Ellie’s Insights

Ellie’s Insights: Meg Jordan

Where do we start with Meg Jordan, not only is she a copywriter at a creative agency in Shoreditch, and the founder of online publication, Ganter, she is also a crazy talented musician! (Search for her on Soundcloud) She currently lives in Derbyshire with her boyfriend Ollie and her rescue dog Maya (Who is the star of Meg’s insta stories).

You can follow Meg/Ganter on Insta @ganter.uk

Tell me a little about yourself, your name, where you come from etc.

Hiya, I’m Meg Jordan – since graduating from Loughborough Uni (about 3 years ago now), I’ve been working as a Copywriter at a creative agency in Shoreditch. I’m currently living in Derbyshire with my rescue dog, Maya and long-suffering boyfriend, Ollie. (Yes, my commute is usually a 6-hour round trip, but that’s a story for another time). And I’m the founder and writer of online publication, Ganter – which is a hub of funny writing, by, for, and about womxn.

Tell us a little about your writing.

As I write for a living and run Ganter on the side, I spend almost all of my time typing away. Being a Copywriter means writing in a variety of different styles, for different brands about a broad range of different topics, which I really enjoy. Through work I write a lot in the Sustainability and Diversity & Inclusion spaces which are two areas I think are really important and would say are becoming more specialist topics for me.

But beyond work, my absolute 100% passion topic is womxn. I don’t profess to be a specialist in the history of all women across the ages, but I do spend a lot of my time researching the stories of amazing women who haven’t been shouted about nearly enough. I studied English and Drama at University and two of the modules that blew my mind where ones that covered early women writers. I spent hours in the library (shout out Pilks) with my head in a book or wading through academic articles online, digging out information about the lives of these boundary-breakers. People who defied societal and cultural expectations and inequalities to do what they loved – writing spectacular (and often hilarious) literary works. I’ve also always had a particular interest in comedy, especially in funny women (comedians, comedy writers/playwrights etc.)  – so, dispelling the longstanding myth that women aren’t funny is a topic I write about often, and probably a specialist area when it comes to my personal writing.

In terms of style, I would say my writing is conversational but informative. I think even when writing about the most serious of topics, a sense of humour is vital. I want my writing to put a smile on your face, maybe even make you laugh, whilst making you think or learn something new. Even when writing opinion pieces and personal stories, I’ll always try to back up what I’m saying with research, facts and figures – that’s really important to me.

Tell us about Ganter.

Since learning about those fabulous women writers at Uni, it’s always played on my mind that there must be SO many stories out there about similarly amazing women who haven’t been shouted about nearly enough. I wanted to create Ganter as an online space to celebrate these stories and to celebrate womxn and all our diverse experiences; be they stupid, hilarious stories of tragic tales and morning-after-disasters, or inspiring stories about womxn who have won Nobel Prizes or achieved world firsts.

We have an origin story on our site about where the name and idea came from if you’d like to know more on that side of things. But Ganter actually stemmed from a personal blog (called Nothing To Write Home About) which I started up mid first lockdown to keep myself sane and friends entertained whilst the world fell apart. I’d always wanted somewhere to continue writing about amazing women, and to share funny stories, since graduating from uni – but was always too scared to share my writing until the old Panny D put things into perspective. A year into the blog I found myself just writing more and more about womxn, and these articles seemed to be the ones my readers engaged with most – so it felt like a natural next move to create something with a clearer direction in this space.

I’d love to see Ganter become a truly collaborative and inclusive platform with loads of different contributors sharing stories, anecdotes, articles, creative writing and art that celebrates womxn. There’s been talk of a Ganter podcast as well, so watch this space. The main goal really though is just to put a smile on people’s faces and celebrate Ganter (Girl’s banter) in all its glorious forms.

When did you start writing? And what made you start writing, was it something you always loved?

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember (shout out to the literary masterpiece that is ‘The Gummy Bear Man’ which I penned age 10).

But the real moment where I was realised how much I loved writing and wanted to do it for reals, was in 6th form. I won a competition to have the first play I’d ever written performed at the National Theatre in a staged reading (my wonderful drama teacher had pushed me to enter New Views – the National Theatre’s young writer’s competition) – and hearing the response from people in the industry, the actors and perfect strangers in the audience to it really lit a fire under my arse to pursue my love of writing properly. (So much so it actually made me change my degree last minute from Popular Music [could’ve been the next Cher, alas] to English and Drama)

What is your biggest writing quirk?

