About Sandy Appleyard:
I’ve been writing full time since 2006 with 7 published works in counting to my credit. Genres include both fiction and non-fiction; memoirs, self-help, humour, suspense, and Christian/sweet romance (coming soon).
I’m Canadian born and raised. I’ve been married for ten years; we have two children together.
When I’m not writing I love to read, blog, fiddle with my website, take long walks or bike ride, and I’m an avid fan of daily exercise including yoga and strength training.
What inspires you to write?
Book ideas strike me at odd times; when I wake from a nap, while visiting friends, even sitting at the doctor’s office.
Inspiration, for me, is always there. Most days I write at least 1000 words or more, and to me, that’s what makes my day.
Tell us about your writing process.
When a book idea nudges me I make notes as quickly and as comprehensively as possible using either the notes function on my phone, or if I’m near my laptop, I simply type it into a Word document.
Sitting down to write, for me, the easiest parts are the beginning and ending of my manuscripts. When I get to the middle, reading back a chapter or two helps prime my creativity (it also gives me a quick opportunity to roughly edit) and enables me to carry on from where I left off.
If I’m interrupted (which happens often…I have two kids, a husband and a cat), I quickly make notes as to where my thought process was headed, so I don’t forget what direction I was going for.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Scenes usually get played in my head as I’m writing. I write with lots of dialogue, so often I go back over what I’ve written to ensure it makes sense and flows properly.
No, I don’t talk to my characters, but I do imagine what they would say to each other, and what expressions their faces would carry.
What advice would you give other writers?
This is a terribly challenging business to be in and the only way to rise to the top (I’m guessing-because I haven’t personally risen to the top…yet ;)) is to keep writing. The more quality books you publish (notice I used the word ‘quality’) the better your chances are of standing out.
Don’t get too focused on one thing (including social media) unless it’s driving your sales dollars up. The only thing, in my opinion, that is going to get you noticed, is quality work, sensible marketing/promotion, and reliable backing from readers (ie. honest reviews).
How did you decide how to publish your books?
In the beginning, I thought the be-all and end-all was when a traditional publisher accepted your book for publication. It finally happened for me two years ago and I can honestly say it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Personally, I think self-publishing is totally the way to go, if you’re up for it. I’m sure it’s been said a million times (as I’ve seen it myself) that you must learn to wear many hats if you decide to self-publish. But the rewards are way better and you are in complete control of your work, which to me is the ultimate reward.
If you’re not sure which way to go, I suggest looking within yourself and deciding what to you means success. If you need affirmation from a publisher to substantiate that you’re a good writer, or if you’re not tech or internet savvy or unwilling/incapable of learning, then go with traditional publishing.
However, if you’re a fast learner and feel that feedback from other writers, or sales and earnings are enough to stabilize your confidence, and if you like to be in control, then go with self-publishing.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
It could go either way, in my opinion. Some readers still enjoy pulling a physical book off the shelves while others are really digging these e-readers and other devices. Myself, I like a combination of both, and there are lots like me out there, too.
On one hand it’s way cheaper to buy an e-book, plus you don’t have to worry about shipping costs (if you buy online), but the disadvantage is the sea of books there are to choose from (to some that wouldn’t be considered a disadvantage, but from an author’s perspective it is). But on the other hand, you also have poorly written and/or formatted e-books on the market, too.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Memoir, humour, suspense, romance, thriller, Christian/sweet romance.
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print