Four winners will be chosen to receive a copy of Genna Rulon's novel Only for You (in .mobi format) and 10 more winners will receive a signed bookmark from Genna!
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Interview:1. Only for You has quite a bit of darker content, especially with the attacks on the female students of Hensley, but these darker moments are balanced out with a lot of light and fun ones. Was it hard for you to find the perfect balance or did it come naturally?
Overall the balance came was naturally. During the editing process I did try to perfect the timing so the humor and gravity weren’t competing, but flowed smoothly. I didn’t want to characters to feel callous or dismissive of a very serious situation, but if you don’t take moments to laugh during adversity you will go insane (my personal opinion).
I do this in my own life, find opportunities to lighten dark moments for myself and those I love. Laughter is so healing.
2. Do you see bits of yourself, as well as family and friends, reflected in your characters or are their personalities entirely made up?
The characters are definitely their own entities in my mind, with their own voices and thoughts (I realize this makes me sound crazy). When I wrote Hunter and Griffin, I did ask myself what type of men would I want my sons to grow up to be.
What I tried to do as an homage to my loved ones was include little factoids or anecdotes about them when they made sense to include, so that person would know I was thinking about them. One of the most obvious examples is when Hunter is providing Ev with random facts about himself.
I think all authors pull little pieces of their lives into their work, whether consciously or not. I picked aspects of relationships I wanted to focus on. For example, when my best friend read the book she called me and said, “Sam is totally not me…and you are not Everleigh.” I had to laugh, and of course she was right. My BFF definitely has a filter where as Sam has none. But, the loyalty, support, and sisterly love was representative of my BFF.
3. Were there some parts of this novel that were harder to write than others? If so, what was one of the hardest scenes for you to write?
I tried to feel the emotions the characters would be feeling so I could accurately express them in some of the more poignant scenes. I am trying not to be a spoiler, so I will stick to an example that is less spoiler-ish. The scene where Ev and Hunter implode very hard for me. I really felt Ev’s pain while writing it. I found myself listening to sad break-up songs for a couple days afterward. My husband asked if I was trying to tell him something. LOL.
4. Are there any novels you would recommend to readers who enjoyed Only for You?
That is a great question. I think Easy by Tamara Webber, Beautiful Disaster by Jaime McGuire, Slammed by Colleen Hoover, The Edge of Never by J.A. Redremski, Wallbanger by Alice Clayton, Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker, all share elements that someone who enjoyed Only For You would also enjoy reading.
5. I’ve heard a lot about indie authors not being taken as seriously as traditional authors. Have you had any experience not being taken seriously by other writers/reviewers ect? Do you have any advice for authors looking to publish independently?
Ah, I could go on and on about this topic. LOL.
I have not personally had any negative experiences as an indie author, but I am also new to the scene. I am sure such I will experience what so many others have at some point. I did find a number of review blogs that will only accept review requests from traditionally published authors. I have no opinion on this decision, as it is their blog therefore their call to make. Everyone is entitled to make choices about what is best for them based on their personal experience and preference. I respected their position and didn’t waste either of our times by sending a request.
As for people who say someone is not an author if they are not traditionally published, I say bullshit. I did not call myself an author until I had written my book, published it (myself), and sold the first copy. For me, that was the definition of being an author (in the professional sense). I write + readers buy = I am an author. I could elaborate endlessly, but in the end it is that simple—in my opinion.
For authors who are considering publishing independently I have a few pieces of advice:
i. If you are serious about publishing your book with the aspiration of writing being your profession, then you have to treat it as such. Think of publishing as a job and commit time to learning what industry standards are and do your best to meet them. Always present yourself in a professional manor to bloggers, reviewers, readers.
ii. Pay to have your book professionally edited. Yes, it is an expense that may be difficult for some to bare, but if you are going to charge for your work your readers have a reasonable expectation that they are purchasing a certain standard of product. Think of it as an investment. If a reader buys a book that is riddled with errors they are not going to buy your future releases.
iii. You can’t just upload on Amazon, B&N, etc and expect your book to sell. You could have the BEST book ever written but if you don’t promote it, it won’t sell. I know you are asking ‘how do I promote my book’, that is a whole other topic, but you can research how others have promoted books…google is your friend.
iv. Be patient, even overnight success stories rarely succeed overnight. You need to fix your mind to the fact that it may be a slow uphill crawl before you reach sales volume that you would like.
v. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT ever comment on or respond to negative reviews or feedback. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and their opinion may be that your book sucks. I’m sorry, but it’s true. You need to accept before you click the little publish button that not everyone is going to love your baby. Some people are going to tear it to shreds. Either don’t read reviews, or try and find something constructive in each review (good or bad).
These are my suggestions and based on my research and personal experience. I could write a book (pun intended) about indie publishing and what I’ve learned, my successes and failures. It is a topic I am passionate about—and opinionated.
6. Is there anything else you’d like to share? Hints about the next book maybe?!
Pieces For You will be released on December 17, 2013. It can be read as a stand-alone, but I do recommend reading Only For You first as it will enhance the reading experience and you will gain additional insight into the characters.
I am not a spoiler, so there isn’t much I can say, but here are answers to a few questions I am frequently asked.
Yes, Everleigh and Hunter will make appearances in Pieces For You so you will get to read about them and how they are doing. How could I write Sam’s story without Ev?
Yes, Pieces For You will pick up where Only For You left off. Technically there is actually an overlap in time.
Yes, you will meet the main characters for the third book in the For You series in Pieces For You. No I won’t tell you who them are ;-)
Yes, Griffin IS as hot as you think he is…actually, he’s WAY hotter. LOL.