IndieReads: When did you start writing?
Stella Deleuze: I started to take writing seriously two years ago. Before that, I wrote a few short stories, but more for my own amusement or that of friends. I also wrote a bit as a teenager, mostly rants about my life and growing up.
IR: Are you self published or did you use an independent publisher?
SD: I’m self-published. Short stories are too difficult to find a publisher for. At least when you want to publish a complete collection. I had a publisher but pulled out as I didn’t like my stories to be published one by one.
IR: What genre do you write in the most?
SD: That’s not so easy to say. I’ve got the humorous short stories and coming up the romantic comedy with a paranormal twist. I also have written a novel that I’d class literary fiction. Humour is only one aspect of my writing and I like it, especially for the romantic comedy series. but I won’t be focusing on humour only.
IR: What is it about that genre that attracts you?
SD: As I said, not a particular genre. Humour seems to come naturally to me, but so does literary fiction. I write what I feel, sometimes I’m in a good mood, that’s when I write humour (mainly when I need to rant) or, when I contemplate about life again, that’s when I write the deeper stuff.
IR: How many books have you published?
SD: One so far, which I’ve published in March; No Wings Attached will come out by end of this Month.
IR: Which one should people start with?
SD: That depends on their taste really. I think the short stories are good for a lunch break or when you just don’t have time to get into a whole novel. No Wings Attached, though, is something you snuggle up on a sofa for a laugh, for some tears, for some romance.
IR: What was the prime motivation in publishing your work through independent channels?
SD: I wanted to have the complete collection out, not just one or two stories. As for the novel: I got about 30 rejections out of the 40 submissions. I knew the word ‘angel’ put them off, so I thought, I’ll try myself. And after two years of hard work I just want to see how it will be received. Wouldn’t it be nice if I could prove agents and publishers wrong?
IR: What were your early experiences like?
SD: Since I’ve published two months ago, I’d still consider myself as being in the early stages. It was a bit of a disaster with all the formatting and fumbling about, tinkering with the active table on contents, but with a little help of my friends… And my book did a good head-start, which probably is down to the charity aspect.
IR: What did the process teach you?
SD: That I could do with a basic course in Word.
IR: Have you seen a change in the independent publishing community?
SD: I’m not sure, I guess so, yes. More independent publishers pop up weekly and the stigma towards indie publishing seems to shrink, which is a good thing.
IR: Do you read other independently published authors works?
SD: Exclusively. I’m also an editor, so I get a lot of independent authors’ work on the table. Though one or two books by established authors are on my wishlist, but plainly because I adore their writing. I do look for indie authors on kindle, too, but they’re sitting on my laptop, for I don’t have time to read.
IR: Any favorites you would like to plug?
SD: Not yet, I must admit. Though I read Jake Barton’s Burn Baby Burn a while ago and that’s pretty good writing. Oh and I’m reading Jenni James’s Pride and Popularity, which is highly amusing and cute.
IR: Where are you most likely to purchase indie works?
IR: Where can people find your books and which source has been the must successful for you?
SD: I’ve got them on my blog, a link to my blog on twitter, which is one of the best places to advertise and people can just google my name to find my book on Amazon.
IR: Do you have books in print? Where can we find them? What was that experience like?
SD: Yes, I’ve used Lulu based on recommendation. But I’m not happy with the quality/prices of P&P and won’t use them again. Sold only five and that was after I’ve ordered them myself, paid an awful lot of money for the P&P and gave them to a cafe that supports my cause. I’ve decided to go another route with my novel.
IR: Do you have any advice for someone who would like to be an Indie author or publisher?
SD: As an author: know your market and get your book as clean as possible. And be prepared to work hard. As a publisher: know your market, do research, don’t jump at every opportunity. Authors rely on your expertise, so you better know what you’re doing.
IR: Do you do your own cover art or do you have some one do it for you?
SD: The cover for the first book is my iguana in a sock, it was just a picture I took. My friend Sessha Batto put the name and title on it for me. The cover for my second book has changed so many times, but my friend eventually hit the nail on the head with it. It’s still WIP, though. So it’s my friends who help me out. I wish I could do it myself, I think I would enjoy doing it.
IR: Do you have any new works coming out soon that you can tell us about?
SD: Oh had I known this question comes up… As I said, No Wings Attached, a romantic comedy with a paranormal twist comes out by end of this month. I’m pretty excited because it’s my baby, my first novel and my heart is in it. But I got already good feedback from beta readers. I just hope others will love it, too.
IR: Is there anything you would like to share?
SD: You have covered everything, but one little thing I’d like to say: I’ve never considered myself a writer. It came as a late surprise to me and the fact that people pay to read my work amazes me every day. They even seem to like it. To me, writing and editing is my life and I wouldn’t be able to live without it, so I hope this continues, because if I write and the readers read and like it, we all benefit from it.
Having spent most of her life in Germany, Stella now lives in the beautiful London with her pet iguana Zorro.
Please visit her blog: http://wordsbystelladeleuze.blogspot.com/