Everyone that knows me personally says that I write exactly how I talk and that they can imagine me speaking when they read my writing. I use a lot of asides (little add ons in brackets like this one) which I imagine is actually quite annoying when I’m talking to people in person, so I’m never sure whether to take it as a compliment or not!

What is one thing you wish someone had told you when you started your writing journey? I wish someone had told me that it’s really not as scary as you think it is to put your personal writing out there for the world to see. And to just go for it rather than holding out, because you literally have nothing to lose, and you’ll just regret and resent yourself for not doing it. If they had, Ganter would have probably been born about 3 years ago rather than

Ellie’s Insights: Jen Brogan

Jen Brogan is a freelance writer from Surrey, she is currently studying English and Creative writing the University of Plymouth.

Bookstagram: https://instagram.com/jrbsbookshelf?utm_medium=copy_link

Blog: https://creativewriting230401686.wordpress.com/

Tell me a little about your writing.

I feel like my writing style has evolved in many ways and continues to do so. On my blog, I tend to post more of my creative side like short-fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction. When I wrote for Disgraceful magazine I began to write about the topic Mental Health. When it comes to my writing I think I’m a bit of a storyteller and a hard fact and figure kind of person – merge the two, especially with my creative side. However, when it comes to my article writing, I’ve always felt quite confident with writing from my own experiences. I try and incorporate my own experiences within my writing as a way to involve my readers – make them feel less alone, or relatable and sometimes there’s comfort in knowing you aren’t the only one feeling or experiencing certain things. But, my general creativity definitely hinders from my own feelings, thoughts and experiences which influences my work massively. 

Where can we find your work?

My blog is available on my website which is: 

https://creativewriting230401686.wordpress.com/

My work with Disgraceful Magazine can be found: 

https://242c7c13-cd59-4f99-b029-725e3ca63618.filesusr.com/ugd/1f7ee1_d2421e7d9b7949ec9182c7ca257dcb94.pdf – ISSUE ONE: DISGRACEFUL: pp. 200-202

https://08485cee-49ba-402d-949f-f5cf88ed5343.filesusr.com/ugd/c9561b_f275c2006437481a8151487dbf8d2fd1.pdf – ISSUE TWO: DISGRACEFUL: pp. 239 – 242 

https://08485cee-49ba-402d-949f-f5cf88ed5343.filesusr.com/ugd/c9561b_ff0e851f8d714eb6b47bf67647ca134f.pdf – UNSPOKEN PROJECT: DISGRACEFUL: pp. 16-17, 70-77 & 108-120

https://www.mouthymagazine.com/projects – Stories Behind The Statistic by Mouthy Magazine (to download via email) 

When did you start writing? And what made you start writing, was it something you always loved? 

I think I’ve always been a very creative person, even from a young age. I remember writing stories when I was little and making little book covers for them. I was also a reader at a young age – I really loved ‘The Faraway Tree’ by Enid Blyton. 

As I got older, I learnt more about writing and literature through college; which is where I discovered ‘The Great Gatsby’ by F.Scott Fitzgerald and completely fell in love with literature after that. 

I started university doing a Fine Art Degree but decided that writing was actually what I wanted to do. When studying English and Creative Writing at university, one of the first things I was told to do was to buy a journal or notebook and write down anything and everything. Then they encouraged us to start running a blog, which I did, and eventually the journal writing and blog-writing just came naturally to me. And because of that, it enabled me to have the courage to write and send my work off to places for the opportunity of being published.

What is your biggest writing quirk? 

I don’t really know if it’s considered a quirk or not, but writing from my own experiences is definitely something that I’ve noticed stands out in all of my work. I just like feeling like I’m not just writing an article, or a poem, or creative piece – I like my reader to feel involved, heard and related to. I think that’s something that I find comfort it when I read these texts, so that might be why I do that myself.

How do you get your writing jobs? Do you pitch a story idea or submit a full written article? 

I genuinely did not know where to start to getting my work out there and published. 

My university tends to send us emails about some opportunities but obviously the topics and writing-styles they ask for vary so they aren’t always the best thing for me to go for.

