I wrote So You Want to Write a Guest Post because it had become apparent to me (after hosting guest posts for years) that some people didn’t understand the fundamentals of internet readability and how to market with guest blogging. I wanted to help the beginners among beginners.
Q: Which part of the book was the hardest to write?
I think it was all pretty much an even level of difficulty. Non-fiction is a different process for me, so I laid it all out and filled in the content, basically. It wasn’t as easy as that implies, but that was the process.
Q: Does your book have an underlying message that readers should know about?
Don’t be afraid of guest posting; anyone can do it.
Q: Do you remember when the writing bug hit?
I was telling stories before I could even write, so I suppose the writing bug hit the moment I picked up my first pencil (or crayon, as it may be). There has always been a passion in me for worlds other than the one we live in. It’s my pleasure to be able to explore them through writing.
Q: What’s the most frustrating thing about becoming a published author and what’s the most rewarding?
I think it’s frustrating for self-publishers because there can be so many doubts. Has my book been edited enough? Is it ready to go? Will people shun it because it’s self-published? There are so many questions and most of the answers come from putting yourself out there with the possibility of being burned.
The most rewarding? Holding my book in my hands. So You Want is an ebook only because it is so short, but I recently received the proof copy of my paranormal romance Echo Falls… and holding it was magic. There are things I need to change in there for the final copy, but having the book in my hands with my characters living inside is more amazing than I had ever imagined.
Q: Do you have a writing tip you’d like to share?
Practice makes perfect – but not just in the ‘write every day’ sense. Practice at finding what is right for you in everything from the time of day you write, to the music you listen (or don’t listen) to and everything in between. When you find the environment, the writing will come (most of the time) so much easier.
On Family and Home:
Q: Would you like to tell us about your home life? Where you live? Family? Pets?
I live in beautiful rural Victoria in Australia. It’s a bit dreary right now with winter, but it’s still beautiful to me. I live with my husband and our puppy Brin (named for David Brin) and our cat Asimov (named for Isaac Asimov). Yes, we name our pets after science fiction authors. I can’t help but wonder what we will name our children…
2011 has been a tough year for us, but things are slowly coming right and we’re living a good life.
Q: Where’s your favorite place to write at home?
In my recliner. Haha. I love my recliner. It’s so huge so I can sit in pretty much any position and always be comfortable. And I can share it with the animals when they’re wanting cuddles.
Q: What do you do to get away from it all?
My back yard. I know, it sounds strange because I don’t exactly have to go but some steps from my work desk, but it makes a world of difference. When I feel myself starting to get stressed or tired, I put on a sweater and sit on the back verandah with a hot cup of tea. I love watching the birds or my husband playing with the dog.
Q: Were you the kind of child who always had a book in her/his hand?
Not really, but only because I always had a pen and notebook in my hand instead. They were a sort of safety blanket for me and I loved being able to write wherever I went. However, I did often have books with me as well, as I loved to read, too.
Q: Can you remember your favorite book?
I’ve always held a special place in my heart for Shel Silverstein’s ‘The Giving Tree’. I read it when I was very young and it taught me about unconditional love. I have given it as a wedding present to every couple whose wedding I attended. It’s a beautiful book in its simplicity.
Q: Do you remember writing stories when you were a child?
Absolutely. I wrote many, many things. My pride and joy from my childhood, however, would have to be the short story I wrote about my brother destroying the world with a nuclear taco fart.
On Book Promotion:
Q: What was the first thing you did as far as promoting your book?
I told Dorothy Thompson about it. Haha. Then I let friends and acquaintances know that it’s available. I do realize, though, that it’s for a very niche audience, and I hope to reach those people over time.
Q: Are you familiar with the social networks and do you actively participate?
I certainly am, though I don’t participate as much as I could. I’m still young enough that balancing my time and energies is often an ‘on the fly’ thing rather than more organized like I would like it to be.
Q: How do you think book promotion has changed over the years?
It has been very interesting to observe the transition to online book promotion. With more people than ever online, why not? I’ve seen the rise of online book tours – both companies and author coordinated – and they have, I think, become the norm. What is interesting currently is the trend to try to do new things with the tours like chats, major giveaways and more.
On Other Fun Stuff:
Q: If you had one wish, what would that be?
I have always said that I wish I could stop time (without stopping me with it). If I could simply have the time to do everything I want to do, I think I would be much happier all around.
Q: If you could be anywhere in the world other than where you are right now, where would that place be?
I’ve always wanted to explore Europe. I think a place so rich with history and culture would be inspiring a million times over.
Q: Your book has just been awarded a Pulitzer. Who would you thank?
My husband. Simply put, he saved my life. I cannot begin to explain how much he means to me, how much he has done for me and how much I love him.
Jaime McDougall is a citizen of the world, currently loving life in beautiful country Victoria in Australia. She loves eating sushi, kidnapping her husband and naming her pets in honour of science fiction authors. She has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: High School: The Real Deal and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Campus Chronicles. She has also enjoyed writing a column called ‘The New Australian’ in local newspapers as well as various articles online.
"Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become." -C.S. Lewis