Interview with Medini Summers
What genre do you write in?
My genre is historical fiction.
Tell us about your latest book.
Aloise by Medini Summers. This is a tale about a girl who is born into abject poverty in the Seven Dials – City of London –1850. To get an idea of its atmosphere think 'Les Miserables.' The poverty of the great cities of Britain and Europe was so extreme that people died of starvation in their thousands.
Aloise is not one to accept her fate. She secures a birth on a tall ship – Isabel Hercus bound for NZ. Typhoid stalks the steerage accommodation and a mean-minded clerk of the Canterbury Association threatens to expose her former means as a prostitute of the Rookeries in the Seven Dials, threatening Aloise's pretensions to a gentle lineage.
What marketing methods are you using to promote your book?
I am using mostly online tools –
I am also on Writers Beat www.writersbeat.com and Writers and Authors – this website. Apart from this I have done a lot of footslogging and posting fliers about my books into letter boxes. 500 of these so far with a lot more to come.
What format is the book available in?
It is an E book. I have it on Amazon Kindle Books. www.amazon.com/Medini-Summers/e/BOOM5PIPUU
I am happy to send 'Aloise' free to the computer of anyone who would like to read and put a review on Amazon Kindle Books for me. firstname.lastname@example.org
What advice do you have for other writers?
The best piece of advice that I can give to aspiring writers is to hone your skills until your writing is as mature and readable as it possibly can be. Only when it has reached this stage will any publisher be prepared to think of publishing it. Of course that is not all there is to it. There must be something special about your words that speak to the human condition, that touch the soul. Also a tidbit of passion will not go amiss.
What's the best thing about being a writer?
Being my own boss and being free to create stories and characters that have the possibility of becoming memorable. A character, once a book becomes popular, will have a life of its own. People are going to remember him or her for longer than any of us ordinary souls.
Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
On Facebook, Goodreads, Writers and Authors, Writers Beat. Or speak to me on email email@example.com
Who is your favourite character in your book and why?
My favourite character in my book is my protagonist, Aloise, because she is fierce and feisty and will not be overcome by the most extreme challenges. She is not someone who wants to do good. She must needs survive before all else. When that is achieved she can go on to create a better life for herself.
Why do you think readers are going to enjoy your books?
Ever since beginning to write, some twenty years since, readers have been telling me that my stories are exciting and unputdownable. I am told, the plot holds their attention from beginning to end. There is excitement and lots of action. Never a dull moment.
How long did it take you to write your book?
Aloise took nearly two years to research and write. It was my biggest project yet.
Who designed the cover?
I did the cover design. But I have an artist friend who drew the images of Aloise and the little pic of the tall ship. The photo is mine. My friend's name is Thomas Pendrigh. Barry Wheaton made up the whole image at slipstream computers.
Did you learn anything from writing your book that was unexpected?
Yes, I have learned so much more about human nature. How it is for human beings who come from the worst cess-pits of degradation and violence. I now have more compassion for those poor souls than I ever did before.
Where can a reader purchase your book.
Who inspires you?
Authors such as Phillipa Gregory for historical fiction and D. H. Lawrence for classical literature. Cat Stevens is an inspiring singer and for politicians – Helen Clark who was a former Labour prime minister in New Zealand and is set to become the leader of the United Nations before much longer.
How do you research your books?
Mostly by old fashioned reading and taking handwritten notes as I go. I create my story after reading through my notes again. For details on ordinary day to day stuff, the internet is very good. I like to visit the site of my story, London – Soho in this case, to feel the ambience of place and to make sure all my details of landcape and buildings are correct.
What is your work in progress? Tell us about it.
At present, I am researching for another Egyptian saga, probably about the renowned beauty, Queen Nefertiti, who was Great Wife to Pharaoh Akhenaten. Once Pharaoh is dead, Nefertiti disappears from the world stage. It will be up to my imagination to create the story of Nefertiti from that moment onward. I am really excited to be back in Egypt.
What are your thoughts on Self-Publishing versus Traditional publishing?
It will be clear to most writers that the work of publicity is now down to them. If I have to do the hard graft then I might as well receive the benefits and not be returning profits to a publisher. It makes very good sense. A self-published author can do what she likes creatively, within the parameters of the site that she has adopted to sell her work.
Who or what has inspired you to become a writer?
I like to be at home. I like to be creative. I have a million stories inside my head. There has to be a further aspect to life than family, friends, work and home.
Being a writer fulfills all these needs. It is what I am and how I define myself.
Does your family support you in your writing career? How?
I would say – no, sadly. And I wish they would, but I have many friends who are very encouraging and have helped me a great deal.
What are you currently reading?
'The Infinite Plan' by Isabelle Allende. It is beautiful writing for a literary author. I don't usually like literary choices, finding them hard going, but her style is easy and she displays depth of understanding of the human condition.
What books or authors have most influenced your life?
'Avalon' by Marion Zimmer Bradley. 'Women Who Run With the Wolves.' 'The Book Thief.'
When you are not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading, of course, music, nature, massage, meditation, animals (mostly feline), sacred sites and power places, travel.