Kindle Author Interview With Sherry Mayes

Wednesday, 27 January 2016
Next up to take their place on the interview chair is kindle author Sherry Mayes. Come join us as we talks about the pro's and con's of the writing business and her new book Stop The World, which is currently available on the amazon kindle store.
If you use a Pen Name why did you choose it?
Sherry is my nickname that everyone calls me.
Why do you write?
I love writing stories, it’s such an incredible way of understanding another experience.
When did you decide to become a writer? 
I’ve been writing for over twenty years, first as a journalist writing about human interest stories and health for national newspapers and magazines, and then writing self-help books. This is my first fiction novel inspired by the real life story of a teenager I interviewed nine years ago.
What genre are your books? 

This particular book is YA, but I have just completed a novel which is historical suspense.

What draws you to this genre? 

I guess because it’s inspired by a real story of a teenager, it had to be YA because of the age of the protagonist.  But I’m happy to write for all ages.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? 
The story had been rolling around my head for years and I finally thought, “come on Sherry, get on with it.”
Do you write full-time or part-time? 
I write every day for a large chunk in between work calls.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured? 
When I’m working on a novel, whether writing the draft or editing, I wake up full of energy wanting to get it done. I find it addictive. Sometimes I’m up at 7 am writing and will write or edit for hours, and sometimes in the evening from 10 pm until the early hours – usually until I get hungry or my eyes are sore. One time I looked at the clock and thought “yikes six hours have evaporated!”
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively? 
I feel that writing and reading has helped me to evolve. I feel I write better now and my understanding of punctuation and the editing process has grown which is crucial. I swear by a book called, ‘Revision and Self-Editing for Publication’ by James Scott Bell.
What have you written? 

I wrote two self-help books ten years ago, published by Hodder & Stoughton. Be Your Own Psychic which was a fun interactive book full of visualisations to stimulate the right side of your brain, and How to be a Supernatural Lover now renamed Be Your Own Cupid, because people didn’t know what the title meant – which is an intuitive book about deepening your relationships. My first fiction novel, is Stop the World and I have just completed a WWII suspense novel, called Letters to the Pianist which has just been taken on by a publisher and will be out shortly.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you? 

I do feel I need an outline to know where I’m going, but the outline is just the periphery and that can and often does change.

How do you market your books? 

These days whether you’re traditionally published or self-publishing you have to market a lot yourself. I tend to approach radio shows, local publications, bloggers, reviewers etc.

Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures? 

I feel the biggest thing is to spread your net wide and let people know your book is out there. You can’t sell it if it people don’t know about it.

Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in the future?

Not that I can think of. You just have to keep on spreading your net.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?  

Find a story that you love and believe in it. When you don’t know if people will like it, all you have is the love of your story to keep you going.  And also be humble enough to change things that don’t work.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special? 

Jody Angel Taylor is my seventeen-year-old main character. She narrates the story in first person.  She is fairly unlikeable at first – a vain, spoilt only child of indulgent parents, she’s also been a pageant queen since she was a toddler and she thrives on her popularity on twitter, Facebook and Instagram. When she drives the brand new sports car her father gives her for passing her test, she goes to meet her friend for drinks, crashes the car and ends up paraplegic, spending six months in hospital. At this point she gets stripped apart and ends up nearly going crazy, when she realizes none of her so called friends want to know. 

Where do your ideas come from? 

They’re often from real life stories, people I’ve interviewed, items on the news, or historical events.        

What is the hardest thing about writing?  
The endless editing once you’ve written the story. It can be tedious and draining. Often I feel like I’m on the Hades Wheel of editing for all eternity.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? 
Making sure I got Jody’s voice right.  I’m British and this book was set in Cedarville, North California so I ensured I gave it to American beta readers to check the language. Fortunately, everyone says they love Jody’s voice. The voice of a character is everything in making a story authentic.
Which writers inspire you? 
I have varied tastes. I love Gillian Flynn, Emily Bronte, John Greene, Paula Hawkins, Nabokov. The list is endless.
What do you do to get book reviews? 
Readers who have bought my books have kindly given me reviews, but I also send the book to bloggers and reviewers.
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How successful has your quest for reviews been so far? 
Excellent. People seem to like it, and good reviews, promote more reviews I feel.
What is the current book you are promoting?

Stop the World

Who is your favorite character in your book and why? 

Probably Dr Sledgehammer, mistress of darkness, the named coined for her by protagonist Jody as she’s such a brutal and blunt physiotherapist.

Who is your least favorite character and why?

I don’t have any. I loved them all.

If your book were made into a movie, who would you cast? 

Probably an unknown so there are no preconceptions.

What is your next project? 

Letters to the Pianist, which is the historical suspense story ready to be published.

Who is your favorite fictional character and why? 

Scarlett O’Hara. She’s such a memorable character, beautiful, complex with some great lines.

What one person from history would you like to meet and why? 

I’d love to meet Einstein. He’s just a brilliant, eccentric character. Although I’d want to trim his unruly hair.

If there was one thing you could do to change the world, what would it be? 

Let everyone all over world have all the food that we waste. There so much wastage everywhere with supermarkets throwing out sell by date food, that’s still viable.

What is one great lesson you have learned as a writer? 

To correct my POV’s – point of view of character. It’s the main thing new authors get wrong – head hopping too much.

What is one thing you hate about being a writer? 

The compelling addiction, when it stops you eating and socializing etc,

Tell us something unique about you.

I’m completely bonkers, especially when I’ve had a drink, but I try and hide it, not always well.

Is there anything else you would like to add that I’ve included? 

No everything is covered

How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Twitter: @authorMayes

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