Interview with self-published author Stella Deleuze
Although I myself am still stubborn enough to try the traditional publishing route with my book, I love introducing self-published authors to you. They have that special aura of faith and determination, don’t you think? What’s more, when they are successful at their job, like Stella Deleuze, we admire them openly and inwardly feel they’ve done the best job there is: taking care of their own brainchild from conception to maturity. Sweet envy!
Stella, what to say about Stella? As she is also an editor, you’d expect smooth flowing prose, no? Well, be prepared to get a lot more than that when you (click)open one of Stella’s books. She has that quality writers are always searching for. Stella locks your eyes to the page and keeps you spellbound. I think, it must be her reptile-loving capacity, just the way snakes can mesmerise us. I suggest you pick up one of Stella’s books and try it yourself. I reckon you’ll be unable to move right till The End.
Where do you live (town, country)? Were you born and bred there?
I live in London, UK. I was born and raised in Germany.
Wat kind of food do you like? Are you a good cook? How important is food to you?
I love eating and cooking, it’s probably easier to ask what kind of food I don’t like and that would be ready meals. I hate them. I cook from scratch, once in while, I’ll use a pasta sauce, but you’ll always see me having fresh veggies or fruit. Food, or better cooking, is a huge part of the Branded series; the main character Celia is a chef.
Do you do any sports? How often? What does exercise mean to you? Any other hobbies?
I could do with some more exercise if I’m honest. The most used muscle in my body is my jaw. But I cycle a lot, it’s faster and cheaper to get around in London.
Do you have another job apart from writing? For how many hours? How do you feel about the ‘other’ job?
I’m a freelance editor when I’m not writing. I love editing, it’s amazing to see a raw manuscript transform, I also love helping authors to find their voice. And it’s very rewarding to see the author grow, to see them learn and soak up everything I try to teach him or her. If you edit the ms of a first time author you’re almost the mentor.
How do your family/friends react to you being a writer? Have their opinions changed since you became a published author? Which remark from your surroundings has stuck most with you?
If we’re talking non-author friends, then I’d say they support me. One of my friends was my first cold-reader, she’s super supportive and pushed me to write No Wings Attached. Since my non-writing friends have no clue what it entails, they listen to my
‘success-stories’ but can’t really appreciate it. But they see it makes me happy and that’s all they want for me.
Would you call yourself a social human being? Do you have time for going out and spending time away from the writing desk?
I can always make time if I feel the need to go out and see some real human beings. Once I’m out, I’m very social, I love meeting new people.
Which character trait do you like best about yourself and why? Which trait would you rather do without?
I’m honest and loyal, but I’m super impatient.
Can you describe the place where you write + the view?
Is there something you always need to have near you when you work (beverage, cigarette, mascot, music, quote, etc)?
I’m sitting on my bed, legs up and I’ve got the best view ever: my iguana. I always have to have tea or water next to me, the iguana in his vivarium and I always listen to music.
What genre(s) do you write in? How did that develop?
Humour, paranormal romance, literary fiction, contemporary fiction and non-fiction. I plan on a crime thriller and science-fiction. Apparently I’m a natural born comedian, so humour comes to me easily. The other genres are what I read, apart from crime thriller. I’ll only write one of those and that’s simply to be able to finally kill my neighbours and pay them back for their noisy interfering with my life.
At some point you decided to self-publish. Can you tell us how that process developed?
If I’m honest, I frowned upon self-publishing for a long time. I wanted to be published with a big house and get the approval from them. I submitted No Wings Attached about 40 times and got rejected. Guess the angel-theme was misunderstood. It’s not about angels at all. Plus it doesn’t sit in a neat genre, that’s what publishers want. I left it for a few months and concentrated on the short stories. Had the official okay from a small publisher for them; they loved the stories, but I didn’t like how the format they wanted to publish them, so I pulled out and did it myself.
How do you feel about self-publishing now? What are the advantages, disadvantages, pitfalls, etc.?
Looking back, it was a great decision. I could raise money for Japan and learned a lot about marketing. No Wings Attached went live in June and the reviews and feedback I’m getting is simply amazing. Readers tell me they couldn’t stop reading. I’m writing on the sequel which will hopefully be published this fall/winter.
The best thing is that you get to decide what you publish, it’s also wonderful to be in direct contact with readers, I love that. Pitfall would be the hard work to promote it, it eats and awful lot of your writing time.
Are you in a network of Indie authors? How do you market your own book?
I know a lot of indie authors, yes, the support is important, but it’s also important to draw some lines. I won’t reciprocate reviews, buys or recommendations. When it comes to buying books I’m just a reader and I buy what I want/like, not because I’m part of a ‘community’, something I see spreading and it upsets me. Marketing is hard
work, I use google a lot and keep my eyes open, when I stumble over a good review blog, I’ll write to them. Otherwise, I tweet and blog about my books and writing.
When was your first book released and how did that make you feel?
In March this year. If I’m honest, I didn’t feel an awful lot. After I had been on authonomy, it felt like I’ve uploaded a book there. It still feels awkward that people part with their money to buy my books, then e-mail me telling me how much they enjoyed it. The best part on publishing the short stories was that I could raise money for Japan, though. I only wanted to get it out of my way, but it developed into so much more.
Can you tell us some background information on the book? (How did you get the idea, how long did it take you to write and edit it, is it part of a sequel, how does the published book make you feel now?)
Excuse me, where is the exit? They’re simply rants. I started with short stories before I began the novel. I wrote them rather quickly and the editing was a piece of cake
compared to the novel, but then, by the time I wrote them, I knew enough about
writing to deliver.
No Wings Attached was the result of feeling empty after reading the Twilight series.
I fell into a bit of a hole and decided I wanted to write a book that sucks a reader in like Twilight sucked me in. (According to my readers, I’ve suc(k)ceeded.) Wrote 120k in 2.5 months and then had to learn about writing, I edited on an off for about two years. It’s the first in a series; as I said before, I’m currently writing the sequel. Publishing this book meant a lot, it’s my real baby and I love that book.
What are your writing habits? (every day, number of words, etc.?)
I try to write every day, but sometimes, my muse decides it’s time for a drink so it goes to meet with other authors’ muses. I often can’t write for days or weeks and I won’t force myself. I’m upset with myself to not have written, but I won’t write well when I do it nevertheless, so I wait until my muse whispers words of encouragement into my ear.
Who’s been your biggest inspiration and why?
Life. I do observe people and that’s what inspires me, the sadness, the happiness, the drama. And a friend of mine who’s a brilliant writer and mentor.
Where do you see yourself in 5-years’ time?
Running my successful businesses, writing my 10th novel, surrounded by lots of iguanas and other reptiles (rescue centre) and still having my wonderful friends. In other words: being my very happy self.
THANK YOU SO MUCH Lovely Stella!!
Want to get in touch with Stella or purchase her books:
Excuse me, where is the exit?
Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Excuse-me-where-exit/dp/B004RQ842O 86p
Amazon com http://www.amazon.com/Excuse-me-where-exit/dp/B004RQ842O 99c
It’s also on smashwords, but the site doesn’t load.
No Wings Attached
Same with Smashwords