A friend suggested that I get in touch with Lexi Revellian. He knows I’m on the lookout for quality indie books and their authors. I did and was impressed. Not just with the book, a fast, smooth read, reminiscent of a Dick Francis, but also with Lexi’s professional focus.
“I knew there was a market for the book from the reaction it got in the early days of Authonomy, and I’ve been proved right so far; to date Remix has spent four weeks in the top 100 in the UK Kindle chart, and sold over a thousand copies.”
Lexi Revellian ~ 11 Nov 2010
The Back Flap
Caz Tallis restores rocking horses in her London workshop. When shabby but charismatic Joe and his dog turn up on her roof terrace, she is reluctantly drawn into investigating a rock star’s murder from three years before.
About the book:
When did you start writing the book?
20th June 2008 – I know because I blogged about it.
How long did it take you to write it?
A bit under a year, if you count all the tweaking and polishing.
Where did you get the idea from?
After my first two books, which occupy a genre all their own – fantasy for people who don’t like fantasy – I aimed for something more commercial. I set out to write a fast-paced page turner, like an early Dick Francis, with a naïve but intelligent heroine, like Cassandra in I Capture the Castle. This may be why she is called Caz…
Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?
Not really; though one of my favourite characters, Jeff Pike, was a bit of a stretch to write. He’s rude, anarchic, a sexual predator, with a secret love for another character. I picked up a lot of bad language from him, which has lingered.
What came easily?
Dialogue. I like writing dialogue. And the London settings.
Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know?
All my characters reflect aspects of me; some have traits borrowed from real people. Ric has a bit of my daughter in him, for instance; he likes climbing and chocolate digestives and believes rules are optional.
We all know how important it is for writers to read. Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you?
Mary Renault is a huge influence on me – her novels are excellent and extremely enjoyable and I’ve been reading them since I was twelve. I love the way she drops a brief yet vivid description into the narrative (before reading her books, I always skipped descriptions). She is perceptive and subtle. And I’ve picked up her semi colons. I love Jane Austen of course; and lots of other authors. I have a select number of novels that I reread regularly.
Do you have a target reader?
Anyone who enjoys my books.
Do you have a writing process? If so can you please describe it?
I get a what if idea, think about the characters, write notes and the odd scene; when I know the beginning and the end and I feel ready I start chapter one. I don’t outline too much, as I’ve found the best ideas come to me as I’m writing. Brooding in the bath is good, too. When I’m in full flow I wake up in the night and jot things down.
Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished?
I edit all the time. I am constantly changing the words round to make them flow better, and I don’t move from one chapter to the next until it’s the best I can do. This doesn’t mean I won’t change it later. I tend to write sparely, then add bits, so as I revise, the book gets longer.
Did you hire a professional editor?
I don’t need one – I have a mean eye for a typo; I spot them in traditionally published books. I use Autocrit to deal with my word echo problem. It’s well worth the $47.00 a year. I read the whole thing out loud. And Remix was read by about a dozen lovely beta readers, who told me what didn’t work for them and found the odd plot hole.
Do you listen to music while you write? If yes, what gets the fingers tapping?
No, I find music distracting. I do associate certain music with a book. I guess for Remix it’s Spem in Alium by Thomas Tallis, and Rockstar by Nickelback.
Did you submit your work to Agents?
Yes, I spent a year submitting Remix. Four agents requested the full typescript; two of them approached me. I was told I write brilliantly. Two said they would like to see my next book. They said Remix did not fit their list, they did not believe they could sell it to publishers, even that books about rock stars never sold. I decided a year was long enough. I knew there was a market for the book from the reaction it got in the early days of Authonomy, and I’ve been proved right so far; to date Remix has spent four weeks in the top 100 in the UK Kindle chart, and sold over a thousand copies.
Did you get your book cover professionally done or did it you do it yourself?
I did it myself. I have a love/hate relationship with Adobe Photoshop 7.0, but one thing I reckon I’ve mastered is lettering. I love choosing fonts and making tiny adjustments. I did the trailer myself, too.
Do you have a marketing plan for the book or are you just winging it?
My marketing plan is to push every button I can. Most of those buttons won’t make anything happen. The odd one does – and I may never know which one it was.
Any advice that you would like to give to other newbies considering becoming Indie authors?
Respect the reader; don’t earn indie writers a bad name. Make absolutely sure your book is ready for publication before you publish. Get it read, and listen to what your readers say. Formatting is very, very important; check and change until it’s perfect.
The Amazon Kindle Store provides the nearest to a level playing field we are going to get. Amazon is your friend.
Are you working on a new book?
Yes; I’m 40% through a novel currently called An Unofficial Girl. It’s about Beth Chandler, who works at a government research institute, where a replica of her is accidentally created. Beth 2 has to go on the run, with no money, food, friends or home, while Beth 1 does not know of her existence. A spec op, Nick Cavanagh, regards the recapture of Beth 2 as a personal challenge; meanwhile he becomes involved with Beth 1…
End of Interview
Get the book here, you’ll enjoy it. Got a belly laugh out of me before Chapter Three.