Monday, December 1, 2014

Author Highlight - Quinn Loftis

I'm super excited to introduce you to Quinn Loftis, author of YA paranormal & fantasy. 

It is no secret that I am a podcast junkie, and I met Quinn through a podcast interview she did with Jonny Andrews on the Audience Hacker podcast. Although the podcast interview was uploaded months and months ago, I only heard it a few weeks ago for the first time. I've listened to this single podcast episode nearly 10 tens times since then! Every time I listen to it, I learn something new about being a self-published author.
Quinn invited listeners to contact her on her website, and that's just what I did. I was so stoked when she wrote back and answered some questions I had for her. She even agreed to do an interview with me, so that I could introduce you to her as well. 

Let me tell you a little bit more about her story...

Although Quinn enjoyed writing, it wasn't what she studied in school. She was a nurse by trade, and happened to "fall in" to writing. She had the idea for a novel, and pumped it out really quickly (this became her first novel, Prince of Wolves), but she sat on the novel for a year before she got enough gumption to publish it in 2011. Her exact words in the podcast interview were, "I was terrified!"
The book slowly took off, but Quinn used her natural curiosity and ingenuity to Google her way to success, finding answers to her questions, reviewers, and using to her advantage. Today, Quinn is a full-time writer, having been able to quit her day job merely six months after the publication of her first novel, and after publishing the next two books in the series. She has at least 13 self-published books available, with more on the way, trying to publish a new book every 90 days!
Quinn was gracious enough to answer some of my questions, and I've included them for you here. Enjoy!

Q: When you’re writing, do you have a certain novel length you shoot for, or do you write “until the story is told” whether that’s 100 pages or 500 pages?

A: Typically my books are between 75,000 and 100,000 words but I write until the story is done. Sometimes it's longer and sometimes it just isn't. I refuse to write filler just for the sake of length.

Q: Can you take us back to what your writing life used to be like when you were just starting out, and you were still in the midst of your day job? How did you structure your time, so you were able to write, revise, and market your book?

A: I wrote at night when I was working full time. I remember during the day while at work I was so antsy to get home and write. I had ideas running through my head all day long and it drove me crazy not to be able to get it down right then. Sometimes I miss that eagerness. Now that I can write pretty much whenever I want I don't always feel that hunger. I love to write, don't get me wrong, but it's easy for it to become a job and not a love. I have to be careful not to get stuck in that rut. 

Q: Now that you’re a full-time author, what does a typical day look like?

A: I get up usually around 8 (it's a little different right now since we have a 3 month old and I'm pregnant) I'm up late at night sick a lot and up in the middle of the night to feed Jonivan so I try to sleep in a bit. I'm at the office by 9:30 or 10:00 a.m. Answer emails, FB, Twitter, etc. Then I read back about three chapters where I left off in my latest manuscript and go from there. I try to write about 3,000 words a day, sometimes it's less sometimes it's more. I finish up around 3:30 and then head to the gym for an hour work out. Working out really helps prevent writers block because it creates all the 'feel' good chemicals that help with creativity. So I try to really make that a priority as a part of my job. Then I head home. In the evenings I try to make time to work on things like book trailers, and continue to catch up on social media. I also make a priority to read. One of my favorite quotes of writing advice is by Stephen King. If you want to be a great writer I'm convinced you must do two things. Read a lot and write a lot. There are no short cuts. I totally agree with that. 

Q: Are you a planner/outliner, or a “pantser”/discovery writer? Have you ever tried writing the opposite way?

A: I'm a little of both. I usually start the story and then outline as I go. I don't think I could outline a book before I've developed the characters. The characters come first for me because that's who people need to connect with in order to give a crap about the story. 

Q: What strategies do you use for finding readers to review your books?

A: I use to reach out to bloggers, but Praise God I've built a big enough fan base that usually now people find me, which I am so very thankful for.

Q: What advice can you give to new authors, just starting out in the self-publishing world?

A: Do your research. Don't rely on other authors to explain everything, i'm not saying you can't ask advice, but it goes a long way to an established author when they see you are driven enough to first have sought out the information by googling, or searching on KDP (amazon platform) or iBooks etc. When I started I figured it out all on my own. I didn't know anyone in the self publishing world and I wasn't comfortable asking for help so google became my best friend. Driven people are successful people. If you truly want to be a self published author then you will learn and do what it takes to be successful at it. There truly is NO substitute for hard work.

Q: If you could hop into a time-traveling DeLorean, an H.G. Wells time machine, or (my favorite) a TARDIS, and talk to your ‘just getting started in this biz’ self, what would you tell yourself (without causing a rip in the fabric of space and time, of course)?  Specifically, what would you tell yourself to watch out for, stop doing, stop worrying about, or do more of?

A: Stop focusing on the negative reviews and just keep moving forward. learn from your mistakes and do everything you can to make your next book even better. Enjoy the journey, don't be in such a hurry that you miss out on the here and now. 

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely adore reading your blogs, I would love if you could review my newest book! I am an indie-author looking for some love!