? Who makes yours? 

Oh yes! I can say that they do without a doubt, and people have loved my book’s cover. Readers love it when they pick it up and a radio show host says the book is screaming, “What’s inside me? Take a look!” I design the cover with a skeletal layout and character sketches that I have drawn. I work with a professional cover designer to put it all together. It’s like a joint effort.

What are the best ways to ‘show’ and not ‘tell’? 

The best way I do this is with pictures. I show the readers what the characters look like in an illustration so I reduce the amount I have to tell. Pictures take away much of the words and bring them to life. Another way to cut out the fluff is to have the characters talk about the backstory rather than narrate it; too much narration is boring in my opinion. I don’t like the “Blah, blah, blah,” approach, and I would like to demonstrate how the characters react to another’s knowledge of the backstory. Also discovering a piece of the backstory is a fun way to show rather than tell. I hate a lot of fluff and would like to get into the action already; I’m addicted to action. I also like to remind the reader about a character’s character traits with action entwined. I can remind the reader that Neiko’s eyes are green by saying how they convey how she is feeling at a moment in time with the tidbit mixed in.

How many books do you produce a year? Are you meeting your goal?

Around 1-3 books a year as far as writing goes, but getting them published is a new venture. I have only published my first and I hope to get my second one out by next year. I finished one book and am about 2/3 of the way through another, so I’m doing pretty well. Marketing has slowed me down a little, but I just have to find that perfect balance.

How many works do you produce a day? Do you have a daily quota to full?

Hmm, how many words? I have to guesstimate since I don’t know the exact count, but it is a lot. After my writing, social media, blog, etc, I can write about 3K to 10K words. A heavy day can be up there to 15K or more. Words rack up really quickly on me. I don’t really have a word quota, but I have my writing ‘to do’ list. If it gets done, I’m happy, unless I pile the words onto something then I just move it up to the next day or stay up late since I’m a night owl.

What is your greatest challenge as an author? 

My biggest challenge to me is marketing and reaching my audience. This is all new so I’m learning as I go. I had to teach myself about 85% of what I know since I didn’t have teachers and I am cut off from a lot since I live in an extremely rural area. The rest of writing is cake to me.

Do you use a professional editor, critique partners, or beta readers? Briefly describe your process. 

I use a professional editor. I write and edit as I go along. Then after I am done I do a complete readthrough. After that I let it sit for a while and then do another couple of readthroughs. Then I send it to the editor. I go over the editor’s comments, make the changes, and send it in through another round since I usually go through a comprehensive edit. After I get it back, then I do another readthrough to check for missing punctuation or typos that I or the editor missed. After that I send it into the publication process. There is a couple more chances for edits, just in case.

What is you favorite part of the whole process? (Besides receiving a check or 5 star review!) 

Well, I have two actually. I like the whole part of creating something; I have a gifted imagination that can create, and it’s something I love doing. Now, that I am sharing with others, (I almost didn’t) I love for people to say they loved my book and everything about it: cover, story, and illustrations, and they want more when I tell them that this is only book #1.

What are three web sites or blogs that you can recommend? (related to writing etc.) a great place for tips on writing, publishing, etc, and new sections coming soon. I also write articles for this site that will be posted soon. with Shelley Hitz, a great place for free and cheap tools, info, and coaching a listing site that also has author information and resources, paid subscriptions coming soon.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Well, I guess that I could add that the book that I am sharing as of write now I wrote when I was 16 years old. I have been writing books since then. I have 14 stash away on my computer right now and more coming, and all of them would like to be released into the wild and read by readers. I enjoy writing them so I sincerely hope the readers would like to read them. I believe that energy and enjoyment that the writer puts into their work should transfer over to the reader. I have many interests, but I love the outdoors. As I mentioned earlier, I’m a night owl, so I hate mornings.

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