About Lorraine Pestell:
Lorraine Pestell was born in London and has had a successful career as an Information Technology professional in the UK, US, Europe, Singapore, and more recently Australia. She currently resides in Melbourne, Victoria.
Although working full-time, Lorraine is a passionate volunteer for several organisations, including serving on the Boards of non-profit organisations, being a mentor for The Smith Family’s iTrack program and providing project management assistance to The School Volunteer Program. She finds that volunteering time and energy to those less fortunate is an effective antidote to life-long depression and the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The idea for “A Life Singular” originated when Lorraine was 14 years old, and the story has continued to develop in fits and starts since then, whenever time and life events permitted. However, three years ago, a new element of the plot triggered a sudden urge to complete the novel, and since then the story has evolved into six separate parts.
What inspires you to write?
As a long-standing sufferer of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and all its debilitating symptoms, Lorraine finds that writing is the only place where she can truly be herself. She has always loved modern languages and finding the backstory which drives people to behave the way they do.
She hopes by using the universal themes of love and our fascination for celebrity in her life’s work, the six-part contemporary fiction serial “A Life Singular”, that she can achieve two primary goals: first, to inspire fellow sufferers of mental illness to rise above their symptoms and make a success of their lives; and second, to encourage non-sufferers to tolerate, support and even love those afflicted as they struggle to live “normal” lives.
Tell us about your writing process.
I am fortunate never to suffer from writer’s block. Quite the opposite, in fact! I have great difficulty in keeping my brain from wandering back to my writing when I’m supposed to be working, and sometimes wake to six or seven sticky notes by my bed, covered on both sides by my nocturnal scribbling!
I would say I am an 80% planner and 20% pantser when it comes to my writing. I have all six parts of my novel serial mapped out, and I have even written THE END, yet I’m constantly blown away by where my characters take me each time I sit down in front of the computer.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
My characters definitely drop hints, particularly at night! I often have them conversing in my head when I’m trying to get to sleep, or while I’m commuting on the train. I don’t tend to talk to them, only listen!
What advice would you give other writers?
To write from your heart. If you believe something is worth writing, someone will want to read it. Your sincerity will shine through if you are passionate enough about what you have to say.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I initially submitted the first part of my serial to traditional publishers and a string of literary agents, but none was interested. I write about non-sexy topics, such as depression and life’s challenges, albeit in the context of romance and contemporary fiction, but I do not fit neatly into a genre.
My next venture was to sign up with a specialist self-publishing house which worked well with the first part, but then they censored Part Two due to an outdated policy, thereby negating the freedom ostensibly offered to independent authors. After a battle to secure a refund, I eventually extricated myself from this company and have self-published all three existing parts via CreateSpace.
I am very happy with CreateSpace, although it does make the profit margins particularly slim in markets where paperback books sell very cheaply.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
My personal view is that there is room for all different types of publishing. There is more of a level playing field now, as with all aspects of the Internet and social media. Readers do not necessarily care or even know whether a book is traditionally-published or self-published. The growth in small, niche services to help self-published authors with marketing and promotion is healthy, and there are more and more headlines about self-published authors achieving huge success.
The market is extremely large however, and somewhat swamped, making it hard for readers and writers to find each other’s perfect match.
What do you use?: Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Contemporary fiction / romance
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print