Interview with Australian Author – Patricia Leslie
“Australian Authors” – Tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?
Patricia – I love to sing and dance. When I’m home alone, I’ll pull the blinds, crank up the stereo, blast my favourite songs, and dance like no ones watching (because no one is).
“Australian Authors” – What made you want to become a writer?
Patricia – To give my natural urge to write things down a purpose and a goal to strive toward. By becoming a writer I’ve been able to work toward improving my craft and extending my skills, style, and scope.
“Australian Authors” – Now, the big question, are you working on another book?
Patricia – Several actually. My current series is one book onto a 3-book saga so I’m busy with book 2 and 3, and then I have something planned for Ancient Gaul…
“Australian Authors” – What genres do you prefer to write in?
Patricia – Fantasy though more urban than high fantasy. I like to write about real worlds, historical and contemporary, and inject magic into them. It’s a possibility that Crossing the Line will venture into the high fantasy arena though as I do have a predilection for sword-fighting, wild magic, and mystical beings from other worlds…
“Australian Authors” – What do you think about the ebook revolution?
Patricia – The more ways of reading the better. I know people who were not readers previously discover the joys of reading through their e-reader. Also, sometimes reading on a screen is easier than on paper. I like both.
“Australian Authors” – Do you start a book with a definite plot, or do you just write?
Patricia – I start with a plan and a sketch of a plot and go from there. Mostly. Sometimes, I also just start writing and see where it leads me.
“Australian Authors” – Do your characters seem to hijack the story, or are you always in control?
Patricia – We’ve come to an understanding where I will let their personalities guide me and they won’t do anything too outrageous…
“Australian Authors” – Are your characters based on real people or completely imagined?
Patricia – A bit of both actually. In Keeper of the Way, at least three characters are based on people from my family tree and several others are fictionalised versions of real people from history. Everyone else is completely made up. In A Single Light, several characters were based off people I know. I asked them first before including them because originally their names were also used, but in the final edits I had to work on the characters a bit more so I changed names and dropped one or two from the story.
“Australian Authors” – Who are your favourite authors?
Patricia – Jane Austen, Stephen King, Tolkien, Stephan Donaldson, Mary Stewart, Steinbeck, Ann Cleeves, Isobel Blackthorn, Tracy M Joyce, Bronwyn Parry, Camilla Lackberg… and loads more
“Australian Authors” – What’s your advice to Authors? On writing? Publishing? Marketing?
Patricia – On writing: get the story written and don’t worry about details like form and punctuation and plot holes too much. You will have the opportunity to fix all that in the read over and through constant revision. You won’t get to fix things though until you have the story out of your head and onto paper or your computer.
On publishing: be patient, be consistent, be persistent, and don’t ever give up on finding a publisher. Also, look for publishers that are appropriate for your work. Once you’ve got that contract, remember that the publisher is running a business and has other authors on their books – the world does not revolve around you. Make contact with other authors within the publishing group you’re now connected to if possible, and outside that group too. Other authors can be your best support as you become acquainted to the world of publishing.
On Marketing: it helps if you work out a strategy or plan for yourself. Your publisher can only do so much and that is limited to the size of their publicity budget. Find a social media platform that works for you. I use Instagram because I love to take photos and share them, Twitter so I can share links to interesting articles (my own and others), and Facebook because it’s expected that everyone has a Facebook page. I write articles for other blogs, which then get shared out increasing my marketing reach and visits to my website. I write my own blog posts too and I send out newsletters to my VIP Readers. The point is that you need to be present and consistent across a number of outlets to be heard. You also need to be patient. This is no short term exercise.