Have you wondered about the Urban Fantasy series The Fire Salamander Chronicles? Well, here at The Writer’s Alley, we’re honored to start off our new series, Author Spotlights, with the great N.M. Thorn, author of the widely successful The Fire Salamander Chronicles. Not only does this amazingly talented writer create such vivid worlds with stylistic integrity and uncanny ability, she also is a successful book marketer. Buckle in your seat beats and prepare yourself for a great interview. And, welcome to The Author Spotlights!
1. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
I am writing under the pen name N.M. Thorn. There are many reasons why I chose to use a pen name as opposed to my real name. One of the main reasons is privacy. I like to keep my writing separate from both my personal and professional life. Besides, writing under a pen name is fun. It gives me a separation from reality and allows me additional freedom of voice.
2. Does your family support your career as a writer?
Yes, absolutely. I don’t think without my husband’s support any of my books would be published. He is my first reader, editor and critic, and when I started to work on my first novel, he was the only one who knew about it. He is the one who shares my journey as a writer and stands by my side through all the ups and downs of it, talking about my characters as if they were real people, and going into endless discussions about plot development and possible holes. Besides my husband, my brother and my niece are my biggest cheerleaders and I appreciate it more than I can say.
3. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
I believe the best money I ever spent as a writer was the $35 that I paid to the US Copyright office. Nowadays, with all the plagiarism and identity theft that’s going on, not only in the writing industry, but everywhere, protecting yourself and your work should be the number one priority of every creative individual.
4. What’s the best way to market your books?
As an indie author, you are not supported by a publishing agency, and doing your own marketing is a must. With millions of books being published on Amazon every year, if you don’t do marketing, no one will ever find you no matter how great of a writer you are. There are many marketing activities you can do as an author. Social Media marketing, email marketing, and paid advertising are just some of them. The types of marketing activities depend on your goals and the stage of your writer’s career. A Mailing list is a great and power tool when it comes to marketing your work, and I highly recommend to all indie authors to work on building it. But even a great social media presence and a few-thousand-subscribers mailing list, may not be enough. In today’s market, you have to pay to play, so get ready to invest into Facebook and Amazon ads.
5. Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
Currently, I have two books published and I am getting ready to publish my 3rd novel and a prequel to the series. All four books are part of the Fire Salamander Chronicles which is an Urban Fantasy series. While each book in the series has its own complete story arc, there is also an overall arc that creates a connection between all the books in this series. And the further the story progresses, the stronger the connection between the books in the series become.
6. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Every story in the Fire Salamander Chronicles starts with a prologue where either a historical event or a legend is retold. The prologue sets the entire theme of the story and it is important to get it right. So, I have to do a lot of research, spending hours on reputable websites and in libraries. Since I write in the Urban Fantasy genre, for me it is extremely important to not only understand the real historical event I describe, but also find some mysteries and questions unanswered by historians, which are associated with this event, and explain them using the magic of the Fire Salamander World.
7. What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
It is a good question. My main character, Zane Burns, a.k.a. Gunz is a man and there are more male characters in my novels than female. Writing a dialog is probably the most challenging part. It’s been proven by many Psychological studies that men and women respond differently to similar situations that they face. Their speech patterns, the body language and the thinking process can be different as well. So, when I write my male characters, I have to keep all that in mind.
If you enjoyed the wise words from N.M. Thorn, then everyone who’s reading this interview should stop what they’re doing and go follow her on all her social media! Her social media links are below. Also, if you want to dive into the world of The Fire Salamander chronicles, you can click on the images above, and they’re direct you to their homes on Amazon.
Thanks for stopping by!
The Writer’s Alley