For today's interview, I'm joined by K.A Finn author of the Broken Cords, Blackjacks, and Nomad series of books. So far, I've only read book one in the Nomad series, so it's clear I have a lot of reading ahead of me. Enjoy!
How long have you been a writer?
I physically started writing my first book in 2011 but the idea was with me for years before that.
Where did you get the inspiration for your books?
It’s different for each series but my sci-fi one was inspired by Star Trek TNG. I watched it all the time and developed my own set of characters as part of that world. A few years later I had created many more characters, too many for the Star Trek ‘fanfic’ world, so I gave them their own.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve experienced in your writing career, so far?
Marketing! I love writing but I hate marketing my writing. Imposter syndrome also comes into play a bit – especially when I’m working on a brand new series and the doubt series in. I go through phases of thinking this is the best thing I’ve ever written, then flipping to this is total rubbish after I reread it. Trusting yourself and what you’re writing is difficult at times.
If you could go back and give your younger self a single piece of writing advice, what would it be?
I think I’d say not to worry about what people might say about your writing – just do it. I talked myself out of so many ideas or removed whole scenes because I was afraid. I still am at some stage of each book, but not as bad as I was. All that doubt meant my first book took four years to write. If I’d just stopped worrying and doubting, it would have been completed a lot sooner.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Pantser all the way! I tried plotting a few books but I never managed to stick to it. I prefer to let my characters run wild and see what happens. I love being surprised by what they get up to!
What do you think the biggest challenges are for aspiring writers, right now?
I think it’s getting noticed in such a flooded market. It’s relatively ‘easy’ to publish a book nowadays. There are so many books being published every single day it’s difficult to stand out - especially with the rise of AI written books.
It can take me up to a year to write, edit, re-edit, rewrite, format etc one of my books, but I’ve read of other authors using AI to complete a book in a matter of hours. I’m not going to change the way I create my books, but it does makes it difficult to compete.
Do you believe that having a strong social media presence leads to more book sales?
No one will buy your book if they don’t know it exists…unfortunately! As much as I dislike social media dragging me away from my writing, I think it’s absolutely vital if you’re to succeed as an author. You absolutely need to shout about your books over and over again on as many different platforms as possible.
How do you deal with writer’s block?
I’ve never actually had writer’s block. At the moment, I am actively writing six books and have started another fifteen or so. If I get stuck on one book, I move to the next one. I have a limited few hours a day to write while my kids are at school, so I can’t afford to waste any of that time staring at the screen. So far I’ve been able to work like this very successfully. If the cyborg from my sci-fi series finds himself on stage with my rockstars, while the vampires watch from the audience, there’s a strong chance I might have become a little confused. So far so good though!
What is your favourite part of the writing process?
I absolutely love holding the completed hardback book in my hand. I read each book numerous times on my Kindle to check for errors before publishing, but holding the physical book, then putting it on my shelf alongside my other books, is the best feeling in the world.
If you could collaborate with any other author on a project, who would it be and why?
Michael Scott. I was addicted to his young adult novels growing up, and read them repeatedly. I still have them on my bookshelf. I love the way he incorporates Irish mythology/fantasy in his books with a modern twist. It was my first introduction to that merging of old and new. It’s something that’s always stuck with me and it’s something I include in my books to a certain extent.
What are you working on now?
Lots and lots of books!
I’m just running through the final edits on my fourth Broken Chords (rockstar romance) book, Crushed Rock. That is due out in a month or so (fingers crossed). I’m also completing the final edits on a new fantasy romance series, North Bound, about a sword swinging, demon fighting Santa. It’s my take on Rise of the Guardians – for adults! Once the rockstar is out of the way, I’ll be finishing up my third vampire Blackjacks series book, then on to some wolf shifters, back to the next rockstar. I’m also planning to finish the seventh book in my sci-fi series. It’s my favourite series and I’ve been neglecting the characters for too long.
Where do you see your writing career in 5 years?
In my over-active imagination I see all my books on TV as massively successful series’. And I would absolutely be left to sort out the casting for the different characters! Realistically though, I would love to have my books on more shelves around the world, in the hands of more readers, and for my fans to still love my books as much as they seem to at the moment.
Have you ever considered writing in another genre?
I began writing sci-fi, then ventured into more romance genres (rockstar, paranormal, and now fantasy). It really depends on the characters that pop into my head and where they want to be situated. I’m just along for the ride.
Pen names – yay or nay?
I use a pen name and always have. I like to remain mysterious!
What marketing tips would you give to someone starting out in their career?
Dedicate one day a week to marketing. I have Marketing Monday. I plan and make any Instagram, Facebook posts, make the images etc and schedule them for the week. If I don’t force myself to do that, I’ll get lost in the writing. Get it over with at the start of the week then spend the rest of the time doing all the fun writing!
To learn more about K.A Finn and her books, check out the below links: