Hi All!! I apologize for severely ignoring my blogging duties lately. I have been drowning in edits.
BUT - Good news!
Bitter Angel is now sparkling and comes out in THREE WEEKS. Cue the EEEEEKS!!!!!!
Now that edits are done, I am excited to bring you a really cool interview with THEE talented and beautiful Allie Brennan.
Me: Hi Allie! So happy to have you here today. *adjusts microphone* Okay, everyone can hear you now. So I thought I’d get started by bringing up your sweetly awesome book, Tight Knit. I really couldn’t get enough of Talia and Lachlan.Your book brought out the fuzzies and made my stomach swim with butterflies.
I’m assuming you knit as well. When did you start knitting, and how did you come up with the idea for this beautiful book?
Allie: *picks up mic and taps* Just double checking.
Ha, funny story. Or not funny… it depends on who’s looking at it! But my mom taught me how to knit during one of the MANY times I tried to quit smoking and just needed something to do with my hands. I started again after that (but have quit for good now! YAY!) and subsequently stopped knitting. My mom knits, and my Nana (who this story was inspired by) knit and crocheted. A lot of my knitting talk came from memories of them or from my wonderful Beta reader Olivia who knits and corrected some of my jargon!
Me: That's AWESOME that you have officially quit smoking, and so sweet that you got to share this with your Nana. That must've been really special.
Share with us a little of your story on how and why you decided to self-publish.
Allie: I used to have that mentality that only people who ‘couldn’t make it’ in publishing self-published… *hangs head and mumbles apologies* But then I went to my first (and tiny) writing conference that was run by a wonderful woman who publishes both self and traditional. She writes across a spectrum of genres by a few different names AND she used to own her own Publishing House with her husband. She advocated for self publishing and challenged my beliefs of writing and publishing. It was then that I realized my beliefs were based on stigma and hearsay… I hated that, I never thought I was one of those people… Anyway, this led me on a little (and by little I mean massively huge and time consuming) research project on Self Publishing. Well, I fell in love. It was a slow burning enemies-to-friends-to-lovers kind of love. I thought LONG and hard about it. I weighed every option and I fretted over it, because I’m a fretter (Talia and I have a lot in common). In the end I decided just to write… Once I was done the book I’d decide what to do with it (I decided to shelve that book because it sucked). Then I wrote Tight Knit.
I still try to work that way. I still want to try my hand at an agent and trad house and all that fun stuff but I love being in control. More than anything I LOVE LOVE LOVE the people I’ve met along this journey.
Me: I agree, Allie. I love the people I've met. I truly feel that regardless of my level of success with my book, I am a very happy and satisfied girl to have such a wealth of amazing people surrounding me.
Are you happy with your decision so far?
Allie: Couldn’t be happier!
Me: Did you start designing covers before or after the writing thing?
Allie: After, it happened by accident. I’m a Graphic Designer in the Production department of my local newspaper. With my schooling I just figured I could design my own cover and save some money. Well I guess people liked it… and here I am.
Me: I see your book is doing wonderfully on Amazon. Everyone hates to talk promotions, I know I do. I’m not a competitive girl, but I’m curious. How much have you done for self-promotions so far? What are your thoughts on self-promoting? And what are your plans for future promotions on books?
Allie: I’m the same as you, not competitive. I really didn’t do much. About two weeks after Tight Knit came out I did a week long blog thing and then put it up for sale for a couple days. I’m so blah when it comes to stuff like that! I like to focus more on meeting people and building legitimate long lasting relationships with readers and writers. I think that goes a long way. People can tell when you pander to them. I don’t like it, so I try not to do it. I’m not an in-your-face kind of person. I just stuck to the blog and twitter and talked to people.
Me: You are I are so alike, Allie! I can't be fake with people. I hate begging for likes on Facebook and posting my book everywhere. I would so much rather meet people, and have my stories spread by word of mouth because people genuinely enjoy them.
Another curiosity – what’s it like to be your own cover artist? Do your own covers take longer, or do they tend to come together more quickly because you have the idea already in your head?
Allie: It depends. I was just idly sifting through iStock when I saw the pic I used for Tight Knit. My jaw just about unhinged it was so perfect. I knew I wanted the frost and I played A LOT with that and font before I decided and even then I changed it a couple weeks before release. That’s the upside AND the downside to doing your own covers.
The covers for my HOLLOWAY FARMS series all fell together so fast and so perfectly but I am still tweaking them a little.
The cover for BREATHE FOR ME is driving me nuts. It’s not right. I can’t make it right. I have become so emotionally invested in it that I hired an designer to take it out of my hands completely before I go crazy. Plus it will be nice to be able to have that cover excitement that I can’t experience doing my own. I’ll be waiting by my email ready to gasp and declare my everlasting love to the designer.
Sooooo, as you can tell, it’s a range of feelings!
Me: Completely understand. And I'm EAGERLY awaiting the release of these new books. Needless to say, I think your writing is beautiful, and has instantly become a favorite of mine.
Being your own cover artist, how do you do your cover reveals?
Allie: I don’t. I don’t do traditional cover reveals. There is not a lot of ceremony behind anything I do. I just kind of do my thing and love it when people come along for the ride!
Me: Share with us a little about your next project.
Allie: My next project is a 3(maybe 4) book series called HOLLOWAY FARMS. Graceland Holloway is the youngest and only girl in a family of 4 siblings. Her mother left when she was a baby and it has caused her some emotional scarring and a lack of female influence. Gracie doesn’t believe in love but she believes in memories and she’s been collecting them. She works very hard to manipulate and sculpt the world around her to create these ‘perfect memories’. The next on her list is losing her virginity, but not to some immature boy at her school. Gracie finds the perfect prospect in Bentley, the amazingly handsome and secretive farm hand. What Gracie doesn’t realize though, is that manipulation has it’s price and there’s no such thing as perfection, especially when it’s her own feelings she’s trying to control.
Me: Sounds awesome, Allie. I can't wait!! Thanks again for stopping by today. It's nice having company once in a while (ensures the house gets cleaned. Ha! Kidding). But I truly do look forward to future stories!! Good luck!
Allie: Thanks so much for the questions, Megan! That was fun! *hands back mic and hugs you awkwardly because I suck at goodbyes*
Me: *accepts awkward hug* My pleasure! Come back anytime :)
If you haven't already checked out Tight Knit, you can buy on Amazon HERE.