Even so, I eventually just looked on social media – Instagram especially. There are so many small magazines to support and who need work submitted in order to progress and that was how I discovered Disgraceful Magazine, Mouthy Magazine and PatchworkLit Magazine. 

I have created work for Disgraceful on more than one occasion – I love this magazine I think it’s such a beautiful and inspiring message. You can do either; you can pitch an idea and you can straight up send an article. I feel like, if you were submitting some creative work, you are more likely to send over your work as it is. However, in my case, as it was a self-help kind of article, I did need to discuss things with my editor before writing to help myself to know what exactly I’m writing, who too and how I should portray it. 

What is one thing you wish someone had told you when you started your writing journey?  

Criticism is not rejection, it is an opportunity to improve. I think criticism, particularly when it comes to writing, can feel quite disheartening but actually it’s extremely useful; with anything I suppose, it’s helpful. It’s a seriously good tool for your creativity to use. I’ve just realised over time, it’s okay if not everyone wants to publish your work but it’s good to pay attention to what places look for because it really benefits you. So I tend to make sure my creative pieces are saved for literary magazines, literary competitions etc as opposed to article-styled and vice-versa. 

Ellie’s Insights: Stacey Komosinski

Today on Ellie’s Insights I spoke to Stacey Komosinski author of contemporary romance novel ‘Finding It All’. She grew up in Hellertown, a small town in Pennsylvania, USA.

You can follow Stacey on social media at the link below.

https://msha.ke/staceyakomosinski/

Tell us a little about your writing.

I have published one contemporary romance novel. It is the first in a series about three women searching for all the great things in life AND finding them. I have the second book written and ready for editing, with the third book partially written. I enjoy writing books with friendship, family, love and happy endings.

Where can we find your work?

My novel, Finding It All, is for sale on Amazon with the new cover as both an ebook and paperback book, as well as an ebook at Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple and other locations.

When did you start writing?

I contemplated writing a novel for almost ten years. I even drafted a few paragraphs here and there, but nothing stuck. I started writing Finding It All in January 2020.

Tell us about your writing style.

I write in third person with multiple points of views. I also include thoughts from the female and male main characters.

What is your biggest writing quirk?

I love using traits of people I know in my characters. I pull one or two things from people I know and combine them to create a unique character. It is probably why I fall in love my characters because they remind me of people I know.

What made you self-publish over traditional publishing?

When I researched the pros and cons to each method of publishing, I found more pros for self-publishing than I found with traditional publishing for my personal situation.

What do you think are the pros and cons of self-publishing?

I liked the idea that with self-publishing you keep all creative rights. There isn’t anyone asking you to change your intro, your main character’s personality, a scene, the cover or really anything else. You can also control your timing for releases, there is no contract with a deadline you must meet. I am not ready to stop working full-time in the pharmaceutical industry, so this was an important pro for me. I found overall all my stress level increased with everything I read about traditional publishing. Traditional publishing doesn’t mean that once you sign a deal, you are done with your part and you walk away. Depending on what is written into your contract, there are likely still obligations you owe that publisher. Publishers may require you to do more edits and revisions, complete promotional activities, or maintain a certain level of social media presence. All of which are done on their timetable, not yours. I found the most difficult part of self-publishing is that you foot the bill for everything and while you don’t have anyone telling you want to do, sometimes you wish you had someone to tell you what to do.

What platform do you use to self-publish? KDP, Ingram Spark or any other? and why?

I initially published with only KDP. Amazon is the largest online bookstore, so it made it an easy first choice for self-publishing. After a few months with only Amazon, I decided I didn’t like the idea that all my eggs were in one basket. I recently branched out to use Draft 2 Digital and go wide with my ebook.

What is one thing you wish someone had told you when you started your writing journey?

You will spend more time after the book is written then when you were drafting it. Between editing, cover designing, releasing and promoting I have easily spent two times the number of hours it took for me to draft my first novel. Sweat equity is real.

Who is your favourite Indie Author and why?

I love Gretchen Galway. One, I love her covers. She does them herself. Two, she responds to her fans. Three, her books are well written with depth and creativity.

Ellie’s Insights: Katherine Taylor

Katherine Taylor released her debut novel, Under The Stars, in 2021. She lives in Cornwall and as well as reading and writing she manages a local café.

You can follow her on Instagram below.

https://www.instagram.com/k.t_books/

Tell me a little about yourself, your name, where you come from etc.

