Reblog: Author Interview at Sybrina’s Book Blog

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  1. Can you tell us a few things about yourself?

I’d love to! I’m a self-published author of (currently) four novels. I’m not stopping there! But I actually prefer to be outside, rain or shine. I enjoy bodybuilding, snowboarding, hiking, four-wheeling, camping, gardening, and working on cars. I’m a hands-on sort of person. I have two Bachelor’s Degrees and am a USAFR veteran of six years.

I’ve been traveling the country with my husband for five years for his job, living out of an RV. We’ve lived in seven states and seen some beautiful country that I think often goes unnoticed. While snowed in, in the North Dakota plains for a winter, with nothing else to do, I decided to make the dream of self-publishing a reality. I’m also a lucid dreamer who loves anything fluffy, struggles with migraines, and is addicted to Twinkies and caramel macchiatos.

  1. Describe the types of books you write without using genre headings e.g. you’re not allowed to just say I write fantasy!

I’m definitely a cross-genre writer. My first book series blends magic with science, is set in the future, and involves alien invasions and military themes. I include cyberpunk and biopunk elements in a lot of my writing. While battle scenes can make a story intense, motivations of characters and their relationships are just as important.

I also enjoy writing love stories: true, forbidden, holiday, triangles, military, you name it. Experimenting with concepts of family plays an important part as well.

  1. Describe your why. Tell me what motivates you to write.

I write for so many reasons that it’s hard to pick the most important ones. I think a big part of writing for me is to open up and expose the struggles everyone faces beneath the masks we put on to show others “we’re okay” and we’re doing what others/society expects. I want to crush the stigmas of invisible illnesses. I want people to understand that being adopted or growing up with different concepts of guardians than the traditional doesn’t mean you’re broken.

I want scars to be beauty marks of strength.

I don’t write for the mass consumer. I write for the few, the in-between, the different, the loners, the forsaken, the ones who feel like everyone ignores them. There are good people in this world that go unnoticed because they aren’t represented in pop culture. They are still important. Everyone is.

  1. Fancasting – Did you have particular actors/actresses in mind for the starring roles in your story?

I can’t say I do, mostly because I don’t really see characters, similar to those I create, in the media. Most of my inspiration comes from everyday people.

  1. Writing can be an emotionally draining and stressful pursuit. Any tips for aspiring writers?

I honestly believe there is no such thing as a bad writer, only a writer who can improve. So if you’re discouraged by lack of support or bad reviews or no sales, don’t worry. Don’t give up. It takes time and dedication to build your empire, yes—the craft classes, marketing set-up, networking etc. But you absolutely can get your stories out there and make money from them. You can build a fan base. Be patient.

Write because it means something to you. If you always keep in mind your purpose in starting this journey, you will never be disappointed. As long as you are still writing, you’re making progress.

Be realistic about your goals. Not everyone will like your work, and that’s okay. Find your audience and write your story to them.

Read popular work similar to what you’re creating. Don’t worry about accidentally plagiarizing. (It’s highly unlikely, unless you’re name-dropping.) Focus on their techniques, and experiment with your writing. You’ll be surprised by what you learn.

Your marketing platform will be the life or death of your stories. Keep in mind how many millions of books are available for download and how many thousands you’re up against in your genre/subgenre. To be seen, you have to get your book and yourself out there. Be on at least three websites/social media platforms. Data shows that people are more likely to consider you a serious writer (and real) if you’re accessible through multiple channels.

  1. Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it?

Stellar Fusion was my crash course in writing, self-publishing, and authorship. My biggest mistake was not having a marketing platform before I published. I was too shy, too nervous what others thought of my work, and too afraid to invest more money. I couldn’t afford trial and error with ads. I had imposter syndrome because it was my first book, my degrees are in research, and I was fighting against stigmas associated with self-publishing.

But I pushed through it and got involved in some writing groups, watched a ton of webinars, and took classes to improve my editing and self-publishing processes. Staying focused on the goal kept my doubts at bay. And with each new thing I tackled, I added to my skills toolbox until I realized I’d published a couple novels and people were buying them. Having a great product is necessary. But if people don’t know why they need your product, they won’t buy it.

  1. Which writer’s work do you believe most resembles your work?

I admit I’ve studied Kerry Nietz and Pierce Brown, mostly for the futuristic, cyberpunk, and intensity elements of their writing. They give readers a lot to chew on. I believe it’s good to have ideals to work toward as long as we never lose sight of writing our story the best way we can.

Thank you so much for having me!