Posts Tagged ‘independent author’

„When dreams become books….“

 

The last interview took us to the USA and we stay there for a bit longer. This time I‘m happy to introduce to you author Scott Carruba from Texas. He started writing at a very early age when asked in elementary school to write a newspaper from another planet. Since then he has written poetry, short stories and book length dark urban fantasy tales like Dance of the Butterfly. His writing style can best be described as poetic and descriptive. Scott, I‘m able to relate to that, but not to your preferences in food like sushi. 😉 Nevertheless, it‘s now your turn to tell us more about yourself and your works.

 

  1. Please introduce yourself in 3-5 sentences.

My name is Scott Carruba, and I write books in the urban fantasy genre. I also have some horror short stories published. I have been creative writing since elementary school.

 

  1. What is the title of your current book? In which genre does it play and what is the story about?

Dance of the Butterfly and Sword of the Butterfly. They comprise a dark urban fantasy series about two powerful, rival families who fight to thwart a very real threat that most of humanity is not even aware of.

 

  1. How did you get into writing?

I received an assignment when in elementary school to write a newspaper from another planet. This sparked a serious creative urge that has not since abated.

 

  1. What can you learn about writing and what can you not learn?

I feel that writing represents communication which is key to relationships and interactions. We may use writing to tell a story, to illustrate thoughts, or in many other ways. Through this, you may learn a great deal from that person. However, writing is an exercise in making the abstract concrete; thus we may lose something in the translation, so to speak.

 

  1. What is your favourite task in the writing process and what do you not like about it (like writing blurbs for example)?

I most enjoy the beginning. There is something alluring to me, as if taking the initial steps into an entirely new world. Marketing is my least favorite aspect, though there are even parts of that I enjoy.

 

  1. Is there something that drives you crazy regarding the writing/ publishing process?

One thing that gets me is the continued missed mistakes even after multiple edits and sometimes by different people. I also do not care for the various requirements depending on publishing platform. It would be nice to have a standard.

 

  1. Where do you get the ideas for your books?

The main source of inspiration for my ideas comes from my dreams.

 

  1. Which of your written books is your own favorite?

I only have two published, so I will consider those. That is still a tough decision. I would probably choose Dance of the Butterfly. Again, it is a beginning, and I find those times the most enjoyable.

 

  1. Who reads your manuscripts first?

That is usually a toss-up between a close friend of mine and my publisher.

 

  1. How long do you revise your manuscript before you say, “Now I can share it with others?”

I probably go over my manuscript at least three times before the initial sharing. It then goes through more editing, beta feedback, etc., before publication. I do a great deal of self-editing and small changes to tweak things before I feel satisfied.

 

  1. In which genre would you like to write but haven’t dared yet? And in which genre would you never write?

I really enjoy science fiction. It may be the genre I turn to most for my own reading. I have written some unfinished works in that genre, so I suppose I have dared, but nothing I feel is ready for consideration for publication.

As far as never, well, I hate to say ‚never‘, but I feel no interest in writing romance.

 

  1. Are there writers you admire?

Plenty. H.P. Lovecraft is a huge influence of mine. For contemporary writers, I greatly admire China Miéville. His imagination never fails to enthrall and impress me.

 

  1. What is a successful author in your opinion?

One that is able to make a living primarily from creative writing.

 

  1. Regarding your books: Would you do it all over again in the same way? What would you change, if you could?

I would probably want to edit more, but then, I never feel there is enough editing.

 

  1. What do you say about the competition among authors, especially about the fact that some authors deliberately give bad ratings to others to spite them? Have you ever experienced something like this yourself?

I am very much against it, and I have made posts on my blog and other avenues of social media in regards to this. I do not consider other authors to be my competition, and I deplore underhanded and dishonest tactics. Thankfully, I have yet to experience anything like this towards me, but therein may lie hints to my relative obscurity.

 

  1. What was the worst, most annoying, least beautiful thing that has happened to you as an author and what was the most beautiful thing?

I’d say the most annoying was some criticism I received due to some sexual parts of my stories. The most beautiful was most definitely seeing the physical copy of my first published book.