I live in Cornwall and work as a manager for a local café. I have always been an avid reader and writer and have shelves of notebooks full of stories I’ve written over the years.

Tell me a little about your writing.

I self-published my first novel, Under the Stars, at the end of May. It is a young adult/fantasy/romance novel.

Where can we find your work?

Under the Stars is available from Amazon as a paperback or kindle edition.

When did you start writing?

I started writing this novel last year during the lockdown.

Tell us about your writing style.

I write in first person, mostly from the main character’s POV.

What is your biggest writing quirk?

My biggest writing quirk is sometimes writing for fun and never going back to read what I’ve written or do anything with it.

What made you self-publish over traditional publishing?

I decided to self-publish as I really just wanted to get a feel for who would read my book and see what people thought of it before going to a publisher.

What do you think are the pros and cons of self-publishing?

Pros: Self-publishing is great as you can publish it as soon as it is ready, rather than waiting at all. You also have complete control over what you are publishing.

Cons: You have to pay for any costs involved and all advertising/ marketing is down to you.  

What platform do you use to self-publish?

I use KDP.

What is one thing you wish someone had told you when you started your writing journey?

Life is too short to keep putting it off.

Who is your favourite Indie Author and why?

I find it really hard to choose favorites as I really love a lot of author’s work. Recently I have been loving Melissa Morgan and Ellie White.

Ellie’s Insights: Lauren Jones

Lauren Jones is a Contemporary Women’s Fiction author from Brisbane Australia. She has 2 little sausage dogs and loves books and playing Assassin’s Creed. I was incredibly lucky to read an ARC copy of her debut novel Tell Me How It Ends and let me tell you, It’s amazing. (Full review coming soon!)

You can follow her on Instagram below.

http://www.Instagram.com/laurenjoneswrites

Where can we find your work?

My debut, when released will be available on Amazon and a number of other online retailers.

When did you start writing?

Around the age of 12 I started hand writing little short stories before I attempted to write an intense time travel fantasy at the age of 14. Spoiler alert….I never finished that book.

Tell us about your writing style.

My go to is first person, single POV but I’m a firm believer that the writing style is dependent on the story. As my novel deals with grief, I felt that first person was the best option as it allows the reader to connect with the main character more.

What is your biggest writing quirk?

Ummmm, I’m not sure if I have a quirk. I tend to write a fair bit of banter and I often read it aloud to my dogs. I guess that’s pretty weird.

What made you self-publish over traditional publishing?

I explored traditional publishing first. I submitted to a number of literary agents in the US and got a decent number of full manuscript requests. All that rejection wasn’t fun but I did get valuable feedback so I used it and made considerable changes to my manuscript. During those edits I started to look into self-publishing. I stopped querying agents when I learned how lengthy the trad pub process is and that I would lose a lot of creative control. That didn’t sit well with me so I withdrew my manuscript from consideration and switched to a self-publishing model.

What do you think are the pros and cons of self-publishing?

The pros would be earning potential and being in control of cover, story and characters. The cons would be the amount of work and cost involved. Editors and cover designers aren’t cheap but I think they’re necessary. Personally I was not looking forward to all the marketing aspects of self-publishing, but when I learned that traditionally published authors have to do their own marketing too, I figured the part I was least looking forward to was going to happen either way so why hand my work over to someone else when I could publish it myself.

What platform do you use to self-publish? KDP, Ingram Spark or any other? and why?

I will be using KDP and Ingram Spark. After a considerable amount of research this is the best way forward for me. Ingram Spark’s distribution network is the real draw for me as it will make my book available through Australian online book retailers.

What is one thing you wish someone had told you when you started your writing journey?

That it’s like any other form of art. You won’t please everyone, so don’t try. Write what makes you happy.

Who is your favourite Indie Author and why?

Early last year I finally read a Penny Reid book (late to the party I know) but I absolutely loved it and quickly binged the rest of the Winston Brothers series. I’ve always been a Mariana Zapata fan as well. They’re my auto buy indies.

Ellie’s Insights: Gerard Nugent

Gerard writes contemporary fiction and published his debut novel Let In The Light in January 2021. Not only does he write novels but he is also a skilled song writer!

