Indie Author Interview With Ana Antunes

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Join Us for another indie author interview with Ana Antunes. Read on to discover what makes this author tick as she discusses the craft of writing and her new book Out Of The Blue which is available in the amazon kindle store now.

Why do you write? 

There is nothing more pleasurable then giving voice to all those characters who are eager to be alive and let them do things that they may even hate you for making them do the unimaginable things that you love them for doing them.

When did you decide to become a writer? 

For me writing is so essential like the air we breathe. I always wrote, since my childhood, I kept my memories in my diaries, I wrote poems, I wrote in notebooks of my colleagues at school, I always found a piece of paper to write on my memories or anything that passes through my mind. 

Being a curious child and a natural observer, I always wrote and made notes about things and circumstances surrounding me since I was a little girl. And it was then that I decided to become a writer. I made my own books, with illustrations, when I was only eleven years old, and one of them was a comic book. Since then I did not stop writing. We have to keep that juice flowing, you know… otherwise we cannot make much sense of anything else.

What genre are your books? 

I'm a mutli-genre author and my works go from Mystery/Crime, Poetry and Nursery Rhymes, fables, myths and legends, Fantasy/Sci-Fi to hybrid fiction/nonfiction and self-help, methodology and techniques and how-to books, Suspense, Occult, Historical Fiction, Non-Fiction, Children’s Books with illustrations and rhymes, I write about spirituality, family, society and world crisis, and so many issues of our frantic times.

What draws you to these genres? 

There is this everlasting desire deep inside of me to overcome obstacles, to understand the human behavior, the passion and seduction that lead to edgy attitudes, the psychological state of the human mind, the drama and tragedy and, most of all, the comedy behind it all.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? 

There was that inner voice telling me that I should pour down the words and let it go freely. No censorship. Just let it go, let it flow. So this kind of became a habit now.

Do you write full-time or part-time? 

I write part time but always like a party living it fully; leaving no gaps in a full motion with lots of devotion.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured? 

I usually sit down to write each morning. But sometimes inspiration comes in any unexpected time during the day. And then I just have to sit down and keep typing until I finish that flow of creativity. I have to sit down for hours until I feel I have no more words remaining. Sometimes I have to remake the whole thing until I feel satisfied enough to have it done.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively? 

Now I keep things in a more simple way. I used to exaggerate with words, thinking I was evolving, overthinking, when I realized that if I kept things simple I would go a long way, rather than leaving it so complex that my readers reached to a point that they wouldn’t get what I was trying to express. Now I always remember to leave words with KISS: Keeping It Simply Structured.

What have you written? 

Here are some of my works, just to name a few:
Fairies of the Four Seasons and The Enchanted Valley Series
The Mysterious Murder of Marilyn Monroe (182 pages- Lulu, 2015)
From the trilogy Memoirs of an Amazon:
The Witches of Avignon (Past) -Occult
The Pierrot’s Love (Present) -Mystery/Suspense (174 pages- Createspace, 2009)
Out of the Blue (Future) -Fantasy/Sci-fi (192 pages- Createspace, 2009)

From The Pierrot’s Love Series:
Pierrot & Columbine (Book 1)
The Phantom of the Ballet (Book 2)
Harlequin (Book 3)
Diary of a Columbine (Book 4)
A-Z of Happiness (79 pages – Lulu, 2015)
The DAO WORKBOOK ILLUSTRATED (119 pages – Lulu, 2015)
The MilkShake’s Opera Series (colouring books with fables)

They are all available in major book retailers worldwide (in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Italian).

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

I usually let my mind drift upon a theme and go from it. My stories keep following me wherever I go, and if I am in the right track and in a creative process I don’t let it run from my hands. As I wake up or even in the middle of the night I have to jump off the bed to write down my thoughts. Some may even come from a dream I just had. I just feel like if I don´t do it right away the train of thought will simply run over me and it will be lost forever… and that´s usually how it ends up to be, if I don’t keep my mind busy with the plot.

How do you market your books?

