Updated: Mar 3, 2020
It's Indie Author Sunday! We're posting an interview with a different indie author along with posts about them on all our social media accounts. This week it's Beanie Lei, the author of The Vision.
WW: Tell us about your experience with Indie publishing?
BL: I've had a really fun experience; I went 'full indie' because I wanted to learn about building websites, graphic design, document formatting, ebook creation, branding, and marketing. I also thought being an indie author would motivate me to finish writing a book. That has certainly worked!
WW: Tell us about your book
BL: My next book, 'Wolf's Father', is the third and last novel of my 'Norse Myth Soap Opera Trilogy', a novelised retelling of the Norse myths. It will be out in Spring/Summer 2019 (I'll announce this on my blog, https://beanielei.blogspot.com), and it wraps up the familiar stories of Odin, the Valkyries, Thor, and Baldr in an unfamiliar approach.
WW: What made you want to write in the genre of your book?
BL: I have always been a big fan of myths and fairytales, and back in the day had written a satirical story about a Chinese god on holiday in the UK which was rejected by mainstream publishers because they didn't know how to market it. I cast a fresh eye over it many years later, and decided to rewrite it. Coincidentally, Marvel's 'Thor' was released around then, and I mashed my story with the Norse myths. This was originally for fun, but the more I read of the Norse myths in English, Old Norse, Latin, Danish, and Faroese (with the help of translations, dictionaries, and online translators), the more questions arose, and the result was 'The Prophecy' as well as 'The Norse Myth Soap Opera Trilogy'. I still haven't finished the story I began with; that particular adventure has only just begun!
WW: What has been your favorite part of being an Indie Author?
BL: Seeing my books on sale, and collecting royalties.
WW: What do you wish you knew before going the indie-publish route?
BL: That indie publishing existed.
WW: What books or authors have inspired you?
BL: In general, there are too many to list! But when it comes to 'The Norse Myth Soap Opera Trilogy', I owe a debt of gratitude to Snorri Sturluson's 'Prose Edda' and 'Poetic Edda', Saxo Grammaticus' 'Gesta Danorum', Wu Cheng'en's 'Xiyouji', and Chen Zhonglin's 'Fengshen Yanyi'. Snorri and Saxo committed the bulk of the Norse myths to paper (very bravely, I think), and Wu Cheng'en and Chen Zhonglin showed that ancient myths can be novelised and that there can be alternative ways to novelise a story. Another inspiration is the band Sigur Ros, for showing the world that Old Norse is still alive and kicking!
WW: Are you working on anything now?
BL: I'm writing and rewriting 'Wolf's Father', and getting it ready for publication in Spring/Summer 2019.
WW: What does your writing space look like?
BL: It's dominated by my PC and completely messy and strewn with notes and pens everywhere!
WW: What is your writing process like?
BL: I play mini-films in my mind's eye, type these up as prose, then stitch them together in different orders until I get the order I like. If I get stuck, I doodle, write in longhand, or do something else before returning to my writing.
WW: What advice would you give writers looking at indie publishing?
BL: If you think it's for you, you should go for it. Don't dither! And pick the right bookstore which works for you; there are a number of them, and they require differing formats. Thankfully, there are distributors such as Smashwords and Draft2Digital who are able to simplify the formatting process by accepting a Word file and converting this to the formats that the different bookstores need. I would suggest picking the distributor(s) who best suit(s) your needs.
WW: How connected are you to the indie publishing community?
BL: What is that experience like? --> I email my friends to say 'hi!', but as I am writing most of the time, this has limited how much I spend tweeting and instagramming. I am always happy to help others who email beanielei at gmail dot com.
WW: What platforms do you use to promote your work?
BL: Previously, I have only relied on my Blogger blog, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram, and Amazon, but this year, in addition to the above, I shall also enter more competitions, approach book bloggers, and guest post on different sites.