Monday, January 28, 2013

Interview with Seven Dirty Words author Charlotte Howard

Interview with Charlotte Howard
Seven Dirty Words

Debbie - Charlotte hello from my side of the pond to yours.
Charlotte - A very snowy side of the pond!

Tell us about your new novel Seven Dirty Words.
Seven Dirty Words is the story of a young girl who is trying to overcome a traumatic experience that has left her unable to trust men.  She meets TDS (Tall, Dark, and Smouldering) and while she knows that she shouldn’t trust him, she falls for him.  Then she meets Matt Jackson who she believes is the complete opposite – he’s kind, caring and open about his feelings for her.  I’ve described it as that choice between wearing stiletto heels and slippers – sexiness or comfort?

Your bio says you started writing in 2008. Do you have other published works?
What are they?
Since 2008 I’ve written a lot of articles (mainly pet care and health) for  But I have also self-published a novella, Murder at Meadowview and a small collection of poetry entitled Untamed.  I’ve also been featured in a couple of anthologies in the past – my very first published poem was when I was back in 1995.

What are you working on now?
Haha!  I’m always working on something.  Currently I’m considering writing a follow-on to Seven Dirty Words, with a working title of Four Letter Words.  I also have another romance novel on the go, working title ‘Her Idol’.  I’d also like to re-visit crime fiction at some point and have a few ideas jotted down.

Are you a reader?
Fiction or Non-Fiction?
Definitely.   I’m currently trying to convince my husband that we don’t really need a home office and it would be much better as a personal library!  I read anything going.  I’m currently reading Kelley Armstrong’s Industrial Magic, but I’ve also got bookmarks in several Anne Rice and James Herbert books.  I’m also a big fan of Tami Hoag, Tess Gerritsen & Harlan Coben.

Every author’s road to publication is different. Tell us yours.
After self-publishing Murder at Meadowview, I realised that I am really not a saleswoman.  I found it very draining and decided that if I was going to be published again, I would do it the traditional way.  Seven Dirty Words wasn’t my next finished piece though.  I’ve previously written another romance novel called ‘April’s Baby’.  I sent it out to agents and publishers in the UK and got rejected – as all authors do at some point!  Putting it to one side, I wrote Seven Dirty Words. 
Robin Tidwell of Rocking Horse Publishing is a Facebook Friend of mine, we met through Helium and mutual friends.  She mentioned that she’d published her book Reduced (a great read – go buy it if you haven’t already done so!!), and was considering starting a publishing house.  Then she did!  Immediately I sent her Seven Dirty Words, although I had also sent it to several UK publishers as well.  I didn’t think anyone would want it, but 3 publishers, including RHP came back saying they were interested!  Of course I went with Robin though – not only because she is a friend, but because she also offered me the best deal!

What one piece of advice would you give to an inspiring author?
Join a local writer’s group.  I go regularly to my local group.  They are certainly an eclectic bunch, and it’s great to get some honest feedback that isn’t from friends and family.  They encourage me all the time, and hold workshops to help develop and fine tune writing skills. 
It’s also important to keep writing and don’t give up if you get rejected.  I was recently told to write everything down – even if it’s rubbish – and edit it later when you have a clear head.  It works.

Being an animal lover, do they show up in your writing?
Definitely.  Horses in particular.  Most of my main characters either have a pet or go horse riding.  ‘April’s Baby’ was based entirely on a yard, and Paige Holmes in ‘Seven Dirty Words’ has a horse too.  I’ve also considered writing a story based in a vet surgery.

Many authors have muses. What inspires your writing?
I don’t think I have one particular muse.  I take inspiration from a variety of places.  People I’ve met, films, books I’ve read… everything and anything I guess!  I’ll quite often be walking around the supermarket, overhear a conversation between two people and think ‘Ooh that would make a great plotline’.  But I have to give a lot of credit to my family and friends as well.  I’m very lucky to have such a strong support network, especially in my husband.

Charlotte, thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions. Good luck with the new novel.
Thank you.  I hope you all enjoy it!

Visit Charlotte's website here, buy the book here

Here's a blog post by Rocking Horse Publisher owner Robin Tidwell

As a bookseller, I knew how most of my colleagues viewed self-published, or SP, novels. They didn’t. What I mean is that booksellers have so much to keep up with, trade pubs, new releases, mounds of paperwork and shelving and marketing and accounting and events – there is simply no time to read a potentially bad book. And a lot of SP books are absolutely horrible.
But a lot of them aren’t. At All on the Same Page Bookstore, we specialize in local authors, even those who SP, as long as the book is good. If it needs work, I strongly suggest that the author “fix” it. This is how I got into publishing.
You see, I published my first novel, Reduced, in late August 2012. I knew, by then, that few bookstores would consider an SP book, but I was in a hurry and, honestly, I didn’t want to do what some authors do and that’s make up a name to look like I had a publisher. We booksellers know the difference. When I started writing my second book in October, I was also handing out plenty of advice to new writers and conducting a marketing seminar at the bookstore and one day I thought – hey, I can just be a publisher! By the time Reused came out in December 2012, we had a full-fledged traditional publishing house.
Rocking Horse Publishing takes no fees from our authors: we handle the marketing, promo, editing, cover design, and everything else. We plan to publish just half a dozen books in 2013. We have two authors under contract already, and four books in the works right now. Of course, Seven Dirty Words was just released this week!

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