Hello and welcome Rachael Johns!
Thank you for coming over to chat about your writing life in this two part special of 7 Minutes with an Author.
1. What is the theme of the book you are working on?
I’ve just finished editing my November book, called THE GREATEST GIFT. I’m very excited about this book - the main theme I guess is family and how it comes in all different shapes and sizes. The book deals with egg donation and what it means to be a parent or want to be a parent. There’s also a fun hot air balloon theme, which I had a hoot researching! (I have a feeling that this one is going to pull at our heart strings, Rachael.)
2. What was/is one of the hardest things about writing one of your books/current manuscript?
To be honest, at some time during the writing of EVERY book I write, I want to throw it into the fire. I keep hoping writing will get easier, but the more books I write and the more I learn, I think the tougher I get on myself. I question every thing I write these days and so the hardest challenge I find is overcoming the self-doubt, trusting my gut and not letting negative thoughts stop me from finishing. (What you say rings true for so many authors at every stage of their journey.)
3. Because everyone always wants to know. Are you a panster or plotter?
I’m a plantser – it’s a term I recently heard that basically means I sit on the fence. I am in the middle. I like to know a few key things about my characters and plot before I start – like the premise and the black moment and what the conflicts are – but I don’t really make many notes about these things, or outline the book before I start. If you’re holding a gun to my head and I have to choose one or the other, I’d have to group myself in with the pantsers!! (Ha ha ha ha, I think I might come pretty close to what you say here.)
4. How important are reviews to you? Do you get upset when they aren’t favourable? (Like stalk the reviewer and wish they get infested with a thousand fleas.)
Well, this depends on my mood at the time of reading reviews. But yes, I do read reviews and I know not all authors do. I try to remain objective when reading them and I really appreciate the readers and reviewers who take the time out to explicitly explain what worked and what didn’t. I’ve learnt a lot about my writing from reading my reviews, however I’ve also learnt to take everything with a grain of salt. In the end, reviews are only one person’s opinion. Some can be quite harsh, but unless I’m in an overly emotional mood, these are more likely to make me laugh than cry!
The only reviews that really make me cranky are those that are actually nothing about the story – like one star reviews given because someone couldn’t get the ebook to download properly OR the book had too much God stuff and it was an inspirational! Come on people! Be fair! (Very true.)
5. How do you market your books? (Stand at the top of a building and shout buy my book?)
Whenever I have a new release, I send out a newsletter to my reader list, I run a #shelfie contest on my FB page and I try to do in-store signings and library events. In the beginning I did a fair bit of blogging, but these days, I prefer to spend my time actually writing the next book. I’m lucky that I’m also with a big publisher who promotes my books heavily through their own social media outlets and through magazines and other avenues as well. I’m not huge on self-promo – could have never been a salesman – so I try to link any blatant promo to a contest so that the reader has an opportunity to win something! That makes me feel better 🙂
6. Social Media – Love it or hate it? Where do you hang out the most? Any tips to share?
I love hanging out on Facebook where I have an active page and a reader group (Readers of Rachael Johns). It doesn’t feel like a chore to me – I share bits and pieces from my everyday life, my reading tastes, fun links I find, and also book related stuff like cover reveals and new releases. The best thing about this though is meeting Facebook readers at events; whenever I do an event there’s usually at least one or two people who I have “met” via Facebook and meeting them in person is such a buzz. I’m also on Twitter, Instagram and Goodreads but don’t spent as much time on these mediums. My one tip with social media is have fun with it – choose the platform that you enjoy the most and don’t stress too much about it. I know social media is important these days, but in the end the most important thing is still writing a good book and then another and another. You just have to look at some of the bestselling authors out there who aren’t active at all on Twitter or Facebook to see this is true!
7. What is your favourite motivational phrase or positive saying?
Don’t regret the things you do, regret the things you don’t do! (Great saying!)
If you want to know more about Rachael you can find her here at:
TALK OF THE TOWN
Lawson Cooper-Jones has two priorities in life – his son, Ned, and the survival of the dairy farm that has been in his family for generations. Despite the best efforts of the town matchmakers and the determined pursuit of local girl Adeline Walsh, Lawson’s heart belongs still, and only, to his late wife.
But when a flat tyre strands Lawson and Ned in nearby Rose Hill, he’s surprised to find a woman living alone in the old general store of the deserted town. Ned immediately forms a bond with the beautiful stranger called Meg, and Lawson is surprised to find himself captivated by her too.
Although shy at first, Meg starts to open up to him about the haunting secrets of her new home and, with Lawson unable to get her out of his head, they agree to investigate the history of the old building together. Soon they find their friendship has bloomed into something more.
But when meddling Adeline makes it her mission to uncover the truth about the newcomer and her real identity is revealed, Lawson and Meg’s budding romance comes crashing down. Can they both learn to forgive in order to claim a future for their damaged hearts?
A moving story of secrets, love and new beginnings from bestselling author Rachael Johns.