One of the many advantages of being an indie author is that you can choose your genre and write in multiple genres if you wish. British writer Ann Brady has exploited that freedom by moving from factual writing in her multi-award-winning career to penning children's fiction in her retirement. In her exclusive interview with ALLi here, she shares:
- her top tip for capturing story ideas 24/7
- how to stay focused when you have multiple ideas to develop
- the importance of being true to yourself as a writer
What’s your proudest achievement to date as an indie author?
My proudest achievement has been to see both my factual and fictional work published:
- My factual writing for a retail website helped me receive The Golden Globe Web Award for Design, Creativity and Content for three years running.
- My fictional work has led me to work with young writers and to meet and work with a large number of other authors from around the world.
What’s the single best decision you ever made?
The best decision I have made has been choosing my new publisher to work alongside. We have jointly reissued the Little Friends Picture Story Book Series. The first set of six books, Woodland Adventures, are colourful and are proving to be a delight for young readers. As they have developed, I have found my enthusiasm for the completing the full series of eighteen books growing. Delightfully, and slightly sadly, I expect to see all three sets in print by the end of April this year.
What’s been your biggest surprise as an indie author?
Despite having been a writer for thirty years, being an indie author is a totally different concept. I have been pleasantly surprised at how much I have learnt so far regarding writing fiction, publishing etc, but I have also discovered how helpful the writing community is.
What’s your greatest challenge – and how do you deal with it?
As I am retired and write for pleasure, so far I haven’t needed to work to deadlines. Therefore my greatest challenge has been to learn how to dedicate a set amount of time to my writing. I also have to control the way I think, as sometimes I find I have an over-active mind, and I can suddenly start making notes to form the basis of a new story.
The art is to be determined in one's efforts to complete each story before continuing with another. That is if you can. But it’s not always easy to do.
How do you get/stay in a creative mood?
Most times I don’t have a problem with being creative.
I often see stories in the most unusual of places or events.
I’ve also been known to wake up in the middle of the night dreaming the plot of a new story. One of the reasons I have a notepad by the side of the bed. I also carry one in my handbag so if I see, hear or think of a storyline I can note it down.
Of course, sometimes one can lose the mood to be creative. I think that then it’s often better to let it go, relax and come back to the writing later, maybe after a nice cup of tea (or something stronger if the mood takes you!)
How do you remain productive/motivated?
Ha ha….I can’t stop. I never have been able to. Work has always been my driving force.
When I was looking to retire from business, my husband asked me what I was going to do if I gave up working. He knows me so well! Without thinking, I flippantly told him I was going to paint and write a book. And that’s exactly what I did.
My painting days are not as I remember them to be when younger, but I certainly wrote the book. It took me eighteen months to complete and was my first venture into the world of fiction writing. Something I thoroughly enjoyed.
What’s your favourite thing about being an author–publisher?
My favourite thing has been the number of different people I have met around the world. I am now linked through my Facebook/Twitter pages with writers of all kinds. And the types of stories they have written is wide and varied.
I have also been able to use my association with the Kids4Kids Organisation to work with younger writers. So far we have published two younger writers (one fantasy story and one factual story). Currently we have two new young writers whose work will be published within the next few months – another fantasy story and a poet.
What are your top tips for other ALLis?
Never give up. They say everyone has a story in them. And of course it’s true. You have your life to write about. Each person’s life is unique; even if they think it’s not.
Also, when you write, don’t think you are going to become the next J K Rowling and make tons of money. It’s not that easy.
First and foremost write for yourself.
Learn all you can about the writing process. Research your chosen storyline. In other words, get your facts right, unless of course you are writing fantasy.
But, above all, be happy with what you write.
The fact that you’ve put pen to paper means you’ve achieved something. The rest will follow, if it’s meant to be. Then you can celebrate.
Remember: anyone can write, an author is published and if you make money you’re a professional.
What’s next for you?
Once all the Little Friends Picture Story Books are published, I have to decide what’s next. I do have a number of projects that need completing. The main one is another historical story based upon a famous opera star. I’ve already written a play about her so now I need to finish the book!
I also want to relaunch my late Uncle’s booklet titled Dracula. The Untold Story. He wrote it in 1984/5. It’s no longer in print and is a super little book that will appeal to many. He was great fun and a valued part of my childhood. I also believe it will be a wonderful way to honour his memory.
Apart from that I am in the process of re-editing my historical novel and mystery short story book ready for re-issuing.In this week's Sunday #Selfpub Success Story, we turn the spotlight on @AnnBradyWriter for ideas and inspiration Click To Tweet
Thank you for sharing your success and for the advice! Congrats on doing an amazing job in this business!
Thanks Kari for the encouraging words.
Thanks for a great write up. Sounds better than when I answered the questions. I love being an ALLi member.