Today, I’m pleased to welcome a Londoner, who happens to be one of my oldest Greek online friends. Maria Savva writes terrific short stories and loves to promote music as well as books. If you love Rock music, you’ll love the exciting resources Maria shares today!
A family saga spanning fifty years and three generations…
Cara fell for the tall, dark, handsome stranger, fifty years before. Now Frederick is about to return to her life. Can true love stand the test of time?
When Cara’s granddaughter, Penelope, flees her home to escape a violent husband, Cara’s world is turned upside down. She returns to Huddlesea, the town she grew up in. Her estranged sister Gloria is less than happy to see her again. Can they rebuild their relationship after the tragic circumstances that tore them apart?
Human nature is not neat and predictable.
What makes us betray a loved one?
Can isolation lead to irrational behaviour?
Why do other people’s lives always look more appealing?
Nigel Price has MURDER on his mind.
He can run but he cannot hide. Nigel’s past has come back to haunt him. The truth is, his past has never left him… it follows him without remorse, catching him at every turn. There is no escape. Regret, guilt, nightmares, despair… these fill his every waking hour and disturb his sleepless nights.
Take a trip inside Nigel’s mind, in this dark, psychological thriller with a paranormal twist.
Hello Maria! Welcome to my blog!
Thank you for inviting me, Fros!
Maria, knowing what a prolific author you are, I bet you’re always working on something new. So, what are your current projects?
(*laughs*) Indeed. I’m currently working on a new novel. The first draft was easy enough to write. It only took two months and that was working around my full-time day job. The editing is a different story! I had it edited by Bob Helle who is a professional editor I found through my good friend Darcia Helle (the surname is a coincidence; they are not related as far as they know!) I then sent the book out to a couple of beta readers. One of the beta readers was Darcia. She spotted my ignorance about the difference between stun guns and tasers, and she also found a couple of other minor issues. This led to me re-reading the book and changing some bits. I am known for being obsessive about editing and every time I read the book I find more things to edit. So far the editing process for this one has been about ten times longer than writing the first draft! I think the light is at the end of the tunnel though, and I should hopefully be sending that out for formatting soon.
I’ve also started another collection of short stories. These were five stories that just came to me in the space of about the same number of days. They are at the very rough draft stage at the moment, but I’m hoping to make them part of a collection.
Any hobbies or interests that you enjoy in your spare time?
I love music and going to gigs. I started writing a music blog a few years ago for the UK Arts Directory and when that closed down last year, Maria Haskins (author and poet) asked if I’d like to join her Real Rock and Roll music blog. She’s been running that for a few years and we have a very similar taste in music. I suggested that Darcia Helle also joins us because she’s as mad about music as I am. Now the three of us have two blogs between us, Real Rock and Roll, and another one called Soundwaves Review for anything that is not-quite-rock. It’s a lot of fun being part of that blogging gang, and all the new music I’m finding feeds my music addiction (*smiles*)
Sounds wonderful! Which are your favorite authors, and what do you love about them?
More and more these days, my favorite authors are my fellow indie authors. I love the passion they have for the writing and how they keep going even when there is no sign of any reward at the end of all the hard work. Some of my favorites are Darcia Helle and Maria Haskins (my two fellow music bloggers, who also help to keep me sane!) Michael Radcliffe, who is one of the most talented authors I’ve had the pleasure to know and is also so kind and helpful; Julie Elizabeth Powell, who has written hundreds of books by now, I think. She’s a great friend and very supportive. Her writing is so imaginative. I’ll stop there, but I have been blessed with many wonderful indie author friends and the great thing is I also love their writing.
Do you have any advice for other indie authors?
