Updated: Mar 3
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 Rebecca McCeile, the author of Candy Apple Butterscotch: A Memoir.
WW: Tell us about your experience with Indie publishing?
RM: I honestly stumbled into indie publishing completely by accident. It wasn’t something that I particularly set out to do, but I’m glad I bumbled my way along to completing my first book. Writing has always been a hobby of mine and I started my indie publishing adventure by Googling “how to print a book”. My initial goal was very basic. I wanted to have a collection of important memories, sort of like a collage but in words vs pictures printed and bound for safe keeping. The more I researched the basics of actually printing my work the more I learned about self publication. Eventually I decided to pursue it. I’m so glad I did! It was definitely a learning experience. I’m still learning and making improvements. I think that’s the best part. Being able to really have control over your work vs signing it away and being swept along for the ride with a traditional publishing house.
WW: Tell us about your book.
RM: Candy Apple Butterscotch is a memoir highlighting my late teen and early twenties. I was involved in an abusive relationship, which resulted in an eventual PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) diagnosis. In a nutshell it’s a journey to self discovery; a coming of age story that focuses on how I found my voice and self worth.
WW: What made you want to write in the genre of your book?
RM: I actually took a very long time to decide which genre I wanted to focus on. I knew what I wanted to write (my self discovery and how I got there) but I was unsure of how I wanted to present it. For a long time I planned on publishing it under fiction inspired by true events adding necessary embellishments to take it apart from reality. Eventually, after I began researching the different genres for publication purposes I settled on memoir instead. It’s not really something I can expand upon for future publications, so I’m not sure where I’ll go from here.
WW: What has been your favorite part of being an Indie Author?
RM: So far my favorite part has been maintaining a small audience which I can genuinely interact with. My story is deeply personal and I’ve been fortunate enough to connect with some amazing fellow domestic abuse survivors due to the slow nature of things taking off. Not going to lie, I’m also a bit of a control freak creatively speaking and it’s nice to be able to do whatever I want in terms of my marketing, editing, sales, title, cover art etc. It makes the project seem much more personal. Like *I* wrote it, and *I* make all the final decisions. I also really love the fact that everything moves at my own pace. I don’t have to sell x amount of copies to continue any contractual obligations. If I want my book to sit on the digital shelves collecting dust, the only person it impacts is myself.
WW: What do you wish you knew before going the indie-publish route?
RM: The only draw back I seem to have run into in my indie publishing adventure is the fact that most publishing houses and/or literary agents won’t even consider my work because having been independently published makes acquiring the rights a bit of a hassle. It’s really one or the other in the publishing world. You can either pitch to established publishing houses or indie publish. Transcending from one to another is difficult if not impossible.
WW: What books or authors have inspired you?
RM: For Candy Apple Butterscotch: Elizabeth Gilbert and Eat, Pray, Love.
In general: Dean Koontz, Neil Gaiman, and Frank Peretti. I’ve read too many of their books to name, but I love the way they each can create vivid worlds that are completely consuming, yet very unique.
WW: Are you working on anything now?
RM: I am! I’ve been a participant in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) since 2011. I’m putting together a collection of my favorites and plan on releasing them as an anthology.
WW: What does your writing space look like?
RM: Unfortunately, I don’t have a dedicated writing spot at the moment. I usually plop down with my computer anywhere I can find until the words start flowing. I do find some of my best work is accompanied by late night coffee in either diners or coffee houses.
WW: What is your writing process like?
RM: I’m a “fly by the seat of my pants” type person; a “Pantser” as we refer to ourselves. In addition to being a hobby, writing is very cathartic for me. My best work stems from highly charged emotions. It’s rather fleeting, I’d like to improve upon my process and become more organized for future publications.
WW: What advice would you give writers looking at indie publishing?
RM: I think it really depends on what you want to achieve with your work. If your goal is to make a living off your books be prepared to put in a whole lot of time and effort. The process of self promotion is very slow starting out and the likelihood of instant viral fame is slim at best. On the other hand, if your goal is to write on the side as a hobby or supplement to other forms of income indie publishing can be a great place to learn the ropes of the literary world. There is a lot more freedom to make mistakes and correct them with little consequence to anyone aside from yourself. Plus not being constrained to any contractual agreements gives you room to work at your own pace and fosters creativity over quantity.
WW: How connected are you to the indie publishing community? What is that experience like?
RM: I’m brand new and making new connections every day! So far I’ve had great luck, and everyone seems very supportive.
WW: What platforms do you use to promote your work?
RM: Right now I’m focused primarily on social media via Instagram, Facebook and GoodReads. I’d like to connect with local bookstores and get a few copies on shelves in my community but I’ve yet to pursue that avenue.