Kindle Author Interview: Courtney Schaffer

Courtney Schaffer, author of The Story of Anna McGee, discusses her book, her journey as a writer, and self-publishing on Kindle.

DAVID WISEHART: What can you tell us about The Story of Anna McGee?

COURTNEY SCHAFFER: My story is about Emmie who works as a psychologist with the Edmonton Police. A horrible, tragic murder happened and Anna McGee is the only survivor. Emmie is told to interview Anna and find out what happened. Anna scares Emmie to the core and keeps luring Emmie back. Emmie must balance work, a secret relationship, and find out what happened in the McGee house in order to have her happily ever after that she deserves.

The Story of Anna McGee is my first short horror/romance story. I'm working on a vampire series entitled The Livia Winter Trilogy and two romance short stories.

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

COURTNEY SCHAFFER: Developing my characters is definitely a process. I find little traits in myself and others that I include in my characters. I like writing a paragraph or two about my characters and including their looks, interests, and dislikes to develop their personalities. It helps me get a feel for who they are and how they think.

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

COURTNEY SCHAFFER: My ideal reader is likely female with an age range of late teens to late forties. They could truly be any age.

DAVID WISEHART: What was your journey as a writer?

COURTNEY SCHAFFER: Anna McGee is my first published short. It took a lot of courage to publish it and put it out there. I'm fairly new so criticism is expected. I have published poetry here and there for practice. I'm working on editing the few shorts I have to add to Kindle. I'm fairly inexperienced with publishing and starting out. It can be a daunting task.

DAVID WISEHART: What is your writing process?

COURTNEY SCHAFFER: My house is hectic and loud with my husband, our son, and two dogs. I wait until everyone has gone to bed for the night and I start writing around 11pm. My desk is by a window so I can sit down with my laptop or paper and pen and write in peace.

DAVID WISEHART: What authors most inspire you?

COURTNEY SCHAFFER: Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Charlaine Harris, and Michael Crichton.

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

COURTNEY SCHAFFER: Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton or Misery by Stephen King. They both took risks and pushed boundaries.

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

COURTNEY SCHAFFER: I've marketed my story on Kindle and Smashwords. I plan to market all of my shorts and my Livia Winter Trilogy the same way. I've promoted through forums, Twitter, and Facebook, blog interviews, and book reviews.

DAVID WISEHART: Why publish on Kindle?

COURTNEY SCHAFFER: I've sent numerous queries and submissions for the stories and books that I have written. After reading on a forum about Kindle publishing I figured I should give it a try. It's an interesting process taking everything I have, editing on my own, creating my own covers, and publishing it. It can be depressing when a writer wants to be published so badly and every query or submission is returned.

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

COURTNEY SCHAFFER: My advice is to never give up. The first story might not be the greatest but reviews, advice, and interviews help so much. It helps to gain confidence to take that next step with your writing. You have to push yourself and not be afraid to write your heart out, regardless of what anyone thinks. If your first story doesn't do well then work on a new one and make it ten times better! Keep trying!

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


Courtney Schaffer writes, "It's simple. I'm a mommy, wife, and writer. I love to travel and fly. I love listening to music as much as I can. I love movies, theater, and television. I've been writing short stories, novels, songs, and poetry since I was 10. I enjoy baking, painting, and writing outside."

Read her blog.

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