S. Usher Evans is an author, blogger, and witty banter aficionado. Born in a small, suburban town in northwest Florida, she was seventeen before she realized that not all beach sand is white. From a young age, she has always been a long-winded individual, first verbally (to the chagrin of her ever-loving parents) and then eventually channeled into the many novels that dotted her Windows 98 computer in the early 2000’s. After high school, she got the hell outta dodge and went to school near the nation’s capital, where she somehow landed jobs at National Geographic, Discovery Channel, and the British Broadcasting Corporation, capping off her educational career with delivering the commencement address to 20,000 of her closest friends. She determined she’d goofed off long enough with that television nonsense and got a “real job” as an IT consultant. Yet she continued to write, developing 20 page standard operating procedures and then coming home to write novels about bounty hunters, teenage magic users, and other nonsense. After a severe quarter life crisis at age 27, she decided to finally get a move on and share those novels with the world in hopes that she will never have to write another SOP again.
What inspires you to write?
I’m always daydreaming, which is how writing begins for me. In the car, in work meetings, running – I’m always trying to work scenes out in my head. My characters are often extension of myself, and so I often find myself subconsciously (and more recently consciously) using their experiences to work through some of my own issues to better understand myself.
Tell us about your writing process.
Most of the books I work on now were written when I was in middle/high school. I had about 20 or so novels, or planned novels, before I stopped writing for a few years. After a quarter life crisis, I picked it back up, and have been expanding upon those shorter books to turn them into full-length, more mature novels.
What’s nice is that I already know generally how they begin, what happens, and how it ends – and these are old, familiar stories. But the fun and exciting part is when I actually get to create new content in-between those parts. It’s kind of like planting new flowers near and old tree that’s been in your backyard since childhood. The new stuff blends in with the old stuff, and it’s a pretty picture.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
The author and the consultant that live in my head have the lion’s share of conversations (read: arguments), but when I’m writing, I can hear the dialogue between my characters.
What advice would you give other writers?
Everyone is going to have an opinion about what you do and how you do it. It’s your job to figure out what is legitimate criticism and input, and what is noise. If you are doing things with purpose and intention, the line becomes clear.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
As part of a quarter life crisis, I figured out that I wanted to reclaim my identity as a writer and just bite the bullet and self-publish a book. Along the way, I realized that I was pretty good at this whole publishing and marketing thing, from my day job as a consultant, doing strategic communication, branding, and web site development. It seemed that everything I had done up until that point was training for self-publishing (at least, it felt that way to me).
Now, I’ve started my own publishing company (Sun’s Golden Ray Publishing, LLC, and homage to my very first screen name) so I guess you could call me a “independently published” author.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I still can’t believe how many authors are putting all of their eggs in the traditionally published basket. I’m not knocking traditional publication – and if you get picked up by an agent and then one of the big 5, you are awesome and deserve all the things.
But here’s my view on the future of book publishing: Even if you get traditionally published, that’s only a fraction of the work you’ll have to put in. You’ve got to market your own book – same as if you were independently published. Also, there’s no guarantee that your book will sell. Even if it does, you’ll also be getting a fraction of the cost if you were to self-publish. So my thought was: Cut out the middle man.
(I recognize that not everyone is a graphic designer/formatter/content editor/marketing mogul like I feel I am, and so other people may need that extra help of all those things. And that’s why I started SGR Publishing, because I realized I can help other people as well.)
At the end of the day, you can write the best book ever, but unless people know about it, it’s almost like you didn’t write it at all. And the market is so saturated with everyone trying to sell their book that it’s hard to get heard on “teh internetz.” So you have to find a marketing strategy that works for you – based on your purpose and intent.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
Science Fiction, Fantasy
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print