Social Media Links: FB: @gerardnugentwriter I: @gerardnugentwriter T:@letinthelight20

Tell us a little about your writing.

I have written and self-published one book called Let in the Light. It’s contemporary fiction and I like to class it as uplit because, although it does deal with some serious issues, it has an uplifting message and conclusion. It is the first in the Hope Street series. I have recently started writing book 2 which will hopefully be available during 2022.

Where can we find your work?

Currently, I’ve self-published exclusively through Amazon – but I am looking to expand into other online retailers in the coming months. I also have a website www.gerardnugent.co.uk that features a blog and some of the songs I’ve written.

When did you start writing?

I have been writing songs since I was a teenager. So that’s years! Since then, I’ve written 3 albums. After finishing my last album, I enrolled on to an evening creative writing class with the sole purpose to try and generate some new ideas for songs. But I happened to start writing a story instead about a songwriter. Two years later, I published that same story as a novel!

Tell us about your writing style.

Let in the Light is written in the first person. It’s personal in places as a result – even though it’s nothing about me, parts of your personality will inevitably come through. The second book in the series will also be first person, but it’s written from a female’s point of view – which could be challenging!

What is your biggest writing quirk?

I think I used the word ‘perhaps’ way too much when I wrote my first draft of Let in the Light. I also use dialogue a lot – I find it easier to write!

What made you self-publish over traditional publishing?

I did try the traditional route but when there were no takers I decided to self-publish rather than keep on trying endlessly. When you work on something for so long like a novel, there comes a point when you need to draw a line under it, so you are still left with enthusiasm for it and also energy for the next creative project.

What do you think are the pros and cons of self-publishing?

The major downside obviously is the lack of widespread exposure you get when you get signed. Plus, you would also have expertise on hand to help with marketing, promotion, design etc. But, interestingly, that is also a benefit of self-publishing – you learn so many new skills by self-publishing and you have full creative control. I also chose to donate the profits of my book to charity – something I’m sure I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do if I were traditionally published.

What platform do you use to self-publish?

KDP, Ingram Spark or any other? and why? For the first three months I have chosen KDP mainly because its where the majority of the market is at and it was very straight forward to publish via that platform. It was also really beneficial from a marketing point of view to be able to promote the book for free through KDP.

What is one thing you wish someone had told you when you started your writing journey?

That editing takes longer than writing! A lot longer! so you need to be patient before publishing your book. There is a temptation to make short cuts whilst editing because the end is in sight but it’s infinitely better to take the time to get everything possible right.

Ellie’s Insights: Sallyanne Johnson

Sallyanne is an Indie Author from Dudley; a small town in the middle of England. She has a young daughter, a full-time job and still managed to publish 3 books in ‘The Black Series’ in just 5 months!

You can follow her on the below socials.

Instagram: @sallyannejohnsonauthor

Facebook: Sallyanne Johnson Author

Twitter: @sajohnsonauthor

Tell us a little about your writing.

I write erotic romance, as that’s a genre I love to read. I published my first book, Dark Desires in January 2021. That’s the first book in The Black Series trilogy. The second book, Dark Heart was published in March and the final book, Dark Soul will be released in May.

I’m in the process of writing my next book, Out of Bounds. That will also be an erotic romance, but with a darker element to it. That book will also be part of a two-book series, that’s what I’ve planned, but the characters might make me squeeze a third book in! I’ll have to see!

Where can we find your work?

You can purchase all of my books in ebook and paperback format on Amazon. They’re also free on Kindle Unlimited too. 

When did you start writing?

I’ve always loved reading and writing from a very young age. I was forever making up short stories as a child and have loads of books and A4 notepads stashed in my parents loft containing all my scribblings from over the years. Writing a book was an idea I’d toyed with on and off for a few years. Then, last year, something clicked and I decided to go for it.

Tell us about your writing style.

I write in first person POV. The Black Series is written in single POV from the female MC, with the exception of some bonus content which shares a chapter from the leadings guys POV. However, my next series will be first POV from the POV’s of both the male and female MC. I personally feel writing in this POV helps you form an instant connection to the thoughts and emotions of the MC’s, and pulls you into the story. It’s my preferred reading POV too.

What is your biggest writing quirk?

I’m rather boring and don’t have many quirks. I do base my male MC’s on an actual real life guy, and put a subtle nod to the guy in my books. In The Black Series the leading guys birth name is the same as the real life guy I based him on, as well as his ethnic heritage.

