Welcome to my monthly blog where I feature an Indie Author and ask them to tell us a little about their working process. My guest author for December is Colette McCormick, who writes ‘realistic romantic fiction’. So make yourself a cuppa, get comfy and let’s get chatting to Colette.
Born and raised in Sheffield, Colette remains a Yorkshire girl at heart despite having lived in the North East of England for almost four decades. In 2015 she signed a three book deal with Accent Press and her first novel Things I Should Have said and Done was published the following year. Three more books followed in the next three years.
Colette has been a charity shop manager for twenty years and when she’s not working, if she’s not writing, chances are she is either baking bread, in the garden or walking the dog.
Welcome to my blog. Colette. Can you tell us what made you decide to become an Indie Author?
It was never my intention to be an Indie Author but when it became clear that the traditional publisher I was with didn’t see me as part of their future plans, I decided to take the bull by the horns and try going it alone.
Have you ever been traditionally published? If so, can you explain to us the main difference to you as an author, between the two?
As I said above, yes I have been traditionally published and getting that contract is one of the highlights of my life. It was something that I had dreamed of for years and I was quite sad to walk away from it.
In my experience I would say that the main difference between the two methods is the amount of control that I had as an author. With my traditional publisher, once I had handed the book over, I was given an editor to work with, a cover was designed for me and someone else wrote the blurb. As an Indie author I am responsible for organising all of the above.
You’d think that there would be a difference in the publicity side of things too but for me there wasn’t that much. With a traditional publisher, unless you are one of the “big hitters” there isn’t much of a budget for promotion and it’s down to the author to push their books by whatever method they can. As an Indie, it’s still up to me to me to organise all of the promotion
Can you tell us the pros and cons of self-publishing as opposed to traditional publishing?
I think that the biggest pro in being traditionally published is that the publisher takes care of the editing process. At the moment I am only publishing my back catalogue so haven’t actually had to find an editor yet but I have a completed manuscript that I will be looking to publish maybe towards the end of next year and that will need professionally editing. There is a significant cost involved so I need to choose an editor wisely but before I even reach that stage I need to decide if the book is actually worth the investment. With a traditional publisher, that dilemma is taken out of your hands. For me, the biggest con to being traditionally published is the royalty payments. Even when I sold thousands of copies, the royalties were just a couple of hundred pounds. You have to ask yourself that if your book costs £7.99 and you get something like 70p, where is the rest going and is it a fair division?
For me, the biggest pro to being and Indie Author is that I am in charge of everything which isn’t to say that I a control freak but rather that I can call the book what I want and have the cover that I want. With my traditional publisher, the titles of my first two books were changed and the original cover of my first book just left me puzzled. Thankfully the publisher eventually agreed with me about the cover but not until after the first print run. Although I haven’t actually had to choose a new title yet I have chosen covers that I am really happy with. Without a doubt the biggest con to be an Indie Author, in my opinion, is the publicity side of things though having said that, when I was with my publisher, publicity was pretty much down to me too so maybe not a lot has changed in that department. I find self-promotion really difficult but I am trying to start and detach myself from the books and think of them as a commodity rather than my creation. As any writer will tell you, that’s easier said than done and I’m not quite there yet.
What was the inspiration for your latest book?
The original inspiration for Ribbons In her Hair was a little girl with her blonde hair tied up in ribbons. She was laughing, she was happy and it was plain to see from the way that she was interacting with her mother that there was a special bond between the two of them. It was a beautiful thing to witness but it made me start to think about the little girls that aren’t so fortunate, the ones that don’t have a special bond with their mothers. That was the moment that Susan was born.
At that stage I didn’t know that much about Susan. All I knew was that there was a distance between her and her mother. The book is written in a conversational style because I wanted it to feel like the characters were talking directly to the reader and in a way, that’s what Susan did to me. When I started writing I didn’t really have a plan of where it was going to end, the story evolved as we went along.
Is there something you would really like to write but haven’t attempted yet?
I would love to write the story of my parents’ life together. Without giving anything away, they met in strange circumstances and if I told you about their deaths, you probably wouldn’t believe me. In between those times they loved each other for sixty-five years. It truly is an incredible story and I would want to be sure that I could do it justice before I attempted it. I’d also need to know that my siblings are OK with it.
What are your hobbies when not writing?
Does walking the dog qualify as a hobby? I think it does. I am lucky enough to live the middle of nowhere surrounded by fields and woodland and I love to walk my rescue dog Rocko through those fields and woods. I also love to garden and cook and baking bread is one of the most relaxing things that I know. I love it.
Walking the dog definitely qualifies as a hobby! Thanks so much for talking to us today, Colette. Wishing you lots of luck with your future writing.
Social Media links for Colette
Twitter – @colettemcauthor
To the outside world, Jean is a perfect wife and mother but what they don’t see is what she is really like. They don’t see the way that Jean controls her family or the emotional neglect of her daughters.
When her youngest daughter brings what she considers the ultimate shame on her family Jean can only see one way out but unfortunately for her, her daughter doesn’t see it the same way. For the first time in her life, Susan finds the courage to stand up to her mother and do the only thing that she can to save her baby.
In Ribbons In Her Hair we see the changing attitudes through generations to unmarried mothers and shows us that two people’s answer the exact same dilemma can be very different.
“I enjoyed it so much I could not put it down. Highly recommended as excellently sensitively written woman’s fiction.” Carol McGrath – author of the She-Wolves Trilogy.
It is only after death that life can be fully understood’
Ellen’s life is over in an instant when a drunk driver comes out of nowhere and hits the car she is driving. She never knew what hit her.
But Ellen is only young, she isn’t ready to die and there are loose ends to tie up before she can move ‘beyond the light.’ Luckily she isn’t alone, she has George to look after her. He’s new to the job and his methods aren’t exactly orthodox but together they set about dealing with Ellen’s issues.
There is Marc, the man that Ellen still loves. She watches him struggle with life as a single parent as she herself struggles with the realisation that Marc needs to move on without her.
There is Naomi, the child that Ellen left behind, the child that becomes Ellen’s link to those that still live.
And there is her mother whose life is falling apart.
Ellen looks for ways to help and with George constantly at her side she learns that even though she is dead she is not helpless. There are things that she can do from beyond the grave to influence what happens in the world she left behind.
No-one ever said that being dead was easy.
Karen King – Writing about the light and dark of relationships.
Amazon Author Page: https://tinyurl.com/y2q5audb