 

  1. How do you motivate yourself when things don’t go the way you want them to?

Creativity is often its own reward, so regardless of how things go, I will always create. I also just continue pushing, keeping up with the things I do and searching for new methods. I see no reason to stop, so I might as well try, try, and try some more.

 

  1. Why do you think some authors make it in the book industry and others don’t? Do you have any advice?

I think some make it due to obvious talent and deservedly so. There is also a lot of work required. This does not come easy. Some, though, seem to succeed due to luck or some marketing method. I don’t feel I am in much of a place to give advice, but I would say to at least embrace persistence and discipline.

 

  1. Many authors are reserved and shy, especially when it comes to readings and book fair appearances. You got any advice for them?

My approach is that there is no need to feel you may fail and end yourself as a writer. I also like to think of these things as something to be done to have fun. A lot of the pressure is self-imposed. And if you are approached for readings and appearances, it generally means they want you there. Take comfort in that and just do your best.

 

  1. Which authors and books do you think deserve more attention?

I have difficulty with this as I honestly don’t give out a lot of recommendations. I do reviews on my blog and other social media, and if people read those and feel it gives them reason to read a book, then all the better. A few authors I might recommend looking into are Carmilla Voiez, Marie Kammerer Franke, and Nicolajayne Taylor.

 

  1. Which books do you like to read yourself? Which ones would you never read?

I read all sorts of fiction and non-fiction. I particularly like Weird Fiction. I probably would not read romance.

 

  1. What are you dreaming of as a writer? Is there a wish you would share with us?

I dream of being successful enough to make a living as a writer. I’d also love to see my writing portrayed in other forms of media such as a graphic novel or animated series.

Thank you for the interview, Nadja!

Beauty is the Beast Cover

Full disclosure: I don’t do a lot of interviews. In fact, I really don’t do them at all. I decided to sit down with Gretchen for a little chat, and a lot more came up than I expected. Gretchen is a hairdresser and violinist. She is on the tall side, favoring a Latina heritage, looks to be in her early to mid twenties, but she is much older than that. What’s her secret, you might ask? Well, it’s because she is not entirely human. She struggles with that –  appearing human. And not just figuratively but literally.

Scott: So, you’re a werewolf, huh? What’s that like? Were you born that way or what happened?

Gretchen: I was bitten by a fae wolf, way back in mid-1800’s, I think, I’m fuzzy on the dates. He asked me first, and like an idiot, I said yes. I didn’t think I was going to end up a lone wolf for the century and a half.

Scott: Do others know about you? I mean, werewolves in general.

Gretchen: All the fae and a limited number of humans do.

Scott: Are there those against you? Again, werewolves in general. Do you have to deal with the threat of people trying to kill you just because you are a werewolf?

Gretchen: The occasional vampire, & I’m sure there are some humans in the know that hunt us, but I don’t know any personally.

Scott: Are vampires real, too? This whole thing seems to open up Pandora’s Box.

Gretchen: Oh yes. My best friend is a vampire, actually. We met back in the 80’s during cosmetology school.

Scott: Hairdresser and violinist? For how long? I’d suppose you could be pretty adept at both. Do you perform as a violinist in any sort of famous capacity?

Gretchen: I learned to play violin not long after I was bitten. I still play the same instrument, in fact. I’m certainly not famous, that would be too many eyes on me for my liking. My band, Chaos Theory, is pretty well liked locally, though. I play an electric violin during rehearsals and during gigs so my sound fits in (we play rock)

Scott: Back to the werewolf thing, how exactly does that work? Are you able to control it? If not, how do you deal with it?

Gretchen: I can control it, to a certain extent. During the full moon, my wolf is completely in charge and there’s no humanity in me. In contrast, during the new moon, I can’t shift at all so I’m basically human. The rest of the time, I can shift at will. The closer to full moon, the less control I have. I’ve been told I have rage issues.

Scott: Yikes! So, what do you do during the full moon? Do you lock yourself up or anything?

Gretchen: I do. My friend, Percy, remodeled one of her barns to house me. It has titanium bars lining the inside and I lock myself in for the three days around the full moon.

Scott: So, werewolves, vampires, and fae are real? Anything else? And is a fae werewolf a fae who became a werewolf?

