Lee Ann

Recent AMA

January 1, 2018

I recent­ly ran an AMA event. For those who don’t know what that is — AMA is short for Ask Me Any­thing. It was inter­est­ing to see what kind of ques­tions cropped up. I’ve post­ed the entire thing below 🙂

 

If some­one offered you a film based on your book, will you accept it?

Yes, with stip­u­la­tions. I’ve seen too many authors be very dis­ap­point­ed in what hap­pens to their books when the TV/Film com­pa­nies get hold of them. I’d want to have input into the script, the things they change (because, let’s be hon­est, they’d change things!) and I’d def­i­nite­ly want to have some con­trol over the actor choic­es.

 

What inspired you to do this?

The AMA? I’ve read a few and they looked like fun. It’s always inter­est­ing to talk to peo­ple and see the kinds of things they want to know.

 

How and when did you start becom­ing inter­est­ed in the para­nor­mal, vam­pires and were­wolves?

I’ve always had an unhealthy(?) fas­ci­na­tion with the para­nor­mal, as well as myths and leg­ends. My dad used to read me Greek Myths, and the sto­ries of the Gods and mor­tals grabbed my imag­i­na­tion. It was only a small step side­ways into the realm of vam­pires and were­wolves!

I read Drac­u­la when I was around 10 for the first time and I was hooked.

 

How do you come up with unique char­ac­ters and sce­nar­ios when there are already so many sim­i­lar sto­ries that were cre­at­ed all these years?

There’s a the­o­ry that there are only sev­en basic plots from which all sto­ries derive. What we have to do, as writ­ers, is take those plots and weave them in a way to make it our own.

Writ­ing is a process — I start with an ini­tial idea. For exam­ple, in Bond­ed in Blood, I asked why don’t we see chil­dren as vam­pires very often, what would hap­pen if a child was turned. From that, the sto­ry arc was devel­oped and the char­ac­ters put into play.

 

What is the best advice you ever received from men­tors or oth­er authors that you have applied to your work?

Don’t edit as you write. Fin­ish the first draft — just keep writ­ing. Don’t wor­ry about it being rub­bish or hav­ing scenes that you won’t use. Just keep writ­ing. Once you’ve fin­ished the first draft, set it aside for a cou­ple of weeks and do some­thing else, any­thing else! Take a break and then go back and reread a cou­ple of times before edit­ing.

 

How did you come up with so much courage to pub­lish your book when there are so many more famous authors around?

There being more famous authors wasn’t even a con­sid­er­a­tion. I read a lot, as well as write, and enjoy many gen­res — I read both tra­di­tion­al­ly pub­lished and self-pub­lished authors.

What it came down to was hav­ing a sto­ry to tell and want­i­ng to share it — that’s why I pub­lished. Noth­ing to do with courage 🙂

 

Does it take long to look for a pub­lish­er to help me release my book or should I risk it and self-pub­lish instead?

There is no guar­an­tee that a pub­lish­er will release your book. Most pub­lish­ers require sub­mis­sions to be sent through an agent, although many will also have peri­ods where they will ask for una­gent­ed sub­mis­sions — you need to mon­i­tor their social media/websites for infor­ma­tion on that.

Tra­di­tion­al pub­lish­ing is not easy or guar­an­teed. But only you can decide whether you want to reach out to them or whether you will go the self-pub­lished route instead.

Self-pub­lish­ing is, obvi­ous­ly, quick­er — but even that takes time. You still need to ensure your book is prop­er­ly proof-read, edit­ed, beta read and a pro­fes­sion­al cov­er is designed.  Once you’ve done all that, you also have to adver­tise and mar­ket it. Writ­ing the book is only the first step.

 

Do you think the vam­pires and were­wolves kind of sto­ries are already overused?

No more than any oth­er genre. Romance, Fan­ta­sy, Hor­ror — if you dig deep inside the major­i­ty of the sto­ries with­in each genre, you’ll find the plots most­ly the same, just tweaked by the author to add their own flair to it.

It’s the same for Para­nor­mal fic­tion — it’s been in the pub­lic eye a lot over recent years, which accounts for why it seems sud­den­ly so much more preva­lent, but a quick search through books and you’ll find this genre has been around for a long long time.

So long as you bring a new spin on the sub­ject, then there’s always room for more sto­ries using a cer­tain type of char­ac­ter 🙂

 

Do you think you’ll come out with a set of new nov­els for Bond­ed in Blood to turn it into a series?Do you think you’ll come out with a set of new nov­els for Bond­ed in Blood to turn it into a series?

It’s intend­ed to be a series. The sec­ond book (Blood Carousel) is almost com­plete — about to go into edit­ing and book cov­er design stage. Book three has been start­ed 🙂

 

If there’s any tip you can share with oth­er aspir­ing writ­ers, what would it be?

Can I give two?

Don’t give up!  It doesn’t mat­ter if what you’re writ­ing has been done before — it hasn’t been done in your voice.

Always hire an edi­tor! It doesn’t mat­ter how good you are at spelling or gram­mar, you won’t see all your errors in your man­u­script. Find a good edi­tor and have them go over it at least once before you send it out to beta read­ers.

