I would love to welcome my special guest L.M. Langley, author of Five Years (A Fire In Redbridge). Please enjoy her insightful interview.
1. Do you have any advice for other writers trying to get published?
I think you just need to be patient. Be good, and keep your motivation up. I know it’s easier said than done, but it will pay off eventually.
2. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for giving my story a chance. I know it’s always a bit of a gamble to go for self-published writers so I hope it has paid off.
3. What are your thoughts on the fact that both trade and self-published authors have to promote their own work?
I think it’s terrible, to be honest. If you are giving away a huge chunk of your royalties over a certain amount of time, you should get some marketing done for you. Now you do your own marketing and even if the Big Six are publishing you, there is nothing there but name association. It is a very difficult part of the process. I think the shift towards self-marketing is taking advantage of first time authors with trade publications.
4. What genre do you write for? Your favorite aspect? Your least favorite aspect?
I write young adult books. I think of my books as consumable literary fiction–the type you could read in an airport, but have to think about to get. My favorite aspect is the actual writing. The planning is probably my least favorite part–I wish it could all just flow and fit perfectly.
5. What are your current/next projects?
I have started working for a small alternative publishing house called Dark Nexus Fiction and should have something published by them very soon. My next novel is a coming of age set in Newcastle Upon Tyne and tentatively titled the City Steps.
6. Do you prefer to work alone or with critique partners/beta-readers?
I usually do my first draft on my own and then call in the cavalry. I’m just one person and I make mistakes, so it is always useful to ask my writing group for feedback.
7. How do you find time to write?
In between assignments. I guess that’s one of the advantages of being a freelance writer.
8. Did you always want to become an author?
Yes, since I was very little.
9. Is there any writing rituals you complete before creating your manuscripts/drafts?
Not particularly. If I have an idea, I write a paragraph, leave it for around a day and then reread it. If it clicks, I continue writing it.
10. Do you write the beginning/opening first or do you tend to write out of order (with whatever scenes interest you the most)?
I always write the beginning first. I can’t just go around writing other scenes when they may be changing slightly as I write other things that lead up to them.
11. Have you ever hated something you wrote?
Yes! All the time. Writing is hard and sometimes I’ve had to abandon projects because I hated them, even though I loved the concept.
12. Which is the easiest for you–novel, novella, or short story? Why?
Probably a short story. I have a short attention span and I like words to be condescended. To me, good writing is tidy writing, and it is easy to get there with a short story.
13. While you were writing, did you ever feel like you were one of your characters?
I really hope not! My characters are very flawed. I love them but I really hate them.
14. How did you come up with the title?
Five Years was the song I was listening to on repeat while I was writing my book. It is also the span of time that the book takes. It’s not very specific, so I thought referencing a certain, pivotal event in the book was important.
15. What inspired you to write your latest book? What is the book about?
I wanted to use an academic concept–The Death of the Author–and use it in a literal sense. I thought about the way that a young person would react if they could find someone else’s thoughts but they weren’t allowed to ask them any questions, especially if that person was not who they thought he was in the first place. The book is about these two young people trying to find closure after their friend dies and realizing that his death may not be an accident.
16. Any blogs, websites, social media you’d like to share?