Author Interview: Holly Martin

holly martinCan you describe Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky  in a tweet (140 characters or less)?

Amongst the glittering snow, two best friends have a second chance at love in the magical winter wonderland of Stardust Lake Hotel

What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?

Me and my parents always give each giant toblerones every year and because of their distinctive triangle shape we always go to great lengths to try to disguise it. We always play board games after dinner, normally Cluedo and I love that time together as a family

What are you currently reading?

Big Sexy Love by Kirsty Greenwood, its brilliant

cranberryI love your cover! Can you tell us who created it and how much input you had?

A wonderful designer call Emma Rogers designed it and then the team at Bonnier added tons of glitter. When i first spoke to Bonnier, I told them it was my dream to see my book on shelves covered in glitter and Bonnier absolutely delivered.

How important do you think social media is for authors these days?

I think it’s very important, it allows the readers to be able to talk with authors and have an instant connection with them. I love being able to talk with readers and bloggers

Are you currently working on another novel?

Yes a new series set in Cornwall with 3 gorgeous brothers, it will be out next year

Author Q&A with Me!

Happy Wednesday! Recently when chatting about my books on Snapchat, I got quite a few questions on writing, publishing, and my books in general. I decided to do an open call for questions and answer a handful of them here! I hope this little Q&A gives you some ideas, inspiration, or just helps you learn a little more about me! I did ask for names and locations and some people sent that information in as well and some didn’t. At the end I’ll go through the questions without names or the repeat questions. If you want to see another Q&A with me in the future please let me know, and if you don’t have me on Snapchat yet, check the right hand side of this page for my little ghost or add me at Samantha.March

 

destined to fail new cover1Sara – Columbia

Q: How does it feel to be a published author? Is there more judgement involved?

A: It feels fantastic! Being an author was a dream I had since I was nine, so to know I never gave up on that and made it happen with a ton of hard work is very rewarding. There is definitely a lot of judgement that comes with it though. Some people can be absolutely brutal in their feedback and reviews, and even attack an author personally, which is incredibly sad. I know my books will not be loved by everybody because that’s simply impossible, but it’s taken some time to build up my thick skin so those hurtful comments don’t sting so much anymore!

 

Danial – Wisconsin

Q: What or who motivates or inspires you to come up with things to write about?

A: Honestly, a lot of my inspiration comes from my own life. There are things that I’ve gone through– such as sexual abuse that is featured in my first novel, work abuse that is featured in my second– and I’ve thought, of course other people have to be going through this as well or dealing with something similar. Why not write that into a story and have a happy ending, a silver lining, or a life lesson? Writing is also very therapeutic to me. It can help give me clarity or even just closure on situations from my past.

 

Elizabeth – Missouri

Q: I see you doing so much: yoga, makeup, Youtube videos, blog posts PLUS you write books. How do you do it all?  Do you have a day job?

A: I have always been someone who wants to be doing 5 things at once. I feel uneasy and bored and restless when I don’t have multiple projects happening. I don’t know why, but it’s just the way I work! But everything that I do, I do it because I have a passion for it. I’ve been lucky to be able to figure out a way to turn my passions into jobs and careers. But it takes a lot of dedication. I don’t watch TV. I rarely go out. You won’t find me playing games on my phone. I work constantly, and one of the hardest things I’ve had to overcome is being a true workaholic. It’s been challenging to find a good work/life balance, especially since leaving my “real” job two years ago. I worked in administration at a hospital and left the summer of 2014 to go full-time with my dreams. It was a bigger struggle than I thought, because I feel guilty taking time off. I think if I’m not working I’m not making money because I don’t have that steady paycheck coming every two weeks. I had to check myself within the first months of being full-time because I was running myself into the ground. It’s taken awhile, but I feel like I’ve finally figured out a good system that works for me.

 

Up To I DoSara –  Texas

Q: How do you determine how much time to spend on what?

A: I never really know, honestly. Each day varies. When I’m working on book for myself, I need to mostly put my focus into that. When I’m writing, especially a first draft, I want it written within six months. I’m constantly reading, and sometimes I can find what I read affects my own voice, and I need that voice to stay consistent the whole way out, or else my story is a mess and it will take me a long time to get through re-writes. When Marching Ink is putting out a new book, I put my heart and soul (and the majority of hours of my day) into that project. Another author is putting their dreams into my hands, and I take that very seriously. I tend to do writing work more during the day, and at night that’s when I get to work on editing Youtube videos, writing my blog posts, etc.  I answer emails and keep up on social media throughout the day, but that’s the typically the balance that I have found works best for me.

 

A few more questions…

 

Q: What advice can you give to aspiring writers?

A: Just write. So many people worry about the end product – the editing, the publishing, the marketing – but don’t focus on getting the book written first. To do all that other stuff requires a book, and no one is going to write it for you!

Q: Where are your books sold out?

A: My books are all on Amazon in eBook and paperback form.  A few are also available on other retailers such as Barnes & Noble and Kobo.

Q: What was a big surprise to you when publishing?

A: How easy it was. I don’t mean the writing, the editing, even the marketing, but the actual act of publishing a book. I thought there would be a ton of hoops to jump through, but after you have the final product and obtain an ISBN, actually putting it for sale on Amazon and other retailers was a fairly simple process.

Q: When is your next book coming out?

A: Hopefully by the end of this year!

 

Connect with me!

My Books: https://www.amazon.com/Samantha-March/e/B005ZWOGJY

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDnb5YAcjk7pnu25YckVL6g

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marchbeautyword/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BySamanthaMarch

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/samanthamarchauthor

Snapchat: Samantha.March



 

Author Interview & Novel Spotlight: The Tulip Factory by Kacie Davis Idol

Author Interview

kacie idolWhen did you know writing was for you?

