For anyone looking to do an author signing, my biggest suggestion is to prepare for questions and have them already thought out. Here are some from my event last Saturday at the Cascades Library in Sterling. (answers have been slightly expanded and I have removed some nervous "ums")
The most asked - "What is your book about?"
The Lady of Steinbrekka is about a young woman who suddenly finds herself in a different realm that is filled with mysterious strangers who all have dark secrets. While there, she must find the strength to challenge the status quo and fight to change her destiny in order to survive.
"When did you become a writer?"
I began writing at an early age. My first book was typed out in 5th grade and was about a magical garden, so, you could say, fantasy was always my genre. As a teen, I wrote in order to express myself and it became a form of therapy for me. I began seriously writing with the main goal to publish in 2011.
"Why do you write fantasy?"
Fantasy books are my way to express every day problems in a different setting. It is easier to take something that is a common problem and put it into a fantastical world and not have it directly affect the reader, or cause them pain. I think it is also a way for readers to connect with characters that are so different from "normal" when they have the same daily issues.I also just really enjoy making up different worlds and being able to suspend disbelief within a person's mind.
"What is the hardest part about writing?"
Editing. It is so hard to go through the story and not get wrapped up in the plot, which you have to do in order to make the grammatical edits. I'm also just really bad at grammar, so there is that component too. Luckily, I have an awesome editor who will find anything I miss.
"Why do you self-publish? Is it because you kept getting rejection letters?"
I've actually never submitted any of my writings for publication before. I self-publish because it allows me to have control over the finished product. While I do have editors and readers who suggest changes, the ultimate decision is mine. I also have control over the cover as well, which is a big deal to me. I like that, with self-publishing, the book is all mine, for better or worse.
"What is your suggestion to a wanna-be writer?"
Keep doing it, no matter what. I stopped writing for almost a decade because people told me that it was stupid, a waste of time, fantasy would get me nowhere, etc. If you enjoy writing, then do it."
"What is your best suggestion for how to pick a book to write?"
My favorite writer's quote is "Write the book you want to read" and that's what I take to heart. A lot of time characters will pop into my head, or scenarios, or just general emotions that, I feel, need to be expressed a shared. Don't force it, just let it happen naturally.