Sunday, February 11, 2018

Interview, Competition, & Spotlight: The Rose Thief

A little bit of everything with this one. Spotlight on The Rose Thief along with an interview with author Claire Buss and a chance to win an autographed copy.

Blurb:  Ned Spinks, Chief Thief-Catcher has a problem. Someone is stealing the Emperor's roses. But that's not the worst of it. In his infinite wisdom and grace, the Emperor magically imbued his red rose with love so if it was ever removed from the Imperial Rose Gardens then love will be lost, to everyone, forever. It's up to Ned and his band of motley catchers to apprehend the thief and save the day. But the thief isn't exactly who they seem to be, neither is the Emperor. Ned and his team will have to go on a quest defeating vampire mermaids, illusionists, estranged family members and an evil sorcerer in order to win the day. What could possibly go wrong?

Get The Rose Thief here>


1. Tell us about the evolution of the Rose Thief. Where did the idea come from? How long did it take to write it?

The opening scene of Rose Thief came about during a writers workshop session where we were encouraged to free write whatever came to mind. Apparently, Ned Spinks was waiting, hanging upside down in the third best reception room. That opening scene plus 20k sat for a while in the ideas pile until NaNoWriMo 2016 when I was able to add another 50k and then began the slow editing process. The book was published in November 2017 so it took about a year and a half from idea generation to published book. I've always been a huge fan of Terry Pratchett and while I didn't set out to write a Pratchett-esque novel, it has been compared to his type of fantasy humour - a huge compliment.

2. I love this cover! How did it come about?

The cover was designed by the talented Ian Bristow. I knew I wanted Ned Spinks, Chief Theif-Catcher on the cover and his faithful sidekick Jenni, the sprite. I had some issues with my cover artwork, the original artist I hired let me down badly and at the last minute so I made a plea to a FB group I belong to for some recommendations. Ian offered his services and after a short conversation on messenger where I sent through character profiles and a brief description of Thief-Catcher HQ, he sent through some initial sketches which were perfect. I couldn't be happier with the end result.

3. Having published several books what would be your advice to a writer just beginning their author journey?

My advice would be to believe in yourself and go for it. The world of independent publishing is pretty scary when you first dip your toe in the water, however, there are lots of helpful articles and how-to guides out there. Plus other indie authors are usually happy to share their own experiences and give great advice so it's worth joining a FB group of similar genre writers. All writers go through the 'I can write, this is great stuff' and the 'What am I doing? This is the worst piece of literature in the world ever' phase. The key is to hold onto your self-belief. If you are passionate about writing, then follow your passion. It's hard work writing, editing and promoting your books but the satisfaction in being able to say, I am a writer, makes it all worthwhile.

4. What have you learned as an author that you wish you knew when you first started out?

I've learnt a lot about the self-publishing process, made mistakes with book and font sizes. I've gone wide with one book and stayed with KDP Select on another - always learning new things and figuring out what will work best for me. I went from being unpublished to having 5 books to my name on Amazon in a year so self-belief is important. It's very easy to get sucked into the social media hamster wheel and spend all your spare time maintaining your author platforms, and whilst that is important, it's not writing. It's crucial to find the right balance and keep writing. In a way, I'm glad I had to figure all this out as I went because I think it has made me a better indie author. I feel like my writing is constantly improving and I'm excited to see where it leads me. I wish I had known how much I enjoy being a writer ten years ago so I could've started this journey earlier.

5. What's next?

I'm currently working on the sequel to my first novel, The Gaia Effect. I've just finished the first rough, rough draft so now I'm gearing up to print out and figure out how many massive plot holes I have. It's not really editing at this stage. More like putting together the structure correctly. I am also planning on releasing another collection of humorous short stories in the summer called Tales from the Seaside as well as writing a couple of novellas to go with The Rose Thief. I do have several other projects bubbling away in the early stages, it's exciting, I have lots of ideas which I can't wait to explore.

Claire has a Love competition running....

My competition will run on 12th & 13th of Feb. I'll be asking what's the craziest thing you've ever done for love is and the prize will be a signed copy of The Rose Thief. I've attached a graphic that I'm going to use for the competition.

You can find and follow Claire Buss just about everywhere: