Wednesday, August 21, 2013

INTERVIEW with SABRINA SUMSION


With her wide range of experience, author Sabrina Sumsion has something to offer everyone. She has been a literary publicist, a writing teacher, a homeschooling mom, and, of course, a writer. Thanks to Sabrina for taking time out of her busy schedule for this interview.

How has your experience as a literary publicist helped you interact with readers about your own books?      
Working as a literary publicist opened my eyes to the myriad of ways to interact with readers. In this modern age of publishing, authors get to pick and choose from several avenues. All we need is some creativity and drive. For example, some authors love to be in front of people like I do. People like me do best with a lot of face-to-face events. Other authors want to write and aren’t comfortable in front of people. Those people do very well on blog tours and writing articles. In the end, I’ve learned that interacting with readers is all about finding the right fit for you. There is no magical, one-size-fits-all solution to creating relationships and building a platform.

 What are your current writing projects?
 Currently, I’m working on Aliens Are Real: Part 4 as my main project. This one has me excited because I’m evolving the character Malika and the readers will meet a villain that they will love to hate. I’m also playing with a vampire-type concept. It’s not the typical supernatural story and so far beta readers are responding favorably. My baby, the one that probably won’t see the light of day for a decade, is an epic fantasy where females are banned from using magic because it corrupts them. I also love a short story and I have a few romance ideas bouncing around.

In addition, I’m working on some shorter books that discuss the publishing industry with a focus on marketing. Many authors ask about branding themselves and building a platform. I’m working on a few companion books to Produce, Publish, Publicize to take the reader deeper into the selling side of writing.

 Which authors have been most influential on your own writing?
This would be a long list if I wrote out every author since I’m a prolific reader. The first epic adventure that sucked me in so completely that it left a lasting impression was The Lord of the Rings. I snuck it from my parents’ bookshelf when I was about 10 years old. Yes, it gave me nightmares, but I loved the world and the wonder of it all. After that, I read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. I think he was my gateway to loving Science Fiction. Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis kept me sucked into the Dragon Lance world for many years. Most recently, Brandon Sanderson is a major influence. I discovered him through my husband who was a childhood friend. Not only is Brandon a talented writer, he’s also a teacher of writing. I’m participating in an online program following Brandon’s writing class at BYU. I wouldn’t be thorough if I didn’t mention my writers group. Victorine Lieske, G.M. Barlean, Kathryn Gilmore, C.K. Volnek are a couple published authors that I rely on to help me shape my stories every week.

Is Part 4 of the Aliens Are Real series in the works? Any sneak peeks for your readers?
Since I just released Part 3 a month ago, I don’t have any sneak peeks up for Part 4 yet. I do post them on my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Sumsion-Story-Weaver/381436178540125 when I have them. I welcome everyone to join the party there!

What advice do you give to people who want to get started writing but haven't tried it before?
 The first step is to simply write. Get your ideas down. Next, find a writers group where you mesh well with the other writers. Don’t be afraid to be with writers who don’t write in your genre. One easy option for critiquing is to find an online group. One that works well is www.critiquecircle.com. I like their rules and I’ve had only positive experiences there. Finally, a good editor is vital. It will be tempting to trust your manuscript with a well meaning friend or a low cost editor, but you will get what you pay for. I learned that the hard way so don’t make my mistake.

Anything else you'd like to say to Book Pound Readers?
Thank you for reading this far! I love sharing the information I gathered through my years of helping authors get media coverage of their events and books. Like I sign in Produce, Publish, Publicize, “Keep Writing!” Patience and a good work ethic are major tools to building a buzz about your books. Learn everything you can about the business of publishing if that’s your end goal. It will help you avoid the myriad of scams out there. Also, read. Read everything that interests you and even books that don’t. It will help your writing and who doesn’t love a good book?

2 comments:

  1. Great advice from a wonderful woman, and writer! Thank you Sabrina for your inspiration!

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