Thanks to Losing the Plot in L.A. author Sonia Farnsworth for stopping by with this Q&A!
When did you know writing was for you?
I’ve been writing stories since I was a child, it’s always been very cathartic and fun for me as I could let my imagination go wild and write stories. As I got older I realized that I loved to people watch so I began make up stories about them and their lives. In 4th grade the teacher asked the class to write on the chalk board what we wanted to be when we grew up. I wrote that I wanted to be a writer and you could see how unimpressed the class was, like how boring. The rest of the class wrote exciting things like Fireman, Policeman, Doctor, Actress, and Rock star, while looking at me like I was a total duffus which is not far off the mark as that is exactly what I am….a dork who loves to write!
Why was Losing the Plot in LA a book you wanted to write?
What inspired me to finally start the novel I had always planned to write was a boyfriend who drove me absolutely crazy! Crying at my desk one rainy afternoon after a huge fight (one of many) with Mr. Hot/Cold & Non-Comital, I hit the proverbial wall. I couldn’t take the emotional rollercoaster anymore so I dumped him and immediately started writing on my robot looking prehistoric MAC computer and couldn’t stop! I wrote for days without stopping. That being said the story is pretty hilarious as well as emotional. The original title was “Losing the Plot” but my publisher suggested adding the “In LA” since it all takes place in Hollywood/LA area. I always knew I’d write a novel, I just wasn’t sure when I would start, thank you Mr. Wanker!
I love your cover! Can you tell us who created it and how much input you had?
Thank you! I had a vision in mind of exactly what I wanted so I went searching for stock art to get it started. I found my characters and then added the El Coyote Logo and the Hollywood sign with a help of a fantastic graphic artist at my publisher (Mascot Books). They put it all together for me. It was a work in progress for quite some time but then we finally got it! THEN I started doubting myself thinking it might look too juvenile and a couple friends agreed. I then tried to change it and nothing felt right so my BFF said “listen to your gut” and I did, so here you have it. The moral of the story, don’t ask too many people’s opinions and always listen to your intuition! I’m so glad you love it!
What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?
Editing! It drives me nuts, I can’t seem to stop. I have so many ideas so I don’t really get writers block per se, actually I have writer’s diarrhea– new thoughts and ideas spewing everywhere, it’s just piecing them together and making sense of it all…wait, maybe that is writers block LOL. I actually get “editor’s block”. I can get so stuck in the editing process that it can take me hours just to edit one page and it’s hard to know when to stop.
What are your favorite genres to read?
I love to read biographies and nonfiction…go figure, not a lot of Chick Lit. That being said my favorite fiction choices are good love stories. I am a sucker for a happy ending!!
What do you want readers to take away from your story?
Don’t ever beat yourself up over bad relationship choices and your stupidity while in them. We’ve all been there (well most of us) and have experienced those crazy, painful, confusing, emotions and think we’re the only ones with these feelings. I would like women, and men, to know that those experiences are what have gotten us to where we are today….hopefully much wiser LOL. Eventually we grow up and take responsibility for our own bad behavior as well. Bottom line is experiencing life and making mistakes is what makes life so interesting and fun!
How important do you think social media is for authors these days?
VERY important in my opinion. I started an Instagram and Twitter account just for “Losing the Plot in LA” (not a personal account) and aside from my personal Facebook Page I added a “Losing the Plot in LA” Page as well. I made a commitment to post something minimally a couple times a week. I also try to follow other authors and bloggers and eventually ask asking them to review my book and do an interview….like you are doing now…thank you! Social Media is where most of the activity goes down.
What would be your advice to aspiring writers?
Take writing very seriously, as if it’s your day job. If you can’t write 8 hours a day make a plan to write minimally for at least an hour which will usually turn into much more once you get the juices flowing! No getting out of your chair, no circling the fridge, no emails, no texting, just stay in your chair and write! Focus on that hour and you’ll be amazed at how a little adds up to a lot and eventually a book!
Call local book stores to get your book stocked and then ask for a signing. I’ve learned that book stores need assistance on how to get creative in featuring the book or it will just sit hidden on the shelf.
Don’t pigeonhole your book into one demographic; assuming only that audience will like it. For example, I assumed only women would like my book since its Chick Lit. “Losing the Plot in LA” has been a huge success with men as well as women. I was surprised when I read the reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. My friends’ boyfriends and husbands told me how much they loved it! I never thought they would even read it.
Get out there and do book signings. I googled every B&N from LA to San Diego and asked, “Who is in charge of your book signings?” At Barnes and Noble it’s usually the Community Relations Manager or CRM. It’s amazing, when you’re nice and polite how many people will try to help you. I am very persistent, follow up is key as they are very busy and many authors are calling and emailing them constantly.
Have fun, catchy, bookmarks made and pass them out everywhere you go. I give them to people that I think will enjoy the book and I ask retail stores if I can leave a few on their front desk. I’m always armed with books and bookmarks wherever I go. If I’m at happy hour I pass the bookmarks out to the entire bar, you just never know who you’ll meet and it’s a great conversation starter!