May has been officially declared as the “Interviewing the Indies” month. As such, all month there will be posts containing interviews with indie authors. Today’s guest is Brooke Johnson, young adult author of The Clockwork Giant and Le Theatre Mecanique.
What do you have published?
The Clockwork Giant (steampunk/alternate history):
When Petra Wade meets Guild engineer Emmerich Goss, she finally has a chance to prove her worth as an engineer, but as the automaton project nears completion, Petra discovers a sinister conspiracy within the Guild. Their automaton is only the beginning.
Le Theatre Mecanique (steampunk/alternate history):
When Le Theatre Mecanique holds open auditions for their next play, Solomon Wade decides to give his dreams a chance, but his lack of talent lands him a custodial position instead. He’s determined to improve his acting skills, but when his younger sister’s illness develops into pneumonia, he must abandon his dreams to save her.
What are you currently working on?
The Wizard’s Heart (fantasy):
“Shadiya dreams of the world of her father’s stories, a world of winged serpents, shadowy demons, and great jinn palaces in the clouds, but in her small, peaceful village of Faramosh, his tales of adventure are nothing more than stories.
Until the day of her wedding.
When her father disappears after a fatal battle with a vengeful witch, Shadiya discovers his greatest secret—immortality—but she is not the only one who knows. A shadow of her father’s distant past, the witch Morvarid seeks to obtain her father’s magic, encapsulated in a stone known as the wizard’s heart. Forced by the witch to seek out this stone, Shadiya joins a pale-skinned wizard, and together, they journey away from her home into the wasteland that was once the old empire. But she hasn’t given up hope.
Her father is alive.
And she will find him.”
The Wizard’s Heart is a fantasy novel set in a Persian-inspired world. It’s the book that I have always wanted to write, and I am so far beyond in love with it. I have really high hopes for its success. I’m in the middle of edits right now, but I hope to have it published by the end of August. Sooner if I can manage it.
How do you stay motivated?
I have a group of friends on Google+ who keep me focused, encouraging me to reach my goal every day, and they offer their support when I need it. Also, it doesn’t hurt when I get a good review or rating on one of my books. It reminds me that people actually like what I’m writing, and it makes me want to write more for them to read.
What has been the most challenging aspect of being an indie author?
Getting noticed, I think. Spreading the word about my books has been the hardest for me. I don’t like promoting my books, and on top of that, it’s hard to know what works. I started with soliciting book reviews and interviews from book bloggers, and I spent money on ads, but I don’t think any of that actually did much. I wish I knew how to get my book into more readers’ hands without having to give it away for free. Until I figure that out, it will continue to be a challenge.
However, I do have a great group of supporters on Google+ who are willing to promote for me, and I’m grateful that so many of my readers have become big enough fans to want to do that. Their support and enthusiasm are fantastic.
As a writer, what is the one thing you cannot live without? Why?
Microsoft Word. I honestly can’t write a book in any other program. I’ve tried. I work chronologically, so it best suits my writing and editing habits. Also, it’s a must for formatting paperbacks.
Other than that, music. I have to listen to something while I write, whether it’s soundtracks, techno, or just regular music. I think I have over five days’ worth of music in my film scores playlist, and I have that broken up into eight sub-playlists for mood.
You can purchase any of the Indie Young Adult Books from amazon. Stay tuned for more Interviewing the Indies, happening all May long!