Wow, March already. That means Spring is just around the corner. I have itchy feet (although that could just mean my socks need washing) and itchier fingers. As much as my feet crave to set off for lands unknown, my fingers demand to set free the excitement in my brain. Part of that excitement is to continue delving into the fascinating world of my fellow authors, and finding out what makes them tick.
Francisco: Hey Anna, thanks for agreeing to chat with me. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
AA: The latter three. However with that said, I have an old portable Olympia typewriter I bought from a junk shop because it reminded me of my childhood when my mother used to type on stencils and carbon paper. Very nostalgic but with no ribbons available, it sits unused in a cupboard.
Not to digress on nostalgia, I use a laptop for my main writing, and longhand for outlines and practice drills. I also have dictation software on my laptop however at times I’ve found it quicker to type.
Francisco: So, with these various methods at your disposal, what have you written?
AA: In terms of publishing, about ten years ago, I wrote my first and only since then erotic story under a pen-name which was accepted by a now defunct black literary erotica website. It was about infidelity, and I got a good response from readers. It’s still floating in cyberspace but I don’t use that pen name any more, nor do I have the email, so I can’t track reader responses – if there are any.
A few years after, I self-published three ordinary short stories on Smashwords, This was before I knew anything about self publishing or marketing. I just uploaded them with homemade covers, and waited to be a star. Hahahaha! Not so. Joining Scribophile, an online writer’s group, was an education and reality check in that sense.
In terms of genres – I write whatever comes to mind so black urban, science fiction/fantasy, mystery, chase stories, and historicals. However, regardless of genre, I’m heavily slanted towards writing about relationships or romance within those genres.
Francisco: How long on average does it take you to write a book?
AA: My first novel draft took me a year. But the real work is in editing it, and that seems to be taking me a long time! Hopefully this is just a learning curve and my next book will be quicker to write, and edit.
Francisco: Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures?
AA: From my early experimental days of self-publishing, I learnt a good cover could make a difference. Apart from that, I’m still learning about marketing before I venture into self-publishing again. This year, I’ve managed to get tickets to the London Book Fair this month, yay. So I may be able to pick up a few tips by just talking to professional book traders.
Francisco: For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
AA: At home, I prefer paperbacks because they are lighter and ebooks on my phone while I’m commuting because it’s less to carry and readily available.
I’m not really a hardback person unless it’s a reference or textbook, or I’m desperate to read the book and that is the only format available. Sometimes the reader in me can’t wait for the paperback or ebook editions.
Ah, I just realised most of my cookbooks are hardback.
Francisco: Thanks for stopping by Anna. I hope you get that novel edited soon. 🙂
Anna W Aden lives in the UK. She also blogs and writes under the pseudonym Biggaletta “Bigga” Day. She is a self-confessed cakeaholic who loves a bargain in the sales, discovering London’s open green spaces, the occasional music concert, and libraries.
And once in awhile she catches up on reality and youtube shows.