About Tash McAdam:
Tash McAdam’s first writing experience (a collaborative effort) came at the age of eight, and included passing floppy discs back and forth with a best friend at swimming lessons. Since then, Tash has spent time falling in streams, out of trees, learning to juggle, dreaming about zombies, dancing, painting, learning Karate, becoming a punk rock pianist, and of course, writing.
Tash is a teacher in real life, but dreams of being a full-time writer, and living a life of never-ending travel. Though born in the hilly sheepland of Wales, Tash has lived in South Korea and Chile and now calls Vancouver, Canada home.
What inspires you to write?
I have stories and characters rattling around in my head 24/7. Real life isn’t that exciting, but my brain always thinks of ways to make it more interesting and my plots spin out from there. I wrote my first novel (which was also pretty much my first piece of creative writing) after getting in a teeny tiny box shower and having the door stick. As the water flooded up over my feet, a story about a government drowning and brainwashing telepathic children was born.
Tell us about your writing process.
I outline, but only vaguely. I seem to always have the first scene and the last scene jump into my head, fully formed, and so I have to outline a little to get from point to point. I have a googledoc where I make chapter notes and timeline, as well as character profiles and a pinterest board that I use for visualising the direction of my plotlines. I tend to spend a lot more time researching than outlining. There’s nothing I hate more in books than something I know for a fact doesn’t make any sense (which is usually fighting-related, my several blackbelts and years of training/ reffing have left me a stickler for martial accuracy) so I try to make sure all my research is thorough. And then I get my Dr sister to read the injury scenes!
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Hmm, I feel more like I talk -at- my characters, like shouting at the television when someone is about to do something stupid. ‘Don’t do that, oh man, Toby, that was the dumbest thing you’ve ever done!’ They never listen to me, so talking to them wouldn’t achieve much.
What advice would you give other writers?
Make notes about everything. Names, dates, hair colours, make a timeline. You’ll thank me on your third book when you can’t remember which minor character got stabbed but should definitely have limited movement in one arm that’s crucial for your latest plot point. Seriously, write everything down, even stuff you’re sure you would never forget. I have a weirdly accurate memory- ask me about a book I read when I was 7 and I can answer anything, but when it comes to my own work I get more tangled up because there is so much more to remember!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I was lucky enough to get picked up by my publisher, Glass House Press, only a few weeks after I started querying. I actually had a few offers on the table and went with them because of the instant rapport I struck with the head of acquisitions. I would advise new authors to explore the options though. Personally I decided to seek representation for a year, and then self publish after that if it didn’t pan out. There are definitely major pros and cons for each avenue, and research is a -must-. Self publishing is a lot of hard work to do right, and you have to spend money up front on things like editing and cover art. However, you also get the final say and most of the money. Traditional publishing is slower, and you have to negotiate sometimes. But for me, being with Glass House has allowed to me receive a lot of support and help on my new path as an author, and I have improved as a writer immeasurably under the watch of the editors there. It’s also opened doors to me that I wouldn’t have had access to otherwise. But everyone’s journey is different, I know lots of authors who have self published very successfully, and turned down traditional deals to do so. I know self published authors who have received deals with publishing houses as a result of their self publishing catalogue. And I also know lots of traditional authors who self publish on the side as a way to increase their catalogue, and I think as long as you have a plan, you can go either way (or both!) with great success.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think that currently the publishing industry is in flux, partially due to the fact that the market has been flooded with lower quality books which has made it more difficult to find a footing for every new author, regardless of their publication route. I believe that this is going to even out as the giants of eretail figure out better ways to ensure quality products and slam down on falsified reviews which damage everyone’s chances. The products will improve again, and authors will benefit from multiple avenues to success. There’s space for everyone to publish and sell, as long as the quality is professional! Sites like bookvetter.com will help with that, as well.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?: I write Science Fiction, YA and Urban Fantasy
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.