What made you choose Red Adept Editing?
Experience, reviews, and price. I researched several editing companies by checking references, scanning book reviews for any positive or negative feedback regarding editing, and comparing pricing between these companies. I narrowed the list down to three, and Red Adept Editing rose to the top.
You’ve worked with Stefanie. What did you like most about working with her?
She is thorough and offers great suggestions. She points out inconsistencies and offers easy fixes. Plus, working with Stefanie is a pleasant experience. In the distant past, I worked with other editors who thought intimidation—the use of belittling and snark—was a necessary part of offering valuable advice. It’s not.
As an indie author, I’ve been able to surround myself with positive, motivating, and intelligent advisors, from my content editor, Tania, whom I’ve known for years, to those who work at RAE, like owner Lynn McNamee, who offers support and shares her experience and wit; Stefanie, my line editor; my proofreaders; and others, like Kelly, who line edits my Teller of Destiny series (which I write as A. H. De Carrasco).
Are your books standalones, or do they need to be read in order?
Well, both Stealing Sky and Vampire’s Fortune, Fortune Teller’s Curse will eventually be separate trilogies, so they will have a preferred order to them, but if a reader doesn’t like trilogies, the first of each is a complete story on its own, so the reader could stop there without the frustration of any cliffhanger.
Do you have anything in the works for the Vampire’s Fortune series?
VFFTC will be a trilogy, eventually, with Ulysses and Fiona traveling across Europe, unlocking secrets and solving mysteries. I have a spinoff planned for Fiona’s little shop in Texas—about the crazy things that happen to the new employees while our vampire and our psychic are away. Right now, I am working on a separate ghost story, but I will return to their world soon.
Do you think you’ll stick to Urban Fantasy and SF?
What part of self-publishing do you enjoy the most?
The control from beginning to end. I have a wonderful content editor whom I’ve worked with for many years. Plus, I have a great group of beta readers. And now, I also have a great editing group through Red Adept Editing for polish and proofreading.
I like following through with covers and marketing, which go hand in hand. It’s been a long Process, lots of hits and misses, but I like to learn new things. I’ve had to flex my business muscle, and it’s growing stronger.
You have some great covers. Who does your cover work?
I read anything that’s in front of me. I go to bookstores and grab the books with the most intriguing covers. Impulsively. I can never walk past an amazing book cover or any bookstore, for that matter. A bookstore is better than a candy store. I read outside my genres when I am writing, so currently I’m enjoying the books of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. I love how their mysteries unfold.
How do you deal with writer’s block? Or does that ever get to you?
I sit my butt in my chair until I write. If I wander, I remember, and I sit my butt in my chair. I don’t sleep until I write something. It wasn’t always that way, having that rule. I never had writer’s block. Ever. I could always sit down and just write for hours, nonstop.
Then I joined some writing groups, and everyone was talking about writer’s block. Well, I guess it must be contagious, because low and behold, I caught it, too. Don’t let that happen to you. Resist. Take it from me. There is no such thing. It’s an earworm you need to yank out of your brain immediately. Writer’s block is like the boogeyman. You’ll buy into it if you talk yourself into believing in it. Sit butt in chair. Write. Period.
If the delusion persists, try starting a session with freeform writing for half an hour. I learned this technique in a writing class, and seriously, I have sessions where all I write is “blahblahblahblah” or “ihatethisihatethis” for the first page, but by the second, wheels begin to turn. The brain kind of gets bored and thinks, “Well, since I’m here, I might as well make up something…”
What advice would you give to a new author?
Go at your own pace. Some people scratch away in a frenzy, while others ruminate, and still others make a sport of crumpling paper. But pretty much all of us go through these artistic phases at one time or another. But you are you.
I used to shrug and say, “Hey, I’m a slow writer.” But that is not true. I can write a first draft in a fairly short time. I’m not even a slow reviser. I just revise a lot, over long stretches. So, I must make sure I do something new every day, or I’ll sink beneath the hill of eraser residue and pulpy manuscript muck.
Remember that all your effort adds up. Doesn’t matter if you are a slow writer or a persistent reviser. You be you. You’ll find your place.
Where can readers find you?