1) Congratulations on the release of Sweet Peril and the upcoming release of Sweet Reckoning Apr 29, 2014. Can you tell us what to expect in the novels to follow? How many more will there be until the end of the line for Anna and Kaidan?
Thank you so much for having me, Airicka!! Actually, Sweet Reckoning is the last book in the trilogy. I might write future bonus scenes or even a novella if the inspiration hits, but it’s not guaranteed. I’ve tried to wrap everything up in book three.
2) Being a traditionally published author, a dream for most indie authors, tell us your experiences. Will you ever self-publish? What steps did you take to get your book picked up?
It’s funny how it happened for me. My story was up on a website called Inkpop, which was owned by HarperCollins (they’ve since sold it to Figment). My story made it into the top five on the site, so it went to a HarperCollins editor for a review. Six months later they offered me a contract. It was insane! Then two years later they bought the next two books in the series. I’ve been very blessed and it’s been a helluva ride. But I’m definitely open to self-publishing future books if traditional publishing doesn’t work out for those projects. It’d be fun!
3) Are you focusing on any other novels at this time, or are you focusing entirely on the Sweet series? Is there anything else we can expect from you?
Since the Sweet series is pretty much done, I’ve started other projects, which I’m having a blast with. I’ve got a magical realism YA fantasy that I’m working on, inspired by a Grimms’ Brothers Fairy Tale. I’ve also got a contemporary YA romance that I’ve started. They’re very different. Not sure if either will be picked up for publication, but it’s fun to be writing without any pressure or deadlines.
4) What do you do to get yourself motivated to start a day of writing? Or do you simply sit and hammer at the keyboard? Do you have a special process?
I don’t necessarily have a process. I usually get the kids off to school, get my coffe in hand, and either sit on the couch or in my bed with my Macbook on my lap. Open the doc, and hope the words come!
5) Do you have a tour schedule for 2014? If yes, can you share so our readers can mark it on their calendars?
Unfortunately I’m not being sent on any tours. Those are reserved for the big dogs in publishing, and I’m what’s called a “midlist” author. Any traveling or signing events are out of pocket for me, which is why I can’t do many. I try to set up signings when I visit my parents or friends out of state. I’ll be in Dallas, Texas visiting my mom over New Year’s, so I’m doing a signing there on January 4th. Yay! I keep my website updated with any upcoming events under the “Appearances” page. (link: http://www.wendyhigginswrites.com/p/author-appearances.html)
6) Who have you meet since publishing that had your palms sweating and your tongue stumbling over itself?
I turned into a gibberish-speaking dumb butt when I met Jay Asher last year at SCBWI. He is SO nice and SO down to earth. I also fangirled like a crazy fool when I met and chatted with Gena Showalter and Kresley Cole (two queens of romance) on Twitter. I was so flattered that they were talking to me, lol. Gena and I actually exchanged signed books via mail, and I cherish those books!
7) Was writing something you’ve always wanted to do? Is it a full time or part time job for you, if so, what’s your day job?
I’ve always loved writing, since I was five, but it was something I thought of as a hobby, not a potential career path. Getting published was the huge dream. The “impossible” dream. I was a high school teacher until I became a “stay at home mom.” Once I got published I had to manage my time differently because I’m still a mom first and foremost. It’s getting easier now that my son is in preschool so I have a bit more time during the day, but it’s tough at times (like holidays, summers, and when the kids get sick). I have to be alone, in quiet, to write… *sigh
8) What is the biggest misconception of traditionally published authors you think people have?
That we’re rich. We’re not. Maybe the ones selling millions of copies are, but regular authors like me are making the equivalent of a teacher or less. I get roughly $.50 per book sale, and I end up spending tons of money buying swag, doing mailings for fans, giveaways, etc. This year I’ll make about the same as a full time McDonald’s worker. True story. And I’m not complaining, but it’s funny when people think I have enough money to travel the world and mail hundreds of books internationally just ‘cause. I wish, y’all. I wish!
9) What would you tell an aspiring author hoping to get their book out there? Do you have any helpful tips?
Be patient. Make sure your book is ready – edited, critiqued by other trusted writers, etc, before you query it. I know the rat race feels like a huge rush, and the rejections will make you want to quit all together, but keep your chin up. If big publishing doesn’t work after time, there are wonderful smaller publishers out there, and self-publishing. But don’t give up. Every day, week, month, and year you put into this is all part of the “author badge” you’re earning. We’ve all been there.
10) Where can readers find more of you and your books?