Today’s perfect 10 interview session is with author Polly White. The questions in these interviews are designed to gain more insight into the inspiration, background and strategy of the authors that stop by.
Please enjoy this edition of A Perfect 10 and look for an exciting announcement regarding all of the participating authors for 2018.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Writing most definitely energizes me. I also find the process cathartic and being published a reward for all the hard work.
Do you ever write under a pseudonym? If not have you considered it? Why or why not?
Writing under a pseudonym protects authors and their characters, mostly. It can free up the writer to be bold but then the reader will always ask where an idea came from, which the author must defend. I believe promotion can be trickier as the manuscript stands unassociated with prior publications.
Does a big ego help or hurt writers? Why or why not?
Success spurs the writer on. A single reader valuing your work, and then reviewing on Amazon or Goodreads, is the way to more sales. Most writers aren’t in the business to make money but more to be heard.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Writing workshops and collaborations are where we learn from one another, as well as the front of class. An editor can see beyond my craft limits so their perspective/feedback is particularly valuable.
What does writing success look like to you? Have you achieved it?
I’ve done some reading of short work at events- that was gratifying. Standing on a platform next to writers who have multiple publications gives me something to aspire to. Achieving goals to improve the work has been my measure success rather than seeing everything I write published.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? What sources do you use?
Writing about important topics to raise awareness brings with it author responsibility, even in fiction. For me, news articles drive the writing and then speaking to the experts working in the field. A retired policeman friend was especially helpful in signposting where to go for research. That was backed up by reading relevant reports and hearing from organizations working on the ground tackling the issues raised. My knowledge of settings and character profiles needed to be authentic. Research can promote support and group friendships.
How do you select the names of your characters? Have you ever regretted choosing a particular name? Why?
Again, it’s all about authenticity. Names need to fit characters age & ethnicity. Research is followed up by reader feedback. If the name doesn’t match the character it can slow the reading and confuse.
What is the hardest type of scene to write?
I found it a challenge to know how far to go with showing sexual scenes that were abusive. Staying ‘in the moment’ was painful to write but necessary to reveal the exploitation as real and ongoing. While my book is set in the UK I think the content is equally relevant in the USA.
If you could have dinner with four people, living or dead, who would they be and what would you want to ask them?
I admire those who have helped people despite the personal costs. Sacrifice is a huge price to pay. This can be of time, money or work against the odds. Pioneers are big in my book too.
So, dinner with Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Mother Teresa and Sir Joseph Lister might teach me more about “healing”. It would be a place to say, ‘thank-you for making a difference.’
What platform has brought you the most success in marketing your books?
Social media platforms such as blogs are the way to go. Forming friendships with writers in similar genres offers promotion amongst their readers, which is vital for us newbies. It’s thanks to the generosity of authors such as Don Massenzio I get by.
This year I’m promoting an empowering, new adult novel called ‘What If I Go?’ published by Solstice Publishing. The book offers a heads up for students of the dangers from gang sexual exploitation. I hope that Fresher’s parents would also read the book to understand the challenges of moving to a new city. Please see my WordPress site here:
The book can be purchased here
Connect with Polly:
I’m happy for the first page of the novel to be included on ‘the Voices Project’ website, which focuses on prose to promote social change, on October 10th.