I am in a total writing mode! I’m almost finished with my short stories (you can read a teaser here), and writing the third book in a series of A Cloud of Hawthorne and Where Daffodils Grown Wild, and at the same time I am already starting to think about publishing and how I am going to do it all. I re-read my interview with Friesen Press they published a year ago, to get some inspiration and motivation for everything that’s coming (I know – sometimes I also wish being a writer would include only writing books and the rest would be taken care of!). But nevertheless, I do like the entire process, and here are some of my experiences on self-publishing.
Author Madison Lake talks about romantica and the experience of self-publishing a book series. — FriesenPress : Self-Publishing, Print-On-Demand & eBook Publishing
By Rasanga Weerasinghe
> Lots of romance writers write their books under pen names, why do you think this is happening?
Probably because writing or reading romance novels has always been frowned upon. Romance novels are often considered silly, trashy, or unworthy, and readers of romance novels lacking literary taste. It’s usually thought of as a waste of time. I think many romance writers, even well known authors, simply want to enjoy writing the genre without the label that goes with it, without the judgment, so they write under a pseudonym.
I am trying to change the reputation of the romance novel, while still catering to a large romance reading audience. My website says Madison Lake’s Modern Trash, but it’s not trashy, it’s a play on words. Not all writers need to produce profound literary work (all the time). There’s such a thing as writing (and reading) for sheer pleasure.
> What is it like to write a book series?
I had not originally intended to write a sequel or series, but after I finished my third book I conferred with my editor and web team and then it just unfolded organically. It was a lot more fun than I thought it would be. What I found most interesting was, rather than carry on the story from where it left off, I chose to focus on one character and create the sequel around her. There are plenty of references to the first book, but it’s written around this one character and her experiences. I found it easy to craft a new story this way because the narrative wove through a divergent landscape with characters from the first book and an interesting batch of new ones. All eventually integrated back into the original storyline.
> How do you keep an audience engaged through a series?
I think it’s important not to repeat too much. I believe as a writer you have to expect some people may not have read the previous book(s) so there is a certain amount of back story that has to be considered in order to create the new story. However, don’t get trapped into re-writing more than necessary. I discovered that once I started writing, the backstory fell into place quite naturally. I was aware I needed to deliver something fresh, still keeping in sync with the essence of the previous book. Making accurate references back to places, dates, situations, and people is very important, and ensuring your timelines match. Having a skilled editor helps with this. Of course, to keep any audience engaged, a writer has to create a clever yarn, add believable characters, provide descriptive settings with enough drama, excitement, intrigue, romance, to keep readers coming back for more.
> What are the things that you need to consider when publishing multiple books, especially when you are self publishing a series?
First it’s coming up with a good enough idea for a series, one that will attract a following and weave a clever enough story that readers will be waiting for book two and three. This will end up being a valuable tool for marketing your books as well. The author/editor/publisher relationship is a big factor to consider. Like any partnership, it takes time to develop a solid working relationship with an editor and publisher, where they really begin to know and understand you and your work. Unless there are major unresolvable issues, I feel it is of great value to stick with the same team. Fewer problems will arise and communication, which is key, becomes second nature.
You can read my full interview with Friesen Press here.