About Marguerite Arnold:
Marguerite Arnold is a veteran journalist, writer and filmmaker. She has a background in IT, finance, law, sustainability and state and national politics in the United States as well as a history as a new economy entrepreneur.
Born in New York City, she spent her childhood in London and returned to the United States as a teenager. She attended UNC Chapel Hill and spent her working life in the U.S. between Washington D.C. and New York City.
In 2013, she decided to return to live in Germany, where she is currently pursuing a joint-citizenship claim via paternal rights. She has also just been accepted to the M.B.A. program at the Cologne School of Business.
“Green” is her first published book.
She is the daughter of Gail E. Haley, noted children’s book author and illustrator, and Arnold Arnold, an author, columnist, designer, and collector.
What inspires you to write?
I am inspired by things that inspire me. Simple.
Tell us about your writing process.
I am very lucky. I type fast. I also come from a long line of storytellers – both oral and published authors. I tell the story to myself as I write. This means that I can turn things out fast if I know the story. If I am floundering, this means I write a great deal about nothing and start all over again the next day. I have worked and currently do, as a journalist, so this also means that my writing is fluid and I write every day, about something.
That said, I am very focused and organized in terms of allocating my writing hours. When you are writing a longer piece – whether it is a TV script which I have done alot of in the past, or a book, or even a poem – you have to set aside time to work on this specifically. Even more so when you are doing this on spec with no advance.
When I am actually writing, which is in a quiet, professional space (ie. desk, chair, room, door, internet connection, phone and a cup of caffeine) I also listen to music that I know will enhance the writing process. That has always been important to me.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write. Constantly. Keep a diary, even if you are not a fiction writer, or not one yet. That will allow you to understand how to communicate with yourself. You are your first most important reader.
Find outlets, even if it is “just” a blog.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I am in a weird place. I grew up in a publishing world that was later shut off from me for reasons that will be another book. But I absolutely understood the process, from idea to finished product. Up until now, I did have some creative and professional outlets for my creativity, but I am finding that web based writing is a great way for me to pay the bills while I start on a new writing career made absolutely possible by ebook publishing.
I have started publishing with Smashwords and I really like the process. It still means that you have to perform at the level of a professional writer, its just that there is no publishing house, agent barrier. Your readers expect the same thing.
If you are a new writer, don’t waste time with the traditional publishing process unless you have an easy in to an agent and a publisher. It is better to get your writing out there and there are lots of venues now. Smashwords is a great platform, but its not the only one. If you don’t know your audience, or are seeking for it, there might be a better place for you to go. That said, they are a distributor, which means that you get your book into the professional online bookstores.
Then your job is to promote, constantly, and that is no different from any other kind of publishing. The difference is the onus is entirely on you, the author.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
It is going more and more to the web. The ability to promote online is huge, as is the ability to find contacts and instantly send them digital manuscripts. It saves money and time. I think that ebook publishing will only grow. It’s easier and cheaper to produce books. Now that smartphones and other electronic devices are becoming waterproof, even die hard physical book fans like myself, will gradually migrate because of convenience, cost, and other factors. I am sure printed books will be around for some time, but they are gradually going to disappear for most people.
What do you use?: Professional Editor
What genres do you write?: fiction, nonfiction, memoir
What formats are your books in?: eBook