First tell us a bit about CL Parks. What attracted you to become a writer?
Ah, my favorite question. Honestly, I’ve been writing as long as I’ve been talking. Even before I could spell or write letters I was making up songs and stories. My daddy likes to tell people I make a living telling stories. I think it may just be a part of who we are, a part of our soul. No matter how many times I’ve answered this question, it always seems like a contrived answer. Like any other artist, it’s just who we are, not what we are.
Tell us about your latest book, She Who Hunts. How did you come up with the concept of this story?
I was watching some story on exorcisms while folding laundry (yes, I have a very glamorous life). I started to think about demon possessions, and the possibility of expelling an evil entity. What if there was no way to expel the demon? What if the only way to save a human’s soul is by killing them, using a sword blessed by a priest to stab them through the heart? This is something Tenna has to deal with. She must either kill her husband to save his soul and stop the murders he has been committing, or continue running from what she was born to do.
What do you like and dislike the most about the writing industry?
I love meeting so many new people. (Yes, present company included) I love going onto different writing boards and finding others who go through the same struggles I do. What I hate, and I say that with a mouth full of venom, is the hurry up and wait, and those people who will do anything to make sure you stay on their level.
Have you enjoyed your journey as a published author so far? Do you have any regrets about the choices you’ve made?
Oh, I’m having a blast. I’m meeting so many new people through review blogs and interviews. The only part that’s killing me is wearing all the hats. As an Indie I’m responsible for the editing, marketing, publicity, etc. Leaves a lot less time for the fun part…writing the actual story.
As far as regrets, I think I would’ve guarded my personal life more in the beginning. I trusted people who I thought were looking out for my best interest, only to have it blow up in my face. That, and not having my first book professionally edited. I won’t be making that mistake ever again!
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned concerning the industry?
You got to have a thick skin. No matter how good your book is (or how good you and your mother think it is), someone will hate it. They will write horrible things in reviews, and all you can do is thank them for their time. Also, always make sure you put your best work out there. Hire an editor if you have to, but never rely on your own two eyes to catch all mistakes.
What advice do you have for authors in terms of promotion? Do you use out-of-the box methods to get people interested in your work?
Do NOT spam people. Facebook and Twitter are social networks, not a promotions site. There are places just for advertising your work. If you post nothing but links to your book people will either block your posts, or delete you all together. I’m not saying you can’t mention your book, or even share good news about it, but don’t overload people with images of your book cover.
As far as promotions, I’ve been reaching out to some different radio stations locally. Because my book is an urban fantasy based on demons and demon hunters I have an opportunity to go for the alternative stations, and even some of the morning news channels. It’s something different, slightly taboo, and dark enough to make people think twice. That’s the way each author should approach when advertising. Find the place/venue/etc to sell or promote your book that will go with people’s similar tastes. For instance, I wouldn’t post news about this book in my church’s bulletin. laughs
What’s something that you would tell a new writer that you wish you’d known before releasing your first book?
Not yet! Laughs I thought since I had read and re-read my book so many times, surely I had caught ever mistake. I also let my friends be my editors. All new writers need to know your friends and family will not be unbiased.
Read a lot! Read every day, and read books in and out of your genre. Stephen King said it best – “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write.”
What can your fans expect from you next? Do you have any new releases coming up?
I’m currently working on the sequel to She Who Hunts. In this book there will be some back story to Tenna, Jason, and the history of the demon Hunters. Plus, there’s a crazy twist in this one. Yep, one of those things that – hopefully – no one will see coming.
Authors seem to have mixed feelings when it comes to ebooks. How do you feel? Do you think the digital age is a hindrance or blessing for authors?
Oh, I love my Kindle. I started running out of room for my paperbacks, plus, since I moved to the country there aren’t any book stores around. With ebooks, you can download as many as you want, any time of day, from anywhere. I even have Kindle on my phone and PC.
If She Who Hunts was made into a movie, who would you want to play the main character and why?
Rachel Hurd-Wood would play Tenna. She’s an English actor, but she fits my mental image of her so well. And for Jason…probably Jay Tavare. He has the intensity in the eyes, not to mention that body!
What words of wisdom do you have for newbies starting in the industry today?
Be patient. Whether you decide to go the traditional route, or Indie, you have to be patient. Rushing will only lead to heartache and headaches!
Thanks for stopping by, Christy!
Thank you so much for having me, Stacy!