I AM INDIE interview with Nicole MacDonald

It’s time for the first of my I AM INDIE author interviews! Today we have the lovely Nicole MacDonald, author of The Arrival, book one in The Birthright Trilogy!

Welcome Nicole!

Cat, Kassie, Sian and Loi are anything but damsels in distress.

Fed up with a lack of decent male specimens they cast a love spell in the hopes of finding their soul-mates. And inadvertently land themselves on another planet. Oops.

The Arrival, follows the girls' adventures as they stumble through a foreign and often hostile world where humans are NOT at the top of the food chain.

Friendships are forged and love teeters on the horizon while the threat of civil war looms thanks to the girls' very unexpected 'gifts'.

Will the girls master these gifts in time to survive a war in which, not only are they the ultimate weapons, but also the ultimate prize?

You can't say that this book doesn't sound awesome... ;)

I've had the great opportunity to get to know Nicole over the web and even had the pleasure of helping out with that cover up there!  I got to chat with Nicole for a while about her thoughts on being an Indie author and the changing world of publishing!  Here's the interview:

Let’s start at the beginning, how and when did you get started writing?

I began writing around two years ago. It just struck me as an idea for an easy and fun hobby. I'm a great daydreamer and this way I got to write them. Also at 26 (at the time ;p) there was no concern with my writing being 'marked' or judged unless I desired it so. A cheap, creative outlet

Who first encouraged you to write?

No one in particular encouraged me to write a novel, but friends who I included on my regular morning e-mails suggested I blog because my e-mails made them laugh. I didn't know what blogging was ;p so writing a novel sounded easier *LOL*

We all have our writing idols, who is your writing inspiration?

I love Diana Gabaldon's writing and Anne McCaffrey. Both tend to write strong emotive female characters that I just adore.

Describe how the idea for your first novel came to you. Was it a flash of lightning or a spark that evolved over time?

I was at work watching over the harbour for a thunderstorm (I LOVE them), the wind was intense and the clouds were boiling overhead and I just had this sudden image of four women fighting in awful weather. It was utterly vivid and inspiring and so exciting!

What’s in store for you in the near future? New works in-the-works?

I've just finished a competition piece and am having a friend review it and otherwise working on Books 2 & 3. I do have some ideas mapped out for after this trilogy is complete too and they're rather exciting. No they aren't fantasy novels, one will be a black comedy and one I think may come under literature…

What made you decide to start publishing independently? What has been your experience been like, striking out on your own?

Finding out how little respect publishers have for new authors. The lack of support with advertising, the crap percentage you make on a book and the editing which could mean your final product resembles very little of what you loved about your work. I'm all for a good edit but when they start coming back with comments such as 'our test audience feels the book requires some sex scenes' and it's just after a characters mother has died….ugh no thanks!

And that would be the real experience of a friend of mine who is currently with a publisher.

My own experience of self publishing? It's damn hard work! You need to do a heap of work and be brutally honest with yourself. It took eight re-writes to get The Arrival to where it is now and then tackling the formatting and advertising… Sometimes I wanted to run screaming from it all. But the desire to have the story complete is stronger, always stronger.

What are your thoughts on the evolving world of publishing, with the advancement of print-on-demand technology and digital readers?

Publishers need to change their game big time. I can see the entire situation reversing to where publishers will be chasing the independent authors with large followings and getting a small commission for helping them. It will be interesting. I do think more and more responsibility will be placed on the authors but then they will be receiving the majority of the proceeds.

What advice would you give to other aspiring authors out there?

Write. Learn your own voice. Read everything you can about writing. Ignore a lot of it ;p and remember that few rules are written in stone. My story is written in a very unique style and so many told me I couldn't do it.

But I knew it was what the story needed and it worked. It's selling, I'm getting reviews, good reviews and slowly but surely I'm getting a following. Hard work will get you there. And good critiquers are utterly necessary!! Also learn how to deal with criticism - you'll get lots of it, good and bad!

Thanks for stopping by Nicole!  Be sure to check out The Arrival and to find Nicole around the web!


Jamie - I'm a guy, btw said...

Excellent interview, Keary! I love that she's only been writing for two years and already has a book out. And the premise sounds so cool and original, can't wait to read it!

Oh, and nice job on that cover, too!

Jenni Merritt said...

Very awesome interview, Keary!

I had just added The Arrival to my TBR (and devoured) list the other day, so I am happy to see your interview today!

Nicole, I love your outlook on the publishing world. I can't wait to read your book(s) and no doubt become a fan as well!

C.J Duggan said...

Excellent ladies!! Always really inspiring to here of others success! Look forward to checking it out Nicole!

Great work Keary!!


Melissa said...

This is a really great interview!!!

The arrival sounds like an original idea! I like it!

SM Reine said...

Great interview, and lovely cover! This is on my to-read list, but I haven't gotten to it yet. I might have to bump it a little higher. :)


Demitria said...

Great interview! Love to hear about self-published authors.


Rachel Morgan said...

I really like the cover, especially the type face used for the word "Arrival" - way cool :-)