Sunday, 3 August 2014

Author Interview|| Andrea K Höst

Andrea K. Host is the author of the Silence of Medair series along with several other books. Even if you don't read self-published books this one is definitely a must- read.

Born in Sweden and raised in Australia, she currently lives in Sydney. She writes fantasy, but wanders occasionally into science fantasy. Her novel "The Silence of Medair" was a finalist for the 2010 Aurealis Award for best fantasy novel. 

Andrea was kind enough to spare some time to give us an interview about publishing and publicizing books. Writers, read up, there are some really helpful tips in here!

TSD: After having bad experience with a publisher (details), you decided to self-publish ‘The Silence of Medair’. The decision was proven to be a good one as the book went on to be a finalist for the Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Novel 2010. When you made the decision to self-publish, did you know that your book would make it?

Not at all. It was a huge and delightful surprise for me to make the finals of the Aurealis. At the same time 'making it' as a writer covers a lot of different goals. I think my first fan letter, my first positive review – not to mention my first royalty cheque – were also little 'making it' milestones for me.

TSD: How was your self-publishing experience? Did the pros outweigh the cons? Would you recommend it?

Andrea: I really enjoy self-publishing. It's had very few negatives for me, and for the most part has involved gradually building a readership and being buoyed up by support.The decision to self-publish is an individual one – different people want different things out of their writing – but for anyone who likes a hands-on approach, who can take the long-term view on gaining a readership, or who just wants to get their work out there, there's not a lot of reasons to not self-publish.

TSD: You take out time to reply to emails. How does that affect your relationship with your readers?

Andrea: I guess that depends on how well I answer the emails! Getting mail from my readers is a special experience for me – hearing how my stories have touched people, or just being asked for more. I always feel a little daunted trying to draft a response, but I hope that I don't come across as too much of a prat in my replies!

 TSD: What do you find to be the most successful technique of publicizing your books?

Andrea: Free first book in a series. There is nothing that compares.

TSD: What aspect of your writing are you most proud of?

Andrea: Gosh – that's a difficult question! I like messing with expectations. Not plot twists so much as building my worlds just a little bit left of centre. I particularly like to write egalitarian worlds, giving my female characters challenges that don't revolve around what women are and aren't allowed to do in a restrictive culture. While stories about coping with restrictive cultures, and stories about "a girl can do that too", are both important, these particular narratives almost completely dominate stories revolving around women. I like to read – and write – stories exploring different challenges for my female characters.

 TSD: Do you think all your hard work and determination paid off? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Andrea: I think that I'm really lucky that the internet and e-readers came along and gave me all these opportunities. The past few years of self-publishing have definitely given me plenty of emotional highs – and a nice income supplement as well.

I'd love to be writing full time in ten years, but even if that's not the case, I hope to see myself with, well, ten more books out! A book a year is about my speed. No matter what the future holds with the constantly changing face of publishing, I know I'll want to keep on writing.

 Thank you Andrea for taking out the time=) We'll keep reading as long as you keep writing!

Additional links:
Andrea's Website
Check out The Silence of Medair
Check out Hunting

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