Read about authors from all over the world via my Select 20
Find out who they are, their writing processes, tips, what they like to read, what they love about writing, what inspires them, their writing high points and low points, marketing successes and issues, work in progress, advice they wish they had been given at the beginning and what they’ve learnt along the way, plus anything else they’d like to tell you…
This feature is designed for readers and authors. It’s always fun to find new books and learn about the writing world.
You will find an eclectic mix – enjoy!
A very warm welcome to Angie Bardot, the first author to join my Select 20!
The Life and Times of Angie Bardot – A Memoir
First of all, please tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you located? Is writing your full-time occupation?
I would love to write all day, every day, but that wouldn’t give me enough time for daydreaming and reading other authors books, which is my favourite pastime. These days I have more time on my hands, which allows me the freedom to do anything I want, that doesn’t include cooking! (The perks of being single). I am located in Australia in the sunny state of Queensland. I like to travel once a year to far off places delving into other peoples’ worlds. I often think how great it would be to have a full-time occupation as a travel writer so I could do the two things I love doing most.
Please give a brief description of your book and how you came to write about this particular subject.
The particular subject was not by choice. When my 36 year marriage failed I found myself thrown into the singles arena without any knowledge of how to navigate my way through. The many pitfalls I experienced ranged from misery to mayhem with lots of laughter in between. I have learnt the very thing one must never lose sight of if one wishes to survive is their sense of humour!
At what point did you decide your experiences would make a good book?
When I first started writing about what I was experiencing I wrote and wrote and wrote as it felt cathartic, and the words just flowed out of me like verbal diarrhea. Then it dawned on me that my predicament, although all too common, was still unique. That was the pivotal point where I changed from ranting mode to writing mode. I decided I had a real story I wanted to tell.
Did you find it easy to write about your personal life and more particularly sex or did you worry about what other people would think? If you were nervous about it, how did you overcome this?
On one hand I found it easy to write about my personal life because the words just poured out in an unstoppable stream. It was great to get it all out and I felt so much better for having done so. On the other hand, as I began my exploits, I was aware that some of my behaviour wasn’t even acceptable to me!!! The old me, so the best way to overcome any embarrassment was to write under a pseudonym. That gave me the freedom to express myself without worrying about what people thought of me. I think having a certain kind of anonymity makes you bolder and more brazen, not in the real sense, but in the telling of the story as a “no holds barred” expose’ which you wouldn’t ordinarily dream of telling.
Have you learnt anything from feedback from your readers and would you do anything differently in future because of it?
The surprising thing I learnt is that men have an interest in my story! This was something I didn’t expect until I received some wonderful feedback. Maybe in the future I should be kinder to men when I write about them…… maybe!
If you could choose a famous person to read your book and leave a review, who would it be and why?
I would ask Julia Roberts to read and review my book because she was the main character in the movie Eat Prey Love, which was based on a true story about a relationship breakdown where the protagonist goes on a journey searching for happiness and redefinement. I feel Julia would have empathy and insight.
Do you have a preference for writing in the morning/afternoon or evening and do you write everyday or only when the mood takes you?
I don’t seem to have a set time during my day that I devote to my writing. It is more if and when the mood takes me. If I think of something specific, I will always make a note to expand on it later.
Do you have a special place where you go to write and do you go through any rituals before writing?
I usually put on some soft background music and sit on my comfortable couch with my laptop and just let the words flow. My only ritual is going from the couch to the fridge or pantry and back to the couch, to be repeated often depending on the success of my writing session.
On average, how many hours do you write for at any given time and do you (like me) often pause for snacks or other distractions or do you get swept away by getting your thoughts into words?
It is never the same, as I mentioned I do get distracted at times and that is where the food intake helps. At other times I don’t realise until I look at the time that several hours have passed by without me stopping at all. It is amazing how hours can feel like minutes when I am totally immersed in writing.
What do you use to write: a laptop, pc, notebook? Do you leave a notebook by your bed just in case an idea occurs to you in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning?
