* you can find the original interviews and much more on my 'everything writing' blog (http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com), including author spotlights, guest posts, book reviews, flash fiction or poetry - new items posted 6am UK time Monday to Saturday and writing exercises at 6pm very weekday.
Tuesday, 28 August 2012
Author interview no.251: Darlene Jones (revisited)
Back in January 2012, I interviewed author Darlene Jones for my WordPress blog. I hope you enjoy it...
Welcome to the two hundred and fifty-first of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. Today’s is with Darlene Jones, author of ‘Embattled’ which she describes as “adventure and romance with a touch of sci-fi magic”. :) A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further.
Morgen: Hello, Darlene. Please tell us something about yourself and how you came to be a writer.
Darlene: I live on Vancouver Island, Canada and spend winters in Mexico. I write, read, and body board when I’m in Guayabitos. I love my granddaughter, the views of the ocean from my desk, and chocolate, which should be its own food group.
Morgen: :) I have a friend from (in) Mexico. I’ve not been but it sounds lovely. And I used to work at a chocolate factory (in the office but I was in charge of the sample room, which made me a very popular person!). I’ll jump straight in and ask you whether you have an agent for your writing and whether you think they’re vital to an author’s success?
Darlene: I used to think an agent was important until I went to a large writing conference in the US in August. We learned that, with the advent of eReaders, traditional publishing is rapidly falling by the wayside and that the big publishing houses no longer give advances or do any marketing for you. That was when I decided to self-publish.
Morgen: Me too, and isn’t it great? The tide (sorry to pun your earlier reference to body boarding, which does look like fun!) is definitely turning (a terrible cliché, I’ll try not to do that again) in the author’s favour. You said “self-publish”, are your books available as eBooks? If so what was your experience of that process?
Darlene: My books are available in all eReader formats. It was relatively easy to do (I hired a pro to do the formatting) and uploaded my manuscript. I think that’s the way of the future and think how many trees we are saving!
Morgen: And less lorries to transport them, and so on. I mentioned ‘Embattled’ in the introduction, presumably you have a say in the title / covers of your books?
Darlene: I have total control and love that aspect of self- publishing.
Morgen: Oh, me too. :) What are you working on at the moment / next?
Darlene: I have published the first of 4 books. The second and third are done and I’m working on the fourth. Since I just published the first one, most of my energy now is going into marketing.
Morgen: It does take a lot, I’m learning that. Do you have a method for creating your characters, their names and what do you think makes them believable?
Darlene: Good dialogue makes characters believable. Names are so hard. An author lives with his or her characters for a long time. You have to like the names and they have to suit the character you are creating.
Morgen: Do you write any non-fiction, poetry or short stories?
Darlene: My blog is a series of non-fiction short bits that readers seem to enjoy.
Morgen: I’m biased (being a short story writer / reader) but short is good. :) What’s your favourite / least favourite aspect of your writing life? Has anything surprised you?
Darlene: I love the creative process, playing with ideas. I’ve been surprised at how characters can take over. I’d heard that happened, but didn’t really believe it, until it happened to me.
Morgen: I know! Non-writers / readers would think we’re mad to say such a thing but it’s got to be my favourite aspect. What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Darlene: Don’t give up!
Morgen: The best three words next to “I love you” (or in the case of my dog “Want a cuddle?”). :) Where can we find out about you and your work?
Morgen: Thank you so much for answering these questions today.
Darlene: Thank you for giving me this space to promote my book.
Morgen: You’re very welcome. Speaking of which, Darlene’s books can be found on Amazon.com (for the Kindle) and Smashwords.com (for all other eReader formats).
If you are reading this and you write, in whatever genre, and are thinking “ooh, I’d like to do this” then you can… just email me and I’ll send you the questions. You complete them, I tweak them where appropriate (if necessary to reflect the blog ‘clean and light’ rating) and then they get posted. When that’s done, I email you with the link so you can share it with your corner of the literary world. And if you have a writing-related blog / podcast and would like to interview me… let me know. :) You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything… and follow me on Twitter where each new posting is automatically announced. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at Smashwords, Sony Reader Store, Barnes & Noble, iTunes Bookstore, Kobo and Amazon, with more to follow. I have a new forum, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s Contact me page or plain and simple, email me. I also now have a new blog creation service especially for, but not limited to, writers.
Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) :) on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are weekly episodes, usually released Monday mornings UK time, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.