Author’s name: Jenny Twist
Who is your greatest writing influence? Why?:
Stephen King. I not only love the way he writes and want to write like him, but he actually wrote a book telling me how to do it.
What is your latest novel called and what is it about?:
I’m presently writing a series about a legendary creature with vampirish tendencies . the Mantequero. It’s a genuine Spanish legend about a creature who sucks the fat from your bones. Each story is short to novella length.
I’ve already published the first two – Mantequero and Disappeared – and hope to launch the third – Sins of the Father – in late June or July 2014.
I later intend to write a short prequel and then issue all of it together in one volume called Tales of the Mantequero.
Why is independent publishing important to you? :
Mostly because I like to be in control. When I worked with publishers I was not confident about the standard of editing and I had no say in when a book was launched, nor could I offer free downloads to potential readers. I also felt the price was much too high.
But there are other reasons. When you work with conventional publishers you still have to do all your own promotion – something I hate – and you also only get a very small percentage of the royalties. I felt that if I had to do all the work anyway I was entitled to all the revenue.
How do you feel about mainstream publishing?:
I think that mainstream publishers are going to have to change.
There is one major advantage conventional publishing offers the author. It confers respectability. A conventionally published author has been vetted, accepted and polished by a professional organisation. Many new self-published authors have great difficulty being taken seriously. Some review sites actually refuse to review independent authors.
A lot of readers have become jaded with indie books because most independent authors produce badly-edited, if not unedited work. Many, if not most, have only a passing acquaintance with good grammar. And, I’m sorry to say this, but the vast majority have no talent for writing. I have read some truly awful books in the last year.
Whatever you may think of conventional publishing, it at least operates as a filter preventing the really bad authors getting through.
Sadly too many publishers, especially in the small press, do not do this job very well. I am surprised at how many bad writers are being accepted and at how poorly their work is edited. In my opinion the only way the small press will survive is to maintain a rigorous standard of excellence, and that means no cutting corners. It means employing professional editors, rather than using their own authors to edit each other, a practice which only exacerbates the problem of taking on semi-literate authors in the first place. And maybe it means doing a bit more for their authors than just publishing their work, like providing proper marketing services.
Those publishers who do this will attract the best writers and will gain a reputation of excellence.
In the meantime I shall continue to publish my work independently.
Do you ever read novels more than once? If so, give us the name of one and tell us why you reread it.:
If I really enjoy a book I will re-read it – sometimes many times. I have read all of John Wyndham’s, most of Stephen King’s and all of Kate Atkinson’s more than once. Not to mention Louis de Bernière’s fabulous ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’. I think you can enjoy a good book over and over again in the same way that you can listen to the same music over and over again. There are so few really good authors in the world that when you find one you want to savour everything they write.
My most recent discovery is Neil Grimmett. His book ‘The Threshing Circle’ is in my top three (and I have read thousands of books in my lifetime). I shall read that one again and very soon.
Follow Jenny Twist
Twitter page: https://twitter.com/#!/JennyTwist1
Amazon author page.: amazon.com/author/jennytwist