7 Questions With Author Julia Scott
Julia Scott is the author of her debut novel The Mirror Souls, a fast-paced young adult novel that blends sci-fi (without being too heavy), near future dystopia (without being too stark and depressing) and soulmate romance.
For the ones of you who are new to my blog, I’m Esther Rabbit, writer, content creator for authors and massive nerd. If you’re interested to know all the tips & tricks surrounding the process From Writing To Publishing Your Novel, you’re only a click away. For writing and marketing tips consider subscribing to my YouTube Channel.
What are some of the myths around self-publishing / traditional publishing?
The myth that bothers me the most is that authors only self-publish their books because they’ve been rejected for traditional publishing.
It’s not always the case! I self-published my debut novel, and became an indie author, as a first choice. I wanted more creative control over my book and I didn’t want to wait years for it to be published. Overall, I’ve enjoyed the process and not had to deal with any rejection. Win win!
What’s your definition of the first draft?
Many times I see other authors talking about their first draft, second draft, third draft… and so on. To me, my first draft is my work-in-progress before it ever leaves my PC and makes its way to my editor. I will make several passes on that draft.
I’ll tweak it before it’s even complete, and once I reach ‘The End’, I will go through it chapter by chapter for my own self edit. Until the editor has done her magic on it, it’s my first draft. Once she’s made her comments and sent it back to me, then it becomes the second draft.
Looking back, what advice would you give yourself at the beginning of your journey?
First of all: Take. Your. Damn. Time. I have a ridiculously low level of patience and so I wanted my book in people’s hands as soon as I could manage. It took me only five months from the beginning of writing The Mirror Souls before I got it published.
I was *mostly* happy with how it turned out, but it needed a bit of extra polish and it needed more research on what works for the genre it belongs in, in terms of cover and blurb etc. Research is your friend. Check out other books that your book baby will be nestled among and see how it should fit in.
Second: Write for yourself. ‘Comparison is the thief of joy’.
It’s so easy to think that your story or writing isn’t as good as such-and-such’s story or writing. But so what? We’re all on our own journey, treading our own path. Not everyone will love what you put out there, and that’s okay. It’s been much harder writing my second novel in the series because of the weight of expectation from the readers who loved The Mirror Souls. But ultimately I know that I need to write the book for myself, and write the story that is in my heart. If I love it, then hopefully other people will too.
There are a lot of experts behind the novel, editors, developmental editors, proofreaders, beta readers, etc. How did you find your perfect crew?
I was very new to the publishing world when I first set out to bring The Mirror Souls into existance, and so I relied on Google, not gonna lie. I found a bunch of editors through a simple search and stumbled across Hannah Bauman of Between the Lines Editorial (@btleditorial on Instagram).
She offers a sample edit, which is absolutely essential before signing up with an editor. I felt we would work well together and thankfully, we did! She has become a good friend as well, and I will continue to use her wonderful editing services in the future!
I wasn’t so lucky when it came to cover design. The first cover of The Mirror Souls was quite a stressful beast to create, and I didn’t mesh well with the designer (I shall name no names). So when I decided to get the cover redesigned, I contacted an Instagram friend whose book cover I admired, and asked her what the designer had been like to work with.
She assured me that it had been a great process and so I worked with Moorbooks Design (moorbooksdesign.com) to bring the idea I had for the cover to life. I’m super happy with it, and the response to the new cover has been great.
As far as beta readers go, I stick to people I know and trust. I had a negative experience with a beta reader who told me she thought I should rewrite my whole book in third person instead of third person. Ha! No. And finally as for proofreaders… well I didn’t get one and I massively regretted it. That’s a whole other story. Lesson learned!
What are the 5 immediate tasks you hope to accomplish in the near future?
1) Finish my first draft of The Mirror Souls 2 (working title) and get it to my editor for an overall manuscript critique,
2) Get The Mirror Souls 2 to my beta readers,
3) Get The Mirror Souls (book one) published as a hardback,
4) Get some promotional materials designed for the Indie Fire conference in the UK on May 30th,
5) Take a break from The Mirror Souls trilogy by jumping back into my urban mythological fantasy series.
How do you manage to juggle life and writing?
I don’t always, to be perfectly honest with you! Life can be tough, and it throws you a curveball every now and then. For me, those curveballs are most often health related. But that’s the beauty of being an indie author, I have no deadlines to keep to apart from the ones I set myself.
Aside from those times where the writing has to take a backseat, I use a day-planner to make sure I carve out blocks of time in the day for writing, whether it’s during the day or evening. When I’m in the throes of writing a novel, I make sure to touch it at least once a day. But I also make sure to schedule in times during the week where I’m not thinking about my novel, to spend time proper quality time with my husband and children. Writing can be a little all-consuming!
What should readers expect from your next novel?
More love, more twists, more reunions, more locations, more answers.
Find Julia Scott here:
Are you in the Writing Industry?
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And check out Lost in Amber: An Out Of This World Paranormal Romance if enjoy girl power, adventure & a toe-curling love story.
She just wanted to mope over her breakup but the universe had other plans for Zoey Mills.
Read the full blurb here.