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Writer’s Spotlight: A Recap

Every Writer Wednesday, we gather at the M3 Coffee Shoppe to see who is coming in for java and sweets. Today, Red has a large batch of cappuccino ready, a pitcher of dark and sweet and a platter fresh chocolate drizzled anisette biscotti. Pull up a stool to the coffee bar on the patio.

In M3’s first year, we got to know authors in 45 interviews. The genres were diverse, the jokes funny, the inspiration poignant and the advice good. We learned some things about publishing within the traditional industry and as an Indie.

How?

The mystique behind the interviews is how I get the answers out of the authors. I have rightly been called a tough taskmaster. The interviews are long; I do not interpret the questions; and I expect the answers and deliverables on deadline.

What was the question?It is grueling to have someone ask you to define yourself as an author under a flash fiction word limit; boil your book down to a trim blurb; look at your work and admit what makes it distinguishable; talk honestly about the industry and your colleagues; and show how much you have grown as an author by publishing a book.

From all the hard work, I have gotten some mighty compliments:

  • I have never looked at my book this closely. Not even during editing.
  • Now that I see what I did that worked, I know what I am going to do next time.
  • That was hard work! 15 words is my new tweet line for my book!

When it is all over, most of the authors think the process was fun. The main reason is The M3 Readers.

Why?

You have probed for more answers. You read the books. You posted reviews. You shared the spotlights with your reading, tweeting, booking, pinning audiences. You networked on social media with the authors. You made friends.

You showered the authors with praise. In your sincerity, you let the authors know their hard work paid dividends which they never expected. By sharing their vulnerabilities, they stepped onto the playing field at levels we all recognize in our own WIP. You let them know they gave you confidence and inspired you.

Where?

In classic Red style, I was going somewhere with the interviews which was the garlic pod beneath the skins you peeled away.

One of the questions I ask all authors is not one I publish with each interview. It is the only question to which I require an answer. It is the question which lead to the launch of Redmund Productions.

What the majority of authors do not like about the traditional publishing industry is the lack of personality. Being reduced to an ISBN. Becoming a nameless item number on an order sheet, for which the publisher receives the bulk of the commission. Being nothing beyond a faceless bean to be counted.

My commitment to Redmund Productions is it will never devolve into the prototypical traditional publisher. This commitment takes a multi-pronged approach.

1. Redmund will be a community based cooperative. Authors will interact with other authors; the artists who create the cover art; the audio and video teams which produce the audio books and trailers; the beta readers who give books their first unbiased audience; the editors who will apply just enough Nazism to make the book a success without erasing the author’s style; and the marketing teams who will help spread the word.

2. Although Redmund will not accept every manuscript on its first submission, for all those to whom a rejection slip must issue, assistance will be on offer. The official corporate response of Redmund will be to uplift and encourage rather than demean with condescension, indifference or disregard.

3. Redmund will not take the lion’s share of the proceeds. (full stop)

Not a chance. Just the xenogogue.

Who?

The face of Redmund will be the authors. Not her. –>

When we were discussing the branding of Redmund Productions, there were many of you who suggested I be the face of Redmund. My issue with vanity was different than many expected. I have no issue putting my face on and in my books. I do not have one putting them in credits for others’ works where I have contributed. I do, however, have a large problem with my face being the face of Redmund.

I do not do the majority of the work. Since the ones who do the majority of the work are the authors, they are going to be the face (and hands) of RP. I am content to have my own author page and wave my baton at the audience from there, thank you very much.

That does not let you off the hook for submitting pictures of hands, IJS.

When?

The Writer’s Spotlight squeaked by in the poll of which features will continue into year two at The M3 Blog. Redmund authors will enjoy the spotlight both here and on the RP blog. They will take two completely (utterly, disparately, amazingly) different formats.

I hope you like where the authors take both M3 and RP. Without them, it would be nothing more than me talking to myself, however entertaining that can be.

What?

