Question and answers
Hours away from writing - Jane is up at 6.30am does things in the house. At desk from 9.30am. Has a lunch break then writes. 4pm she walks the dog then gets back and checks emails. She said that if something comes up she can please herself. Lorna reckons there is a danger with this. If she has edits to do for clients then she does them as they take priority. When she wrote her historical novel she found it best to do her tutoring and Fictionfire. She doesn't switch off. Every day is different.
Jane said it is essential to have an agent to get things out to publishers.
Have an agent? - Jane has and is grateful. She got publisher and agent at same time. Lorna did have one but they retired. Another but weren't aren't so proactive. None now. About to epublish her book so don't need one. Mentioned Alliance for Independent Authors, who have an agent for foreign rights. (Made a note of this as I'm an indie author). Thinks we now have a right to ask publisherswhat they can do for us. If get trad deal then will look at you. She won't say never for another trad deal. If agent asks to take you on, ask what they can do for you.
Events etc - Jane's income for last year was £8000. Charges SOA rates. No one adds travel costs unless it's international. What a school wants you to do is to enthuse and inspire children to write not give talks about your books. That is accidental. Jane sends a promo pack to schools then follows up with a phone call. She gets repeat asks.
General events - Lorna said it's synchronicity. When she first had her book published, she went on the net. Got talks via Twitter etc, then they turned into workshops later on. She said you should cultivate connections. Be open to possiblities. Perceptive to what's going on. Work hard on your ID and what you can write. Join specialist groups such as SCBWI. It's now easy to connect with other authors. Jane does local festivals. Waits to be asked. Tells local press when a new book is out.
Next post will be out the practical side of making a living as a writer.