Thursday

Kindle Author Interview: Fran Baker

Fran Baker, author of Romeo, Romeo, discusses her book, her journey as a writer, and self-publishing on Kindle.

DAVID WISEHART: What can you tell us about Romeo, Romeo?

FRAN BAKER: I love old b/w romantic comedies, and after watching Adam's Rib for, oh, the hundredth time, I got to thinking ... What if married attorneys were vying for the same judgeship? Now it helps that I'm a former court reporter and my husband is a retired judge, but the story, well, it just kind of took over and wrote itself. It's sexy and it's funny, at least in my opinion, and I hope readers enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

DAVID WISEHART: What do you think is the key to writing a great romance?

FRAN BAKER: Know your audience. If you're writing a sexy book, know that the inspirational readers probably won't buy it. And vice versa. Read your finished manuscript aloud. That's the best way to catch mistakes and inconsistencies. Enjoy what you're writing. If you don't enjoy writing it, no one will enjoy reading it. Don't try to copy anyone else's style or voice. Find your own style and your own voice, and you'll find your audience.

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

FRAN BAKER: None of my characters are the same, though they might share some similar physical characteristics. I can't tell you how I develop them ... they come to me about half-formed and I find out about them and their "secrets" as I write. Then when I rewrite, they're pretty much fully developed.

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

FRAN BAKER: Anyone looking for a good read and a break from reality.

DAVID WISEHART: What was your journey as a writer?

FRAN BAKER: I didn't realize it until my mother died, but I've written my whole life. She'd saved a box for each of her children with their "important" stuff in it. Mine consisted almost entirely of plays and stories I'd written (one of those plays, a James Dean-ish take on The Highwayman actually won a grade-school prize ... the prize being I got to read it over the intercom to the student body). While I was court reporting, I was writing short articles and sending them out. Then I started selling the articles and decided I'd like to write a book. Romances, particularly romances written by American writers, were just coming into their own, and one of my books, When Last We Loved by Judith Baker (pen name), wound up being a launch book for the still successful Silhouette Desire line.

DAVID WISEHART: What is your writing process?

FRAN BAKER: Currently, I do my daily post on my blog at www.DaughteroftheGreatDepression.blogspot.com, then I check my email, and then I write for three to four hours. I also own a small press, www.DelphiBooks.us, and I take care of that business in the early afternoon. In the evening I reread what I wrote, make some changes/corrections/revisions, then start again the next day.

DAVID WISEHART: What authors most inspire you?

FRAN BAKER: Oh, I'm not falling into that trap! LOL Any author whose book I read from start to finish inspires me.

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

FRAN BAKER: There's two, actually: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, the penultimate coming-of-age for girls; and Outlaw by Warren Kiefer, a wonderful historical novel that just grabbed me and wouldn't let me go. I've read both books numerous times and find something new and captivating in them every time.

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

FRAN BAKER: I blog. I do Facebook. I belong to Backlistebooks.com and participate in some of their promotions. I do interviews. And sometimes I think I still don't do enough. Got any suggestions?

DAVID WISEHART: Yes—Goodreads, Twitter, Kindleboards, Amazon communities, etc. But it's always better to focus on writing new books (he says, blogging). Why publish on Kindle?

FRAN BAKER: I think it has a worldwide reach, and Kindle appears to be the best-selling e-reader on the market. Plus, they have an efficient system for posting authors' books and for paying them on time.

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

FRAN BAKER: Before you self-publish, make sure you've written and rewritten your book, then read it aloud so you can catch the mistakes and inconsistencies. Or pay someone who professionally edits to go over it for you. Get a great cover—there's some really good sites with professional photos/graphics and they don't cost that much to buy. Again, use a professional if you're not proficient at creating cover art. (Here's where I get to say, I know of what I speak: Romeo, Romeo and The Widow and the Wilcatter have terrific sexy covers and sell well; When Last We Loved and Love in the China Sea have rather drab covers that will be redone but aren't selling all that well in the interim.)

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




ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Fran Baker's eleventh novel, The Talk of the Town, will be published in September 2011. Her twelfth novel is in progress. Fran's books have appeared on several bestseller lists and have been translated into more than twenty languages. She has conducted a number of writing workshops in the U.S. and in Canada, and she has spoken about writing for publication to local, national, and international audiences. She is a member of Novelists, Inc., the Authors Guild and the Society of Midland Authors; she blogs at DaughteroftheGreatDepression.blogspot.com and at RomancingTheYarn.blogspot.com with other authors who knit. Readers are invited to visit her Web sites at www.FranBaker.com and www.DelphiBooks.us.

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