May has been officially declared as the “Interviewing the Indies” month. As such, all month there will be posts containing interviews with indie authors. Today’s guest is Ellie Di Julio, author of novel Inkchanger.
What do you have published?
I just self-published INKCHANGER, my first novel. It’s a YA magical realism sort of thing, set in a rustbelt city and filled with runaways, tattoos, secret agents, and delicious teen angst. There’s lots of dreamy imagery and intense emotion woven into the narrative. It’s also my first ever National Novel Writing Month attempt; four months from outline to Amazon!
What are you currently working on?
It’s funny – I told a friend after INKCHANGER came out that I wouldn’t write another one like it. Three hours later, I was scribbling furiously in my planning notebook.
The new work is a classic hero’s journey – the heroine, Cora, travels to another reality to discover the truth about herself. It explores multiple different ideas of what happens after you die, involves a handsome and mysterious stranger, and reminds you that you can make your own magic. It’s dark and strange, funny and touching. Like all good books should be, right? Think MirrorMask meets What Dreams May Come for the quarter-life crisis set.
How do you stay motivated?
Honestly? Fear. I’m at that point in my life where I look back and think, “What the hell have I actually done that was fun and worthwhile?” Until I started getting serious about my writing, it wasn’t much. My friends laugh when I tell them my schedule and goals because they’re so ambitious (two full novel drafts in two months, are you nuts?!), but I’m driven by the worry that I won’t leave behind anything that makes the world more beautiful. Perhaps not a popular answer, but there you go.
What has been the most challenging aspect of being an indie author?
It’s all very new to me, so it’s a difficult question to answer. I had a year’s worth of entrepreneurial experience before diving into being a Real Author Lady, and I think that’s helped a great deal. Understanding marketing and audience (and how to connect the two) is invaluable. So, where a lot of people worry about exposure and/or sales, I’m pretty comfortable there.
Framed in marketing terms, though, the most challenging thing for me just starting out as an indie author is that you have to keep writing, keep shipping. That’s how you get the word out. Used to be that an author could write one book a year, but even traditional publishing is ramping that up these days. Gotta keep searching for new ideas and really crank it to eleven.
As a writer, what is the one thing you cannot live without? Why?
I’m going to be an existential weirdo and say “time.” While I do suck down my fair share of tasty brown wake-up juice, and I can’t imagine writing books by hand, if I don’t feel like I’ve got the chronological space to really concentrate and dig in, I can’t function creatively.
… I just realized how diva that makes me sound. Ah, well. So be it.
You can purchase any of the Indie YA Books from amazon. Stay tuned for more Interviewing the Indies, happening all May long!