Interview with Louisa Dang

Published 2019-09-04.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Although I have an early model "nook," I find it easiest to read ebooks on my phone, through the Barnes & Noble or Kindle apps. That way, no matter where I am, I can whip out my phone and read a great mystery or self-help book!
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Hmmm... Definitely, through friends and family at first. And then I slowly build up my network by blogging about interesting topics. I spread the word about my blogging (and my books!) through Twitter and Facebook. Another great way to meet readers is by going to writing events. I've met friends and readers through creative writing workshops and conferences. Always have a business card or postcard handy with your email and website address, so folks can follow up with you.
Describe your desk
My desk is not a mess! I try to keep my desk somewhat uncluttered because my thoughts seem to mirror my environment. If my desk is covered in sticky notes and leaflets and old paid bills, my brain picks up on that and my thoughts get cluttered, too! A nice clean desk helps me think more clearly. That said, I do have photos of my kids, their drawings, and inspiring cards near my desk so I can see them while I work.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Scotland, and that's where I first started to write. When I was 9 or 10, our teacher assigned us different writing exercises, and when we did a good job, she would read them out loud to the class. I had a couple of mine read to the class, and I liked the feeling! I continued writing after we moved to the U.S. Scotland has influenced everything I do, so it makes sense that it would influence my writing. From the way my characters put phrases together, to my descriptions of the weather, the United Kingdom is always at the back of my mind.
When did you first start writing?
Between the ages of 9 and 10, I think. My teacher assigned us a writing exercise -- to think of an ending to a real-life mystery. I loved imagining the story, and when I was finished, the teacher read my story to the class. I felt such a great warmth and pride; I carry that feeling with me today. Around that same age, I got interested in creating my own magazine -- folded notebook paper with pencil-written "articles." Even back then I realized the difficulty of printing and distribution!
What's the story behind your latest book?
I'm working on a "cozy" murder mystery novel. My main character is a wheelchair user who is also a successful business owner, living with her boyfriend who might be "the one." She finds herself embroiled in a murder investigation and, while this is all going on, starts having suspicions about her boyfriend's character. Partly as a distraction from her increasing anxiety, she teams up with a friend to investigate the victim's background but ends up finding herself in deeper trouble than she could ever have imagined.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I love the freedom of writing whatever I want to write, designing my own book covers, and controlling the entire process of creating a book! Indie publishing opens writers up to so many possibilities.

That being said, I definitely see the value of being published by a "traditional" press -- they can distribute your book and get your name out to a mainstream audience much quicker, typically, than indie authors can. However, I spent a year seeking an agent and sending out my work, with nothing to show for it. In that year, I could have been working on my writing.

Time is a gift, and I don't want to waste any of it. I love to write and create books and magazines, and as long as I have the time, I'm going to use it for what I love!
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I've tried Amazon, and while I love the ease of publishing and buying books on Amazon, Smashwords is much more geared toward authors. I see the difference in my book sales.

With Amazon, it's clear that profit comes first. With Smashwords, my books are available on tons of platforms, and I feel like I'm part of a bigger writing community. With Amazon, I feel anonymous. Feeling respected as a writer is a huge part of being a writer, and this translates into me writing more books and being read more often.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Getting lost in the fictional worlds of my characters. "Living" inside them briefly and exploring life through them in ways that I would not be able to (or in some cases would not want to!).
What do your fans mean to you?
I am so happy whenever anyone buys and (presumably!) reads my work. I am extremely grateful that anyone would spend their time and energy to read my writing! In other words, fans are incredible!
What are you working on next?
My goal is to finish my murder mystery novel. But I'm also enjoying working on my online kids' magazine, JUMP! It comes out four times a year, and I'm creating a Patreon page to raise funds to have it printed. I'd love to be able to hand it out to kids in my area as a free learning resource.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author or publisher.

Books by This Author

Up Pops the Devil
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 20,400. Language: English. Published: January 29, 2017 . Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Literature » Literary
A break-in leaves a pregnant woman and young boy in dire straits. A teenage girl tries to hide from her past in Vietnam. A couple grapple with cancer... Bittersweet, unpredictable, strange...even the Tarot makes an appearance. Check it out!
The Rain Catcher
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 17,160. Language: English. Published: January 29, 2017 . Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Family / Marriage & Divorce, Fiction » Mystery & detective » International crime
When 13-year-old Katy visits her mother in Scotland, she expects a warm homecoming. Instead, she finds herself on a road trip through the Highlands with her mom and aunt as they try to escape a dark secret that could shake up everyone's lives forever.
Rocky Road: Stories
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 14,660. Language: English. Published: September 28, 2011 . Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Literature » Literary
(5.00 from 3 reviews)
Rocky Road is a mini-collection of short stories set in a quirky South. A young woman must choose between her marriage and her snapping turtle. A mother worries about the color of her son's aura. A grandmother weighs the love of her grandchildren against her set-in-stone ideas.