Monday, October 8, 2012

R. M. Wilburn, Magpie & Dilly

AUTHOR:  R. M. Wilburn
BOOK TITLE:  Magpie & Dilly, A Nexus Series Tangent, Book 1
PUBLISHER:  Gabby Cat Publishing

Please tell me how long you've been writing, and why you decided to become a writer.
I’ve been writing since I was knee-high to the spider monkeys we raised in our garage a few decades ago.  

Are you a full-time writer or a part-time writer, and how do you organize your writing time?
I’m a part-timer and am mostly unorganized about it…Although lately, I’m extremely focused on illustrating my next book, a project I call Mary Morgan’s Journal.

What influences your writing?
I’m a very visual sort of person, so pictures, illustrations, bright colors, and shiny things are especially attractive to me.  I’m also a huge trivia fan and am a sucker for details that mean absolutely nothing to normal people.

Is this your first published work?  What other types of writing have you done?
No.  Magpie & Dilly is my fourth published book, the other three being what I refer to as the Buggy Crenshaw adventures which are also YA fantasy fiction.  Magpie & Dilly is actually their prequel.

Why did you choose to write a children's story?
I’m not really sure if there was any real “choice” in the matter.  I think the stories we hold inside are not limited to particular audiences.  We make that conscious decision after the story comes out and it’s time to try to sell it.  If it weren’t for that, we would likely just let the story be what it is and allow the audience to form on its own. A good story will be appealing to all ages.

What was the process of creating this book from the first idea to the final published book?
In a nutshell, I work from a very broad outline that names the big events that are to take place in the story.  From there, I listen to the characters and watch how they react, then jot it all down. (I’m very visual, remember!)

What are your thoughts on traditional versus self-publishing?
It seems to me that traditional publishing is becoming self-publishing.  So many people these days turn directly to self-publishing that the traditional route is not so traditional anymore.  We’re on the brink of a new era and setting new standards as we go.  I would like to see those standards (particularly the editorial ones) remain as high as when the big publishing houses ruled the roost.  I believe poor editing can destroy a story’s chances nearly as fast as a rejection letter can, but with far greater cost to the author.

What is your marketing strategy? 
Write a book, yak it up as much as possible via social media, ad campaigns, and book blogging sites, and then go on to write another.  And another.  And another… 

What are your thoughts about children's writers needing an agent or not needing one?
As accessible as publishers are these days via the Internet, I believe many writers find it preferable to approach them directly without the aid of an agent.  However,  I think one of the greatest advantages to having an agent is that they should know exactly which publishers are looking for what and when. 

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
   My blog, Ponderous Things, is an illustrated writer’s blog where I ramble on about the magical world occupied by my characters (from all my books).  It’s a great place to visit for artwork that represents my novels, but also for sneak peeks at upcoming works.  (My current book project is heavily illustrated, sort of graphic-novelly…ish...) 
   I also have a website where you’ll find loads of information about me, my books, and what’s currently in the works.  It’s also illustrated and has some fantastic links to some very interesting places that I like to visit when I find the time.
   And for anyone interesting, I’m also on Facebook ( and Twitter ( and would be most happy to hear from readers or other writers.

Do you have any tips for writers who are new to children's literature?
One of the most important things to me is to not talk down to my readers.  I feel it makes a great deal of sense to throw in a big word or two that may cause them to think rather than ignore the opportunity.  Most children, I believe, will eagerly rise to the challenge if the story is good enough.

Please give us a brief synopsis or excerpt from your current book and when and where it will be available.  

Back Cover Copy:
Welcome to a new series of tales that all happened in the days before Buggy Crenshaw arrived in Lloyd’s Hollow to save the world, and when the Darkest of All Evil was already laying the groundwork for his rise to power. 
When the Demon King learns that his prize prisoners, the world famous Mystics known as the Seven Sisters of Surrey, each had a child before they were captured, he sends out his most fearsome Hunters to find and destroy them.  It’s not as easy as he expects, though…

By now, these seven children are all around twelve years old, but are scattered about the world, hidden in pairs mostly, and are oh-so-carefully guarded by some of the Greater Good’s most heralded Warriors.  And for very good reason…

The possibility exists that if these children were ever to meet and combine their magic, their power would be devastating-possibly world-ending!-which is all the more reason to bring their stories to light. Maggie and Dylan Cooper are the first to be targeted, but be very certain they won’t be the last.

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