Friday, July 19, 2013

INTERVIEW with LINDSEY RIETZSCH and ELSHA FORNEFELD, founders of Behind The Scenes Author



Today we have the privilege of hearing from Lindsey Rietzsch and Elsha Fornefeld, founders of Behind the Scenes Author, a blog dedicated to guiding new authors through the dizzying world of publishing. 

Lindsey Rietzsch (pronounced "reach") has written several non-fiction books, including How to Date Your Spouse (2008) and Successful Failures (2012). Just this month, she published her first novel, The Realm, which is available through Amazon.
Elsha Fornefeld has won several awards for her short stories, which have been published in local magazines and newspapers. She works as a business and marketing consultant for small businesses and has developed strategies for book launches and general marketing.

Lindsey and Elsha have graciously taken the time to give us some of their insights into the book business.


1. How did you two team up to create Behind the Scenes Author?


Lindsey: Elsha and I have know each other for a few years. One day, she contacted me on Facebook about some questions she had with a book she was writing. Later, we met at my house to talk more about her book and through the conversation we decided we should team up together as we had so much in common with our new books. After talking about how we both were getting contacted frequently by new writers and authors who had lots of questions, the light bulb came on and the idea for the blog was born! We wanted to provide a place where new authors could ask questions and get real answers from experts in the field. Within a couple of days, the blog was up and running and here we are!


2. Who have been your mentors as you've taken your journeys into the world of writing and publishing?

Lindsey: You know, I never had a mentor, which is why I was so excited to create this blog. I went blindly into the world of publishing and had to learn everything on my own. As soon as my first book was picked up by a publisher, I was able to meet other authors and collaborate on ideas. I did end up becoming a mentor for several people along the way who were in the beginning stages of writing a book. I know what it's like to feel alone and uncertain as a new author, which is why I thoroughly enjoy helping others succeed! 


3. How do you think Indie publishing is changing the landscape for writers and readers?


Lindsey: Who doesn't love to feel as though they have "discovered" a great new book! It's almost as thought it becomes your own - a part of your world. You want to be the first to share it with everyone because chances are likely your friends have never heard of it. That's the fun of reading Indie books. As for being an Indie writer, the benefits are endless. It's so much easier today than it was even a few years ago to make it in the world of publishing as an Indie writer. With the benefits that Amazon offers, there is a one stop shop for everything you need to get your book into the hands of anxious readers. Gone are the days of having to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to get your book printed and marketed - now you can print on demand. Because of this we are seeing more and more Indie authors coming forward especially in ebooks.The best part is - if you're book does really well chances are good for a larger publishing house to take notice and show interest in purchasing book rights.

Elsha: The most diverse change for self-publishing is easily e-books. They are easy to access from anywhere, free to almost no cost to the author to publish, and a lower cost to the reader. There is also no large publishing house or agent required to have your book published. E-books have forced publishing houses to change the way they operate, and several large authors were been picked up by starting solely by publishing an eBook.

4. What writing projects are you currently working on?


Elsha: A trilogy call the Timeless Generation Series. The first book is The Altar and I literally released it today July 19th. It is a series that is a romance with a little bit of fantasy and lots of adventure mixed in. You can check the book out at timelessgenration.blogspot.com or go to kindle and download it on the 19th. I have had so much fun writing it and it was something that I had to do so much research for, because all of the Aztec and other legends in it are true. It’s thrilling and I put maybe a little too much of myself into it, because I fell in love with all the characters, and I almost hate to have Ava the main character choose between who she loves the most.

Lindsey: I am starting Book #2 of the The Realm series next month. I'm excited to get it going as it's even more intense than the first book, Secrets Unlocked. The Realm is a trilogy based on some real events that happened to my dad. Together we created an unforgettable fiction story in which he could share some of these frightening and wonderful experiences. It's a YA Paranormal Fantasy book and has been getting some excellent reviews. You can follow The Realm on Facebook.

5. From your experience, what is the most difficult hurdle for new writers, and what advice would you give for tackling it?


Lindsey: Confidence.The publishing world can be very intimidating with agents declining your manuscript, reader reviews hating on your writing style or storyline - if you're not careful you can begin to take it personal. Even the best writers have their known flaws and have also dealt with a fair share of rejection and bad reviews. It comes with the territory. You are your best marketer for your book. If you don't believe in yourself or your work - no one will.

Elsha: To not be afraid of what other people with think of your writing. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion and everyone has different tastes, but that doesn’t mean that an author’s writing style or book is no good because someone else doesn’t like it. I recommend by starting with friends and family about a book or idea and then branching out from there. I was amazed when I began sharing my stories at how much people loved them, and how they thought it was so neat that I could write. While I had always wished for more obvious talents I quickly realized that mine was completely unique in a voice all its own. It was something that no could copy or mimic. It was something original that came from me, and that is truly unique about an author, you are an original.  

6. What else would you like to say to Book Pound readers?


Elsha: Just more of what I have said your writing is unique an original it comes from you and no one else. Expand what you read to classics, and all types of genres to help broaden you writing voice. Just remember to write from yourself and not to copy what you think someone wants to hear.

Lindsey: In order to get results you have to be proactive. Even if you just put a little bit each week into your writing, your marketing etc. at least your doing something and that's the only way you're going to get doors to open. As soon as you stop promoting your work or talking about your writing - the rest of the world forgets. It's something you have to keep at. You have to keep putting it out there for the world to enjoy. Be patient and never give up!

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