First of all I think of the picture, the one image that would synthesize it all. You know, a picture is worth a thousand words. Then I usually advertise it to my dear friends and fans on Facebook, I also add the links on to my Twitter account and I keep updates as much as I can. But what I found out is that it doesn´t matter how much or where I promote my books, I guess that people often get my books through Google search or other means that I´m oblivious. There is a time when I promote too much and I hear crickets. There are other ways to promote that I´m not even aware of, but I insist on those two platforms I referred above for at least this way people know what I´m doing even if there is no much effectiveness towards them.

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

I offered a pre-sale from one of my books that reached a good amount of people interested on the project even not knowing anything about it. Anyway, I guess it was not the beginner’s luck but the theme of the book that made people buy it so fiercely. I tried it again with another book that I was certain it wouldn’t get as much attention and it would not draw a crowd. And that’s exactly what happened. There was a lack of interest for the theme, I guess.

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

If I were to start it over, to take another road and make it all again, from this time on I would avoid rushing into the process, and marketing books with too many mistakes, like typos or misspellings, and I would spend more time rereading my texts and editing it thoroughly before submitting them to a publisher or even self-publishing.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors? 

Please, please, don´t go publish until you are one hundred percent sure you are doing a great job, the best that you may deliver. For in this publishing media it´s easy to get it all wrong when you are just starting. Then you will regret later on for not having a good editor to go through your writing, or having a great artist to do the best cover for your book. Because if there is something I learned during these years in the publishing market it is to never ever underestimate the power of good editing. 

Plus, the saying “never judge a book by its cover” was created by a lazy author who didn´t give much thought to what really works in the marketing of both fiction and nonfiction.

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

There are just so many great main characters. male and female, in my plots. For example, there are four main characters in the Four Sea Sons Series. They all have a special touch that will turn the world around and make such difference in nature and in people’s lives. And yes, I am talking about the seasons as living beings, as ethereal and real entities. And then there are two main characters in The Pierrot’s Love Series that you will fall in love with, one is Pierrot himself, who would do anything for his lover. And then there is his Columbine, and you will hate her, for doing so many things against her own nature, and not accepting true love knocking at her door. And all of a sudden, going further into the story and diving deeper into her persona you will feel compassion and so a mixed feeling will pour your heart in such a way that you will not know why but will have the urge to hold that child’s hand, and that’s Talitha. 

She is a teenage girl and she has been through so much in her life already that you can feel all her pain and her ambitions; she wants to reach out to you through her seductive manners. But then again she’s just human. And so she is an anti heroine. Her antithesis could be Ann, from the future, of the same trilogy, in the book “Out of the Blue”, like a mirror reflecting the opposite side. Ann is just as ambitious but she lacks faith in herself, all the confidence Talitha has in her feminine tributes, Ann is totally oblivious of it, in a total loss from her life and with no self-control. Contrary to Talitha, Ann will have to go through hell to reach out for help and get some redemption, to finally feel free from her own instincts and let go of old fears. 

What is the hardest thing about writing?

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? My latest book will be the one I´m working now in French, translated from English “The Mysterious Murder of Marilyn Monroe”. I decided to write this book more than three years ago when I heard about the way Miss Marilyn Monroe died and I thought to myself, “Well, that´s fishy!” Also it was the year 2011 and the next year it will turn out to be fifty years without her. And I kind of channeled her thoughts and then… bang! I started to write about so many things and found out about other stuff that I was really obsessed when I had a blockage. No, it was NOT the (in)famous writer’s block. It was more like a fear of the information I was going to put out there. And what would people think of what I wrote and how I wrote? It took me more than three years to finally let it go and voila! It’s already a bestseller and available in English and Portuguese as well.

Which writers inspire you? 

Oh so many, but I can easily name by heart, literally speaking, Charles Dickens, especially with his David Copperfield, Agatha Christie and all of her books were sensational for a young reader going through the adventures of middle school, Arthur Conan Doyle, Andre Gide, Richard Bach (One), Paulo Coelho and his Diary of a Magus, Marguerite Yourcenar.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

THE Pierrot´s LOVE:
Out of the BLUE:
Book Links:

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