I am extremely pleased to have had the opportunity to interview author of The Crossing, Faith Mortimer. I think there is a lot of great advice here for other authors so please Rate, Tweet and Like this post to spread the word.
How would you describe yourself and your writing?
Good morning Andy. May I take this opportunity to thank you for interviewing me? I am delighted to feature on your splendid website and I must say I take good interest in your other articles. You publicise lots of interesting views and news to share! Briefly, I am Faith Mortimer, and I live in an old stone-house in the foothills of the Troodos Mountains on Cyprus. Cyprus is a beautiful Mediterranean island and is also known as Aphrodite’s own. I originally come from England and I began writing seriously around 2000, when I had completed a degree in Biology. I realised that after studying for my degree I had found new dedication, stamina and confidence to finally finish my first novel. Before then I had qualified as a Registered nurse (in my twenties) and latterly run my own business from home. I am a qualified Yachtmaster and before we settled in Cyprus, my husband and I explored the seas from as far north as New York down the coast to the Caribbean and Venezuela and then back across the Atlantic into the Mediterranean where we finished our travels in Turkey – a fantastic eight years living on our sailing yacht – just the right place to write books
How many books do you have published and tell us a bit about them?
I now am so proud to have three published novels under my name and I’m currently working on my fourth, which I’d dearly love to have out for Christmas!
The Crossing was my first novel and covers many genres: action and adventure, romance, wartime hero, family saga and a rite of passage. It took me about two years to write including six months of intense research. It is a bumper book of some 130,000 words and readers tell me they love the characters and the story.
The Assassins’ Village (a Diana Rivers mystery novel):
The Assassins’ Village is a mystery thriller set in Cyprus and written in an Agatha Christie-like style. The story is about a village of locals and expats. The setting is an open-air amphitheatre and because of some dreadful past secrets one person is found murdered. A whole chain of events is set in motion with some shocking repercussions. Love, hate, sex and retribution all feature in this sinister tale.
Children of The Plantation (a Diana River mystery novel):
Children of The Plantation” is set in Malaysia. As I lived there as a child I always wanted to write a novel about it. “Children” came to me only this year as an idea and within a couple of months I had a full blown new novel. It’s quite spooky and mysterious and so far the reviews have been fantastic! I had the original idea from a play I starred in and took the story from there. It’s nothing like the play really but it gave me the initial idea. I’ve also written a short story, The Bamboo Mirror; released as a TRUE short ghost story and set in Singapore at a boarding school during the sixties and going back to the occupation by the Japanese. A chilling tale! And finally, my anthology of short stories, Echoes of Life and Love. These feature romance, horror, paranormal and murder! A real good mixture.
The Assassins Village. Can you tell me a bit about how this book came about? I see it did well on Authonomy.com
The Assassins’ Village came about when I was living in our first house in Cyprus. There are a lot of old stories about assassins’ of the mountains and our village was reputedly the original Assassins’ Village. Apparently you could have (and still can) anyone murdered for a couple of hundred dollars! I decided to put this book in eFormat first as I wanted to control the sales and marketing myself. Yes it reached the number one position on Authonomy in November 2010. So far I believe I made the right decision as sales have been great and I believe have not yet reached their potential.
Who have you published with?
I first published with Olympia Publishers of London and now I use Topsails Charter from Southampton.
Did you prepare your e-books yourself? Any pointers?
I write my own books and as I’m a complete dinosaur on the PC I get my husband to prepare the manuscript for publication on Amazon. He’s brilliant at it. The main thing I believe is to make sure you’re absolutely happy that the book is READY for publishing.
Who does you cover art?
I choose my cover art with my husband and then he prepares and finalises it for me.
Do you do a lot of self promotion? How do you market and promote your work & what do you find are effective methods of self promotion?
Yes, I’m afraid I have to do a lot of self-promotion. No one else is going to advertise me and my books. I’m on Facebook with about 1800 followers, on Twitter with 8000, and over 1000 on Goodreads. There are other sites but it all takes masses of time and energy when I’d really much prefer to be writing. I host a blog twice a week, have other guest writers and sometimes put all my books on special offer of just 99c for a period to attract sales. But quite honestly I think most serious readers are wary of ‘cheap’ books and prefer to pay a bit more (up to $5.50 say) for a decent read. I say decent – there’s nothing wrong in hundreds of 99c books but – hey I have to eat and I’d have to amass huge sales to survive on 99c sales full time! I like to think my followers and buyers of my books are friends – I listen to what they have to tell me, what they want and how they feel. This does help sell more.
Do you find sales peak and then drop off after your initial self promotion?
Sales do peak when there’s something special going on and then there’s a natural trend of some dropping off. But I’ve found that the more I write and the longer I’ve been around more and more people now know and (hopefully) trust me enough to know a good book when they find one, then the peaking stays higher for longer. Nowadays whenever I promote the peak lasts a lot longer.
What advice would you give to a newbie to self publishing?
Many of my blog posts are about writing and keeping at it. You do need stamina, dedication and confidence when writing. A lot of writers do hit a low in the middle of their books. I’d say if this happens to you then walk away, do something else and then when you come back to it the problem usually has resolved itself. Don’t give up. Don’t write for others, write for yourself. Your followers and fans will find you, don’t worry. Your life is in your own hands and be true to yourself.
I would also like to tell other authors that you’re never alone in your work. The actual writing is a lonely business, but with today’s technology at our fingertips there’s always someone out there who is willing to give help and advice when you’re looking for inspiration and just need a little friendly chat. I’ve made hundreds of friends on Facebook, Twitter and from followers on my website. Some are amazing and we share loads of news and often trade ideas.
Don’t ever feel you are alone – there is no need to be. And don’t ever, ever give up! If you feel a deep yearning inside then you are going to get that first book written. Good luck and remember I’m always there with a willing and ready ear. If you would like to connect with me feel free to join me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/FaithMortimer.Author and Twitter http://twitter.com/FaithMortimer If readers want to read over some of my earlier blog posts they’re all on my website – I’ve had some brilliant comments about them.
The link is: http://www.faithmortimerauthor.com
What lies in store for Faith Mortimer?
A Work in Progress – my latest endeavour. Upon the birth of her baby, Holly, Diana is determined to enjoy her first taste of motherhood. She decides to have a rest from writing until Holly is a little older. As soon as her infant is a few months old, Diana returns to her mother country, England and stays with a cousin of hers, Robert. Robert is a helicopter pilot, with emotional problems of his own and is involved with a woman, Libby whom he rescued during an accident at sea. He recognises in Libby, a character not unlike his cousin Diana and realises she is just as accident prone and seems to be mixed up with some characters who are perhaps not as they appear to be on the surface. Is Libby in danger when she has an intruder during the night? And then there are hints of her being stalked. A series of horrendous attacks on female nursing staff at the hospital where Libby is a ward sister set off a chain of events that reaches an exhilarating climax. Who is the attacker? Is it the hospital porter, Peter, Libby’s enigmatic and superior surgeon fiancé or is it long-suffering and emotionally damaged Robert himself…find out more when “The Surgeon’s Blade” is released in the next month or so!
Faith Mortimer was born in Manchester and educated in Singapore, Malaya and Hampshire, England. She qualified as a Registered nurse and after some years changed careers to oversee a number of travel and sport related companies.
She is happily married with four children. Once the children attended University, she decided to join them in reading for a Science degree and obtained an Honours Science degree with The Open University in 2005. She believes that the dedication and stamina needed to sit for a degree gave her the confidence to finish writing her first novel. On achieving this, January 2009 saw the publication of The Crossing. This novel is based on a true
incident and Faith thoroughly enjoyed the six months or so research that went into the book and the 12 months writing and editing.
The Crossing is available in paperback and Kindle format on Amazon.
In 2011 finished second novel; a murder mystery set in the Troodos mountains of Cyprus.
This 93,000 word novel was posted on the Harper Collins/Authonomy site and out of over 8000 books was chosen in November 2010 to be the Number 1 book! You can read the review here on Faith’s Amazon page.
Faith Mortimer’s novels can be found at http://www.faithmortimerauthor.com