What made you self-publish over traditional publishing?

Freedom. I think it’s very important to write what you enjoy. I get the impression with trad publishing, some agencies are looking for books that ‘tick’ certain boxes. I want to write, what I want to write.

What do you think are the pros and cons of self-publishing?

You have to do everything yourself. From identifying an editor and proofreader, to sorting out your book cover, to promoting your books and getting an ARC and Street Team together. Some of that takes money, all of that takes time. 

There are times when I’ve felt a bit overwhelmed with it all BUT, and here’s where the positives come in, I’ve met so many lovely, kind and supportive bookstgrammers, readers and fellow authors on Instagram, who are all so helpful. If I hadn’t have chosen the self-pub route, I doubt I would ever have crossed paths with some of the lovely people I’ve met. Also, I’m a bit of control freak so quite enjoy having a handle on everything. Lol!

What platform do you use to self-publish?

Amazon and Amazon KDP because it’s one of the largest online retailers worldwide. KDP also allows readers to read your book without buying it, and you do get some royalties back off that too. 

What is one thing you wish someone had told you when you started your writing journey?

You can’t do everything yourself. I didn’t even know what a Street Team was until a few weeks before I was due to publish my first book. Lol! So, I suppose, do a bit of research would be another good tip, unlike me 😂

Who is your favourite Indie Author and why?

There are so many, and it varies on the genre:

Reverse harem – Den of Vipers (or anything by  Katie Knight

Mafia romance – Unwanted Inheritance by L Forrest

Angsty YA – The Unstoppable Series by Danielle Hill

Contemporary Rom-Com – Love and London by Ellie White

Ellie’s Insights: T.A.Rosewood

T.A.Roswood a.k.a Traci, has released her debut novel this year although she in no stranger to writing. read more about her writing journey below and check out her social pages!

instagram.com/tarosewood

twitter.com/tarosewood

facebook.com/tarosewood

goodreads.com/author/show/20136962.T_A_Rosewood

Tell us a little about yourself.

My real name is Traci and I am from Essex, England. I live with my husband, two of

our children, and two westies.

Tell us a little about your writing/book/series.

My book, Reasonable Lies, is my debut novel although I have loved writing since my

teenage years. I write women’s fiction and have had various poems published. I’m

now working on three more books and hoping to get one of them released this year.

Where can we find your work?

My book can be found on Amazon as a paperback or as an ebook to download. It’s

also now listed on Waterstones, Barnes and Noble, and various other online

bookstores. We are currently in talks with our local book shop for them to stock it

too which is very exciting as that is where this book’s journey came to life for me.

When did you start writing?

I’ve always enjoyed writing and wrote my first ‘book’ when I was aged thirteen in a

school textbook. My GCSE exam was supposed to be a two-page short story but I

wrote thirty and actually failed my exam! I went on to write poetry in my twenties

and then as my family and work-life became too busy, writing halted. In 2016, after

meeting and listening to Jojo Moyes, I became inspired and began writing

Reasonable Lies that evening.

Tell us about your writing style. Do you write in first, second, third person? Single or Multi

POV?

I write in the third person although the second book I am working on has around five

chapters in the first person so it’s been interesting to work with that.

What is your biggest writing quirk?

I try to get deep into the emotions of my characters to make readers really invest in

them and feel emotional about the storyline.

What made you self-publish over traditional publishing?

Firstly, the cost that was involved in getting a publishing deal. I approached many

publishers but most of them were vanity publishers who wanted money up front

which I did not want to commit to. I got offered five deals but decided to go it alone

in the hope that maybe once I had a bit of a following, enough good reviews, etc,

that one of the traditional publishers may come across the book. Secondly, self-

publishing for the first time has given me great confidence and strength because you

have to put many hats on to get everything done. You have to be the writer, the

editor, the designer, the marketing expert, the social media manager…everything.

But I can say, I have really enjoyed the whole process and have had so much

support.

What do you think are the pros and cons of self-publishing?

As mentioned above, the pros are being in total control but the cons are it’s hard

work and you have to be constantly on it.

What platform do you use to self-publish?

I use KDP and have now signed up to Ingram Spark so that book stores and libraries

can stock my book. I signed up with KDP first because of the massive impact that

Amazon has in the book world. I am currently exclusive to Amazon so Ingram Spark

only has my paperback available at the moment but I would love to go wide and get

onto Apple Books and Kobo at some point in the near future.

What is one thing you wish someone had told you when you started your writing journey?

Get a thick skin. I had a really bad review in saying that the writing was terrible and it

really hit me hard. I took it too personally and it stopped me from writing for a few

weeks; I wanted to give up. But when I saw that they had written a near on exact

review for another author, I came to realise that you cannot please everyone and no

two people will love the same book. Even Stephen King has bad reviews! LOL.

Who is your favourite Indie Author and why?

My favourite indie author has to be EL. James of the fifty shades trilogy. Although

she is traditionally published now, she is an inspiration that if you have a great book,

you can get a publishing deal and a movie deal to boot would be the ultimate

dream. She is so down to earth too.

Ellie’s Insights: Beth Rain

Beth lives in Devon, her home county inspires a lot of her work which is why you’ll find her books packed with friendly villages, quirky seaside haunts – gardens, cafes, allotments, grand houses, beach huts – and everything cute, cosy and quintessentially English.

She also writes under the name Bea Fox so be sure to check out both accounts!

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/BethRainBooks

https://www.facebook.com/BeaFoxBooks

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/bethrainauthor

https://www.instagram.com/beafoxbooks

TikTok:

https://www.tiktok.com/@bethrainauthor

Newsletter:

http://eepurl.com/hn_Fvr

Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi! I’m Beth Rain. I live in Devon, UK in a small town right next to beautiful Dartmoor. My home county is a huge inspiration to my writing, and that’s why you’ll find my books packed with friendly villages, quirky seaside haunts – gardens, cafes, allotments, grand houses, beach huts – and everything cute, cosy and quintessentially English. I also write under the name Bea Fox – where I like to take my characters on fast, funny adventures of self-discovery.

Tell us a little about your writing.

I’ve been writing as long as I can remember, but I finally started to take my dream of becoming a full-time author seriously last year. I settled down to write about the villagers of Little Bamton at the beginning of October. I published the first book in the Little Bamton series in November 2020 – and Christmas Lights and Snowball Fights changed my life. Book two – Spring Flowers and April Showers – followed in January this year. By the end of March I was able to dump the day-job and start writing full time. Book three – Summer Nights and Pillow Fights – came out at the end of April and there are two more books to come in the series before the end of the year.

In between my Beth Rain releases, I’ve been busy writing as Bea Fox too – with the first three books of my What’s a Girl To Do? series all available on Amazon. Again, there are another two to follow this year.

By the end of the year I’ll have 13 books published. For anyone doing the maths and realising that I really can’t add up – well, that is true – but I’ve got a surprise in store for my readers that’ll make up the missing numbers – and I’ll be announcing that very soon!

Where can we find your work?

At the moment, both my Beth Rain and my Bea fox books are exclusive to Amazon, and are available to buy as ebooks at just 99p or free to read for Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

Tell us about your writing style. Do you write in first, second, third person? Single or Multi POV?

This is actually why I decided to publish under two different names. As Beth Rain, I write in third person. For the Little Bamton series I follow a different main character for each book – though you do get glimpses of all the other characters you’ve met throughout the series. As Bea Fox, I write in first person. What’s a Girl To Do? follows Grace for the whole series, and writing in first person present tense lets me to really dive into her head as she navigates her wonderfully neurotic world!

What is your biggest writing quirk?

Hmm – hard to say really. Snacking? Come to think of it, that’s probably pretty standard! I do like to set up my drafting document so that the page is in “landscape” view and then divide it into two columns. There’s something about it that just makes it look more like a book on screen, and less like some kind of academic essay. I find it far more friendly to sit down to!

What made you self-publish over traditional publishing?

For me, there are two main reasons. Number one – I love the immediacy of the process. As soon as I’m done with the writing and editing side of things, I can have my books live and available to readers in a matter of a day or two. In traditional publishing, this whole process could take months – or even a year or more.

This year, I’m writing and publishing twelve books – I doubt there’s a traditional publisher out there who would consider taking me on for such a thing! Self-publishing puts me in control of my whole process and my timetable – and I love that.

The second reason? Money. And it’s not so much about the amount (though that’s definitely a factor to consider!) – but more about being able to know from moment to moment how much my books are earning. It means I’ve got all the information at my fingertips to make the decisions I need to make about writing, marketing and surviving as a creative. Being an indie author demystifies an awful lot of things – and that means you can make some fun business decisions!

What do you think are the pros and cons of self-publishing?

Pros: you’re in control of the whole process. It’s all down to you.

Cons: you’re in control of the whole process. It’s all down to you.

What platform do you use to self-publish?

I use KDP exclusively at the moment. This is mainly because about 75% of my overall income comes from my titles being in Kindle Unlimited – so for me, this is a no-brainer.

What is one thing you wish someone had told you when you started your writing journey?

Look at the big picture. It’s not about a single, perfectly-crafted sentence. It’s not even about one book, or one day’s sales, or one day’s interactions, or even one reader’s take on your writing. It’s about the wider view – the series – the next series. It’s about patterns. It’s about consistency. Above all – it’s about remembering to enjoy each step along the way.

Ellie’s Insights: Megan Georgia Editing

Megan Georgia Hirst my wonderful editor! She helped shape Love & London into what you see on the shelves today and without her expertese and knowledge it wouldn’t have turned out like it has. She graduated with a degree in English from Sheffield Hallam and is currently persuing her masters degree!

You can Find Megan on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/megangeorgiaediting

Tell us a little about your editing career/why you started editing.

I was the girl in school whose homework everyone used to copy. I spent years at university with my red pen, annotating my friends’ work and telling them how to make it read better. Given that I’m not a fan of children and the idea of being a teacher makes me want to cry, editing was the natural progression that capitalised on my skill set.

Tell us about the different editing services you offer.

I have a menu of editing services but often find a middle ground with authors e.g. helping with query letters and author biographies at no extra cost, deals on certain manuscript lengths, payment plans etc.

  • Beta reading (price dependant on length / contracted future editing services).
  • Academic proofreading at £10/1000 words.
  • Proofreading at £4/1000 words.
  • Copy editing at £5/1000 words.

Before either party agrees to costs / timeframes, I always provide a free 1000 word sample edit of the service requested.

At what stage should an author approach you?

I’ll always recommend an author doing self-edits before seeking an editor. You’re almost guaranteed to cut a few thousand words out which will reduce the editing costs.

I’d also keep in mind that editing can take a long time (depending on who you go to) so ask about their availability / turnaround times. Don’t approach an editor with a 100,000 word manuscript and say you have a week to publish because, while it can be done, you’re likely to pay extra.

What can an author do to make editing easier for you?

There are a lot of things, really.

  • Indent the start of each paragraph (with the formatting tool on the task bar, not just the tab button). If you’re working in Word, check the little arrow in the bottom right corner of the ‘Paragraph’ heading.
  • Space your chapters out. When I’m scheduling a manuscript, I break each section into manageable bits which I can send back to the author as I work but I can’t do that if your chapter spacing is a single line gap. Also, use the page break option, not just loads of blank lines.

                (I feel like I’m ranting but these are things that take up a lot of time).

  • Check that your language settings are right e.g. Is your manuscript set to autocorrect to American English or Oxford? This is something that creates so many mistakes.
  • When you’re addressing people, be careful with the grammar. If you say “I’m going to see my mum”, you don’t need to capitalise. If you say “Hi, Mum”, you do. The same applies to aunt, uncle, dad, doctor etc.

What makes a good author/editor relationship?

There needs to be an understanding on both parts.

Editors have an error margin! There will be things that fall through the gaps (especially if you only have one round of editing). My known error margin is around 0.01%, meaning that, for every 100 edits I make, there might be 1 error.

As for authors, an editor needs to be respectful of the fact that someone has poured their heart and soul into a piece of writing. If you have a critique, word it in a way that is constructive and fair.

What is your favourite part of editing?

I’m learning the ways of writing from both perspectives. I’m involved in the creative act of writing and I’m invited to share my input so, when it comes time for me to publish my own work, I have knowledge of each stage of writing.

If you want the mushy answer, I’m actually honoured that people trust me with their work. I’m privileged to be a part of their literary journey.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to an author?

Strive for the 5* reviews and acknowledge the 1* feedback. You will get bad reviews and criticism that is sometimes unfounded but take it on board. It is not an attack on you so take it for what it is; a learning experience.