About M. K. Sawyer:
I'm a YA/NA paranormal fantasy author from Salt Lake City, Utah. I have a Bachelor's degree in English creative writing from Weber State University, and I started writing my first novel in college.
My debut novel, The Goblin's Daughter (the book I started way back in college) will be released on Amazon on June 30th, 2018!
When I'm not writing, I love to make art, explore the mountains near my home, hula hoop, and snuggle with my cat, aka writing buddy.
What inspires you to write?
I've always been a writer, so I think it's my own restless creative energy that requires me to write. It's my own need to distill concepts and human experiences into simple words so I can understand them, and so others can understand them too.
I love reading another author's work, or watching someone read mine, and saying "Oh. I feel that way too." Stories are all about the human connection we all crave.
Tell us about your writing process.
There are writers who plan, and there are writers who "pants" it. I'm about 90% pantser.
I've tried and tried to plot my stories out beforehand because I thought that was the "right" way (truth: there is no right way), but I always explore tangents and what if's until I'm so far off course that my original outline becomes useless.
However, when I follow those discoveries the final story usually ends up better than I originally imagined. I only do minimal planning now, and only when I get stuck.
I also do most of my writing with giant fluffy cat in my lap, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I guess what I do is "spy" on my characters more than anything. I put them in different settings and situations, combine them with other characters, and then sit in the secluded corners of my imagination with a notebook, recording everything they say and do.
When I'm writing them, I'll often let them run around on their own for awhile, for page after ridiculous page, until they (or I) figure things out. I guess that's my nature as a proud pantser.
What advice would you give other writers?
Don't be afraid to write absolute garbage. It's okay if your first draft is a disaster that's not fit for human consumption. The important thing is to just get the words down so you have something to mold and edit into an incredible story.
The first draft is like dumping the clay on the table so you can sculpt it later.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I queried agents for about a year before deciding to self-publish. I got a few nibbles, but it became clear that it was an uphill battle for this unknown author with no platform to get a publishing deal.
I'm also a bit of a rebel at heart, so I just got sick of waiting for someone else's permission to publish my book.
So I decided to go indie.
For new authors, research your options carefully. Know the pros and cons of traditional publishing vs. indie publishing, but don't be afraid to go indie if trad publishing isn't working out. It's a lot to learn, but you can do it.
And if you do go indie, resolve to make the most professional product you can, because readers expect your book to be just as polished as anything from Harper-Collins. Hire an editor and a professional designer. It's worth it.
I found my editor and cover designer on Reedsy.com, which is a great resource! I highly recommend it.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think the line between indie and traditionally published authors will become very thin. More authors will be hybrids, with some books published traditionally and some indie. Indie authors are killing it right now and soon, it will be harder and harder to separate the two when browsing a bookstore or online.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?: paranormal fantasy, YA, new adult
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
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.