One of the things I love about being an indie author and networking is the amazing people I have met. Roberta J. Gordon found me on Twitter, and we have since become great friends. I love Roberta’s sense of humor and her incredible imagination. She recently released her first novel called Gemini Witching: Elements 101 (links to follow), which I just finished reading. I gave her book a 5 star review, and I couldn’t wait to do an interview with her. See what Roberta has to say about witches, her book and self publishing.
Q: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
A: As a serious writer, 3 chapters into this book! Jokingly, “I’m going to write a book” I had uttered since I read Harry Potter to my kids several years ago. Never did I dream I would actually do it.
Q: I have always been fascinated by magic and the infinite possibilities when writing those stories. What inspired you to write about witches?
A: Inspired, hmmmm. I’ve said before that I mourn the ending of a series, but I also become depressed when I read a series and have to wait for the next installment. I had gone through all of Harris, Kenyon, Ward, Adrian, and Hamilton’s series. Mind you the majority of these are about Vampires. Then I read A Discovery Of Witches by Deborah Harkness. It was so different than what I had been reading. I was entranced with it. Then I found out that it would be almost another year until the next installment would be available and that sucked the fun out of my ‘discovery’. So I really credit my imagination going into overdrive with the need to fill in the blanks. While my book is nowhere near as well written as Harkness’ book, and in no way similar I do credit having read it as causing the words to write themselves.
Q: I love the characters you created. You open the door to a lot of other characters and creatures in the world you created including The Realm of Lights. Can you give us a sneak peak at what/who we might see in the next Gemini book?
A: Thank you! I know we have chatted several times about the writing process, and I’ve shared that the cast of characters (except the girl’s paternal side of the family) just walked on stage while I wrote. While the Realm is not specific characters (yet) the same can be said for it. The paternal mystery and The Realm of Lights was a challenge and the only true plotted/planned part of the book. The last page, as you know, includes a diagram of the hierarchy for the Realm. Referring to it, you can see there are several roles to fill and people/creatures to meet. But honestly those have not started talking to me yet. So besides the current cast returning I’ve had some discussions with a few aquatic legends, trolls, shifters and a park ranger or two. I’ve been doing some research in both Greek and Roman mythology, but need to do more in that arena. I even think it’s time for the ladies to evolve more and maybe have a fling or two. Of course there will be more witches, a whole convention of them. As the next equinox draws nearer Sam and Emily have a lot more elements to learn about. Not only in their repertoire of talent but the elements that make up their lives including the how’s and why’s they have become who they are.
Q: Do you find music to be a helpful part of your writing process? If so, what did you listen to while writing this book? If you could make a soundtrack for the first Gemini Witching movie, what would be on it?
A: WOW, Great question! **Grins** Music is so much a part of not only my writing process but my everyday life. While I was writing I honestly think I’ve worn out my copy of Adele’s 21 and Pink’s greatest hits.
And what an awesome thought, a soundtrack to the movie! I have to giggle just a bit because I never thought of it. Not a movie, even though in my mind when I was writing, it was seeing the scenes play out in my head, but putting it to music, I don’t know. Did you think of some music that would fit while you read it? I’d love to hear your ideas or anyone else’s for that matter.
Q: You initially wanted to go the traditionally published route. What made you change your mind and go indie?
A: My former boss! Well her and you. Seriously!
I think I’m someone who tries to prove things to myself more than I try to prove it to others. I honestly don’t think of myself as someone who knows how to write. I was always someone who could tell a good joke or tell a good story to friends. So when my friend Kendra read my first chapter and said “I think you have something here”, I didn’t start thinking about the publishing aspect of it. I pushed it out of my mind until I was almost finished writing the story. When I was close to finishing then I started letting myself dream of what ifs and how too. I had no clue of where to turn or what to do. I stumbled upon Dragon Con found one literary agency then Writer’s Digest and things started falling into place. I remember thinking “Indie, what’s that?” Then I hit the social media realm found you and a few others but still wanted to give it the old college try of Traditional publishing. I researched the query letter process, polished (but apparently not enough) my approach and sadly started getting the rejection letters. When I had started dreaming the “what if’s” I could see myself leaving my job to play full time with my imaginary friends. But knew I could not do that without getting the book(s) in the hands of readers and the rejection letters were bringing me down, still I was going to go the mile. I loved my boss and my job but there were some undesirable aspects of it. In mid February I had a serious difference of views evolve with that boss I loved. We had worked together and traveled together for work for almost 8 years, I didn’t seriously see myself going anywhere until that fateful day. But looking back right now, it was probably the best thing that happened to me. I have a new job with a boss that I have admired for 8 years as well. But on that fateful day several months ago I knew I had to make a new plan to get out of that job and I’ll never forget saying to you “I’m ready to drink the kool-aid, how do I become an Indie?” Your answer helped change my world as well! Thank you!
Q: I had no idea I was that instrumental in your publishing plans. I’m so glad I was able to help! Now that you have self published, what has been the most challenging for you?
A: Finding the time to keep up with the social media (aka Platform) has probably been the most challenging. I love meeting other authors and chatting with readers so that is the upside, but coming up with some good blog topics and then getting traffic to your “sites” has been the most challenging because like I said, I’ve got a new job to boot. There is just not enough time in the day.
Q: What advice would you give other aspiring writers considering self publishing?
A: Edit, edit, edit then edit again. Give yourself time to get the story done first then work on a platform. When you do make it to the platform building stage be gracious. Be yourself and don’t get cocky. Rude & pushy will only help you end up on those emails between others who can’t believe your behavior and eventually “unfollow” your rear. I just wish all of them can find a few good friends like I have who can support and mentor them along the way.
Wife and mother of three, I just helped open a new Pathology Lab as Office/Billing Manager. It’s been terrifying launching a book and changing jobs at the same time. I hold a degree in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice and have digressed from that degree many times! I’ve had many adventures in life so far including having had a certain national clearance to be inside a nuclear reactor; played good cop/bad cop assisting with investigations; sad on the jury selection process for the “White Water” trial; I traveled for several years working for a state agency and have often wished to drive the Star Ship Enterprise! Well at least run the transporter room I guess would be more accurate. BEAM ME UP SCOTTY! Gemini Witching: Elements 101 is the first in a series of you guessed it, Witches.
Be sure to check out Roberta’s blog and connect with her on:
Gemini Witching: Elements 101
Samantha Carpenter always considered sleepwalking a harmless condition. Most people wander their own homes or their immediate neighborhood. Sam wasn’t most people. She was found miles away from home at her place of employment behind locked doors bypassing the security system, putting the job she desperately needed at risk.
Emily Hunter was being followed by a dark presence. She could feel it. Fleeing college to escape her stalker, she landed in Salt Lake City where she found a career, love and a degree of freedom. Her ability to sense danger came in handy as a rookie on the SLCPD, but she never anticipated that ability would attract attention.
When a woman claiming to be their aunt brings these two strangers together, her revelations will lead Sam and Emily on a journey of self discovery in a world they never knew existed. They must race to accept their new reality, the Gemini Witches are thrown in with Wizards and demons as they try to unite, their untested talents the only defense against the forces that threaten to consume them, but when Sam is kidnapped, can Emily save her in time?