When I first started reading Indie’s books I discovered a lot of crappy eBooks on Amazon and Smashwords. Although, I found a few eBooks that were okay. I joined the group A Smashwords Book for Everyone on Facebook to network and get to know other Indie authors. One of the members, Alianne Donnelly, had a special on a book and I decided to take a chance on it.
I was totally in awe of Alianne’s eBook The Royal Wizard and couldn’t believe it was written by an Indie author. She has her own unique style; however, she is just as good as Anne McCaffrey or Marion Zimmer Bradley.
Since then, I have read and enjoyed every one of her books; except for Wolfen. I’m a wimp when it comes to horror. After reading one well written chapter I started freaking out and knew this book would give me nightmares! If you love horror – Wolfen is for you. I am so honored to have Alianne Donnelly on my blog!
When did you start writing and why?
I started writing pretty much as soon as I learned how to hold a pen. There was never really a reason for it; it was just what I did, a part of who I was. It began as a handful of short poems, then, when I turned twelve, I wrote my first “book” about the victim of a violent crime who turned into a ghost and went on a spree to avenge his death and protect his fiancé. But I didn’t start taking it seriously until my senior year of high school when my English teacher took notice. She was the first adult who read a story I’d written and she encouraged me a great deal to pursue publishing. Without her faith in me, my stories might never have left the dark corners of my computer’s memory.
How do you get your ideas for your books?
I just leave myself open to them. The smallest things can trigger my muse: a song lyric, a scene from a movie, a dream that lingers after I wake up. There are stories going on in my mind almost constantly. Most never do anything except entertain me, but some are so persistent they demand to be written down and shared. You know that saying, “I live in my own little world. But it’s okay, they know me here”? That’s basically me. LOL
Why did you choose to become an Indie author?
It’s a bit of a long story, but here goes…
I was extremely fortunate when I started submitting my work to publishers and agents. I only got two or three rejections before a small, eBook-only publisher accepted one of my books. They taught me a lot about the publishing process, and what it takes to get a book reader-worthy, and I was very happy with them.
Then, a year and a half later, I had a novella on my blog that made me want to play a little. The Beast wasn’t quite publisher-material, so I decided to try self-publishing it. At first, I was only going to save it as a PDF and make it available for download on my website, but then a friend of mine sent me this link to a site called Smashwords.com. I checked it out, wasn’t really impressed with the site itself, but what really sold me was their file conversion process and distribution system. That was really all I needed. Instead of posting The Beast on my website, I could now get it into online stores like Barnes&Noble, Sony, and Kobo all on my own, and Smashwords would do all the heavy lifting. How cool is that!
I liked it so much, I kept going, leaving my original Blood Series with the publisher and distributing all other works through Smashwords. The setup worked quite well. I had a foot in each world, pretty well balanced, and all was shiny. But after a couple of years, I started comparing and realized that one system worked far better with my control freak tendencies than the other. I liked the freedom I had with self-publishing. I liked that I could monitor my sales day-by-day, and I loved that I didn’t have to wait on anyone else to do their job before I could move forward (except my editor). The larger royalty rates didn’t hurt, either.
There was nothing wrong with the publisher I worked with, I just liked autonomy better. So, in 2015, I gave my publisher the required 3-month notice and recovered my rights to the original three Blood Series books. Now it was just a waiting game during which I got all my Indie ducks in a row, re-editing all three books, re-designing all the covers, formatting them, etc. Or so I thought.
Somewhere during those three months, before my books got officially pulled off the virtual shelves, the publishing house did something overnight that was well within their contracts to do, but it went so far against my own personal business plan that any lingering doubt I might have had about going Indie vanished and I started counting down the hours before I could officially break free. As soon as the deadline passed, I re-published my series independently, and I have never looked back.
I am my own boss now, dancing to my own tune, and answerable to no one but my readers—as I believe it should be. If I succeed, it’s because I did it. If I mess up, I have no one to blame but myself—but I also have the power to fix it quickly and without a fuss. That, to me, is absolutely priceless.
Do you have any upcoming projects?
Yes! I have a fantasy romance novel coming out in the next few months (it’s currently in editing and I am aiming for an August/September release date). Dragonblood is a sequel to The Royal Wizard, and continues the greater storyline of a damaged Veil and a people in danger of extinction by following the original heroine’s daughter, Liadan. Dire events were set in motion in that first book, and they sort of blow up in the face of the next generation. Liadan and her twin brother, Fal, bear the brunt of it, and their stories are full of struggle and heartache, and hopefully, when all is said and done, triumph. But it won’t be without a price…
I am over the moon excited about this one and can’t wait to share it with the world.
I am also working on a strange new (for me) project: a series of seven erotic romance novellas about Snow White’s allies. The first one is playing out by chapter installments sent out via email, and will be published in its entirety as an eBook once the last chapter is sent out. It’s something of an experiment, but the feedback so far has been excellent, so I am hopeful. In any case, if nothing else, at least it’s wicked fun to write.
Thank you so much for hosting me, Pamela! I truly enjoyed this. =)