Rosalie Lario, author of The Fallen Warriors series, recently answered some questions for me on self-publishing, the writing process, and her new book For Love of an Angel. Please read the interview and visit her website.
Q: Describe the process you went through to publish your novel.
I knew when I thought up The Fallen Warriors series that I wanted to publish it myself. I had very strong ideas about the marketing and look of the series, and I wanted to retain control over that. So after writing the story I hired a cover artist to bring my vision of Michael to life, as well as a freelance editor to polish my story to perfection. Once that was done, I placed my novella for sale on Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com and Smashwords.com.
Q: For Love of an Angel is what I would call an erotic novel, meaning the descriptions are very titillating, for lack of a better word. How did you feel about friends and relatives reading those scenes in your book? Did you meet with any disapproval from anyone?
You know, if I worried about what anyone else was going to think while writing, I’d never get anything done. So I just sit down and let the words escape me. And then I worry about it later, LOL.
Q: What is the writing process like for you? Do you make time to write every day or do you write when you feel inspired?
When I’m writing a book I try to write every day, and that’s mostly because I have this deep-seated fear that I’ll lose my feel for the story if I don’t constantly keep at it. But I do try to take some time off between books (at the very least a few weeks) to recharge and start thinking about the next story.
Q: Where did you get the rather dystopian idea for For Love of an Angel, where jobs are assigned rather than chosen?
I got that idea where I get most of my ideas. From my crazy brain! When I first thought up the series I knew two things: One, I didn’t want my angels to be biblical creatures. And two, I wanted Fallen Angels. So from there I had to think of a reason why an angel would be “Fallen”, i.e. an outcast. That’s where the idea for taking over control of the human society came from.
Q: I’ve seen that idea a few different places and always find it interesting. It seems to be a common philosophy in dystopian settings. I haven’t seen the idea that people are also living in assigned spaces that may or may not be equal to their job status and do not have to pay rent. What appealed to you about such a set-up?
I really liked the concept of having a lottery system for everything. In other words, something that would be completely random and not based on social class or status.
Q: I’ve read a lot of articles on where authors find inspiration. Some have said in newspapers, some in RPGs like Dungeons and Dragons, some in philosophy books. Where do you find most of your inspiration?
Television! Seriously, I am the biggest CWTV fan in the world. I can’t get enough of their supernatural-type shows. My number one favorite is Supernatural. I don’t understand how anyone could not love my boys, Dean and Sam. But I also live for Vampire Diaries, Smallville, Being Human, True Blood. Watching these shows inspires me to come up with some kick-ass fiction myself!
Q: What resource (online website, fellowship with other writers, reading often, etc) do you find most helpful with the writing process?
I live for Wikipedia. Honestly, I don’t know how we ever survived without it. It’s the number one tool I use when plotting out a new novel. There’s so much information on practically every topic. I start out there, and I use Google for images of places I’m writing about or that evoke the feel I’m going for. I’m a visual creature, so pictures trigger my muse.
Q: When you read, what genres and types of settings do you like to read about?
I mainly read within my genre, and that’s because I love it so much. There are some seriously awesome paranormal romance and urban fantasy authors out there.
Q: What is your preferred method of reading: print or e-book (Kindle, etc.)?
I used to say I’d be the last woman standing when it came to print books. I love the feel of them, and reading in the tub is a must for me. But then I got an Android phone, and discovered just how wonderful it is to have a whole library of books in the palm of my hand. So while at this point I’d say I’m 50/50, I have a feeling e-books are going to win out in the long run.
Q: Do you feel that self-publishing is a strong option for writers?
Absolutely! I think there’s a lot of upheaval going on in the industry today, and I say, why not explore all your options? I have a series of novel-length books releasing with a fabulous publishing house later this year (Blood of the Dragon, Book 1 of the Demons of Infernum Series, releasing on August 5, 2011 through Entangled Publishing). But for my novellas, I like the flexibility of releasing them on my own, and the fact that I can do it at a lower price point than if I went through a traditional publisher.
Q: You have a great website. What tools do you feel work best for promoting your novels? Do you do any public appearances?
Thank you! I don’t know if I’m in the position yet to say which promotional tools work best, but I do know that I really enjoy visiting blogger sites. It’s fun to interact with the blog followers there, and hopefully I can entice them into visiting my own blog.
Q: What is your biggest piece of advice to writers trying to get published?
If you really, really want it, then don’t give up. Seriously. It takes time to hone your craft. For some of us it takes more time than others. But as with anything, practice equals improvement. If you have stories inside you that simply must be told, then do it, and keep doing it. Never, ever, ever give up.
Q: How did you find the publisher you used?
With For Love of an Angel, I went with the major distribution companies: Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Also, Smashwords is a great site for distributing to all the minor e-reader players out there. As for my Demons of Infernum series, the managing editor of Entangled Publishing happened to read a post on my blog that intrigued her, and after taking a peek at my Works in Progress page on my site, she contacted me and asked to see more. That just goes to illustrate how important a social media presence is for unpublished authors!
Q: One thing I was dying to ask about is that completely yummy cover! Did you have any hand in the design?
Thanks! I love this cover too! And I’m especially proud of it because it was my vision. I chose the stock photo of the cover model and the feel I was going for, and relayed it to my amazing cover artist who brought my vision to life perfectly. Aren’t her angel wings just flawless?
Q: How much of yourself do you find in Eva, your heroine in For Love of an Angel, when you skim back over your book?
I don’t think Eva is very much like me. Of course I don’t know how true that is, given that she’s a figment of my imagination, LOL. But I find that once I come up with my characters and a few of the attributes I want them to have, they really take on a life of their own. Sometimes I feel like I’m just a fly on the wall, being privy to their lives as they happen. (Heh, I never said I was “all there”.)
Q: One last question I was eager to ask about the book: If you were in Eva’s position would you resist as much as she did? She made me so mad! I wanted to throttle her sometimes! Of course, it wouldn’t be much of a story if everything happened easily!
LOL. This was a tough journey for Eva because she had to change her views on practically everything she’d been taught to believe. I think that’s what made it so hard for her to decide what to do. If it were me...I probably resist more. I like my life just as it is!
Q: This book is the first in a series. Do you know the release dates of the next novels and is Eva going to be featured in those as well, or will there be different heroines?
Each novella will feature another Fallen hero with a different heroine, but all of the characters will play recurring roles as the series arc develops. In fact, the heroine of Book 2 walks in on Eva and Michael in a (ahem) compromising situation. So if you like the characters in Book 1, never fear, you’ll see them again!
Angel’s Desire, Book 2 of the Fallen Warriors Series, is set to release on June 15, 2011. (And wait until you see that cover; it’s smoking hawt!) There’s no set release date for Book 3 yet, but it will likely be toward the end of the year.
Thanks so much for having me here, and for these really interesting questions! It was a blast.