Monday, March 21, 2011
Interview with Muse Author, Ginger Simpson
Today, my guest is MuseItUp author, Ginger Simpson. Ms. Simpson writes in a number of different genres including children's and romance. Today, we're talking about her recently released tween novel, Shortcomings.
Please tell me how long you've been writing, and why you decided to become a writer.
I’ve always like writing, even if only composing a business letter or our yearly Christmas letter. I started my debut novel, Prairie Peace, on a whim. The character started talking, I started typing, and with the help of an editor, we turned a story into a novel.
Are you a full-time writer or a part-time writer, and how do you organize your writing time?
I don’t consider that I’m full-time, although I do spend a lot of time on the computer. It’s not just writing that takes time, but promoting, marketing, interacting with peers, blogging. I write “around” other obligations. If I can steal away to the computer, you’ll find me there.
What influences your writing?
Life. There’s a touch of me and past experiences in every book I’ve written…or at least a reflection of my passions.
Is this your first published work? What other types of writing have you done?
As the old commercial used to say, “You’ve come a long way, baby.” Since 2003, I’ve published eight full-length novels and seven novellas. I have more work contracted for 2011. Writing a young adult novel was imminent since I’ve dabbled in most genres. I have to say it was much easier than I expected since I really got in touch with my inner child.
Why did you choose to write a children's story?
As with all my other stories, Shortcomings was dictated by my heroine Cindy. I never plan what I’m going to write. In fact, I never know where or how my stories end until I get there. Cindy had a story to share and I did the typing.
What was the process of creating this book from the first idea to the final published book?
I kept putting this one on the back burner because most publishers stopped taking YA submissions for a time. After completing my last historical, which really is my passion, I started listening to Cindy again. The story flowed very well, and before long I finished. Muse It Up Publishing advertised that they welcomed YA stories, so I submitted, was offered a contract and hopefully the rest will be pleasant history. Did I mention that I had a terrific line editor?
What are your thoughts on traditional versus self-publishing?
Until this year, I’ve steered clear of anything that had to do with self-publishing. When I started in this industry ten years ago, the belief was that anyone who self-pubbed didn’t possess writing skills enough to land a contract. With the swing of interest toward ebooks, a growing number of authors self-publish every day, and I believe the main reason is to cut out the middleman. There are still those people out there that can’t get a contract, but there are also some very talented people offered through the various self-publishing venues. I plan to self-publish my next novel.
What is your marketing strategy?
You can’t sell what people don’t know about. Clearly, a lot of promotion leads to more successful marketing. It’s always good to find your target audience so you aren’t spinning your wheels. The secret is finding where they hide.
What are your thoughts about children's writers needing an agent or not needing one?
Before reading interests shifted to ebooks, I suppose agents played a more important role in getting contracts for those writing children’s books. I’m sure the $$$ issue also played a factor for some deciding to stick to their guns and pursue representation. At the Internet level, you don’t need an agent to get signed, but then again you don’t get the notoriety and advance that comes with bigger deals. For me, writing has never been about the money, and it’s a good thing.
Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
I’m ever present on the web. I maintain my own site at http://www.gingersimpson.com and I also have a blog at http://mizging.blogspot.com I have to admit that I’m shifting my energy to appearing on blogs and buying spotlight time over adding one more excerpt to the never ending scroll that appears on most yahoo groups.
Do you have any tips for writers who are new to children's literature?
Remember your audience. Use words, phrases and descriptions that readers of your target age will understand and enjoy.
Shortcomings will be released March 1, 2011 by Muse It Up Publishing (http://www.museituppublishing.com)
Our shortcomings don't define who we are, unless we let them. Cindy Johnson needs to learn that. Born with one leg shorter than the other, she has no self-esteem because of the cruel comments and cold stares she receives from her classmates. When Cory Neil, the football quarterback asks her to Homecoming, she's quite sure he's asked her on a dare and refuses. It takes more than just her mother's assurances that Cindy's beautiful before she realizes she may have made a mistake in turning Cory down.