My 5th grade teacher told my mom that my writing skills were beyond my age group. I already liked to write and I feel like that little bit of acknowledgement was just the amount of encouragement I needed. From there on writing was “my thing.” I started out with mostly poetry and journal entries until high school and college when I really got into short stories and blogging.

Why was The Tulip Factory a book you wanted to write?

The Tulip Factory has been something I knew I wanted to write since my junior year of college. I honestly wasn’t 100% sure at the time what it was going to be about but I knew the title before I even began. Then piece by piece it started forming as little blog posts here or a poem there, with rhymes and clever puns about blossoming. One day I realized that all these blog posts were telling different parts of the same story. I was already creating the story and I didn’t even know it.

I love your cover! Can you tell us who created it and how much input you had?

Thank you so much! Creating the cover was so much fun and I actually had a ton of input! Inkshares, the publisher, has an amazing team and we had conference calls where I was able to brainstorm and discuss my vision. I am obsessed with autumn in North Carolina so having the fall colored leaves in the picture was a must. The red front door was my original idea for the cover and we just kind of went from there.

What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?

The hardest part for me is just finding some downtime to really get into whatever I’m working on. My time can be pretty limited with a toddler and working a full-time job so I wrote most of this book either at 5:00 a.m. or midnight. Luckily I’m a coffee person so that always helps!

What are your favorite genres to read?

I really get into realistic fiction and am naturally drawn to the “chick lit” genre. I love a good romantic comedy and am a sucker for tragicomedies. I’ve recently read a few more suspenseful type, dramatic fiction novels but they’ve all had female characters I could relate to. I think the key to my heart is being relatable.

What do you want readers to take away from your story?

I just want people to feel inspired and rejuvenated at any stage of life. One thing I have realized the older I get is that there isn’t this magical age where everything finally makes sense and life just takes off. It’s all a learning experience and it’s truly never too late to do something different. Change your mind, follow a dream, get on a plane.

How important do you think social media is for authors these days?

I feel like it’s important to stay connected and to show your true colors and that’s why I like social media, in a way it can make you feel closer to people. And for authors, a simple hashtag and photo of your book can really make waves across social media. It’s pretty incredible to see!

What would be your advice to aspiring writers?

My advice is to never hold back when it comes to writing. Not everyone will always like everything you have to say and that’s okay. Just don’t compromise your thoughts and words out of fear of people’s opinions. Some will love it, some will hate it and some people just won’t understand you, period. As writers we aren’t meant to make sense to everyone, but to those people who get us, to those people who take to heart and value our words, we can make sense of everything.

the tulip factoryAn Excerpt

Prologue: Corinne

When I was little, I was the flower girl in my aunt’s wedding. She was your true eighties rocker chick, and even in 1990, she was still clinging to her preferred decade, shoulder pads and all. The late-spring wedding was full of blue dresses, yellow corsages, and really big hair.

I can remember it like it was yesterday; we were sitting in the elder’s room of my family’s church before the ceremony. The scent of hairspray and old hymnals permeated the air. Back then my hair was much blonder and way curlier than it is now, and my mom had neatly pulled the front back with an oversize yellow bow. I sat on the floor in the corner of the room, twirling my empty flower girl basket in circles. It was painted white and had a yellow ribbon threaded through the handle to complement the wedding theme.

The florist had just arrived with a cardboard box full of carefully arranged white roses, also tied with yellow ribbons. She began passing out the bouquets to the bridal party, starting with the bride. One by one, the overzealous group of women in their puffy-sleeved dresses and stiff bangs eagerly took their budding bundles. I waited patiently with my empty basket for my white rose petals to sprinkle down the aisle.

My parents had been talking me up for weeks, so I was excited for my big debut. I had practiced multiple times during the wedding rehearsal, and I knew exactly when to walk and where to stand. I was a quiet child. I did what I was told without causing a scene, and I didn’t like getting into trouble. Once all the bouquets had been handed out, the giddy bridal party beamed proudly and got into position, ready to make their way down the aisle. That’s when my mom came in to check on everyone and to join the procession as the maid of honor. Noticing my bare basket, she hurried over and squatted down beside me, getting on my level.

“Sweetie, where are your rose petals?” she asked.

I had never gotten my rose petals. The florist had completely forgotten them. My aunt began freaking out, the florist started to panic, and the bridesmaids kept teasing their hair, pretending to be worried at the same time. Just then, my dad came busting through the door like a superhero. (Maybe he didn’t “bust” through the door, but that’s how it plays out in my memory.) He came straight over to me, and my mom told him about the latest wedding debacle. She was shaking her head and trying to calm my aunt by offering to tear some petals off of her own bouquet for me to throw. Apparently that “wasn’t an option.” That’s when my dad spoke up. He announced that he had an idea, kissed my mom on the cheek, and left the room in a hurry.

My aunt paced the floor and stared at the clock. It was a small room, and it was starting to feel smaller by the second. My stomach rumbled from hunger, and the hairspray fumes were making me dizzy. Just as I thought I was going to have to eat the sugar cubes next to the coffee maker, my dad came running through the door. His cheeks were flushed and he was out of breath. Before my mom could even ask where he had been for the last ten minutes, he made a beeline for me, holding something wrapped in brown paper.

He unwrapped the thin package and pulled out a handful of fresh yellow tulips. He eased himself down to the floor by my side and smiled. My aunt peered over his shoulder and commented on how the flowers didn’t look like roses. He immediately shushed her. Not only were they not roses, but they were certainly not white. He started pulling the petals off and dropping them into my basket, then handed me the other tulip and told me to do the same. My dad had saved the day and also my shining moment as a flower girl. I’ll never forget what he said to me next.

“This is your moment, baby girl. If the world is all white roses, then you’re a field of tulips.”