About Zoe Matthews:
I have always loved writing and would spend hours as a teenager writing short stories, sometimes during school classes. I never thought I would ever publish a book. Writing books as a career is a dream come true for me. I also love to read. When I have free time, I will pick up a book and read.
i live in the high mountain deserts of the western United States. I also enjoy photographing desert landscapes and my adorable grandchildren as well as dabbling in watercolors.
My perfect day would be spending time at my family cabin writing, painting, hiking and associating with family.
What inspires you to write?
There are many things that inspire me. I keep a notebook with me almost all the time and I am constantly writing down ideas that I think about throughout the day that I might use in a future book. Sometimes these ideas come from reading other books. Other times it might even come from standing in a checkout line. When I watch movies, I might get an idea from something that happened, and change it to make it my own idea.
I write what I like to read. I like books that are different from all the others, I try to make my books different from others might be writing, while staying in the desired genre my readers like.
Tell us about your writing process.
I am considered an outliner. I will write at least 2 outlines, sometimes 3, before I start to actually write the book. I am constantly writing short outlines for new stories. Then when I am ready to make them into a book, I will expand the outline, then expand it again.
I like the Scrivener software and do most of my writing using this software. When I have a final draft finished, I will compile it into word for formatting and editing.
I have found that I cannot write when there is a lot of people around. I get distracted very easily. But when I am alone in my office, I can zone out and type for hours.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
As I start a series and start with brand new characters, they are just words on paper at first. But as I get going with the series, they actually do become real to me and by the end of each book, sometimes they are like friends.
I also sometimes base characters after people I know, mostly family members. In my Orphan Train Series, all the children that are talked about in the “Big Spring Brides” are names of my grandchildren. A few of the children in my Colorado Series are also names of my grandchildren. Many of the last names I use are from neighbors and friends.
What advice would you give other writers?
I really believe that anyone who wants to write and become an author, can. It is so much easier to publish books than it ever has been. If you want to do it, go for it. There are many websites that give great tips and suggestions for new authors.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
A few years ago, I signed up with a guy whose website is the best out there (in my opinion) for new authors. I followed his advice exactly and published my first book a few months later, which was a cookbook. He strongly suggested to write fiction. One of his gems of advice is “If you can write an email, you can write a book.” It took six months to feel comfortable with the idea of writing fiction, writing my first book, and getting it published through Amazon. My goal was to be able to quit a part-time job I had at the time within 6 months, and I was able to in 3.
My advice to new authors is keep trying. Never give up. Follow the advice from experienced authors even if what they suggest doesn’t make sense.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think ebooks are going to continue to be popular, and become even more available than hard copies, although I do think there will always be a place for hard copy books. People love to escape life through books.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Romance, historical western, contemporary western, fantasy and paranormal, all clean and wholesome books
What formats are your books in?: eBook
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.