7 Questions With Award Winning Author Mario Dhingsa
Mario Dhingsa is a UK-born, Wellington-based, award-winning author. His first published work, High Office Whispers, was awarded the B.R.A.G. Medallion in 2018. His second work, Maps of Bliss and Rage, is now available on Kindle.
Mario is a member of the New Zealand Society of Authors, a former member of the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain, and a former committee member of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs.
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Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Half and half! You can plan out the plot as much as possible, but when the wheels start turning, and the plot starts rolling, anything can happen. The trick is to balance the two approaches so that one compliments the other by the time you’ve reach the end.
What would you do if you wouldn’t be writing?
I’ve been writing and telling stories since I was a little boy. If I couldn’t do that as an adult directly, then I would have found some subversive way to tell a good story and lighten people’s lives.
How do you manage to juggle life and writing?
You have to be organised, and that doesn’t mean that you can’t be flexible. But you do have to prioritise your goals, and if you want to publish, then there’s several hurdles that you have to clear. You don’t have to clear them first time; but if you want to finish the race, then you have to clear them at some point.
We all know this industry is full of surprises. Can you share an unexpected experience?
One UK agent said that he was impressed with my second work (Maps of Bliss and Rage), but book stores wouldn’t know where to shelve it. He also recommended that I should instead self-publish it, and I have appreciated his advice.
What’s the best way for authors to approach self-promotion?
The first step for an indie author is to realise that your audience aren’t going to come to you; you will have to go to them. Look at how your favourite authors promote themselves online, see what works for you, and do likewise. Anything is better than not doing anything at all. Oh, and avoid advertising in print media 🙂
There are a lot of experts behind the novel, editors, developmental editors, proofreaders, beta readers, etc. How did you find your perfect crew?
I found an incredible crew to work with in the Classified section of the New Zealand Society of Authors’s quarterly magazine. Norman Bilbrough was my manuscript assessor, Sue Copsey was my editor, and Cheryl Smith was my designer. All of them were a joy to work with, and I owe them all a great deal.
Is there anything you learned from reader reviews?
I’ve learned that I can’t predict what a reader will like about my works. That’s what makes the reviews so exciting. And whenever a reader says they’ve found a connection with your characters, it’s one of the best feelings in the world 🙂
Find Mario on Goodreads
Are you in the Writing Industry?
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She just wanted to mope over her breakup but the universe had other plans for Zoey Mills.
Read the full blurb here.