Interview with Annette Gisby

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a very small town in Northern Ireland. So small, in fact, that it didn't have any bookshops. We did have a small library but it wasn't long before I'd been through every book I wanted to read, and even some I didn't! I started writing my own stories so that I would always have something that I was interested in to read. I only ever write stories that I would enjoy reading too. I don't write for a particular market or trend, as it were.
When did you first start writing?
I can't remember a time when I didn't write :) As a child I had lots of notebooks filled with all my story scribbles and when I was eleven, my parents got me a manual typewriter for Christmas. The 'S' key on it always stuck, so every word with an 's' would appear in either subscript or supersript. It was annoying in a way, but it never made me stop writing. I did try and avoid words with the letter 's' in them, but soon gave that up!

I played with dolls as most girls do, but in my head they were all actors in the plays I had in my head and I used them to act out stories, borrowing my brother's action men when I needed a leading man for my lady :)
What's the story behind your latest book?
With The Chosen, I wanted to write a fairy tale for adults. I had my prince and it being a fairy tale I thought he needed a princess to rescue. But I couldn't get a handle on this character at all, she just wasn't coming to me. It took me a while to figure out that Prince Severin was not interested in princesses at all, not in that way. He would have much preferred a prince ;) When I realised he was gay, things started to flow much better. It wasn't a princess he rescued after all, it was a handsome male slave called Havyn.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I've done all 3 types of publishing: traditonal publishing, epublishing and self-publishing, so I think I'm more of a hybrid. One of the major things I love about indie publishing is that you have control over your own work, both the text and the cover. I had one publisher I sent The Chosen off to say that it needed more sex, another one said it had too much. Personally I thought the level was just right for the book and I didn't want to do either of those things. Now that it's independently published, readers can see it how I envisioned it and I just adore the new cover I commissioned for it.

In the first month of sale, the book made more than it made in 3 years with a publisher.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I don't sell a lot of work directly on Smashwords, but with the distribution one of my top venues for sales is Apple. Since I'm neither in the US or have an Apple computer, I can't upload directly to Apple myself. The same with B&N. Smashwords helps your book get into places you can't get yourself. Yes, they take a cut of each sale, but it's a small price to pay to get your books and your name out there in as many places as possible. It's good they accept non-US authors as well. It is the worldwide web after all :)
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I'm a person who writes with only a very vague outline. I just start writing and see what happens. For my suspense novel Drowning Rapunzel, I had every chapter planned, including who the villian was, but when it came to the denoument, it wasn't the person I'd thought it was! It was great to be surprised by my own story. The plan went out the window after that.

I love writing and seeing where the journey takes you.
What do your fans mean to you?
Fans are worth their weight in gold. I was on a message board once and I forget what we were discussing, but one commenter asked "Are you the Annette Gisby who wrote Silent Screams?"

I said I was. He replied. "It's my favourite book! I've bought every version you've brought out!"

I was smiling for the rest of the day. As well as my original writing, I've written quite a bit of fanfic and my fans there have supported me through writers' block, health troubles and when bad reviews get you down. They are all wonderful and I treasure each and every comment from fans that I've ever had.
What are you working on next?
Too many! I have about 6 books I've started but haven't finished. Most will be in the Male/Male romance genre, as that is what I am most interested in at the moment. One is a murder mystery set at a boarding school, one will be a fantasy, one is a contemporary romance with a baker and a swimmer and a few other short stories are clamouring to get written as well.
Who are your favorite authors?
J.K. Rowling for the Harry Potter series, I love it and am a very big fangirl. My husband didn't know what he started when he bought me those books :) I am also a big fantasy fan and I love Lynn Flewelling, Carol Berg, Brandon Sanderson and Juliet Marillier. For thrillers I love S.J. Bolton, Mo Hayder and Sarah Rayne. For historicals my favourites are Phillipa Gregory, Karen Maitland and Elizabethe Chadwick. Anything by Sheri S. Teper, whether it be fantasy, sci-fi or something else. Again anything by Freda Warrington, she wrote about sexy vampires along before Twilight was a twinkle in someone's eye, but she writes in various genres, fantasy, sci-fi, horror and more.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I have no trouble getting out of bed, it's going to bed that's the problem. I suffer from migraine associated vertigo which is worse when I lie down. Most vertigo is eased by lying down, but that's one of the differences that they use to diagnose you, if you're still dizzy when you lie down or it gets worse, then it is usually migraine vertigo, rather than any type that is caused by problems with the inner ear. Lying down for me is not fun, I can't wait to get up when I'm awake.
Published 2013-08-28.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Chosen
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 52,380. Language: British English. Published: June 16, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay
Prince Severin of Arcathia has been brought up to put duty before all else and as the only son of the King and Queen, it is his duty to marry and produce an heir. His parents want him to marry an Oscian princess to cement that tentative peace. Unfortunately Severin isn't interested in princesses. Now, if he had his pick of princes that would be another matter.
Silent Screams
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 69,190. Language: English. Published: February 9, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
After years of suffering, the revelation that she is now pregnant with her abuser's child was too much for Jessica Miller. She tried to end it all with a knife in the bath. She was saved in time, but now Jessica is learning that survival is only the first step to healing.
New Zealand with a Hobbit Botherer
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 77,460. Language: English. Published: June 9, 2009. Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » By region
What should you do if your spouse becomes addicted to the Lord of the Rings movies and swoons at the very mention of Orlando Bloom's name? (Thud. Quick, fetch the smelling salts.) How about taking the advice of a strange apparition that reveals itself in a dream, who recommends touring New Zealand in an effort to prove that its sheep pastures aren't really filled by frolicking Hobbits.