Kindle Author Interview: Sylvia Massara

Sylvia Massara, author of The Other Boyfriend, discusses her book, her journey as a writer, and self-publishing on Kindle.

DAVID WISEHART: What can you tell us about The Other Boyfriend?

SYLVIA MASSARA: The Other Boyfriend is a quirky romantic comedy that has our heroine going to great lengths to land the man she thinks she’s in love with. Sarah is has just turned 40 and she’s feeling the pinch of a life unfulfilled: she’s trying to establish herself in her business and most importantly, wanting to settle down and start a family before it’s too late. She is running out of time, however, and as a result she will resort to any madcap scheme that comes along as long as it will help her secure her man.

DAVID WISEHART: How do you develop and differentiate your characters?

SYLVIA MASSARA: I put myself in the each of the character’s shoes and ask, what would I do if I were this person. How would I react? What are my values?

DAVID WISEHART: Who do you imagine is your ideal reader?

SYLVIA MASSARA: This kind of book will appeal to any lover of chick lit, with special meaning to those in their 30s and 40s, because they will relate to Sarah and why she feels time is running out. Having said this, I had readers as young as 16 years of age who loved the novel.

DAVID WISEHART: What was your journey as a writer?

SYLVIA MASSARA: I’ve been writing since my early teens. First, just for fun, but as I grew older I became really interested in film and wrote a number of screenplays, some of which grabbed the interest of several film distributors. Sadly, the money was always a problem. Most writers are expected to already have access to funds and a director and producer attached to the project. This put me off screenplays and I turned to novels. At least I could produce my own novel without having to raise any money, and if some producer comes along in future and wants to take a film option on any of my books, all the better.

DAVID WISEHART: What is your writing process?

SYLVIA MASSARA: I don’t seem to have a particular writing process. I simply get inspired by something and suddenly a whole story pops into my head, then all I do is start writing. Usually I find the characters tend to drive the story from inside my head ☺

DAVID WISEHART: What authors most inspire you?

SYLVIA MASSARA: Authors like Harper Lee, Truman Capote, and the more classic authors like Jane Austen and Charles Dickens inspire me. In terms of modern authors, I’ve read a lot of good ones and some not so good; but my taste is quite eclectic and I don’t have any particular author that inspires me.

DAVID WISEHART: What one book, written by someone else, do you wish you'd written yourself?

SYLVIA MASSARA: To Kill a Mockingbird.

DAVID WISEHART: How did you create your cover?

SYLVIA MASSARA: I had a friend do it on Photoshop. I told her what I had in mind and she ran with the concept.

DAVID WISEHART: How have you marketed and promoted your work?

SYLVIA MASSARA: I have a website, of course, but most of my marketing and promotion is done through my virtual TV show blog “The Lit Chick Show.” I feature fellow authors in this show, but at the end of the day people will also read about me. So you might call this “indirect marketing.” Also word of mouth and social media. Very important to get involved with readers, but not to blatantly promote your work. It’s more a word of mouth thing.

DAVID WISEHART: Why publish on Kindle?

SYLVIA MASSARA: Kindle has the biggest slice of the market when it comes to ebooks and most of my sales come from here. I’ve published through all other ebook retailers, but Amazon is the best.

DAVID WISEHART: What advice would you give to a first-time author thinking of self-publishing on Kindle?

SYLVIA MASSARA: Be sure that your work is tip top before you publish. Ebooks might be cheap, but readers still expect a well written book with no typos. The other thing is to make sure that you’re prepared to market yourself and get out and about through the social media, etc. There are hundreds of thousands of ebooks out there and if you don’t get exposure, no one is going to know about you.

DAVID WISEHART: Thanks, and best of luck with your books.


Sylvia Massara has been writing since her early teens and has written a number of plays, screenplays and, most recently, novels. Massara lives in Sydney, Australia, with husband, Nick, and four-legged daughter, Mitzy.

Visit her website.

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