Our Part 2 interview with Courtney Cole is geared towards aspiring writers, whether you wanna be indie or mainstream bestsellers. Hopefully we all take a little something out of these for our publishing plans!
If you want to read Part 1 with Courtney on her answers about Every Last Kiss in the Bloodstone Saga, check it out here. And as always, you can buy Courtney’s book on Amazon (because I’m not letting anyone have my copy. Nuh uh.)
What was your process for your book from creation to publication?
I started out by querying to agents for traditional publishers. I was actually in talks with a couple of agents, but they felt that the market was soon going to be over-run with mythology books and that there wouldn’t be a market for it. They wanted me to revise Every Last Kiss into a straight historical, which would have changed the outline that I had for the entire series. I didn’t want to do that.
So, a good friend, Wren Emerson, talked me into going indie with it. It’s the best decision that I ever made. In this particular situation, those agents were wrong. There’s still a market for mythological paranormal books. I have a big fanbase that loves them.
Would you recommend self-publishing to aspiring indie authors?
It really depends on the person. Do you have a business head? Can you multi-task? Can you market? Are you a self-motivator? Being an indie is NOT EASY. You might think that because you get to skip the querying process that it is, but it isn’t. While all of the control rests within you, all of the control rests within you. You have to make the hard decisions and hope that they are the right ones… pricepoint, cover art, editing, distribution, sales channels… if you don’t have a business head or have a business advisor, it would be easy to fail.
How the hell do you balance everything? Family, friends, everyday activities, work, AND a book? Spill the secret, Wonder Woman.
It’s no secret. I’m insane. The entire juggling process has turned me into a laughing-like-a-hyena- crazy-woman. Seriously, the secret to multi-tasking is being organized. I have lists, I set reminders for myself both in Outlook and on my phone. I keep my calendar (with due dates) up to date. Or else I would be total FAIL.
You’ve said it took you about 5 months to write this book, but a lot of that was research. How many hours would you guess went into it? What was your process (internet, library, previous term papers, etc.)?
Five months give or take. I was so infatuated with the story and Cleopatra herself that I just immersed myself in writing. I can’t even tell you how much research I did for Every Last Kiss. So. Much. Research. Luckily, I like research, particularly on topics that interest me. I really wanted to know as much as I could about ancient Egyptian culture so that I could nail it when I described Cleopatra’s palace. Because no one really knows what her palace really looked like. The ruins were found deep beneath the sea in the harbor off of Alexandria in 2010. But obviously there are no pictures from when it was still intact and on land. So, it was really fun to open up my imagination and picture what it was like.
Tell us about your gorgeous book cover—the process, how much input you had, how you went about deciding that was JUST right?
I had a vision in my head—and my cover artist brought it to life—it turned out even better than my vision. I knew it was just right when she sent me the final version and I opened it up- and it was so beautiful that I couldn’t breathe for a second. It was just amazing- to see that beautiful thing and to see my NAME on that beautiful thing. It was a really great moment.
What are the next big plans for you in regards to your writing?
I loved writing mythology so much that I am writing a spin-off series to the Bloodstone Saga called The Moonstone Saga. I’m in the middle of the second book now. I haven’t decided yet if there will be three books or four. And I have a list of ideas for future projects so I won’t be lacking for projects any time soon. If only I had eight hands instead of two. I’d be a lot more productive….
Thanks for having me on your blog, Liz. You’re just hilarious. I heart you. (Blogger’s Note: I LOOOOOVE Courtney Cole–her books, her personality, her patience to deal with my enthusiasm/stalkerism. I heart YOU!)
Thank you so much for answering all my questions from both interviews, Courtney! You’re pretty much the best!