The Adventures of Jecosan Tarres, discusses her book, her journey as a writer, and self-publishing on Kindle.
DAVID WISEHART: What can you tell us about The Adventures of Jecosan Tarres?
LAURA LOND: It is a fantasy adventure trilogy with a strong spiritual theme. Book 1, The Journey, begins the tale of Jecosan, a young blacksmith’s apprentice who must prevent a war between two powerful kingdoms. Seemingly simple and linear at first, the story expands, reaching new dimensions in The Palace, the second book, and even more so in the third installment, titled The Battle.
DAVID WISEHART: What research did you do for the series?
LAURA LOND: Mostly character study and world building. Since it is fantasy, I did not have to worry about it being historically accurate, but it still had to be solid and consistent. I enjoy European history, so I drew a lot from it. I guess it shows, some readers have commented that the settings of the book remind them of medieval Europe.
LAURA LOND: I “watch” them and “listen” to them, before I start writing and in the process. Each one has a biography, of which I might show only a glimpse to the reader, but I must know the rest, especially for the primary characters. Each one has a psychological profile, so to speak; I know how they are most likely to react in specific situations and why. I am saying “most likely” because sometimes they still surprise me. And of course people change as they live through different experiences, good or bad. Jecosan in Book 3 is different from Jecosan in Book 1.
DAVID WISEHART: Who do you imagine is your ideal reader?
LAURA LOND: Anyone who enjoys a fantasy adventure and does not mind spiritual themes. You don’t have to be a Christian to enjoy my books, but if you are, we’ll be on the same page from page one.
LAURA LOND: My first novel was published in 1999, by a small press publisher, after years of searching, sending queries, getting rejection letters, or being simply ignored. I thought I had made it—broke the publishing barrier, and things would go easier from that point on. I was wrong. Even though I did two more books with that publisher that had sold out and undergone a second edition, the dream of becoming a full-time writer and supporting myself with it remained a dream. When I moved from Europe to the United States in 2001, I had to play the query/rejection game all over again.
Today, I have 7 books, released here in the US and overseas. Some of them are published traditionally, others self-published. I have achieved moderate success, but there’s still a lot of work to do.
DAVID WISEHART: What is your writing process?
LAURA LOND: I usually see a glimpse of a story and start researching it, trying to “see” more. Most of the time I start working on what I have, writing down the scenes I already know, and the rest gradually reveals itself later. It’s a hard way to write. I’d prefer to have a detailed outline of the plot, but it doesn’t work for me that way.
DAVID WISEHART: What authors most inspire you?
LAURA LOND: C.S. Lewis and Charles Dickens. There are others as well, I am always inspired by a good book; but these two in many ways helped me to become a writer.
DAVID WISEHART: What one book, written by someone else, do you wish you'd written yourself?
LAURA LOND: Narnia!
DAVID WISEHART: How did you create your cover?
LAURA LOND: The cover was made by Vladimir Imakaev, a talented author and designer, for the Russian-language edition of The Journey that has come out in Kiev, Ukraine, this year. The picture of Jecosan was drawn by Alla Alekseyeva, the artist I work with when I do illustrated books. I asked the publisher’s permission to use this cover for my Kindle release here, and they agreed. Vladimir changed the title from Russian into English. He also had to move the title and author name around: Russian-language books usually have the author’s name at the top, book title at the bottom.
DAVID WISEHART: How have you marketed and promoted your work?
LAURA LOND: I am just starting with the Kindle releases. For paperbacks, I had contacted newspapers, magazines, numerous reviewers, owners of relevant websites and forums. From that experience, I can say that reviews work best, people trust them more than paid advertising. For Kindle books, I will concentrate on online promotion—interviews, reviews, perhaps some banner ads, too. I always look for new ways to reach my readers.
DAVID WISEHART: Why publish on Kindle?
LAURA LOND: Publishing on Kindle saves a lot of time—and frustration. You can have your book out and available to readers almost instantly. The query/agent game takes months, if not years. Having played several rounds of it, I was at the point of just dropping it all. Never again! I am very happy to have joined the Kindle revolution.
DAVID WISEHART: What advice would you give to a first-time author thinking of self-publishing on Kindle?
LAURA LOND: Learn all you can about proper formatting and make sure you’ve got your grammar and punctuation flawless. If you can’t do it yourself, find someone knowledgeable who can help you. It will be well worth the effort.
DAVID WISEHART: Thanks, and best of luck with your books.
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