Gretchen: Yes, they’re all real, and much more. All those Greek, Norse, and whatever others you can think of? All fae. People just worshiped them as gods, because in comparison, they were. As for the fae wolf, no, they’re not werewolves, but their bites create one. A werewolf cannot create another. It’s kind of like God created the two parallel universes and decided there should be wolves on both sides, and fae wolves are just the much more intelligent version.

Scott: Do you all have to uphold a masquerade with “regular” humans, then? Will this interview get you in trouble? Am I in trouble?

Gretchen: Yep, gotta pretend to be human all the time. I’m pretty terrible at it, actually, but somehow, I’ve managed. I think. No, we won’t get into trouble. Do you think I’d really risk that? I’ve had several names over the years. I’m pretty good at making them up.

Scott: You are from the mid 19th Century. That is amazing. What do you most miss about those times? What do you most love about modern day?

Gretchen: Nothing. I miss nothing. Well, the ability to disappear was much easier, record keeping wasn’t what it is now. For background: I was born in a brothel in Texas, and I lived there, and eventually employed there until I was bitten, the moon turned, and I killed them all.

Scott: Kill them all? Who do you mean?

Gretchen: Well, when I shifted that first full moon, they had no idea what I was. I barely knew, and I certainly didn’t know I’d lose control, but I did. When I came to, every person in the building was slaughtered. I can only assume it was me.

Scott: Let’s get back to these parallel universes. Are you saying there are two worlds, obviously having some sort of conjunctions, and the fae populate that other world? They clearly seem to have some level of interaction with this world.

Gretchen: Exactly. There are pathways, thin spots, between the two worlds where the fae can get through. Well, humans could too, but they’re much less likely to survive the trip, once they’ve reached the other side. The fae had been crossing back and forth for centuries, but when King Arthur took the throne, he banished the fae, since he was a half-blood, and having Excalibur, he mostly succeeded and the remaining fae went into hiding. Some still crossed, of course, he wasn’t able to close the travel ways, but he hunted down and killed any he could find. He wasn’t the good guy that everyone believes. With less fae using magic in our existence, the magic of earth faded away, for the most part.

Scott: This has all been rather heavy and even a bit frightening. Let’s try something lighter. What do you do for fun?

Gretchen: I like to run. A lot. I also play violin both for myself and in my band, Chaos Theory. There’s something incredible and therapeutic about letting loose through music.

Scott: Thank you so much, Gretchen. This has been very enlightening.


To read Gretchen’s adventures, get Beauty is the Beast by Jennifer Zamboni.

Follow Jennifer on Facebook or check out her blog.

Since I got into this independent author/publication thing, I have met a lot of others also involved, whether other writers or publishers, editors, promoters, etc., etc. A lot. It’s easier to get published now and to reach a potential audience with all the amazing tools we have available to us. I used social media to find my publisher, and I am grateful for it. It’s a small group of us, and we’re still learning and getting started, but it’s an amazing journey, and I like to think we’re all helping each other.

But it doesn’t stop there.

With the social media explosion, it is easier to find others, whether colleagues, agents, audience, or whatever the case may be. It also means a lot more out there. It can become white noise. I hate to say it is like separating the wheat from the chaff, because that sounds elitist. There may well be a suffering of quality, though, as these very vehicles are used to increase the quantity. This means a huge supply. There is certainly demand, but it becomes an issue of getting the potentially fleeting notice of that audience. Look here! This is me! Buy my book!

This could lead to a situation within the independent world of a lot of cut-throat competition. I will not take this approach. I feel like we are all in this together, and those of us making sincere efforts to share our creations and enrich the world with this art ought to cooperate, not compete. I share the works of other authors and try to help promote blogs, events, groups and other methods of just opening the lines of communication and awareness.

I feel very strongly that this is the way to go about it. There is so much wonderful work out there, we might as well bring as much as we can of the whole world to the buffet and let them pick what they want.

Help yourself. Help us. Help each other. Tell your friends about it. And read, read, read.


Please feel free to follow me on My Facebook Page or check out My Amazon Author Page for my published works.

Thank you.

Follow the Butterfly