Interview with The Girl with the Tree Tattoo
Tell us about your latest book.
Dance Diaries: Ballroom Budgeting is the second in my eBook series, Dance Diaries. After providing the inside scoop on what to expect as a ballroom dance student in Dance Diaries: Learning Ballroom Dance, it seemed natural to next provide how to afford to be a ballroom dance student! Ballroom is amazingly therapeutic, healing and eye-opening, but also can be very expensive. My goal with Ballroom Budgeting is to help others avoid having to quit ballroom because of that expense.
What marketing methods are you using to promote your book?
I have tried a number of different methods. My first stop was naturally my blog. I also spread the word on the related social media accounts, including using paid Facebook ads. I also contacted other websites for which I had written articles in the past to see if they would be interested in reviewing either of the books. Once I felt I had maxed out the exposure I could get through my own connections, I decided to try a book tour, which is what has brought me here to you!
What advice do you have for other writers?
Don’t force it. We all get writer’s block. I have found that my writing turns terrible very quickly when I try to force myself to write instead of taking steps to put myself in a place and mindset where the words can flow. I know it can be hard to just step away and take a break, especially when a deadline is looming, but sometimes a break is just what you need to clear your head and find the right words.
What's the best thing about being a writer?
Writing gives me a creative outlet while also acting as cheap therapy. I love finding just the right words put together in just the right order to convey a message. I love how changing a word or switching part of a sentence around can change the feeling of it.
Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
I keep my readers updated on my blog, The Girl with the Tree Tattoo (www.thegirlwiththetreetattoo.com) and associated Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. I share updates on my dancing, inspirational quotes and videos, and the latest battles with my inner demons. Whenever I venture into the darker corners of my mind to shine a light on my fears and doubts, I find courage in the thought that someone somewhere will read my words, be able to relate and feel a little less alone.
Why do you think readers are going to enjoy your book?
It’s honest. I strive to be straight forward and upfront about all sides of learning ballroom dance, including the more uncomfortable subjects like the business behind ballroom and the awkward aspects of the relationship between a student and teacher. I’m told my writing style is easy to read and entertaining, so even the potentially boring subject of money management discussed in Ballroom Budgeting keeps the reader engaged.
Who designed the cover?
For better or worse, I designed the covers of both Dance Diaries books myself! I received a lot of comments from friends and family about how they didn’t like the cover of the first one. It’s a picture of me with my teacher, and they didn’t like that the picture was a little blurry and my face was blocked by my teacher’s arm. Confession: I did that on purpose! I wanted the two people on the cover of Learning Ballroom Dance to be less distinctive, so they could be anyone! Hopefully, readers who don’t know me personally will see the cover and be able to see themselves as the woman or man about to dance.
How do you research your books?
I live them! Dance Diaries: Learning Ballroom Dance was born out of my realization that there were all of these little things that no one told me when I was first starting out as a ballroom student, and that resulted in a lot of confusion for me. I thought if I shared what I wish I had known, others would have a smoother introduction to ballroom and even more wonderful experiences. The second book, Dance Diaries: Ballroom Budgeting, is a compilation of all of my personal tips and tricks I used to save and pay for my dance lessons and competitions, while maintaining the rest of my life.
What are your thoughts on self-publishing verses traditional publishing?
When I’m excited about something, I have very little patience. I went the self-publishing route because I didn’t want to wait! Once they were ready, I wanted to get my books out to the world as quickly as possible! I also suspected finding a traditional publisher for “mini” eBooks like mine would be difficult, if not impossible. However, I do think the general world still sees traditionally published authors as more legitimate, so I am still considering that route when I produce a longer book for both print and digital formats. I have to admit, I also wouldn’t mind leaving all of the promotion and marketing work to someone else, since I would rather be writing or dancing!
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
My day job is as an editor for an environmental consulting firm, so most of my hours are spent in the office reading and editing technical reports. I have ballroom dance lessons or practice a few nights per week, and I try to get out social dancing once in awhile. When I’m at home and not writing, I’m playing with my two dogs or watching a movie marathon with my roommate.