Nightly Reading and In Between Writing and Reading we have a special interview with new author Nellee Horne, author of Kensey's Story: Meeting Death
Hi Nellee, thanks for agreeing to this interview. So, what made you decide to go down the self-publishing route?
Thanks for reviewing my book and doing this interview with me. Well, I was going to go the traditional route because I thought it was the only way. I sent out two queries and received two rejections. While I was researching for new agents, I came across a few articles about self-publishing. I thought, "Wow, those people are having great success!" But, that wasn't enough to change my mind. So, I kept researching and eventually found some articles written about and by authors having trouble with their editors and such. I read where some weren't given much say during the editing process and where the editors were telling the author to take something out and then putting their (the editor's) ideas in. The authors said by the time it was finished and ready to publish, it didn't even sound like their work anymore. Thinking back on the book I had just written, I didn't want that happening to me.
I then came across several articles having to do with how much money an author actually receives. Some of the best-selling authors most of us readers have heard about how they can make very little. Some authors say they're receiving less than a dollar per book and those books can cost up to $17 each. With self-publishing, you set the price of your book and you receive a higher royalty.
The main reason I chose self-publishing was wanting to have all the control; having the last say. I wanted to keep all the rights and I wanted to show people that you CAN do it yourself.
Who did you publish with and would you recommend it to other aspiring authors?
I published with Createspace.com. I originally was going to publish with Lulu.com but when i cheaked the royalty calculator, I wasn't getting much at all, but I put the price for my book as $20 for estimation! I gave up. I felt a little hopeless. While I was at Amazon.com one night, I scrolled down to the very bottom where it said "Self-publish with us!" So, I researched the website, asked questions, and found it to be one of the best out there.
Yes, I would recommend it. They're the best. The people on the forums are really nice and very helpful.
Do you think it is easy to self-publish or would you have preferred to go down the traditional publishing route if you could?
Anything your first time is a little difficult because you've never done it before, but the people on the forums were very helpful when I had questions. Once you review the FAQ's and get started, it's easy to pick it up.
Did you have any problems while trying to get published and if yes how did you overcome them?
Well, I'm not much of a computer wiz, so some things were just over my head. I was like, "What's PDF? What are Pixels?" One this that was really hard was trying to upload the cover. I didn't use one of the pre-made covers, I just had my artist friend draw the cover and then I scanned it into the free Gimp program. So, trying to add the title correctly and getting the pixels at just the right amount was a little hard and frustrating. The solution? I called my mom over. :)
What would you advise to aspiring authors wanting to get published.
2) Dream big
4) Fear nothing
5) Don't let yourself get discouraged when others are not supportive
6) Know yourself, know your writing style and know you can do it
7) Never give up on your dream
8) Work hard
9) Always treat your critics with respect, as in don't back talk if you get a bad review
What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
YA mostly. Duh :) I like fantasy. Just recently I've started liking Dystopia. Anything that has to do with ghosts, true or not. I'm open to anything.
Who are your favourite authors?
J.K Rowling, because of the trials she has overcome. Allie Condie, Cassandra Clare, C.S Lewis, Aprilynne Pike, Alyson Noel. Amanda Hocking, for helping to show readers that self-published authors can be professional and not in denial from rejection letters.
Did you get any inspiration from your favourite books or authors?
Well, I was in love with the Chronicles of Narnia books back when I was writing my book, so I wanted to create a story like that. I had to do a biography report and I chose to do it on C.S Lewis. I got some books from the library and skimmed through them. I remember seeing a little section where a kid sent him a fan letter and asked a question about the story. I can't remember the exact question but the response Lewis gave was something like, "Why don't you create your own Narnia?" So that's what I did.
Where did you get the idea for Kensey's Story: Meeting Death?
Well, like I said, Narnia. While I watched the movies, I would picture my brother and me in the story. I thought, if I could put my own spin on the story, I could write my own. So, immediately I started day-dreaming, despite my school work. Two things popped into my head, a well and Fairy. I just went from there.
Are any of the characters based on someone you personally know?
Well, the Harris family is my family, as well as their grandfather and aunt in Illinois. I based Aquilla Jones on my best friend, Caroline Jones, who drew the cover for me. (She's a writer too by the way. Hope she self-publishes :P) The Hooded Figure was based on Satan in a nightmare I once had. The rest I just came up with. I've had some of my friends say they want me to make them a character in one of my books. I have them planned for the fourth. William's last name, Jentry, is my best friend's first name.
How soon can we expect book 2?
I've written over 200 pages and I am aiming for 300 or more. I'll be editing it during the summer. I'm hoping August or early September. It should be easier this time around since I know what to expect. I hope people will consider this second one better than the first :) I'm trying to make the series different than any other. I picture is as one big story and each book is just a little piece. I put "To be immediately continued" at the end for a reason :) You'll see once the second is out :)
Thanks for your time Nellee.