Try to make sure your book is the best it can be before you publish it. The urge to publish quickly is always there, especially when you write your first book because there is a lot of excitement about getting the thing published. Publish in haste, repent at leisure. I read a lot of indie books because I like to support indie authors and I do notice lots of typos. The stories are usually great, but the editing lets them down. Just taking that extra time to polish the manuscript really makes a difference. I’d recommend always using a professional editor for novels, as well as a few beta readers. Every reader will be reading the book from a different perspective and so you’ll get more accurate feedback if you use a few beta readers.
Are there any sites or writing tools that you find useful and wish to recommend?
My cover designer Kat from Aeternum Design is amazing. She designed the covers for “A Time to Tell” and “Lost and Found”, and I’m also using her for my new novel. I used to design my own covers, but have learned that for a book to sell it has to have a certain type of cover. Professional cover designers know what sells and what doesn’t. It’s all about marketing and reader expectation of what should be on a cover. It’s like a different language. For example, I went to a conference a few years ago and was told that for a chick lit book there should always be some pink on the cover and the title should be in swirly script, and it should include a woman’s leg from the knee down.
That’s right. There are standards in images, colors and fonts so the reader is informed about the genre on a subconscious level as soon as they lay eyes on the cover. It’s pretty thrilling once you’ve delved into this. It amazes me as well.
(For the benefit of my readers, here’s a pretty awesome post on the subject on Freebooksy).
Indeed. Now, I would never have guessed most of that, but apparently it’s what sells the most. I think spending a bit of money on a good cover is worth it in the end.
Also, I’d recommend EBookBuilders for formatting e-books. I think they also do print books now too. My contact there is Deena; She’s an expert in book formatting!
Tell us about your website/blog. What will readers find there?
My website is designed and maintained by someone else because I am clueless about setting up websites. He did a great job with the design. Readers can find all my books listed on the site. I try to add news there whenever I have a new release. It links to my Goodreads blog, which is where I do most of my writing-related blogging. I’ve posted my book trailers there, and there’s information as to where you can buy the books. I’ve also added some links to other sites, and to my social media.
What do you enjoy the most as an indie author that you imagine you wouldn’t if you were traditionally published? If you had a choice would you still go indie?
I think I’d miss the freedom to publish something exactly the way I want to publish it. I’ve heard that editors for mainstream publishers will change things because they are only interested in what will sell. There is a formula for what sells books and that means that there are certain expectations. Just like the book cover design, there are things that readers want and expect. The big publishers have obviously tapped into that formula, so if I publish through them I’d probably get sales, but at what cost? I think there is a place for all types of literature. I read so much fantastic indie fiction that is being turned down by the big publishing houses. Readers are missing out on these gems. It’s like all the indie music that I’ve been discovering on my blog; there is an underground scene that no one knows about but it’s brilliant. As indies we just need to find a way to tap into the market. Obviously, if I was offered a publishing contract with a major publisher I’d consider it, but it would have to be under the right terms. I wouldn’t want to sell my soul.
What were your most and least favorite subjects in school?
I loved History, Biology, Art, and English Literature. I didn’t understand Physics. I was actually a genius at Maths until about the age of ten and then it went downhill. I failed the O-Level!
LOL! This has been a delightful chat. Thank you for your time, Maria.
Thank you for the opportunity to talk about my work, Fros.
Maria Savva lives and works in London. She is a lawyer, although not currently practicing law. She writes novels and short stories in various genres, including drama, psychological thriller, and family saga. Her short stories have appeared in the BestsellerBound Anthologies and she is a regular contributor to the The Mind’s Eye series of books. Maria is also a music blogger at Real Rock and Roll, and Soundwaves Review.
Real Rock and Roll blog: https://realrockandroll.wordpress.com/
Soundwaves Review blog: http://soundwavesreview.com/A chat about books and Rock music with @Maria_Savva #ASMSG #IAN1 #shortstories Click To Tweet
Do you love Greece? Check out our guide to Corfu on this site! For delicious Greek recipes, head over to Effrosyni’s Blog. Sign up to Effrosyni’s newsletter for her news and special offers (very sparse emails).