7 Questions With Author Riley Quinn PART 2 | Esther Rabbit
Riley Quinn is a Canadian author and musician. He grew up in Western Canada, dividing his time between the Prairies, the Rocky Mountains, and the shores of the North West Coast. Writing has been a lifelong passion for him, and he has laptops, note-pads, and tablets filled with unfinished stories.
When he’s not writing, Riley can be found performing and teaching music in his community. He regularly volunteers as music director for his local High School’s competitive theatre program. Riley writes primarily Young Adult Fiction. His new novel, “The Cove”, comes out in the spring of 2021.
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.
We all know this industry is full of surprises. Can you share an unexpected experience?
Recently, at a signing, an elderly lady told me that a friend of hers enjoys reading YA. She asked if I thought her friend might enjoy my book, then told me a list of books her friend has read. All of them were in the same genre, so I told her that yes, I think “Lost Boys” sounds like a good fit for her friend.
Then everything changed. She instantly became extremely suspicious and accused me of attempting to manipulate her into buying a copy. After assuring her (repeatedly) that I was not, in fact, manipulating her, she relaxed and happily decided to buy the book. Afterword, she returned to my table to ask whether I knew where she and her daughter could buy…wait for it…light sabers. Spoiler: “Lost Boys” has absolutely nothing to do with light sabers. Absolutely bizarre experience!
What’s the best advice/feedback on writing you’ve ever received?
Ironically, it wasn’t even about writing. Years ago, a music mentor of mine told me that I needed to stop considering myself an amateur musician. He said, “The only difference between you and a professional touring musician is that they’ve been lucky enough to get noticed. So, stop thinking of yourself as ‘not a professional’, because you are one.
As soon as I started applying that to my writing as well, I became a more confident writer and the quality of my work improved dramatically. If you’re serious about writing, approach your work like a professional and hold your work to the standards of a professional.
What’s the best way for authors to approach self-promotion?
Get out in the world and expose your book! The single most effective marketing tool for me is book signings. I meet people, talk about the book, get them excited about the book, and then they go and spread the word to more new readers.
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 my team via Reedsy.com, which is an amazing online marketplace for professionals in every aspect of the writing world to meet and collaborate. I queried a bunch of professionals, and eventually met my editor, Fiona McLaren, and my cover designer, Dan Van Oss. Both were phenomenal with “Lost Boys”, and they’ve delivered again on my new book, The Cove.
How do you deal with negative feedback or negative reviews?
Writing, like any art form, is completely subjective. I find it quite comical actually; I’ve received positive and negative reviews about the exact same things. When someone loves an element of your story and someone else hates that exact same thing, there’s not much you can do about it! And that’s ok! I just try to roll with it and focus on the readers who like what I’m doing. The negative reviewers can find another author who suits their taste better!
How long do you self-edit your manuscript before sending it to a proofreader/ beta reader / editor?
I usually complete the third draft before sending it to Fiona, my editor. My rule of thumb is, keep editing until I stop hearing Fiona’s voice in my head telling me to fix things. As soon as Imaginary-Fiona stops pointing out plot holes, I send it to Real-Fiona to find more!
Just how much research is there behind a novel? Tell us how it looks behind the scenes.
Research is a treacherous slope! I get distracted INCREDIBLY EASILY, and I can sidetrack for an hour before returning to my manuscript and realizing I never actually learned what I set out to.
HOWEVER, I believe research is extremely important. I like to use a spin on the phrase ‘write what you know’, and instead say, ‘know what you write.’ I don’t think any writer should ever be boxed into only writing what they’ve experienced. In the age of the Google, get out on the internet and learn about whatever you want to write.
I suggest researching until you thoroughly understand what you’re writing, then get back to the book. Beware of digging too deep and getting lost among music videos, the world’s strongest kangaroo, or two-hour whale documentaries (none of which pertained in the slightest to what I was writing).
Find Riley Quinn here:
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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.