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28 Jun

Starting with health issues into romantic suspense series, meet Margaret Standafer…

 

JR: Tell us about yourself, and how would you describe yourself?

MS: I am married with two grown children and live in the suburbs of Minneapolis, MN in the United States. I love to spend time with my family, travel, read, work in my garden, walk and hike, and write.

 

JR: Are you a full-time author? Do you have other activities as main source of income? How do you organise your schedule and time in writing a book?

MS: I am not a full-time author in the sense that it is my only source of income. I also work as a substitute teacher but I spend enough hours writing that I call it full-time. When I’m teaching, the writing happens late afternoon and evening. During the summer when I have time off from teaching, I can spend much more time writing.

 

JR: What made you decide to start writing something? What or who influences you?

MS: I started writing about three years ago when some health issues led to surgery and an extended recovery period. I ended up leaving my job and, once I felt better, was looking for something to do. My husband had long told me I should try my hand at writing. After listening to him for so many years, and finally with the time to do it, I gave writing a try. Three months later I had my first novel completed. Sometimes I still can’t believe it!

 

JR: What is the greatest lesson you have learned and/or greatest achievement you have reached as a writer?

MS: For me, the greatest achievement is having people tell me they enjoy what I write.

 

Misty Lake: Book One in the Misty Lake SeriesJR: How do you think you have evolved creatively?

MS: I’d like to think each of my books is just a little bit better than the previous one. There are some techniques I’ve learned, some things I’ve learned not to do, and I work hard to keep learning. I have taken a couple of online writing courses where I have gotten valuable feedback, and connecting with other authors, both in person and online, is also helpful.

 

JR: Do you ever face Writer’s Block? If you do, how did you overcome the situation?

MS: I do, at times, have writer’s block. Usually I’m helped through it by one of two things. First, if I’m not making progress on my current story, I will try writing anything. Often, just writing something triggers an idea and will get me back on track with my story. Or, if that doesn’t work, I’ll read. When I read, I’ll find myself thinking how I would have written a scene differently, or used a different word, that sort of thing, and it motivates me to get back to my story.

 

The Inn at Misty Lake: Book Two in the Misty Lake SeriesJR: Do you have professional designer to design the cover and/or interior of your books? If you do, any recommendation you would like to share to fellow authors?

MS: I did the interior but hired someone for the cover as design work is definitely not my specialty. I used 99Designs when I needed a cover for my first book. It’s an awesome website where thousands of designers look at your “contest” and decide if they want to participate. I had nearly two hundred different cover designs submitted for my book! While it was a little overwhelming, the process of narrowing down my favorites and eventually choosing one designer to work with was a lot of fun. The designer I chose, Kristin Bryant, has since designed two more covers for me. She’s fabulous and can be reached at kristindesign100@gmail.com

 

JR: How do you involve in promoting your books? Any marketing technique you can share?

MS: I wish I knew the secret formula! Marketing continues to be a struggle for me. Some things that I have done and have seen some success with are running giveaway promotions on Goodreads, running free and discounted days on Amazon, using Facebook and Twitter, and speaking with some local book clubs.

 

JR: Give your thoughts about traditional publishing Vs. self-publishing?

MS: I have only self-published. When I was ready to publish my book, I decided to do it myself and never pursued traditional publishing. I did a lot of reading on the subject and decided, for me, self-publishing made more sense since I was eager to get my book published and didn’t have any connections to the traditional publishing world. Submitting to dozens, if not hundreds, of publishers seemed a daunting task with little likelihood of success.

 

Misty Lake in Focus: Book Three in the Misty Lake SeriesJR: How many books have you written (published and non-published)?

MS: I have written and published three novels to date. They are all in the same series, my Misty Lake series. I can currently working on the fourth book.

 

JR: What genre that you normally write, and what draws you to this genre? Do you always write in the same genre?

MS: My books are clean, romantic suspense. So far, that’s what I’ve written because it’s what I enjoy reading. I do have an idea percolating for a novel that’s a little bit more of a thriller. We’ll see what comes of that!

 

JR: What advice would you want to give to an aspiring writer?

MS: My advice is maybe a little strange, but it’s not to tell anyone you’re writing. For me, I really believe it’s what made it possible to finish my first novel in just a few months. No one (except my husband) knew I was writing so I didn’t have anyone asking me how it was coming, what it was about, if they could read what I’d written so far…that sort of thing. When it was done, I gave a copy to a few people and asked them to read it. I was terrified, they were shocked, but it all worked out.

 

JR: How can readers discover more about you and your works?

MS: I have a website, www.margaretstandafer.com that gives more information about me and my books. I am also on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads and would love to meet you there!

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Margaret-Standafer-1580626742192353/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

Twitter: https://twitter.com/m_standafer

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14116632.Margaret_Standafer

 

 Margaret Standafer

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