"When it comes to authors,we may hide ourselves from others but within our pages, our true souls emerge." - Nicole Hill
"I want a Vampite of my very own. Until I find him, I'll just keep writing him into existence." -Nicole Hill
" I write like people talk. It may not be perfect but it's damn entertaining." - Nicole Hill

Monday, May 25, 2015

#IndieSpotlight of Alex Apostol Author of The Kamlyn Paige Novels

Alex Apostol

The Title of Your Work or Group: 
1st book- Earth Angel: A Kamlyn Paige novel (book #1)
2nd book- Hunted Angel: A Kamlyn Paige novel (book #2)

Currently Working On: A collection of short stories following the lifelong friendship of two young women as they travel across the country together. (Untitled as of right now)

Where are you from?
I’m originally from Valparaiso, Indiana but I’ve lived in Chicago, Illinois, Florida, Hawaii, California, Virginia, and now live in San Antonio, Texas.

In what genre do you write?
I don’t like to stick to just one genre of writing, because I don’t read just one genre either. The Kamlyn Paige series could be categorized under any of these genres- New Adult/Paranormal/Science-Fiction/Action & Adventure/Fantasy/Myth
The short story collection I’m working on is more Coming of Age/Women’s Fiction/Short Stories/American Literature/ChickLit
I realize that’s a lot of genres for both! But I don’t feel like books fit into just one genre anymore these days.

In your own words, what is your book about?
The Kamlyn Paige series is about a young woman who lost her son to a soul-devouring demon so she travels the country helping others fight off their paranormal threats while searching for her son’s killer. I’ve been told it’s Buffy meets Supernatural, which is a huge compliment because I love them both!
The short story collection is about two young women coming up on their 30’s. They are moving from Virginia to California. Each story takes place at a new state and stop in their roadtrip or is a story from their past. It’s got a very female heavy theme so I think this will be one for the ladies.

What is your writing style? Do you follow all guides and rules? Synopsis, outline etc. or do you just sit down at the computer and type to see what happens?
I’m very ADD when it comes to my writing. When I’m halfway done with my book, that’s usually when I get a great idea for another book and then that book is all I can think about. So while I’m writing one, I’m starting to organize the outline for the next one and getting to know my new characters. I have all these notes to refer to once I’m ready to start writing and then I keep taking notes as I’m writing as well. I try to follow all grammar rules while writing so my editing isn’t so daunting.

 Have you ever written anything and thought; " The world has got to see this!" ? 
I think every writer thinks that about their own work at some point, followed by “This is so stupid. No one’s going to want to read this!” Writers are so bi-polar over their own work.

Do you have an editor and Cover Designer or do you do this yourself? 

This has been trial and error for me. I hired a cover designer for Earth Angel to custom design it for me and it cost me an arm and a leg. Then I hired an editor who I felt didn’t do anything I couldn’t have done as a student of English. That cost me my other arm and leg. So for Hunted Angel and the collection of short stories I used pre-made cover designs and edited myself with help from beta readers. I love the pre-made designers “The Cover Collection” and “Go On Write”.
Who is your favorite author. Not just someone that you read allot. I wanna know whose book you read that made you suddenly know that if you didn't do this for the rest of your life then you would never be happy. 
J.K. Rowling has been a huge inspiration for me. Not only because the Harry Potter series is the best series in the world, as well as the biggest earning series, but because I think she’s a beautiful, strong, independent woman too. I didn’t plan it, but all of my books so far definitely have woman power in them. My characters tend to be headstrong and independent women, though they definitely learn their lessons and sometimes the hard way. I want women who read my books to know they can do anything they want to do.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Sticking to a daily word count or a deadline. I get better with every book, but life gets in the way all the time…not that I regret that at all! I have a fiancĂ© and a four-month-old daughter and an annoying attention hogging cat and I love spending time with all of them.

Do you write your characters or do they write themselves through you? 
That’s a tough question. I think the basis of who that person is, their core, I write it out in my outlining and notes, but then the little things they do and some of their other values come out as a surprise during my writing.

Do you ever write yourself into the characters? 
There are certain aspects of me I find I veer more towards with my characters. For example, my female characters tend to be shorter because I’m short. And a good majority of them have brown wild hair because I do. With my collection of short stories, I’ve written it based (very loosely) on things me and my friends did as kids and teenagers and adults. This book has forced me to take a good look at myself and everything I've done, even if those things didn't make it into the book.

Is writing your full time job or are you "Keeping your day job"? So to speak.
I’m a full-time stay-at-home mom. I write while my daughter is napping so I get a good 4 hours done during the day here and there. That’s more than enough to stick to my deadlines and have weekends off. I also have a writing/reading blog call FLOURISH & BLOG. (and yes, it's a play on Harry Potter’s Flourish & Blott’s for you die hard HP fans like me.) I’ve also recently gotten into knitting and will be opening a Harry Potter Winter Store on FLOURISH & BLOG where I’ll be selling House scarves, hats, socks, mittens, bookmarks, sweaters, plush toys, and more! 

If you could go back in time and meet one famous person or legend in history, who would it be? 
Severus Snape, because I just want to give him a hug? haha no, that’s something, believe it or not, that I really haven't thought about. There’s still plenty of people alive I would like to meet.

There are millions of new books released every year. What in your mind makes yours stand out from all those millions in your genre? 
I think the strong woman factor is something that makes the books somewhat unique. It seems like every book I read is from the point-of-view of the man. If it’s from the woman's viewpoint then it's a romance novel or a teen novel. I like that my books are for adults, but still strongly speak to women and their abilities.

In the world of Indie, marketing is very difficult, especially if you don't have the funds to pay for it. Have you found a great free way to market your work that you think other Indies will benefit from? 
I’ve been playing around with marketing for over a year now. I can tell you now that social media advertising is a waste of money. Don't pay for Facebook ads, Twitter ads, Goodreads ads, or even Amazon ads unless you already are pretty big and on the top 100s list. Don’t post sales ads for your books all the time either, because it's annoying to most people. The things that have worked best for me honestly has been participating in the Harry Potter community on Google + and actually connecting with people on Twitter and posting about things I like, not about my book. Just by doing those two things my blog traffic has doubled.

Links to find and follow Alex:

Amazon: Earth Angel
Hunted Angel
Pre-order my short stories collection

Earth Angel
Hunted Angel

I also have a Kamlyn Paige novels Exclusive Content site which goes further into the series- kind of a behind-the-pages site.