Interview with M R Weston

What motivated you to become an indie author?
As well as being a writer, I have a background in editing, communications, journalism and public relations. That's what I do in my day job. It made sense to indie publish, and gave me the control over my book I wanted. But the actual writing is what I love best and I have been doing that professionally and personally now over about 25 years. I think most indie authors self-publish for the love of writing and seeing their work come to life, and playing a huge part in that.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I am a very visual thinker. All my school reports as a kid used to say "Maryann has a very vivid imagination". When I write I let my imagination go and I write scenes and the plot after I 'see' it unfold in my mind. I also feel the emotions of the main characters, so I write from a combination of intuition, visual thinking and drawing on my own life experiences. That whole process is very satisfying and it's almost like I need to write most days to fulfil that creative need within me. I also find it very cathartic, to fictionalise what I've learned and experienced and also have that control to weave that into something important - to say something important that I believe should be said. In that way I'm an advocate on many issues such as bullying, social injustice and corrupt behaviour and attitudes.
What are you working on next?
I have just written an adult book called 'Belonging Places'. It is a story all women can relate to: 'Three women, three stories on life, lessons and love. Three journeys towards the belonging place, three journeys back to self'. I'm really happy with this book which is essentially three novellas woven together with a central theme of finding your 'belonging place'.

Shadowscape is Book 1 in a trilogy and the second book 'Dawn of the Shadowcasters' will be out in May 2014 through Lodestone Books (a division of John Hunt Publishing). In this book the Shadowcasters have the upper hand and it's very much a case of 'it's always darkest before the dawn'. I will also begin the third book in the Shadowscape series, Luminous this year and I have an idea that is brewing for an adult paranormal/horror thriller.
Who are your favorite authors?
That's a hard question because I love so many writers - I've been an avid reader since I learned to read as a child. I studied English Literature at university and really liked French author Albert Camus. But equally I love Stephen King - who incidentally wrote one of my favourite books 'Shawshank Redemption'. I also love writers like Ernest Hemingway and the classical authors - Charles Dickens, the Bronte sisters, Mark Twain. And then there's Truman Capote, Scott F Fitzgerald. One of my favourite novels is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I could go on and on. You can see I just love books.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My family. I am a mother to three boys and with my husband Eric, we have a good family life. Being at home and creating a nurturing atmosphere is important to me.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading of course. And I like to observe and learn about people too. Sitting in a coffee shop reading and observing people come in and out, often sparks a daydream where I'm guessing the story behind the people. I believe life is a rich tapestry and it needs to be lived, so I also enjoy interacting with people whether that is in person, across social media, or just noticing someone in a coffee shop that looks like they have an interesting story to tell.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Recommendations from other people - so word of mouth - and browsing through online catalogues. I also look at other indie ebooks as well and am a member of a book club. Generally though, I know the subjects that interest me, so I browse.
How do you approach cover design?
I had an image in mind and worked closely with the cover designer to get the look I wanted. Shadowscape does fall into the paranormal category, so I wanted it to be a little 'scarey' to the reader. That's why we chose the fonts we did, and the main character Stevie Vegas is standing at the foot of a driveway that leads to a huge, scarey looking mansion. The Shadowcasters are there looking for him. Stevie is wearing his Illuminator necklace, which protects him from the Shadowcasters (demons). There is light surrounding Stevie who is able to drive back the dark.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I have spent time building a social media platform across Twitter, Wordpress, Google+, Pinterest and Facebook. These are all good platforms through which to promote a new book, but they are not a substitute for going out and finding your readers. As Shadowscape is a Young Adult book, I have been listing it on Young Adult book websites where young readers might visit to source a good read. I think you build an audience one reader at a time, and it takes patience and persistence to develop a following.
Describe your desk
Messy and in need of a tidy up!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up on a farm, surrounded by animals and it was the best place to experience childhood. Often I would have my pet lamb, lying in the sun amongst the daisies and reading my favourite book at the time. Or having adventures riding all over the countryside on my horse Jim. Being outdoors, caring for animals and following my nose for adventure, fuelled my imagination and it was only natural to begin to write creative stories which I did from around 9 years of age.
Published 2014-01-25.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Evil Imminent - A Collection of Horror & Paranormal Short Stories
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 26,220. Language: English. Published: December 11, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Horror
A horror/paranormal anthology that lures, grips and exhilarates, leaving the reader demanding more. ‘Normal’ will never be the same after reading Evil Imminent. In Maryann Weston’s exciting new anthology, mundane becomes extraordinary and unresolved dysfunction can have terrifying consequences.
Shadowscape - The Stevie Vegas Chronicles
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 31,010. Language: English. Published: January 7, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy, Fiction » Adventure » Action
Stevie Vegas is your average 12 year old school kid living in suburban Valley Dale, with a passion for skateboarding. He thinks his life is pretty normal, that's until he discovers he's an Illuminator with extra-ordinary mind powers. Then the Shadowcasters arrive and he's forced into a battle as ancient as time itself; one that pits Illuminators against Shadowcasters: lightbringers against demons.