Hey! It has been a couple of weeks, hasn't it! Wow. I'm sure you've missed the author interviews. Okay, maybe I'm projecting here, because I have. So welcome Sarah to the Realm! I just wanted to add that I'm excited about her books turning into graphic novels. (It's a personal addiction of mine.)
Sarah-Jane Lehoux has always had a passion for storytelling. From grade school tales of cannibalistic ghosts, to teenaged conversations with God, to her rebellion against adulthood with fantasy kingdoms and fairy magic, she has attempted to share her love of the quirky and unconventional with her readers.
She currently resides in Southern Ontario with her husband and her horde of Machiavellian cats. In addition to her own writing, Sarah-Jane works as an editor and freelance cover artist.
Section #5: Words of Wisdom
- Tell us about your route to success – how/when did you decide to self-publish? Did you query an agent first? How did you handle the editing, proofreading, cover design, etc.
I went the traditional route first. I felt, at the time, that it was a rite of passage I had to go through. During that time, I became more and more knowledgeable about the business. I worked as a slush reader, an editor, and a cover artist. I got a good look at the inner workings of the publishing world.
Once I decided to break my contracts with my former publisher, I knew that the odds of getting them accepted by an agent or publisher was slim to none. I had dipped my toes in last summer when I released a chapbook of poetry and short fiction, so I decided to give it another go.
The books had already been professionally edited, but I gave them another go-through. Then I had my wonderfully supportive husband do copy edits for me to make the books as spotless as we could get them. I taught myself how to do the formatting, and as mentioned above, made the covers myself.
This truly has been a learning experience, from start to finish. What I would recommend to others is to research, research, research. Learn from other people’s mistakes. And do not try to publish, whether self or traditional, while you are still in love with your stories. Give yourself emotional distance from your writing so that you can look at it with a cold, critical objective eye. Because after all, writing is an art form. Publishing is all business.
- What are the most important elements of good writing?
At the very least, a good understanding of grammar. You have to know the rules before you can successfully break them.
- What tools are must-haves for writers?
People have been writing since writing was invented. They didn’t need fancy software or gadgets. They just needed something to write with and something to write on. The only must have for a writer is an imagination and the will-power to capture those wayward thoughts into words.
- Do you have any advice for other writers?
The best advice comes from Toni Morrison: “If there's a book you really want to read but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.” Don’t write what you think is popular. Don’t write what you think will sell. Write what’s in your heart. Be authentic, and you will be successful.
- What are your current / future project(s)?
I’m very excited to announce that The Sevy Series is going to be made into a set of graphic novels. An illustrator is currently working on some concept art and character design, so keep an eye on my blog. I will be posting updates and sneak peeks as they become available.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LehouxSarahJane
Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4038179.Sarah_Jane_Lehoux
Is your book in print, ebook or both? The Sevy Series (Thief, Shades of War and Masquerade) will be available in both print and ebook starting May 20th.