My Writing Life – Marti Talbott
What made you want to become a writer?
Like a lot of writers, I am an avid daydreamer with a ton of stories constantly swirling around in my head. I can’t remember any particular book that convinced me to write one. Instead, my first attempt at serious writing was “Seattle Quake 9.2” as a way to alert my fellow Seattlites of the need to be prepared. After I discovered the elation of having actually completed a book, I was hooked on writing.
What was your favourite book growing up?
As a teen, I read everything I could get my hands on written by Victoria Holt.
What’s the best advice you’ve received as a writer?
The best piece of writing advice came from a boyfriend long ago. He helped me understand that men and women have exactly the same emotions – they just react to them differently. I can’t count the times that has helped me with various descriptions.
Where do you usually write?
I have pens and notepads all over the house, but I write in the living room with the TV turned to classical music. It helps that I don’t have young children.
Do you believe in Writer’s Block?
I’m not sure I know what Writer’s Block is, but I do know that after writing thirty plus books, I sometimes struggle to come up with new ideas. Taking a few days off usually cures the problem for me.
What’s your favourite literary genre?
When we traveled by car, my mother would get books from the library and read the history of the places we saw on the way. From then on, I have been in love with historical romance. Researching the time period for a book is my favorite part of writing.
What’s been your the most memorable time period you’ve researched?
What made you decide to self-publish?
For me, the choice was easy. The last check I got from a “traditional” publisher bounced.
Self-publishing has been like someone opened the door and let me enter a previously forbidden room filled with jewels.
Are there any self-publishing tricks of the trade you’d like to share?
I am not aware of any trick that will insure a writer’s success. Frankly, I have no idea what makes my books sell, but I do know they might have sold better and faster, if I had invested in outstanding cover art much earlier. Once I did that, my sales greatly improved.
It was painful at first, but making the first book in each series free turned out to be the best decision I ever made. If a reader likes the style and the story in the free one, the chances are pretty good that they will buy the rest of the books in the series.
(Sidenote – having a good cover image is so important! We have some great tips from a cover artist and our very own KWL merchandiser here. We also agree that making the first book of your series free is a great way to entice readers. If you’re interested in featuring your titles in our Free eBooks page, please fill out this form.)
What is the most important piece of advice you can give to a new writer?
Read. I don’t mean just other books, but read everything you can find on the publishing industry. Changes are coming at a rapid pace these days, and if you don’t keep up, you can easily miss out on a new and very profitable trend. At the same time, don’t take just anyone’s advice. Check to make certain they are actually selling books, before you let them tell you how to do it.
Tell us about what you’re you working on at the moment.
I finished Beloved Ruins, part 1 (The Lost MacGreagor Stories) a couple of months ago and will soon release part 2. This continuing series will fill in the eight hundred years between the Highland Series and Marblestone Mansion.
She began writing the 14 book Highlander Series in August of 2009. Now, readers can follow the MacGreagor Clan into Colorado’s early 20th century in her Marblestone Mansion series.