It wasn't so long ago that the idea of blogging boggled my mind. Now I enjoy it and find it’s an excellent vehicle for keeping in touch with old friends and a fertile environment for making new ones.
Imagine my excitement when I received an email from Yvonne Eve Walus, a New Zealand author, saying she had visited and enjoyed my blog. I, in turn, visited her web site http://yewalus.kiwiwebhost.net.nz/index.html and blog http://yewalus.blogspot.com/.
I found that Yvonne is one busy writer, with award winning short stories to her credit, as well as novels, novellas and poems.
The short story, A bottle of hairstyling mousse, is a funny but touching story on loneliness. I enjoyed it so much that I ordered another short story, Small Price to Pay, from Fictionwise, http://fictionwise.com/. It's a fun read about the pleasure of revenge. I'm looking forward to reading more of her pieces, including her novel Murder at Work.
One thing lead to another and I am now excited to present an interview with Yvonne Eve Walus.
Jane: Yvonne, as a working mother of two young children, how do you find time to write?
Yvonne: I'm not being flippant when I say "between midnight and four a.m." - well, all right, perhaps a little bit flippant. My children are usually asleep by nine, so any time after that is my own. Sometimes the kitchen floor really needs mopping, but I am usually very good at postponing household chores. I am a night owl, so my best writing time is at night anyway. I'm sure if I had the opportunity to write during office hours, I'd end up cooking really elaborate meals and watching daytime TV!
Jane: Your short stories, poems, novellas, and novels cover a vast array of topics from dragons to murder mysteries. Do you have a favorite genre?
Yvonne: I always thought that what I wanted to do was write murder mysteries (of the cozy kind with no gore or violence), and that everything else was peripheral to my so-called true calling, but lately I've realized that I actually love all the genres. Some ideas want expressing in poetry and dragon images, others in non-fiction about education. I simply go with the flow.
Jane: Is it easier for you to find publishers for your novels or for your poetry or short stories?
Yvonne: Traditionally, novels are easier to publish than poetry or collection of shorts. The industry wisdom has it that people will only read your short stories if you are a best selling author of full-length novels. Be that as it may, I was first published by a small press specializing in collections of short fiction and poetry.
Jane: Have you found your publishers with the help of an agent or on your own?
Yvonne: On my own. I’ve always had my eyes open for publishers who were only just starting out, and I targeted them – this is why I managed to get in the door without an agent. I honestly believe that to get a reputable agent nowadays is as difficult as being picked out of the publisher’s slush pile – after all, agents also have slush piles. I recently attended a writers’ conference, where an agent told us her office received 100 enquiries a day!
Jane: Do you market the various genres in the same way or do you approach each differently?
Yvonne: Even though I've done heaps of marketing and publicity exercises, I still feel clueless as to what actually works. I see that "Small Price to Pay" (a romance) has done fabulously well in terms of sales, and yet I marketed it pretty much the same way as I did "Murder in the Little Bead Shop" (a murder mystery). Does that mean that romance sells better than murder in general, or that "Small Price to Pay" is a better story, or that my advertising slogan was wittier? I simply don't know. All I seem to have learnt so far is that marketing of e-books should take place chiefly on the Internet, not via a mailbox drop - what was I thinking? :-)
Jane: What are you working on now?
Yvonne: A short mystery story for the Fish Publishing competition and a novel that takes place in Poland of the 1970s.
Jane: Do you have any tips for aspiring new authors?
Yvonne: Believe in yourself. Be open to critique but listen to it wisely and trust your instincts. If you hear something you disagree with, ignore it. If you hear it again, think about it. If you hear the same thing from a third source - only then consider making any changes.
Jane: What is the best way for readers to purchase your novels, novellas, short stories or poems?
Yvonne: They are all on http://www.amazon.com/ or http://www.amazon.co.uk/ or http://www.fictionwise.com/. Please have a look even if you don’t buy.
It’s been a fun and informative interview, Yvonne. Thanks so much for stopping by. If any of you readers wish to contact Yvonne, her email is email@example.com.
Jane Kennedy Sutton
Author of The Ride (to be released by ArcheBooks Publishing)
Tags: The Ride, Archebooks, Yvonne Eve Walus, Small Price to Pay , Murder at Work, Murder at the Little Bead Shop