 

If giv­en the chance, would you rather have Bond­ed in Blood turned into a movie or a TV show?

TV Show. Bond­ed in Blood, while like the upcom­ing books in the series, can be read as a stand­alone sto­ry, is actu­al­ly the begin­ning of a series and all the books do link togeth­er. I think a TV show would be far more inter­est­ing to do.

 

They say that when writ­ing sto­ries, it’s more dif­fi­cult to scare a per­son than mak­ing them cry; how do you make sure your con­tent is good enough for the para­nor­mal niche?

I don’t write para­nor­mal hor­ror, so scar­ing peo­ple isn’t real­ly the aim of our books. If any­thing, we’re more inclined to be a para­nor­mal thriller — so there’s mys­tery, with a high focus on the para­nor­mal ele­ments and a slight hint of romance.

 

While writ­ing para­nor­mal sto­ries, do you ever feel scared your­self?

No. I’ve always been fas­ci­nat­ed by the paranormal/supernatural. From an ear­ly age, I was drawn to sto­ries that involved the unex­plained — ghosts, witch­es, vam­pires, etc.

 

What/Who inspired you to deal with vam­pires and were­wolves?

The mythol­o­gy behind vam­pires is fas­ci­nat­ing. I dis­cov­ered Bram Stoker’s Drac­u­la quite ear­ly in my read­ing life — although the first time I tried to read it, i didn’t real­ly under­stand it (I must have been around 9 or 10). I loved Christo­pher Lee’s rep­re­sen­ta­tion of Drac­u­la in the Ham­mer films and always felt Drac got a bit of a raw deal (hah!)

I’ve writ­ten sto­ries for almost as long as I’ve been able to read and all, bar none, have always had some ele­ment of the para­nor­mal in them, usu­al­ly vam­pires!

 

Why did you want to become an author and is this job able to sus­tain your lifestyle and dai­ly needs finan­cial­ly?

I’ve always been a writer. A day doesn’t go by where I don’t write some­thing.

It’s only recent­ly I decid­ed to try pub­lish­ing any­thing, so as yet no it’s not able to sus­tain my lifestyle or dai­ly needs.

But, I also can’t not write.

 

Did you ever come at a point when you doubt­ed your­self and your writ­ing skills while writ­ing this book?

I think self-doubt is some­thing every writer suf­fers from. You just have to push through it and keep on going. Get­ting feed­back from peo­ple you don’t know helps (or not, if the feed­back is bad!).

 

If your book doesn’t include high school girls and things teens usu­al­ly like, what’s your tar­get age brack­et for your read­ers?

Not teenagers 😉

My books are tar­get­ted toward adults, they’re not YA or New Adult or what­ev­er cur­rent “in-term” is being used for books mar­ket­ed at a younger audi­ence.

 

Do you per­son­al­ly believe that there’s tru­ly para­nor­mal activ­i­ty in this world we live in?

I do believe that there are things out there that we haven’t been able to explain — be that ghosts, imprints, rem­nants, etc.

 

Where do you draw inspi­ra­tion when writ­ing nov­els to make sure that yours is unique?

Usu­al­ly the sto­ry will start with some­thing I’ve seen in pass­ing, a sit­u­a­tion or even just a per­son that sparks an idea and I’ll end up with a “what if” sce­nario. From there, I’ll expand on it, sam­pling dif­fer­ent reac­tions to that “what if” and a sto­ry will devel­op from there.

 

Who is yr all time favourite author?

I have to pick just one? I don’t think I can do that! It depends on the genre. I love Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Kel­ley Arm­strong, Patri­cia Brig­gs, Ter­ry Good­kind, David Eddings, Jim Butch­er, Gena Showal­ter. They’re authors I’ll reread hap­pi­ly and often.

 

Has being a author always been yr dream?

I’ve always writ­ten, but nev­er seri­ous­ly con­sid­er­ing going ahead and pub­lish­ing until a cou­ple of years ago — when I shared an ear­ly draft of Bond­ed in Blood with a friend, who demand­ed to know more and pushed me to take it fur­ther.

So, in a way, no being an author hasn’t always been my dream, but being a writer has always been part of my life  — if that makes sense.

 

Who is yr favourite char­ac­ter in bond­ed in blood?

Oh gosh.. that’s dif­fi­cult.

I adore Mor­gan and Taz — sep­a­rate­ly and togeth­er. I love Kane, I love Fal­lon 😀

 

Will there be a sec­ond book to bond­ed in blood?

There’s a sec­ond book in the series (Blood Carousel) due out ear­ly next year (we’re hop­ing Feb­ru­ary) but Mor­gan and Taz won’t be the leads in that one, although they do drop in and take part.

The third book does return to Taz and Mor­gan, how­ev­er, with them tak­ing the cen­tral roles once again 🙂

 

How do you keep up with all the pop­u­lar nov­els that come out to make sure that yours stand out?

I don’t. I don’t wor­ry about what every­one else is doing. I write the sto­ry that I have in mind.

 

 

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