Welcome to my Indie Author interviews! As a new feature on my site, once a fortnight/month I will delve into Twitter and find an indie author to show you what these clever people can do.
This fortnight the beautiful Elsha Hawk has decided to drop by my page. Writing with Hawk and Young, she works as a special needs teacher during the day and looking after two adorable kids, and also writes mircofiction and tales of revenge and voodoo.
Ok, easy one to start that requires only silly answers to break the ice, what is your favourite magical animal?
Right now I’m into dragons. I used to be into unicorns as a pre-teen, but now I’m fascinated with dragons. The logo I chose for my co-authorship is a dragon. My co-author and I wrote a story about a dragon ten years ago that is blossoming into a trilogy. Right now we are doing sci-fi stuff, but I can’t wait to get back to the dragon. I also am writing a short story about a cyber-punk dragon. It’s stuck as a human-versus-nature tale right now and I’m not liking that. Maybe it needs a unicorn???
What is your current WIP and what excites you the most about it?
My current WIP, not with my co-author, is a story of my own struggle with infatuation. It’s unique because the characters are not Young Adult heartthrobs who have to choose between possible mates. These are committed, grown adults who have a lot more to lose. I also didn’t pull my punches when it comes to talking about sex. It’s not erotica, but it’s not for kids. I’m slow to write it because it parallels my life. If I don’t have the solutions in real life, how am I supposed to have them in my book? I try not to delve too far into fantasy, but many of the scenes did not, nor will not really occur in reality.
What do you do when you get writers block?
That is the term we do not speak of!
My muse is emotion, so if I’m not feeling it, I’m not writing. This can cause huge gaps. I often switch to other stories. I stop writing one and go write another. I enter contests. I go back later when I feel a direction for the story. I also read, paint and sketch or doodle, make book covers, and try to do a writing prompt of some kind on Twitter so I am writing every day. Sometimes all I need is a push by a person willing to read what I wrote. That’s why Twitter is so motivating to me. I love my beta readers, those who will read a short story for me and offer critique. I sometimes post to critique circle for opinions if my beta readers are unavailable.
What’s been the most challenging thing about being a writer, and the most rewarding?
Besides finishing this novel…
Self-promotion is the most challenging. I’ve been building a fan base for my short stories and post free short stories on my smashwords page, but I feel like a small fish in a vast ocean. I don’t want to spam my followers with book announcements, and I failed to get an email campaign and Patreon followers. Clearly I’m not rubbing elbows with the right people! It’s probably that my timing is off. Most likely I can’t see when I am ‘hot’ and you’re supposed to ‘strike while the iron is hot’. I’m probably not moving forward with the momentum I have created.
Having accolades for your work is most rewarding. Whether it is honorable mention, a like on a Tweet, or a humbling 5 star review, having people share that you touched them and they enjoyed reading your work is highly motivating. Do I get accolades on everything? Nope. Just one good word can brighten my entire day.
What advice would you give to writers out there?
Just keep writing. I work fulltime as a special needs teacher. I plan lessons, coordinate 6 adults including myself, talk with parents, collaborate with colleagues, and teach 13 very special students about life, relationships, algebra, writing, reading, and science. I come home to Tweet stories not about my work; post things on Patreon, social media, and my websites; enter contests to write descriptive scenes I will never encounter; and make sure my kids do their chores and homework before getting up and doing it all over again. If I can do it, you can do it. If writing is what you do after your job, in your free time, if it keeps you up at night, if it wakes you up in the morning, even when there is no one to impress, then that is what you are meant to do.