Please welcome indie author Diane Major

Author Bio


I grew up in Horden, a coal mining village in the North East of England.  I did not secure my professional qualification in Youth & Community Work, Bachelor of Science Open Degree (Hons) and Post Graduate Certificate in Management until I was a mature student. During my career I worked both in the voluntary sector and then for local government which offered me the opportunity to develop many skills, including fundraising.   I managed and worked with people of all ages who were from a wide variety of backgrounds.  One of the things I enjoyed while working was supporting people to gain skills and become confident and articulate members of the community.


I am happily married with two grown daughters and two grandchildren, they are all a delight.

 

I was still working when I began my first book in the genre of fantasy adventure and named it “Children of Fury”. It took me almost 2 years to finish writing it and some months into the project I began to write my second novel “I am Nine.”   More recently I published, ‘Enmitus - The Transformation’ and am currently writing a sequel while preparing a ghost story for publication.

 

I took early retirement and enjoy spending time with my family, walking dogs, gardening and continue to write.  My other passion is fundraising for a local charity.



Book title: Enmitus – The Transformation


Brief Synopsis: When spaceships leave a dying Earth it is not until centuries and galaxies later that survivors reach planets that will support human life. A community from one of the ships build  a life underground on a barren and ominous planet named Serenitus. Princess Corinna lives a contented life under the surface of Serenitus with her father Great Lord Corin, completely oblivious to the deceit surrounding her and her people.  This is until… powerful lords from neighboring planets arrive, the destinies of Corinna and those about her about to change, forever. Corinna’s strength and ability to survive are tested to extraordinary lengths when she is forced to marry a cruel and evil man who is already devoted to a dangerous and despicable woman.  Her own heart breaks as she realizes her love for another.  A story of danger, love, hate, cruelty, deceit and revenge…


Personal

What do you do to relax when you are not writing?  Walk my two daughters’ dogs, gardening and reading.

What, or who, inspired you to become a writer? My desire to write goes back to when I was a child and read C S Lewis books about Narnia.


Current work

What or who inspired you to write your current novel?

I wanted to write something historical and when I began to do the research it seemed there were several books on everything.  I decided to take my story into a new world on new planets.

Tell us three interesting facts about your book which isn’t covered in the synopsis?

1) People never had to settle on the barren planet Serenitus

2) The man Corinna marries is crazy

3) A lethal serpent lives in the Outlands


What research did you need to do for this book?

Are any elements/characters of your book based on real life experiences or people you’ve met/known?

Everything in the book is based on my imagination.


Tell us a little about your current work-in-progress.

I am currently finishing, Enmitus – The Children, which continues Corrina’s journey, plus a ghost story based in England.  It is likely the ghost story will be published first.  I also have another two novels almost completed and will need to decide if they should be published (one is sci-fi and the other is based in Philadelphia).


Writing/publication process

What process did you adopt from inception through to the finished book?

I started with an outline however, my writing never sticks to the outline, I always wander off and the story changes completely.


What do you need (or not need) around you whilst writing?

Thesaurus and Dictionary (I use online ones as well), pen and paper, lots of coffee !!


What prompted you to self-publish your current book?

I did not publish until I had retired from my working career and consequently felt under pressure to find a publisher quickly as time was no longer on my side. I then proceeded to read about other people’s experiences and how difficult it was for them to find a publishing house. Consequently I sent extracts to two establishments to try to assess what my chances might be.


One publisher said they did not publish fantasy adventure novels. The second stated that while what I had written was interesting they weren’t publishing this type of book at the moment. Both wished me luck and directed me to a book I could buy which contained many publishers (I did not buy it!) At my time of life and having already submitted extracts and having waited a considerable length of time for responses, I consequently decided to self publish.


While criticism around self publishing might include the work has grammatical errors in the script, that some parts of storylines might need development, at times the author might stray a little from the plot, identification of typing errors (though a number of published books might contain one or several of these hiccups), it seems to me that self published authors have to work twice as hard if they have no proof reader or editor.  I would also like to mention the only person to have read and criticised one of my books was another self published author, regular readers never mentioned any problems or grammatical errors for that matter. It’s not surprising that many new authors in the book world, for various reasons and due to personal circumstances, feel they have no choice but to self publish. I self published because writing a book was an ambition which I had carried with me from being a child and was something I finally had the opportunity to fulfil. I am aware that I am not unique in saying that nevertheless, this was the beginning. Yes, it would be great if my books were successful, but for me personally, someone who had always struggled with English Grammar, self publishing two novels without the luxury of an editor was a huge achievement. It also seems the publishing scene is dominated by those who are already famous (established authors or stars who are writing their own autobiographies) and other people who succeed through having contacts within publishing establishments or the media. As a result of this only a minority of new authors have the energy and time, as well as needing a lot of luck to make it through the minefield to publish by traditional means thus we have so many authors who self publish.


