1. What Got You Into Writing? I have always loved reading from a very young age and had a vivid imagination. My mother distilled a love of books in me by reading to me every night before bed and making up stories; a special surprise from her would be a book with a loving message written in it. I have done the same for my 3 year old son Enzo since he was a tiny baby and as a result he can already read a lot of words. We enjoy trips to the library together and his favourite Christmas present this year was an animal encyclopedia I gave him which I hope he will keep forever.
At school I loved inventing stories and writing poetry, I was often lost in my own little world and thoughts and used to get told off for being a day dreamer in class; that’s something I have never grown out of I am usually oblivious to what is going on around me which can cause problems sometimes but it does help me to immerse myself in writing.
I started writing my book Corrupted after I had my little boy. As a single mum I had a lot of time on my hands in the evenings and I wanted to use it constructively so I started going to a writing class. Before long I was writing almost every night as soon as I put my son to bed.
I self published my novel which is fictional but loosely based on some of my experiences as an exotic dancer in Sydney and I have now almost finished the first draft of my second novel, a suspense about drugs and deception.
2. What is a usual writing day like for you? I am lucky to be able to have two whole days to dedicate to writing a week while my son is at nursery; on those days I will have a coffee, sit in the living room and write non stop until it is time to pick him up. I spent a lot of last year organising book signings so some of my day is devoted to calling book shop managers and promoting my book with social media and any other ways I can think of.
I also spend about three or four evenings a week writing after I put my son to bed. Usually I sit in bed with my lap top and keep going for as long as I can keep my eyes open or the creativity is flowing.
I know that becoming a successful author can be a tough thing to achieve but I have always believed in following your dreams and doing what you love, and I admire anyone who has the courage to do what they want to do.
3. Who Influences You? I think everything influences and moulds a person and whether you realise it or not a person you’ve met or a song you’ve heard can come out in your writing just as it can in a dream. I am influenced massively by books I read, films I watch but mostly by the people I meet in everyday life. Their traits and habits often influence the characters I write about and inspire ideas for plots. Everyone has their own unique story and I love hearing about different people’s lives, beliefs and cultures. That’s why I think it is important to experience as much as possible as an author, and for me that means travelling as much as I can, living life to the full and treating everyone I meet with respect and compassion.
4. What Is Your All Time Favourite Book? I have so many favourites, ones I have read recently include the Shining Girls, The Room and The Devil Of Nanking. My favourite book of all time however is Anne Of Green Gables, it was a childhood favourite that I read many many times so it will always have sentimental value for me.
5. Do You Get Writers Block. If So How Do You Overcome It? After publishing Corrupted I spent a lot of time promoting my novel and as a result I did neglect my writing. I don’t necessarily regret this because as a self published author it is important to try to get an audience and push yourself, however it meant that I did get out of the habit of writing regularly and when I started to write the book I am on now I struggled to get back into it. I think it was psychological because I have high expectations of myself and am very critical of my own work as I’m sure many authors and artists are. The only way around it I found to was to stop re-reading what I had written and analysing every sentence and to just do it.
6. Besides Writing What Do You Enjoy Doing? I love food in general, I will try anything and I love cooking different recipes and eating out at restaurants. I enjoy doing things with my little boy; taking him for days out, swimming, the park but there’s nothing better for me than just spending the day on the beach and sitting in the sunshine, I feel my happiest when I am by the sea. I like to go out when I can, get dressed up and dance all night long, it’s about the only exercise I have ever enjoyed doing so I make the most of it when I get the chance to. I also love spending time with my boyfriend Mark who I have been with since last year, we are madly in love and have a lot of fun together.
7. Are You A Plotter / Planner When It Comes To A Story? I always begin with a general idea of the plot but I don’t plan everything meticulously. I start writing and jot down a plan for the next few chapters but then I find more inspiration comes to me as I write and it often changes. If I am stuck then I will spend a bit of time plotting but usually no more than about ten scenes at a time. I like to have a rough outline of where I am going with a story but I don’t think you can ever know every last detail.
8. What Reasons Did You Choose Self Publishing Over Traditional Publishing? I decided to become self published as I didn’t have the patience and persistence to get a traditional publishing deal. I was introduced to a self publishing company called Gibson Publishing by several members of my writers group, I met the director and what he was offering sounded like it would be good for me and it seemed like fate. They helped me edit the book, got the ISBN, designed the book cover, registered me with Nielsons and got my book Corrupted onto several retailers websites. They have also helped me and advised me with the promotional side of things. I am glad that I decided to self publish as I have gained a lot of knowledge that I wouldn’t have otherwise and learnt how to do everything from designing my own website to writing press releases and arranging book signings but if the right opportunity come up and I was offered a publishing deal in the future than I would happily accept it. I think it is exciting that we authors have the choice and we should try every avenue we can.
9. Do You Have Any Advice To An Author Wanting To Get Published? Make sure you do your research on the agents and publishers you are sending your work to and don’t rush anything. Be sure that you are as happy as you can be with your manuscript and synopsis etc before you send it out and then don’t be disheartened by rejections; if you are determined to get a publishing deal I imagine it takes a lot of perseverance and hard work to get there.
I think that in the mean time self-publishing is a good option because it gets your work out there and creates more opportunities than you will have if it is just sitting in your drawer at home.
If you do self publish be prepared to put in a lot of time and energy to promoting your work. Some people get extremely lucky and their books are hugely successful but I have realised now that for most authors this doesn’t happen overnight and it is best to just enjoy what you do and hope for the best.
10. Where Is The Best Place You’ve Visited Or What’s Your Best Experience? My favourite place in the world is Sydney where I lived for two years. It is a beautiful place; I love the laid back lifestyle, the cafe culture and the nightlife. The best experience for me however has been becoming a mother, it has been the most challenging thing I have ever done, has made me grow as a person and I think doing it alone has made me a lot stronger than I ever was before.
Amazon links: http://www.amazon.co.uk/CORRUPTED-Tale-Scandal-Suspense-ebook/dp/B00B05VVZC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1372969289&sr=8-1&keywords
My website http://www.corruptedbook.com/
My blog http://emmyyoshida.wordpress.com/