I use my trusty laptop, poor thing the way I put it through the paces when I am on a roll banging on the keys non-stop. I do have a notebook by the bed in case I come up with one of my scathingly brilliant ideas in the middle of the night. I can be asleep, suddenly wake up for no apparent reason, write down an idea that has sprung to mind, and go back to sleep. In the morning I would have no recollection of this apparent idea if it wasn’t for my scribble in the notebook.
What do you know now that you wish you had known when you started writing your book?
That is a great question as I would have done so many things differently, if only I had the insight and wisdom. The single stand out thing I should have known was to educate myself about the world of self-publishing which is still a work in progress and a huge learning curve. On a personal level, although I don’t want to give too much of my story away, I will admit I thought I knew what I wanted in the beginning, until I had what I wanted, only to realise it wasn’t what I wanted at all!
Are you enjoying being an Indie Author? Which aspects do you like/dislike?
I am still learning as there is so much to being a successful Indie Author. It’s not enough to just write a great book. I need to promote myself and find a way through the maze so my audience can find me and that is the part I dislike the most because it can feel overwhelming at times. I would rather flick my magic wand in the air and have it all done for me spit spot! What I do like is when I’ve learnt something new that can assist me in improving my independence as an Indie Author. I also like the camaraderie of other Indies Authors who are supportive and willing to share their knowledge with me so freely.
Are you enjoying marketing your book? Have you any tips for authors who find this part of the process a chore?
I think because my memoir is so personal and a part of who I am, I find it difficult to release my story and put it out there. A small part of me thinks of it as just mine, which of course impedes the marketing process. Apart from the expense of having an expert look after everything in the initial stages of my launch, I have found it very economical to take hold of the project and market my book myself. This also means I have had to count my losses when trying something new doesn’t work and it leads to disappointment. There are so many marketing options to choose from, I liken it to a big smorgasbord of delectable delights waiting for me to taste them, and like everything yummy I have to pay for it.
My tip is don’t be in a hurry. At the beginning of my launch, I was so focused on pre-orders that I got myself all worked up about the immediate “now” and didn’t see or focus on the benefits of the long-haul marketing process. There is time to reach your target market. Once the initial buzz has settled a good long term marketing strategy can be set in place. We as writers, have to invest in our belief, which is believing in ourselves and the quality of our work, and financially back ourselves which also gives us the freedom to choose for ourselves.
What is your favourite social media platform for promoting your book and why?
Up until this point Amazon is my biggest provider of advertising options with the KDP program. I like the control of how much I want to pay for the advertising. I can set the length of the promotion, price I want for my ebook and how much I want to invest. I think as an Indie Author it is vital to be able to stick to a budget and have the control to pull out if it’s not bringing the desired results. All other media platforms I have used to date have had an up-front fee regardless of performance results.
Who are your favourite authors?
Amos Towles – A Gentleman in Moscow
David Benioff – City of ThievesDerek Hansen – Lunch with the Generals, Lunch with Mussolini
Rani Manicka – The Rice Mother
Is there an author (modern day or in history) you’d like to meet and if you did, who is he/she and what is the one question you would ask them?
Andre Kirk Agassi, American former world No. 1 Tennis Player – Biography
I would like to ask Andre how he achieved such success in the tennis arena if he hated playing tennis!
Do you stick to a particular genre or do you have an open mind depending on what captures your interest?
It is usually what captures my interest or if someone recommends a good read. I don’t have any specific genre. I do like faction, so the book can be based on some fact but embellished with fiction thrown in to make the story more interesting. I love to sink myself into a written book where it envelops and transports me into the story. I am in a Book Club and the books chosen monthly quite often are not what I would have considered. It challenges me to keep an open mind and try new authors and topics.
Do you have a work in progress?
I should have a work in progress, and I know I will soon.
Can you give us a hint of what’s next on your writing agenda?
I planned to continue my story after the release of The Life and Times of Angie Bardot – Part One (Hell No) and Part Two (Hell Yes). 2019/2020 is awaiting my creative juices to start flowing again. Gosh, I hope they haven’t dried up like the Sahara Desert.
P.S. In the meantime you’ll just have to read to the end of 2018 then!
Who is the funniest person you know? Feel free to say yourself!
Me!!!!! (You told me to say myself, it wasn’t my idea).
You can buy The Life and Times of Angie Bardot here