It's that time again and this week I welcome fellow Indie, Kathryn Brown. If you haven't read her books, why not? What are you waiting for? Check out her Amazon page here.
We settled with our decaff teas and huge chunks of fruitcake - more of that later - and here's what she revealed.
So, Kathryn, as a farmer's wife and busy mum, how do you manage your writing time? I'm in awe of you!
I can only write during the day and during the week when my daughter, Amy, is at school. She leaves early in the morning and doesn’t get home until 4.30pm so I generally get a full day if I need it. However, at certain times of the year, the farming calendar can be quite overwhelming which means I have to don wellies and abandon pen. Well, computer and notebook ... During lambing, however, I do take the note book and sometimes a Dictaphone into the night shed. It’s so peaceful in there at night and is the perfect location to think.
Dream time. What's your ultimate goal as a writer?
I have a few ambitions where my writing is concerned but one in particular, and the one that would make me a very happy bunny, is to have one of my books made into a television production. I thought Discovery at Rosehill, my debut novel, would have made a great drama series, being about ghosts and things that go bump in the night. Maybe one day I’ll think seriously about writing for television but I suspect it isn’t an easy market to crack.
Tell us about your ideal writing day. It can be as wild and far-fetched as you like!
To have the house to myself, peace and quiet, no one knocking on the door, no visitors, no phones ringing, lots of chocolate biscuits, several bottles of water, and a brain full of ideas. I’m one of those people who needs absolute silence in order to function to 100% capacity. I work from home, as a writer and a farmer, and unfortunately, we have a number of friends who haven’t yet grasped that when one is ‘at work’, it usually means one cannot be disturbed. I get many phone calls from my mum for example, and end up asking her (politely) to either ring in the evening or let me ring her back. She’s usually telling me about Auntie Margaret’s out-of-date Muller Lights which can be quite inconvenient when I’m in the middle of a big sex scene. Then the next time mum rings, which is usually around 12pm as she assumes I break for lunch then, she makes a point of apologising for disturbing me. I do love my mum, she’s such a fruitcake.
I know exactly what you mean about people assuming that because you're at home, you're not working! I could rant about that all day! So, as a fellow ranter, tell us one thing that drives you round the bend about writing.
Apart from the rant I’ve just had above regarding unwelcome visitors and phone calls when I’m trying to work, I think that would have to be the marketing side of being an Indie author. Bloody hard work doesn’t cut the mustard. Marketing and promotion doesn’t come easy for me because I’m not one to blow my own trumpet, and let’s face it, when we’re trying to get our ‘product’ out there, blowing one’s own trumpet is pretty damn important. I do try though, and most likely bore my Twitter followers and Facebook friends to within an inch of their lives. And then there are those followers and friends you’ve known for years on social media, the lovely ones you’ve chatted to, had a laugh with, awed at each other’s cats with, and then bang, they unfollow and unfriend because they’re sick of your self-promotion. Yet these people don’t have a book to promote, they are not an indie author who relies on this new age of technology to make a 25p royalty, nor do they understand that you’ve worked damned hard on the publication you’re trying to get out there and of which you’d like just a little support to help reach an audience. So I guess disloyalty drives me round the bend about writing. And lots of other things of course, but we’ll save that for another day.
I couldn't agree more - marketing and promoting is SO boring and takes us away from doing what we love. Moving on to reviews, how do you deal with a bad one? Are you a sulker or a shrugger?
Good question! I used to be a sulker in the early days. I guess you could say I was lucky with my debut novel as it received only four and five star reviews (there I go, blowing my own trumpet), but the second, Nightingale Woods, after five days of free downloads where every man and his dog jumps on the ‘free’ bit, the one and two star reviews came rolling in, and it was a bit of a shock to the system. Not saying I’m the next JK Rowling of course, but none of us like those one and two stars, do we? Some of the low rated reviews are usually just an excuse to slag the author off, and it always amazes me when a reviewer says, “I wouldn’t normally post a review but ...” then they rant on about how they absolutely hated your book and it was utter bum-fluff. Maybe they should stick to watching Jeremy Kyle and leave reviewing to normal people.
So now, I’m a shrugger. Oh yes, I like to shrug. As authors, we need to remember we can’t please everyone. Bedknobs and Bachelors contains a fair bit of strong language and some rather risqué sex scenes, nothing explicit, just humorous. If someone who doesn’t like language in a book gets hold of this one, then I doubt they’ll enjoy it much. Then again, they’d be hard pushed these days to find a book that doesn’t contain language. And as my fruitcake mother once pointed out, “Sex sells, Kathryn, sex sells.” At aged 70, I was quite impressed.
LOL! My 86 year old mum asked me why I couldn't have written '50 Shades' - you've got to love them!
QUICK FIRE ROUND
Planner or Winger?
Night or Morning ?
Doer or procrastinator?
Both (comes with being a farmer!)
Writing/first draft or editing?
Definitely writing first draft. Can’t stand editing!
Tea or coffee?
So long as it’s decaffeinated, either.