Katie FrenchVisit Katie French‘s website.
If you had a writing motto what would it be?
Music is a power in the universe which can help people deal with -- and even overcome -- adversity. I challenge myself to show this power in the lives of the characters I create.
Where do you draw your inspiration?
Mainly from music and my own emotional, physical, and visceral reaction to it. It's been an intrinsic part of my life for as long as I can remember due to my parents' - especially my father's - devotion to music. In my first three novels I also drew on experiences from my high school and college years and some remarkable people I have encountered in my long life. Currently I am writing a book about a brother and sister - she is a violin prodigy and he pursues an entirely different genre, folk music. I've been doing a lot of research and networking on this project.
What is one interesting fact about you?
After a lifetime as a musician and musical theater director, I wrote my first novel at the age of seventy-five, nearly three years ago. And I can't stop writing! It has become yet another passion.
Have you learned anything from the self publishing process and would you do anything differently next time?
I'm still learning. I published my first novel through Virtual Bookworm. I still think it was a good choice, even though I recently released a revision of that novel, "How I Grew Up" through CreateSpace. Since discovering CreateSpace I have taken advantage of my computer skills and done my own formatting, thereby saving a considerable amount of money.
I would NOT have purchased the VBW "silver marketing package." Writing is one thing. Marketing is something else entirely! Lots of people out there who would love for you to buy their product to help you market your book. I'm still working through this maze, and like many indie authors, I have limited funds. I try to spend my (very small) marketing budget very carefully.
What has been your most successful marketing strategy?
Using social media, at least to this point. I'm fortunate in that I have a built in audience from having directed musical theater productions (high schools and community organizations) locally for over thirty years. "Musical book signings" at a local author-friendly theater have been helpful, and the theater also carries print copies of my books. Press releases and radio interviews have been helpful as well. I'm using my website and Facebook author page more. I recently held my first "book launch party" and did well. Of course, everything is relative!
What is the best kept secret you have found in regard to indie publishing?
My first novel was released in late October 2013 and I was definitely a babe in the woods. I'm still finding my way. UBR has been a very good experience and I was thrilled to have received such a nice review of "Eli's Heart." I've shared it on social media and had some response ... at least more people are aware of the book.
I have truly appreciated the support and encouragement of other indie authors, and of members of the local writers' group I joined last year. In theater, there is always a team as it is definitely a team effort. Writing is solitary, and it's been great to connect with some remarkable people both locally and through the Internet who share and understand the ups and downs of the indie author. We all go through periods of wondering why on earth we're doing this! But it has become what I live for. Having one person say to me they read and enjoyed one of my books is like a round of applause. And those nice reviews are a standing ovation!