Jun 08 2011
Greetings, Cool Peeps:
This week, my guest is the fantabulous, L.M. Stull. Originally a D.C. native, she now resides in southern Virginia. She has always been a creative person and studied classical piano and dance from a young age.
Her official bio states, “During the day you will find her chained to a desk at a law firm. Yes, she works for lawyers. Now you understand why she writes about creatures . . . Boom! At night she channels her inner creative monster and writes (sorry, she doesn’t turn into a werewolf or anything).”
L.M. is a super-talented, super-productive, hard-working woman, and I hope you will enjoy getting to know her.
Thank you so much for visiting with me today, Lisa. You’ve got so many interesting projects going on at once. Are you sure you’re not more than one person? Let’s start today by telling the cool peeps about your three upcoming books. Wow, three!
I do actually employ a mini-clone army to help me with my everyday tasks. Actually, no I don’t, but wouldn’t it be cool if I did? 🙂
Memoirs of a Monkey is a paranormal romance/comedy about a girl who discovers that monsters do exist, and that in fact she works with them. This is my debut novel and should be out the end of next month/beginning of July. I just need to finish the last of rewrites and send the last half of the book to my beta readers, then we are set for launch!
Running from Myself is a horror novella I wrote during NaNo last year. It is about a newborn vampire who quickly discovers that she has multiple personalities. It is a fictional account of the hardships one experiences when living with this disorder. My hope is to have this published around Halloween this year.
Oh Snap! is my third novel and my current WIP (and if I’m honest, my favorite storyline yet). It is a story told from the point of view of Bradford Brook, a down on his luck photographer who is forced to take a job at a thrift store. Then, one day, a donation comes in: a camera that changes his world. Through the lens of this camera, Brad meets a world he didn’t know existed. While struggling as a thrift store sales clerk by day, Brad is transformed into a supernatural hunter at night. I hope to complete this novel in the fall and have it available early next year.
What makes you the writer you are today? Tell us about your writing style. How has it evolved?
Well, my training as an assassin with the CIA has most definitely helped me become a stronger person and in turn a stronger writer. KIDDING I completely made that up…or did I? 😉
Okay on a serious note, I truly believe that the foundation for all writers is our absolute love for reading. To be able to create your own stories and escape the sometimes harsh realities of life are just two of the many reasons why I write. My novel writing continues to change on a daily basis. I used to just sit down and word vomit onto the screen. Now, I try to plan a little better so my edits won’t be so horrendous.
Are you an avid reader? What do you enjoy reading the most?
Oh my word, yes! I absolutely love reading anything by William Faulkner (epically huge fan here), paranormal romance and anything with humor.
I know that one project dear to your heart is Deepwood, Inc., a social media marketing firm. This sounds intriguing. Please, tell us about it.
Deepwood Inc was an idea that fellow writer and friend, James Tallett, came up with. Through a series of articles, we endeavor to help writers new to the social media scene find their way. We have hopes to add other services to the site in the future, including webinars, ebook formatting, etc.
In addition to all that you do, I hear you are starting your own small press publishing company, Black Kettle Publishing. What are your goals and visions for this company?
Originally BKP was formed to publish myself. Then, I began to meet more and more exceptionally talented writers. Writers that for some bizarre reason couldn’t get a publisher to look at them. This got me thinking. My goal with BKP is to give readers nothing but literary decadence and originality to savor with each and every book we publish. We won’t focus on merely one genre, we will delve into the masses in search for books that will knock your socks off and whose styles will come from a multitude of arenas. It will be a slow growth and the authors will be selected with great care, but I do believe BKP could be quite successful. That’s my hope anyway! 🙂
I hear you have a book club called Between the Lines. Please, tell us about it.
Between the Lines is a book club that supports and reads only indie and small press authors. It gives the reader an opportunity to meet and get to know these fabulous writers on a personal level, as well as give the author a little more exposure. We have only been around for two months, but we already have our line-up for the next year in place. I have been humbled by the support that BTL has received to date.
You are well known for your marketing expertise. There are many independent writers out there who are terrific at their craft, but are struggling with the marketing end of things. What advice would you give to them?
My rule of thumb with marketing is be everywhere. Have yourself listed on each and every website imaginable to man. Guest post with other authors and have others guest post with you. Walk around the town you live in and become involved with your local library and schools. The more people hear and see your name, the more diverse your platform will become. With this being said, it is easy to become lost in marketing. Just remember to be true to yourself and keep a schedule. You don’t need to spend every waking moment marketing. Sit down, come up with a plan and execute it. And remember, your fellow writers are on the same journey that you are, don’t forget to take a few moments and ask them what their experiences to date have been. Together, we can grow and become the best, most successful writers we can be.
Social media is terrific, but it can be a great big time vampire, too. What advice would you give to people trying to use social media effectively? Any do’s and don’t’s for the struggling peeps?
Yes it can be! I have to pull myself offline ALL THE TIME and remind myself to write, and well, enjoy life!
Do keep a schedule. Dedicate perhaps 30 minutes in the morning to schedule tweets, etc. and spend another 30 minutes in the evening tweeting, answering mail, etc. Each writer is going to have a different schedule and it may take some time for you to develop a plan that works. Just keep at it and remember to have fun with it!
Don’t spend hours and hours and hours on marketing everyday and forget to write. After all, if we don’t have anything to sell, what is the point of marketing?
Do ask your friends what works and doesn’t work for them. While it may not be the exact plan for you, it may give you other ideas in developing a strategy that does.
Don’t get discouraged. Having a platform that works isn’t going to happen overnight. Hell, it might not happen for months. Just keep plugging away.
The world of publishing is changing so rapidly. It’s hard to keep up. Any thoughts about the ever-evolving landscape? Predictions?
I have a feeling ebooks and self-publishing are about to make a historical change in the book world. I see the extremely talented indie writers that walk and tweet among us coming together and eventually taking over the NYT Best-Seller List, rendering traditional publishing a thing of the past. In this day and age control is what it is all about. This control is a HUGE factor of why so many authors who may have chosen the traditional route before, are scrapping it to go about the journey the way they want to. This may not happen in the next year or even five, but I do believe 20 years down the road things are going to be very different indeed.
You are one busy woman. Any time management tips you’d like to share?
Schedule, schedule, schedule! I absolutely fall off course BIG TIME if I do not have a set schedule. Try and dedicate allotted times/days for writing, marketing, etc. Without a schedule, you will just get lost in the emails, tweets and words…trust me, I know!
If you could have a dinner party and invite your favorite fictional characters, who might we see seated around the table?
Oh well that is EASY! Alcide Herveaux and Eric Northman. No dinner party is complete without at least one sexy vamp and werewolf in attendance, at least no dinner party of mine 😉
What do you know now that you wish you knew five years ago?
I would have to say the importance of self-confidence. For a long time I didn’t follow what my heart truly wanted because I was too unsure of myself. With each passing year I can definitely say that with age most certainly comes wisdom.
Who do you hope to know in five years that you don’t know now?
I hope that in five years I have come to know hundreds and hundreds of more writers, readers and friends.
Where can people find you in cyberspace?
Ha, the better question is where can you NOT find me! However, should you desire to stalk me, the place where you will find me most is Twitter. There are several ways one can go about stalking me on the web:
Any parting words for the masses? Any shameless plugs?
Just a big thank you to friends like you, who have stood by me, supported me and even given me a laugh or two (okay more like MILLIONS of laughs). I awake each and every day feeling completely blessed and honored to know all of you!
(Pictured above: L.M. Stull’s adorable beta reader.)