If you’ve read Marketing Indieworld (and if you haven’t, why not? It’s only $3,49 and it’s chock full of concrete advice on book marketing, including step-by-step instructions), you already know that the greatest marketing and promotion tool for Indie authors is your network of readers and other authors who support indie writers.
An important tool for indie writers is finding a group of folks who will consistently support their marketing efforts through a variety of tactics, including engaging with them on social media, promoting their books through posts, attending launch parties, inviting other authors to contribute to promotional messaging, and reviewing.
To promote my books by helping other indie writers, I belong to several writer’s groups and I’ve recommended a few of them in Marketing Indieworld. Today, I’d like to highlight Becky Benishek, who writes children’s books and I have an interview with Becky Faversham. I hope you enjoy learning more about these authors and their works. Please support indie writers.
Hush, Mouse! by Becky Benishek Illustrated by Alicia Young
A tiny kitten named Mouse likes to meow–a lot. She meows so much that her people are always telling her to hush! Little Liz is the only person in the house who understands Mouse. Little Liz’s real name is Elizabeth Mary, but she’s called Little Liz because she’s so short for her age. She has to stand on her tiptoes to reach things and needs help climbing onto laps. And it seems that everyone’s ears are too high above her voice to hear to what she has to say.
So Little Liz knows what it’s like not to be listened to. She and Mouse spend a lot of time together, and Mouse never has any problem understanding what Little Liz says.
One day, Mouse hears a strange sound coming from the kitchen. She meows about it, but nobody pays attention, except for Little Liz. Together, Liz and Mouse prevent a crime, and prove that even though they’re small, they’re worth being listened to!
“‘Hush, Mouse!’ is a heartwarming story about two diminutive best friends and the big part they play when danger comes calling. I loved Mouse’s and Liz’s parallel stories and have no doubt that kids who are small for their age will read this book feeling a little better about having to wait to grow into their own big parts.
Alicia Young’s illustrations are brilliant. They’re beautifully colored, and the expressions on both Mouse’s and Liz’s faces make me smile. ‘Hush, Mouse!’ is most highly recommended.” -Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite
Interview with Anna Faversham
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
Although I love my life as it is, my favorite thing about writing is spending time in another place, another time, another world. I love the research, too.
Describe the place you normally use when you’re writing. What music do you listen to? Anything special in there besides a computer?
I have a sunny, blue room with a big, old desk on one side and bookcases on the other side with a filing cabinet in a corner. I have a window seat with cupboards underneath which are stuffed with stationery that ‘might come in handy’. And an ancient circular rug in the middle.
I don’t put any music on (although I find music inspirational). I like silence for writing. If I’m writing about the early 19th century, everyday twenty-first-century sounds are a distraction.
Are you a plotter or a pantser? Do you use special software?
I’m a bit of a plotter – I usually have an idea of how a story will start and I make sure I know the ending because I think there’s nothing worse than a book that doesn’t tie up nicely. However, once my characters are formed they take off on their own and I have to race to keep up and drag them to the end of their story.
I don’t use special software. I write in Word and then I edit and format. I do have a couple of excellent beta readers and I wouldn’t want to be without them.
Do you research your books? Characters? Scenes? Tell us a little about that process.
I love the research for my books probably because I like learning new things. I’ll remember something I heard yonks ago and then Google around until I find what I can use in what I’m writing.
As for characters, I like to thank people who have gone unthanked for years. In ‘Under a Dark Star’ there are two characters who you’ve probably never heard of: William Tutte was a British codebreaker and mathematician. During the Second World War, he made a brilliant and fundamental advance in cryptanalysis of the Lorenz cipher, a major Nazi German cipher system which was used for top-secret communications within the Wehrmacht High Command. Tommy Flowers designed and built Colossus, the world’s first programmable electronic computer, to help solve encrypted German messages. So they have become characters in my book about smuggling and wrecking on an English island.
Scenes? Places I know well. Mostly I change the names of the places in case some of the inhabitants object to my descriptions!
Please share some of the best memories of your childhood
When I was quite young my family moved to live by the sea. These were some of the happiest days when I could roam the sandy beaches and sit on the cliffs and watch the wildlife. I loved the sea on sunny days but also on wild, wet and windy days. The power of the sea still fascinates me.
About your education?
Teachers have been very important to me. I did not realize it at the time though and I’ve never been able to thank any of the inspirational people who taught me and changed my life. I have a tendency now to thank every teacher I meet to tell them of their worth to children who, perhaps, have little to inspire them in their homes.
At college, I studied English Law, Economics, Economic Geography, and British Constitution. These subjects have had a lasting effect on much of what I have done.
What is your biggest source of inspiration in life?
Books would come high up the list. I learned to read at a very early age and always had my head in a book. In terms of what inspires me for writing, I find people interesting and modified forms of people I have met turn up in my books. Travelling also inspires. When my husband is driving, he doesn’t like a lot of chatter, so I sit quietly (mostly) and plot!
The source of inspiration for my first book “Hide in Time” came from being in St Paul’s Cathedral in London at new year. The Dean was talking about the past and the future. On the early morning drive home, the words “past and future” kept turning over in my mind and “Hide in Time” was conceived. The gestation period was longer than an elephant’s – nearly four years.
What hurts you most in this world?
To see children suffering.
Fortunately, where I lived in Africa, the land – if cared for properly – was fertile and I did not see starvation although it was very much a hand-to-mouth existence.
Children suffer in many ways and it hurts to see any kind of suffering. There are neglected children all over the world, I suspect, and they don’t deserve the pain of not being loved and cared for.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced? How did you overcome it?
My life has been full of challenges, some of these are fed into my writing.
One of the most unforgettable was when I was confronted by a man with a gun. I was not a policewoman so this was a surprise. I overcame it because, like many young people, I had no fear of death. I would die in God’s time – not his. I asked the gunman questions about his life and I spoke about his future. To cut a long story short, I reminded him there was a gun amnesty at that particular time and this was a good moment to start a new life. He handed me the gun. Suddenly I realized the gun was not a fake, it was real and had bullets in it. He even showed me how to take the bullets out!
Words are powerful.
When did you start writing? What is the purpose of your writing?
I started keeping a journal when I was about twelve. I think that counts as writing because the discipline and thought that goes into keeping a diary is good training for a writer/author.
When we lived in Africa, we were on a bush mission – school, hospital, farm, leprosarium – and about seventy miles from anything pretending to be a bookshop (and that was in a different country). There was no television either. Writing stories for my two small children was something I could do in the evenings. When we returned to England and my husband took a job which necessitated lots of traveling, I used the time when he was away to write my first novel.
I have been asked to step in for the BBC’s ‘Thought for the Day’ slot when the regular man has been on holiday and I knew I had to write with a purpose – to leave people with something worth thinking about. Writing a novel has the same purpose for me.
The book I am working on at the moment will probably leave people with some very strange things worth thinking about. I can say no more at the moment!
Hide in Time – A time travel romance http://authl.it/B00A3E925M?d
One Dark Night – Book One of a Historical Romance trilogy http://authl.it/B00LNQ24UY?d
Under a Dark Star – Book Two (Bards & Sages award winner) http://authl.it/B01L75OPJ8?d
One Dark Soul – Book Three of the Historical Romance trilogy http://authl.it/B07BRBDNVF?d
Really got to know Anna from this brief interview. Exciting life and a wonderful message from this book.
Ben Jackson says
Becky B says
Thank you so much!!
Happy to help fellow indie writers