I met Erin on Twitter, and discovered her amazing novel "Behind Palace Walls". She graciously accepted to be a part of my "Meet the Author" series, so lets dive in and see how she answered.
1. What inspired you to write your debut novel, “Behind Palace Walls”?
Ancient Egypt has always been a passion of mine. I find the polytheistic religion and culture very fascinating. I have always wanted to write a novel, and this historical period really spoke to me. Much of my own reading has been focused on Ancient Egypt, so it only seemed natural I write about what I would normally like to read.
I also traveled to Egypt in 2010, just before the Arab Spring. Seeing the ancient sites and ruins fueled me even more!
2. Why did you choose the path of Self-Publishing?
I attempted the traditional route – finding an agent and publisher – but it didn’t pan out for me. I was close to having a contract with a publisher in the US, but by the time I made the changes they requested and came back to them, they had switched ownership and were going in a different direction.
However, I didn’t want to see my story simply be shelved in a drawer somewhere, so I chose self-publishing! It’s a lot of work, but I have complete control over my own story and its future.
3. Do you have any advice for other writers looking to pursue Self-Publishing?
No matter how many rejection letters you may receive, you must persist! Self-publishing is amazing, but you need to do your research. You must also know going into it that it will take time. You have to learn how to self-promote via social media and local spaces. It’s definitely worth it in the end though.
4. What inspired you to become an author & has it always been your dream?
I have loved reading and writing since I was a child. I wrote stories all the time when I was younger. Finally, I came up with an idea that just had to be put to paper.
5. Where’s your favorite space to write?
I do my best writing when I’m camping – solitude and fresh air.
6. What are your top 5 must haves for a writing space?
I need to be able to control the auditory factors – i.e. silence or a tv show in the background that won’t distract me (if I’m writing at home).
A comfortable spot to sit.
Water at hand.
Warmth. I hate being cold at any time, so I have to be warm.
A blanket to snuggle into or cover up with.
7. How many hours a day do you write?
It varies. Sometimes I write for a couple hours, other times not at all. I don’t have a set writing schedule, and don’t believe in one. I write when I’m in the correct headspace.
8. In terms of outlining are you a Plotter, a Pantser or a Plantser?
I’m a Planster, but with more emphasis on Plotter. I have a general outline I like to follow, but I also just allow the words and plot to come forth as I type. I don’t want to be so rigid as to not consider alternate routes or plot twists.
9. Because I have a pretty Type-A personality, I’m always curious about other peoples scheduling methods. Do you use a schedule to plan out your life / writing & if so, do you use paper or electronic planning?
I use a schedule for my life, but not for my writing. I find a schedule hinders my creativity. If I try to force the words to come, they simply won’t. I’ve tried to do this before, but it ended in bad writer’s block as a result. I need to be in the right mood and the right surroundings.
10. What is your favorite part about the writing process?
The creativity. I’ve always had a really good imagination and love seeing it “come to life” on the pages.
11. What is your least favorite part about the writing process?
Finding time to actually do it.
12. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
I’ve only written one from start to finish so far, so I can’t give you an average.
13. What’s your biggest internal obstacle in getting your writing done?
Motivation. There are days when I find it really hard to drum up the motivation to write. However, once I get in to it, I’m off to the races.
14. What’s your biggest external obstacle in getting your writing done?
Distractions, i.e. cleaning that should be done, Twitter, and the television.
15. Do you believe in writer’s block? If so, how do you overcome it?
Most definitely! Usually the only thing that helps me is time. I take time away from my writing, relax, and just let myself zone out. Sometimes I’m able to overcome my writer’s block immediately, other times it can take months. I also have to be in the correct mindset to write – if I’m sad or upset, it doesn’t happen.
16. Does writing energize you or exhaust you?
Writing energizes me; editing exhausts.
17. Best piece of advice for other writers?
Just write! Do it now. Don’t wait for “someday.” Put your thoughts to paper as soon as you can, and whenever you can. Don’t let rejection letters deter you. Take constructive criticism seriously, but don’t let that hold you back either. Focus on the positive.
18. What is your Favorite quote about writing?
I don’t have one.
19. Which authors are your biggest inspirations?
Wilbur Smith, Pauline Gedge, and Dan Brown. The first two have written about Ancient Egypt, which obviously intrigues me. Dan Brown makes me think and helps reinforce my creativity.
20. What are you currently working on now?
I’m working on The King’s Court – the sequel to my debut novel, Behind Palace Walls.
Connect with Erin