In the course of the next year, on what would you like to see the writer’s spotlight focus? Is there a part of the author’s experience which is of interest to you in addition to or instead of the answers I attempt to get? What do you find most helpful about the interviews? How can we get more recognition for the authors?

~~~~~~~~~~


You really do not think you got off that lightly. Read the last paragraph again.

(c) Red Dwyer 2012
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20 Comments

  1. Great post, Red 🙂 I would like to hear from the authors what their writing process is like, if you don’t already cover it. I’ve heard the advice that you need to schedule writing EVERY day, I’ve heard that you can only write when the inspiration hits you, I’ve heard various forms of the process. I am curious, and know my style, but wonder if I can glean some inspiration from those who made it. Presently I have a memoir I believe in which I haven’t written a chapter for since January 2012. Since I am now involved in Redmund and have HOPE, I would like to incorporate some habits into my life that will bring this third book along more quickly and smoothly. I also would like to know how many authors edit while they write, like I do, a chapter at a time.
    Thanks for asking!
    Gailxxx
    Gail Thornton recently posted..Flash Fiction 3 – Hot FlashMy Profile

    Reply
    • I ask that, but not all authors have anything really to answer. Far too many are catch as catch can, what with jobs and families. The ones who are retired or only write do it all day long. My suggestion? Put up a thread in the Get Your WIP room about method. Perhaps, that will be a question in my next interview, since I am fairly certain my interviewer will be reading this thread. xxx

      Reply
  2. My weird quirk about my novel writing is that I do almost all of the creative part in public places. I find it difficult to write at home, but home is ideal for editing and revisions.
    Ahmnodt Heare recently posted..Thank You for Your Continued SupportMy Profile

    Reply
    • Interesting, Ahm. I have done one out of the house. My issue with that is always being seated where there is a plug. Lugging 6 batteries is a bummer. My waitress loved it though. I am a good tipper. Great to see you!

      Reply
  3. Well, let’s see… first, you should make sure the winners of books should thank you for their pleasant surprise when it shows up in the mail. That said, since I usually only check my snail mail once a week or so. Hence this VERY late word of gratitude, probably to the one who picked my name out of the hat, and then to Red and the possibilities to win copies. I’d also like to thank my mom and d…. oh, wait… that’s the wrong speech!
    So, thank you dear girl for sending me another win by the famous John Hawkins, his latest release: “Building a Strategic Plan…”
    Now I need only find the time to read it (along with the others)!!!
    So, about the authors – how about asking for a stripped down ATA from your interviewees that isn’t the one found on/in their books…
    Or perhaps a 15 words or less answer to “What is this book about?” Or perhaps, better, “What happens in this book?”

    that’s all for now…

    love and many hugs…

    🙂
    BuddhaKat recently posted..Friday Fractal Feature, for shure…My Profile

    Reply
    • LOL! I like those kind of surprises. One of my little sisters tells me there is nothing better than going to the letter box and getting something from someone who does not want money. *grins* You are welcome.

      Actually, the ATA which I ask for necessarily cannot be the one from the jackback. Those range from 250-750 words. I ask for one in 50 or less and edit without approval if too long 😉 (tough taskmaster)

      I already ask them for plot. I do not place it in the interview. It is in the Coffee Shoppe (along with a link to the book). Click the top menu bar 😉

      Reply
  4. The author interviews are probably my favorite features here. Well, other than those Wombie posts! It’s good to hear how other authors think and work, and to see what they have to offer.
    Binky recently posted..Wombat Day 2012My Profile

    Reply
    • Thank you. When I started it, I was hoping there would be more interest than merely mine 😉

      Reply
  5. I loved the interview questions most of all. You make it all so fun. Can you be my mommy?

    Reply
  6. Yes, and a thank you from me for a surprise win in my mailbox, futuristic-style! A treat!
    Gail Thornton recently posted..Flash Fiction 3 – Hot FlashMy Profile

    Reply
  7. I read the enitre post and all the comments and got here – and poof… I will think on this and get back to you i guess… you are pretty thorough with the authors I think and sometimes it depends on who and the book, what I want to know – there is one particular question I look for every time..
    LOve <3
    Lizzie
    Lizzie Cracked recently posted..BEMy Profile

    Reply
    • You are not the only one to tell me that, Lizzie. The majority of the people who like the interviews like a particular set of questions. Ironically, all of the questions I ask are of interest to some of the readers. When I skip an M3 Reader’s fave question, they ask it in the comments. <3 Much love xxx

      Reply
  8. As always when visiting M3 I spend some of my time reading through the preceding comments, this gives me a greater understanding of who is calling by and of course what they are enjoying about all the many postings here. I know that I haven’t read many of the author related posts but for the one’s that I have they more often than not offer some very interesting feedback on the questions that are asked, and all the reactions are useful.

    Moving along a little now, there is one thing that I am rather puzzled by and this is the lack of interest shown in Redmund Productions, being that after the launch there is still only twenty one users and of those only a handful are adding regular comments, which in my estimation is far too low from the M3 readership yes I am perhaps overstepping the mark adding what I think here but being that Red, the creator of this new development has put so much time and effort into it then surely we the readers of M3 can offer a healthier response than this?

    To be honest I thought that once Redmund Productions was up and running that there would be a massive influx of readers, writers and commenter’s flocking there but as yet there is only a meagre few, not that this is my business to point fingers but come on everyone show some camaraderie and let us raise the numbers, fuel the imagination and add some enthusiasm because I know that our Red deserves a lot better than this.

    Androgoth

    Reply
    • You are so very kind, Andro. In fact, the lack of activity was something I expected. Since I only sent around two dozen invitations to begin, I have a good return on the guests I wanted in the first place. The SEP outlines some of the issues. I have come to realize, though, unless I am willing to go to everyone’s inbox and specifically ask for their appearance, it is likely to not happen.

      It does, however, give me some great ideas for the posts on networking on M3. You should know by now, I am always willing to find the upside to most situations. 😉 Thank you for your support, Andro. I do appreciate it.

      Reply
  9. RP is an ingenious idea/undertaking; it’s early days yet. I can only imagine what a scramble will happen once the word really penetrates the *pheres with the unparalleled possibilities available to anyone having a great MC but is having no success elsewhere. Possibilities, good service and the right advice are genuine Red features from day one.

    I love the author interviews here, but it appears everyone is curious about how every author accomplishes the end result: a finished, polished, published book.
    Tess Kann recently posted..Flash in the Pan – RippleMy Profile

    Reply
    • Thank you, Tess. I feel quite certain the level of activity I have adopted in launching RP will continue once the word truly gets out. I am hoping over the next few weeks, authors begin inviting others in to see some of what we do.

      Perhaps, I will add something about method to the mix. Glad to see you today, Tess. <3

      Reply
  10. Your author spotlight is one of my favorite things. It’s encouraging, comical, inspiring and much more. I look for Redmand productions to be a great success. :). Angie
    Angela Young recently posted..Whose plan are you following?My Profile

    Reply
    • Thank you, Angie. It is good to see you. I hope things are beginning to settle a bit for you. {HUGZ}

      Reply

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