Indie Author Sunday: Barbara Schreiner

Updated: Sep 1

It's Indie Author Sunday! Every other 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 Barbara Schreiner, the author of The Travels and Travails of Stella Bellamy.

WW: Tell us about your experience with indie publishing.

BS: Over the years I have published through various approaches – mainstream non-fiction and fiction, self-publishing and through an online and POD publishing house. It’s been an interesting range of experiences. In terms of my self-published anthology of poetry, Broken Hearts and Restless Dreams, I was able to do the entire thing from beginning to end – write the poetry, take the photos, do the layout and design and then get it printed. So, the creative direction of the work was entirely within my control – which was great. But it also means that there wasn’t the critical eye of a professional editor over the work. And distribution is always the challenge with self-publishing. And I guess I didn’t really expect a poetry anthology to sell well, so I haven’t done much marketing other than making it available when I have been reading poetry in public. My most recent book, The Travels and Travails of Stella Bellamy is published through Rebel-e Publishing House which is an online publisher. They provided an editor who worked with me to considerably improve the book. They were excellently quick in responding to the original manuscript and to the various versions that I sent through. So, it’s been a pleasure to work with them. But it still needs a lot of hard work on my part to publicise the book.

WW: Tell us about your book.

BS: I call my book a novelogue – it’s a mixture of a novel and a travelogue, following the travels of Stella Bellamy around the world and through her own life. Stella is contemporary, middle-aged, chubby, grumpy, and single. But she has learned that when life gives you lemons, forget making lemonade, drink gin and tonic. Clutching a gin in one hand and an acerbic and hilarious sense of humour in the other, she travels the world and her own history. Whether in foreign airports or hotels, aeroplanes, tuk-tuks or crumbling taxis, or the comfort of her own home, Stella provides a poignant yet funny view of a diverse and colourful world. Stella revisits her complex emotional past and present, from her teenage relationship with a friend of her father’s, her fear of intimacy, to her relationship with her dying mother from hell. Stella invites and entices the reader to laugh at this absurd world.

WW: What made you want to write in the genre of your book?

BS: This book sort of just happened, there wasn’t really a moment of choice about what genre. I started writing it in dribs and drabs in airports and hotels around the world, trying to capture the essence of the cities and countries that I was visiting. And then, one evening, in a torrid hotel in Nairobi, Stella stepped into my life and the novel was born.

WW: What has been your favorite part of being an Indie Author?