It's August already! How crazy is that, right?
If you're new to She's Novel, every month I feature one spectacular, inspirational novel lady on the blog. This person may be a hobby writer, a self-published author, a writing blogger, a professional novelist, or something fresh and new! No matter their title, the featured novel lady is always someone to whom I look up to, someone who inspires me to improve my own work.
This August, my featured novel lady is Abria Mattina, author of Wake and Love Among Pigeons. Abria was one of my very first She's Novel readers. We "officially" met when we both commented on one another's blogs! I've loved reading through Abria's self-publishing series, and I can't wait to pick up Wake (seriously, it's been on my reading list for waaay too long).
Want to learn more about Abria and her fiction? It's your lucky day! We've put together a fun interview just for you, my friend.
Tell us about your writing. What genre and age market do you write for?
I write primarily New Adult contemporary. Initially I had to explain to a lot of people what New Adult was, because it was just an emerging genre back in 2011. When New Adult titles began to flood the market, some people were quick to brand them erotica-with-barely-legal-
characters. My books fall outside the "usual" New Adult you see on bestseller lists, because they involve serious issues such as death, illness, and abuse.
You always seem to have several projects going. Would you share with us what you're currently working on?
Right now I have three works in progress -- an adult romance, a paranormal New Adult, and a sci-fi thriller I'm co-writing with another author. The majority of my attention is devoted to the book I'm co-writing. So far we've reached the 55,000 word mark, which we accomplished by writing at night. We both peak, creatively speaking, after sunset.
My WIPs take a lot of time to incubate. I started the adult romance I mentioned back in February 2008. The first draft of that paranormal New Adult was born in April 2012. I find I go through several drafts, feeling my way through the concept, before I can call it complete in my mind and transfer that developed set of themes, characters, and plot points to the page.
How and when did you fall in love with writing?
I always liked writing, but I didn't take it seriously until I was fifteen and I sacrificed so much sleep to write a screenplay in three days. It was absolutely terrible. After that, writing consumed my life until I hit a major slump in 2012. I blew off so much homework in university so I could write, and I don't regret it.
What is the best piece of writing advice you have ever received?
Let your work sit for a few months before you attempt to edit or redraft it. I've made peace with "quitting" a project for a few months when I know I'm no longer seeing it properly. It's easy to get too close to a story. That's when you have to step away and come back with fresh eyes.
Can you share a little about your traditional publishing journey?
I sent out queries for a few of my early novels that didn't have the right to see the light of day. Since then, I've always gone the indie route. I hope to go the traditional route with the science fiction novel I'm co-writing, though.
That's awesome! How has self-publishing gone for you?
I started self-publishing in 2011 not knowing enough but looking up to legends like Amanda Hocking. I'd just finished an intensive course in publishing at NYU, which gave me insight into the industry but not a lot of practical know-how. I learned as I went, stumbling upon success by accident and making my share of mistakes along the way. I stressed a lot over the "publish or perish" aspect of the industry, and didn't publish again until 2013. I've also spent the past few years working for a small literary publisher as a production coordinator.
You also have an author website and blog, right?
I blog about publishing and writing on my author site, abriamattina.com. I hope to resume the popular Self Publishing Series when this draft of my WIP is squared away.
And before we say goodbye, here's a fun question. If you could only read one book or book series for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
I would reread Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. The writing is fantastic, the characters are rich, and it's so full of action that I could never get bored. I still reread parts of it every month, and I love finding easter eggs whose meanings I didn't grasp before. Some things aren't resolved for several books, so it's a little thrill to find all the points of connection and know where they lead.
Thank you so much for joining us today, Abria. It was such a pleasure to learn more about you and your work!
Love Abria as much as I do? Go befriend her on Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr. You can also learn more about her books through her author website or on Amazon. And finally, make sure to check out her amazing Etsy shop. The Story Bible is to die for!
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Kristen Kieffer is a writer of fantasy fiction and the creative writing coach behind She's Novel. She's made it her mission to help aspiring authors write sensational novels because obliterating expectations is her jam. Her other passions? Coffee and Tolkien, of course!