Indiana-based author Christine Rains is a multi-talented woman; a writer, blogger and geek mum with four degrees to her name. She’s published in a wide range of genres but always finds herself drawn back to the supernatural. We catch up with her to talk what-if questions and book marketing techniques that work.
What made you want to be a writer?
Ever since I was a small child, I was crafting stories. I still have tales I wrote when I was five. I lived in a small, poor place, but my imagination was large and rich. There has never been a time I remember that I didn’t write.
What inspires you to write?
Inspiration comes to me from many places, but one of my favorite games to play is asking what-if questions. What if there were monsters hiding in dark corners? What if Bigfoot was real and a stranded alien from another planet? What if we evolved in the oceans rather than out of them? You can question everything and twist it to wonder about other possibilities.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Never give up. Many times, it will feel like the world is against you, but that’s when you dig your heels in and push onward. Perseverance is key to success.
Any advice for approaching publishers?
Do your research. Know what the press publishes, what they’re looking for, who their editors are, what their contracts are like, and their history. It’s a tough market right now, tougher than it’s ever been, and if you want a publisher, be sure it is one standing on solid ground.
What do you think is the biggest marketing challenge for new authors?
The biggest challenge is getting their work in front of the eyes of readers. The market is saturated with books. There’s no magic formula for finding your audience and being seen amongst the thousands of other books. It requires a lot of patience.
What methods of book marketing do you find the most effective?
Two things have worked for me:
1. My blog. I get a lot of interaction on my blog, and I enjoy talking about not only my writing and books in general but other things in life that interest me.
2. Having one book permanently free to draw in new readers. I’ve had several readers email me and tell me they loved my free works so much they purchased my other books.
How do you handle rejection as a writer?
Some rejections I can shrug off and move on without a second thought. Other rejections make me wallow in misery, doubt my talent, and eat a lot of chocolate. While they can make me feel down, they also push me to learn more and improve my craft.
How do you deal with isolation, as writing is an inherently private exercise?
I revel in my alone time. I have never felt alone as there are always many characters chattering away in my head. Sometimes I can’t get the quiet I crave!
Is there anything else you’d like to share with aspiring writers?
Find out what works for you. Many authors will tell you the right way to write or how to market properly. There is no one way for everyone. You could be a plotter or a pantser, and you could find many followers on Facebook but none blogging. Each writer has a different path, and that path often changes. Be flexible.