The Demon Girl, discusses her book, her journey as a writer, and self-publishing on Kindle.
DAVID WISEHART: What can you tell us about The Demon Girl?
PENELOPE FLETCHER: The Demon Girl is book one in a young adult series called the Rae Wilder Novels. It follows an 18 year old girl who lives in a dystopian society created after an event called the Rupture, a worldwide event where supernatural creatures—demons—rose up and took over the earth. Mankind barricaded themselves behind a wall to keep themselves safe, but the lead character Rae (having issues with rules and authority) ventures outside the safety of the wall into demon territory. Her world is blown apart when she learns she is a long lost fairy destined to stop the world from falling further into chaos.
DAVID WISEHART: How do you develop and differentiate your characters?
PENELOPE FLETCHER: In this case I didn't develop my characters they developed themselves, strange as it sounds. As I wrote their actions and decisions took on a life of their own and dictated how they came across to the reader. How my supporting characters turned out depended on how I wanted them to react and interact with my lead character (Rae). And for those interactions to be meaningful and engaging those supporting characters needed to be interesting to hold her attention. Depending on their culture or upbringing I changed the way they spoke, moved, and reacted to her. It's difficult for me to explain—I'm a character driven writer and most of the time they suddenly pop into my head with a story to be told.
DAVID WISEHART: Who do you imagine is your ideal reader?
PENELOPE FLETCHER: Anyone open to a new experience, those youthful in heart and outlook. People who tend to enjoy the book the most are those who can accept life sometimes drags you along and you have to roll with the punches—rather than trying to control and understand everything.
DAVID WISEHART: What was your journey as a writer?
PENELOPE FLETCHER: Disjointed and manic. First and foremost I'm a reader, but one day I sat down started typing and out popped the writer in me. It took me two years to finish The Demon Girl since it was a project that got attention on the weekends. I wrote the second book in three months as I was motivated by the success of book one, was able to organize my thoughts better, and had defined characters to work with. I can see myself maturing and growing as a writer and I'm excited for the release of my second book, A Demon Day, out June this year.
DAVID WISEHART: What is your writing process?
PENELOPE FLETCHER: Nothing complicated. I sit down, put my headphones on, and tell myself I have to write a scene and keep at it until it's done. As my story lines tend to follow my lead character around like a shadow a scene can be quite long. I end up loosing entire weekends to writing, but I find working from an outline or in measured time periods slows me down. I start to over-think everything and waste my energy on making things gel rather than relying on my imagination to do what I think it does best—tell a story.
DAVID WISEHART: What authors most inspire you?
PENELOPE FLETCHER: This question always gets me because there are so many. I'm probably most inspired by the late Robert Jordan. His world building in the Wheel of Time series is phenomenal. I love how Sophie Kinsella can infuse every line with gut busting humor, and Charlaine Harris’ use of language is engaging and unique. That's quite a broad range of authors, and there are others, but those three always immediately jump to mind.
DAVID WISEHART: What one book, written by someone else, do you wish you'd written yourself?
PENELOPE FLETCHER: Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane. Sigh. That book rocked my world.
DAVID WISEHART: How have you marketed and promoted your work?
PENELOPE FLETCHER: No different from other indie's. Interviews, Twitter, Book Buzzr, my blog Fiction Fierce, and my Facebook page, which I find amazing—that so many people take the time to write on my wall or partake in discussions. People who "get" my book really get it, and let me know, which is invaluable when it comes to dealing with negative reviews. I'm also going to be doing a giveaway on WattPad, which is a great way for me to reach my target readership. Actively promoting on a more regular basis would no doubt increase my books visibility, but I know I still have a lot to learn before I can pull together a coherent marketing plan (I've only been at this for four months) but I'm confident over the next year my knowledge will continue to grow. My promotion for the second book will be smoother.
DAVID WISEHART: Why publish on Kindle?
PENELOPE FLETCHER: Ah, I read someone's blog post and they praised it to high heaven. After a while I realized I had to get my book in the Kindle store since it was described as so easy, and key to establishing a loyal readership. There was no reason for me not to be published on the Kindle—the bandwagon was there and I gleefully jumped on it. To date Kindle downloads account for a third of my total downloads—and the book has been available on the platform the shortest amount of time amongst all the eStores—so definitely a good move.
DAVID WISEHART: What advice would you give to a first-time author thinking of self-publishing on Kindle?
PENELOPE FLETCHER: Run away screaming? I'm joking. My advice is to do your research. Check out similar book prices, covers and blurbs. Would you buy that ebook? Why not? Make sure you're presenting yourself and the work you've invested so much into in the best light possible...then improve it tenfold and you're ready.
DAVID WISEHART: Thanks, and best of luck with your books.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Penelope Fletcher is 22 years old, was born in the UK, and lives in London with her fiancé. The Demon Girl is her first novel.
Visit her website, read her blog, find her on facebook, and follow her on twitter.
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