The ReviewerKatie French‘s website.
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Please welcome Julia Starling!
If you had a writing motto what would it be?
Have the courage to be yourself and stay true to your creative vision.
Where do you draw your inspiration?
A continuous process of exploration of the human psyche is the main fuel to my creativity. I am inspired by people's uniqueness and intrigued by how easily individuals can lose themselves to the collective, which takes on a psychological life of its own.
The departing point to my inspiration being the construction of the characters in the story, I go on to design a plot that supports all the psychological observations and social commentaries I intend to share with my audience. The nuances and the overall flavor of the story tend to be influenced by personal experiences and settings I am very familiar with--which, in my opinion, gives the narrative a more palpable and believable presentation.
What is one interesting fact about you?
I am not sure what people would find the most interesting. I was born and raised in a politically charged Buenos Aires, during the military occupation and dirty war. I started my medical career at the national university there, parallel to a career in Philosophy. I then moved to Cambridge, UK, to finalize my medical studies, and lived in London for another three years. Those were the most formative years of my adult life.
After graduating as a medical doctor, I took it upon myself (despite having achieved top scores, 99th percentile, in all US Medical Licensing Exams) to embark on a journey as a psychotherapist, and went back to school to get my Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy in California.
A wildfire raged through my home in 2007 and I lost all my possessions. Writing became much more intense--a gnawing necessity-- after that.
Have you learned anything from the self publishing process and would you do anything differently next time?
I have been satisfied with my experience so far, with some exceptions: I was not aware of the fact that, if I publish through Amazon, my book and my reputation are subject to malicious online attacks that are very difficult to counteract. Anyone can post anything, even if openly defamatory and untruthful, and there is very little that the author can do. If Amazon does not remove them (for any reason, most of the time because they're too busy), the comments remain attached to the author forever, even if the author requests to have the book taken down from their site. That is truly worrisome and a faulty policy.
Next time, I would do more research before I click "publish". What we do takes a lot out of us as authors, and we should be careful and fully informed of the potential risks involved with each publishing and distribution channel option.
What has been your most successful marketing strategy?
It's too early to tell, since I published my book just over a month ago. The Kindle free promo days through KDP Select were very successful, I reached #1 Best Selling rank for two consecutive days, 12/17 and 12/18. That was very satisfying, to see so many downloads of my book from so many different countries.
I have also found that making a book trailer attracted a lot of attention. I made one myself, with royalty free video clips and music, and it was sufficient to convey the story's general message and engage audiences significantly. I ran a $5 ad on Facebook and it got over 1,500 views in two days. That's a lot of exposure for a book, all at once.
What is the best kept secret you have found in regard to indie publishing?
Underground Book Reviews has been a delightful surprise: a professional, intelligent, ethical community that helps give the indie industry the credibility it deserves.
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