New Author Speaks Out

“…the story wrote itself.”

Today Scribes takes you Salford, UK, to visit new author Debbie Hope, and talk about her first book, Lunar Regeneration. We found out she is a very busy woman!

How would you describe yourself as a writer?
I write about the things that interest me. Once I had the intriguing idea about a regenerating skeleton the story wrote itself. Perfecting my English and editing took a lot longer and I am studying a BA in English to help perfect my skills.
How would you describe your genre?
My genre is very much Young Adult/Fantasy with a little romance.
How did you decide to self publish? Do you think there is a stigma associated with self publishing?
As a businesswoman, I have taken a businesslike approach to publishing my own work and I have no time for phrases like ‘vanity publishing.’ Journalists that use terms like that need to get with the times. I write for YA and talk to them direct through Twitter and reader sites like Goodreads. They would never dream of judging a work by the publisher’s logo. 
Do you have any words of advice for anyone starting their first manuscript?
If you are just starting a novel my advice is to FINISH IT!
How about some advice for anyone just having just finished their first manuscript?
Edit, edit, edit again. Then hire a free-lance editor (I used Anne Greenberg) and if you can’t afford a copy editor ask an English Teacher friend for help.

If you are just starting a novel, my advice is to FINISH IT!


What is the absolutely most important thing you would like people to know about you?
My pen name ‘Hope’ is very important to me. I never give up hope.
What was your biggest help in writing your novel?
I love fantasy and never stop reading and that will always be important.
What was your biggest hindrance?
Time and life’s practical nuisances will always keep creeping up to delay the would-be writer. Set yourself a writing period and stick to it. Even if it has to be in the middle of the night to work in peace.
Tell us a little bit about your writing process.
I write in the late evenings when everything is done, including the ironing. Writing is my me-time, my reward; I work full-time, pursue an English degree in the evenings and have a family. Once I sit down to write, I am totally happy. I improvise when in full stream, and lost in the story, and I can write 2000 words a night.

Writing is my me-time, my reward. Once I sit down to write, I am totally happy.

However, editing for me is a slow and painful process, and I may only keep the best 200 of those 2000 words and will revise a thousand times. I always keep a copy of the first book in my The Immortal MacAbre series by me to encourage me to finish the next book. I love to Twitter to my readers but I don’t dare switch it on until my writing is finished for the night.
For the technical side, check the ‘about this book’ section on my website. I had no money to spend, but I did collect lots of advice and assistance along the way. If you are looking to self-publish, get your writing techniques and your work polished first. Then when you have something to promote make sure your precious budget is spent with the right people. I give technical talks on ‘how to self-publish’ for business networking groups because it is a skill you need to acquire.


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  1. Rhyssa

    Lovely to see the finished book – the cover looks amazing.

  2. brazzy

    Great to see that you have had your first novel published. Hopefully you will get the success that you, and the book deserve.

  3. Sarah Hooper

    Congratulations this looks brilliant, a great result of all the hard work!

  4. Anonymous

    Love your cover- it grabs attention right away! Thanks for sharing your approach, and I agree that self-publishing is a business decision around the way that you get your books into the hands of readers. I wish you much success!

  5. Greg

    A BIG congrats to Debbie. All the best and thanks for the interview 🙂

  6. Rae

    Love the cover (I wish mine were like that), and a great interview!

  7. Susan L.

    Love how you came up with your pen name!

  8. Anonymous

    Very nice interview! 🙂

  9. Tomika

    It’s nice to see that you are interviewing new authors!

  10. Kathy

    When I think about self publishing, I am always worried that I don’t have the same means as the big publishing houses to promote and distribute my book. I’ll bet that there are now self-publishing forums that try to pick up the slack? I also wonder what people will think without the cred and clout of a name publisher behind the book they are thinking of buying. Third on my little list of doubts: traditional books have to go through the crucible of publishing, and that means dubious editors who not only read through for grammar mistakes, but cast a keen eye on your MS for weakness. Your friends won’t give you that kind of honest appraisal, and you will have a hard time seeing your book as others would see it.

    So as far as I am concerned, it’s the traditional route for me!

    1. Valid points all, Kathy, and thanks for sharing!

      While not endorsing one form of publishing over the other, I have to point out the sunnier side of self-pub, as well.

      Don’t forget, the speed of doing it yourself far exceeds going through a big publishing house. This can take on particular significance if you have a timely topic that may cool off with time. You want to get this out there before people’s attention wanders.

      Self pub – both print and electronic – has also become more affordable, and you keep all revenue (if any!). Also, some companies only print out and ship a book when the company buys.

      Also note that a publisher may pull your book at the first sign of trouble while you can keep promoting yours until you achieve something. Bear in mind, however, that you must promote your book fanatically.

      In the end, the decision falls to you.

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