Having never published a book before, I read about how to do it on line. I then tried two publishing houses and moved on. Once I decided to self publish I began to search the internet and from the many companies out there I did my best to choose one that was well established.

When I approached them they had two offers available regarding publishing my work however, the one I chose was a kind of 'buy one, get one free' offer as I had almost completed my second novel. What I did not realise throughout the whole process was that I should have taken charge, instead I misguidedly and naively felt as if I had to meet deadlines. If someone telephoned, I would respond instead of saying I needed more time. This meant that my two daughters who supported me throughout tried to check my books fairly quickly. It is my belief that we had probably become 'word blind' when checking my first novel from having read it so many times and I think we did a better job with the second one. I chose my illustrations for the cover and the company, in my opinion did a pretty good job of creating it. When asked about a pen name my nerves jangled as I wondered if people, including my friends would think my books were rubbish and concluded, what the heck, I had spent almost two years writing them! I tried to take everything into consideration and decided 'in for a penny, in for a pound' and used my real name. I believed in my books and therefore I did not need a pen name. As the process of self publishing continued to the point where the books were to be made public I became extremely anxious and nervous. I asked myself, would anyone like my books? Would anyone read my books? However I have to say the moment I actually held my first book I felt amazing. Apparently the company I have used to date have earned a name for themselves however without them I don't know if I would have ever published and I wanted paperbacks as an option as well as e books.

The most awkward and uncomfortable thing about the whole process was putting oneself out there, but I did! To date I have generally had good feedback from family, friends, acquaintances and strangers... so far, so good.  I will probably publish my ghost story on Kindle.


What were the three biggest challenges you faced when writing your book?

1) New names for planets and people

2) Keeping track of descriptions of people and their ages

3) Not being distracted.  I often get ideas for other books and have several on the go at one time.


Every author seems to suffer with writer’s block at some point. How do you overcome it?

I find having two books on the go at the same time helps.  If I block on one I switch and go back to find I can move on fairly easily.


What single piece of advice would you give to any aspiring writer?

Try to be realistic, it is unlikely that you will ever make any serious money as an author.


Genre

What genre does your book fall into?

Fantasy Adventure / Science Fiction


How did you get interested in this specific genre?  

As I approached retirement I was aware that people have a great deal going on in their lives and a break from reality can be uplifting.  My books are an escape for as long as it takes someone to read one.


You as a reader

Which three authors have inspired you the most, and why?

1) Dean Koontz, his early books were amazing, held you throughout, I read them with anticipation.

2)  C S Lewis, took me from a small coal mining village into a world of mystical creatures, witches and battles.

3) A recent indie author name James Nicholas Adams who has written Chronicles of Myriad who takes you on a splendid adventure.


What was your favourite book as a child?

The Yearling, a heart jerker by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings


What is the best book you’ve read in the last 12 months?

Chronicles of Myriad by James Nicholas Adams or Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist


What was the last book you recommended to a friend, and why did you think it was worthy of recommendation?  

Not sure if it was The Host by Stephenie Meyer (I knew a friend of mine would love it.  Something a bit different with a twist) or Kicker by R Grey Hoover (I recommended this to my mother as I knew a good World War II story would appeal).


Hollywood is calling

You’ve had the call from Hollywood and they want your opinion on who should play the leading roles in the film based upon your book. Who would you choose, and why?

Phoebe Tonkin could play Corinna as a young adult, she is an actress who would have the skills to play the leading role as it develops.

Alex Ludwig could be the good guy Tacari

Chris Zylka could play Blayze, Tacari’s brother

Josh Hutcherson could play the bad guy Omar

Katerina Graham would make a beautiful Erryn


The film of your book is now going to need a soundtrack. Which musician(s) would you want to write and play it?

The Killers


Favourites

Drink – Coffee or Vodka and Diet Coke

Meal –  Sunday Roast

Holiday destination – No favourite, love most places

TV programme – At the moment, The Borgias

Film – The Hunger Games

Method of travel – Aeroplane/train

Sport – Boxing


How can people connect with you?

Website: http://www.dianemajorauthor.co.uk

Blog: http://diane-newauthor.blogspot.co.uk

Twitter: @dianemajor1

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DianeMajorBooks


Where can readers obtain ‘Enmitus – The Transformation’?