My Writing Life: Jen Minkman
When did you first discover a love of writing? Is there a particular book that made you want to become a writer?
I started writing when I was very young. I was always busy either reading a book or coming up with a story of my own. I can’t remember reading one particular book that made me wanted to start writing, but I do remember having a dream about three girls and a UFO which inspired me to write down that story in book form. I was ten when I asked my dad if I could use his typewriter, and I taught myself how to use it, how to bind my book with a cardboard, illustrated cover, and I also made my own illustrations.
What’s your favourite book? What was your favourite book as a child?
My favorite writer is probably Ray Bradbury, but I love books too much to stick to just one author. My favorite book series as a child was the Mother Earth Trilogy by Thea Beckman.
Where do you get your story ideas?
I write young adult paranormal and dystopian fiction. Sometimes, the ideas come to me while I listen to music. I also travel a lot and that inspires me to use particular places in my book or invoke a certain magical feeling I get in places such as Wales, Scotland, Scandinavia, or the Alps. There is so much mythology out there that is yet unexplored in books that my inspiration will likely never run dry!
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received as a writer?
Don’t write for the money, write for the love of storytelling.
What’s your favourite literary genre? Any guilty pleasures?
I love young adult (paranormal, dystopian, fantasy, romance) as well as sci-fi, high fantasy, and futuristic novels. Basically what I love to write is what I love to read.
What made you decide to self-publish?
I am traditionally published in the Netherlands with a small publishing house and knew that the chances of my publisher selling the rights abroad were next to none, so I decided to translate my books into English myself (I studied English and communication and am currently a teacher of English at a secondary school in The Hague). Since I didn’t feel like going down the road of submitting manuscripts and waiting for people to love my work yet again, I self-published.
Are there any self-publishing tricks of the trade you’d like to share? What rules of craft or promotion do you live by?
You have to make sure people see your books or else nobody will buy them, no matter how good they are. Hitting the Publish button is just the beginning. If you want to be read, you have to invest time, money, effort, and be willing to offer a part of your oeuvre for free (for a limited time or for longer periods of time in case of a first book in a series).
What is the best part of self-publishing? It’s the complete control you have over what your work looks like, when you publish, how often you publish, and what price you ask. I know both sides of the coin, so I appreciate the freedom that comes with self-publishing a lot.
You can also find Jen:
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JenMinkmanYAParanormal
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/JenMinkman
Visit her Web site: http://jenminkman.blogspot.ca/