Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Questions, Questions, the life of an Author in Soundbites.

Do other writers feel hemmed in by questions? 

When I was starting out, I didn't like telling people I was writing, because they would almost instantly start asking, "are you published yet?", and as I wasn't, it freaked me out. But then I got my very first story published in a magazine and naturally, I wanted to shout that from the rooftops. I soon wished I hadn't, because the question quickly changed to "have you had any more things published yet?" I didn't like to point out – even to myself – that first of all, one has to write new things, or the chances of publication dwindle. 

But I did write new things. Stories, articles and books for children. Yet again, the questions changed. "How's the writing career going?" became the main query. I shrank away from answering because we all have our dry periods and I have had many in my writing life. "Are you still getting published?" was the question in narrow second place and that was even harder to answer. Or rather, it was easy, but painful to answer. "No, I'd have to say. No, I'm not."

Attempting to see into the future and
guess the next question
hasn't got me anywhere yet. 
Finally, however, I landed a contract for a trilogy of thrillers entitled The Shaman Mysteries. All of a sudden, I couldn't wait for the questions, because I was proud and ready with the answers. Yes, I’m writing number two. Yes, it's going well. Yes, number three is in the pipeline. 

The questions have become more interesting, too. People ask all sorts of things, now. "Where do your ideas come from?" (the Muses, I think...)"Is Nina Milton your real name?" (yes, it's my married name. If you share a name with a great poet, what's not to like?) "Are you Sabbie Dare?" (Nope. I wish. She's thinner, younger, more outgoing and far, far more courageous than me.)

Now, anyone can ask me a question by going to Goodreads. People can pose questions by clicking  on 

Already I've been asked some interesting things; "What's the best thing about being a writer?" and "what advice can you give aspiring writers?" among them. 

Today, I was asked:  "I'm a bit in love with your central character in the Shaman Mystery Series. Can you tell me anything about the 3rd book? Are you writing one? Will it be out soon? I can't wait!"

Sadly, I couldn't do anything about his romantic dilemma, but I was able to tell him that the third book is now firmly in the pipeline and will be coming out in September (US) and October (UK) 2015. The title is really enticing, and the cover design has been chosen. 

Oh, yes, that's the other question I often get asked. Do I design or choose the book cover? Do I choose the title? It's a disappointing answer, I'm afraid. Most publishers don't allow their authors to pick titles or go anywhere near book covers. But this time, the title is the one I gave the book from early on in the writing process, so perhaps Midnight Ink are beginnning to be a little more trusting that other publishers. And, although even I haven't seen the cover picture yet, I do know that it ties in fantastically with the title and the overarching theme of the book.
As soon as I'm able, I'll be revealing the title and the book cover. I'm at least as excited as my readers, and I wouldn't want to keep them in suspense for a second longer than necessary. 
So watch this space for all the Shaman Mystery gossip and please don't be afraid to pose me a question on my Author Page at Goodreads...I'm certainly not afraid to answer them any more.

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