A little bit of bio – who are you, where do you come from and where are you based?
I’m Carol M Salter. I was born in Margate and because Thanet remains in my heart, I have returned to live here.
Who is your favourite author of all time and which book do you wish you had written?
That’s a difficult one because it depends what genre and which format. When I began reading I couldn’t get enough of E. E. Doc Smith, a classic Sci-Fi writer up there with my other favourites of Asimov, Bradbury & Niven. When I moved to fantasy McCafferty & Tolkien were my favourite, then I moved to fantasy humour and Pratchett became my master. For paranormal/Sci-Fi romance I have all 37 of Connie Suttle’s kindle novels.
Have you a writing routine? Do you write a la Cartland, dictating to a minion whilst lying on a chaise longe sipping champagne? Or, is the reality a garden shed or a corner of the living room?
I work full-time so a writing routine isn’t possible. If I’m writing something new it’s anywhere I can sit down. It might be in bed at the end of a long day, or 15 minutes in a cafe waiting for an appointment. If it’s a finished draft I’m working on, I have to be disciplined and spend several hours at a time either during the evening or at weekends.
When were you first gripped by the writing bug – was it a gradual realisation or always a burning ambition?
I’ve always enjoyed writing and I started with poetry. By the time I left school I’d written enough poems to fill a book. I didn’t start writing novels until forced to sit while my son played with pre-school friends at our local play place. Once I started, I found I couldn’t stop; it’s a bit like an addiction. I’m at the point where I’ve had to stop writing new pieces until I’ve decided what to do with my earlier novels. It’s very hard because I could and do write every day if time permits.
Which authors, if any, were influential in fuelling this desire?
My desire to be published was there from the first page I wrote, but desire alone wasn’t sufficient to drive and support my confidence in times of doubt. Without Tara Moore’s support, guidance and interest I don’t believe I would have continued striving for publication.
When did you make your first serious foray into writing and what did you write?
My first novel, started at the play place, was Rainbow of Destiny. It’s an off-world story about a female courier with a unique ability to mind-bond with animals. I loved it but the 4 publishers I sent it to didn’t. I was heart-broken and I think I would have stopped writing then if I hadn’t met Tara who inspired me to continue.
Has your style of writing changed significantly since then?
I looked over my first novel, written on paper in the dark ages, a while back and was horrified at how complicated my sentences were. I tried to put too much information into each one. I’m not sure why?
If you could go back, would you do anything differently?
I wouldn’t have spent 5 years of my life trying to get an agent or publisher interested in my work. I know I’m not the next literary giant. I won’t make them gazillions so I’m probably not on the same planet as them. I wish I knew that then instead of breaking my heart a bit more each time the rejection letter landed on the mat. My heart still squeezes in my chest at the thought that my work may never pique their interest.
We all know the world of traditional publishing can be brutal in its rejection and fragile egos are routinely shattered. Have you ever experienced this? How did it make you feel? How did you cope with it
I think I’ve answered some of this question above. How did I cope? I licked my wounds – again – and decided I needed more support to manage the rejections. I started the Inspiration writing group 4 years ago because I couldn’t believe there weren’t other writers experiencing the same soul-destroying letters as me. I knew they were standard letters, and a few were sort of kind, but it doesn’t lessen the feeling of worthlessness.
Do you feel ebooks will continue to escalate in popularity?
I believe everything in life reaches a plateau and ebooks are no different. Like Marmite, some folk will love them and some will hate them because of this they are no threat to authors only traditional publishers.
Why did you choose to go down the route of independent publishing?
Life is way too short and my heart can only take so much punishment.
I have heard some authors say that they won’t feel ‘properly published’ unless via a traditional publisher. How do you feel about this statement?
Of course I’d love my dream publisher to turn up a La white horse, but I’m also a realist. I wanted to get my novels out there for people to read. I couldn’t think of anything worse than for my stories to sit on a hard drive never to be read. That would mean all my hours and days writing had no point, no value, and I couldn’t live with myself knowing part of me (my writing) never existed as a reality.
Have you ever been traditionally published and, if so, why have you made the cross over to independent publishing?
I’ve been published in other independant anthologies. Firedance Publishing published my short dark fantasy story Underworld, which I later went on to independently publish on kindle.
As a platform, is it working for you? What are the pros and cons?
It’s not a case of is it working. It’s what I’m doing; it will work. It has no choice but to work because I’m not prepared for it not to. I guess all those rejection letters have toughened me up. The pros? I’ve learnt so much about the publishing process. I can appreciate the issues facing traditional publishers to a greater degree.
The cons are also the pitfalls of the publishing process. How to pick professionals to assist with the various elements of publishing is the main one.
The final one is trying to market books whilst working full-time and getting people to place book reviews on-line to assist with sales.
What books have you written? Have you a particular favourite? What/who inspired it?
I’ve loved every story I’ve written. My favourite is the one I’m about to publish.
Do you feel the best is yet to come? What inspires your writing in general?
I’m really looking forward to my next publication ‘Aquasapien – Metamorphosis‘.
I sometimes think my reading inspires my writing, but the work I complete isn’t a carbon copy of it. It’s almost like I can see the gaps in between what I’m reading and subconsciously write about the story inside.
What are you working on right now?
Publishing Aquasapien and finishing the follow-up novel to Witch on the Warpath – Gristle’s Revenge.
What do you like/dislike most about writing?
I like leaving my life behind and living inside the story, somewhere else. I dislike not yet being proficient enough to get away with only a couple of drafts before publication.
Anything you would like to crow about?
My first book Witch on the Warpath, a teen fantasy is out there now, on the shelves at our local Waterstones, selling in Kenny’s bookstore Dublin and on-line on 7 websites around the world including EBay.
When I was an aspiring author, I longed to know ‘the secrets’ of other authors. What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
Believe in yourself.
If you know your book is not likely to sell 50,000 copies, because its about the mating rituals of ants etc, consider independant publishing and save yourself a lot of heartache especially you just want a few copies for family and friends.
Did anyone ever share a particularly valuable insight or piece of advice with you and, if so, can you share it with us?
Stick at it!
Thank you, Carol Salter.
NB: You can buy Witch on the Warpath from Amazon on the link below.
Carol is on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter