Posted on 11/18/2015 at 12:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
Writing is often seen as a solitary effort — but if Andrea Domanski had shut herself off from the rest of the world, her career would look quite different.
If she hadn’t attended a certain party, she might not have written that first book, let alone the three follow-up novels that also earned best-seller status.
Nor would she likely have found her way into two writing groups — one local, one remote — whose members bring out the best in each other’s work.
Domanski, author of the sci-fi/fantasy Omega Group series, took some time from working on the latest installment to answer a few questions about her journey.
SADYE: You say in your author bio that you always wanted to be a writer; what kept you from it earlier, and how did you overcome that?
ANDREA: I know this is going to make me sound less-than-smart, but it never occurred to me that publishing a book could be done by “normal” people. That was something done by the likes of Stephen King or John Grisham, not someone like me.
Then I got an invitation to a friend’s birthday party. I’d known the man for a few years, but we weren’t that close. When I walked in the door, he had a small table with a book poster sitting on it. The book was written by him. That’s when it hit me. “I can do that, too!”
SADYE: How did you become a part of the WorldWiseWriters group, and what have you found most valuable about it?
ANDREA: Amazon used to have a contest every year called the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards (ABNA). I entered my first book, “Crossfire,” in that contest in 2014. There were several discussion threads on Amazon for the ABNA authors to meet and discuss ideas, as well as help each other hone our entries. One of these threads is where I met the women who would become the WorldWiseWriters. ...
What I find most valuable is the unconditional support. This will sound cliché, but these women, whom I’ve never met in person and live in three separate countries, have become a second family to me.
We are in touch via email all day, every day. We sort through both our struggles and our successes. We share our resources and beta read each other’s books. I’m not sure how I got so lucky, but I’m really grateful that I did.
SADYE: How do you feel about Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited payment changes?
ANDREA: That’s a tough question to answer. First, there was most definitely a need for Amazon to change the way they handled author payments for books enrolled in Kindle Unlimited. Their former structure opened the floodgates to “scamphlets” (a funny term given to 10-page pamphlets of garbage filling up the virtual shelves).
The change Amazon made certainly solved that problem, but I fear it may have inadvertently caused some other problems. It’s only been in effect a few months, so we’ll have to wait and see how things go.
The good news is that Amazon has always been an innovator. If something doesn’t work, they change it. If it still doesn’t work, they change it again. As authors, we just keep our fingers crossed that they get it right sooner rather than later.
SADYE: What are the best and worst parts of being an indie writer?
ANDREA: My favorite part of being an indie is having total control over what I produce. I don’t have a publisher asking focus groups what story they’d like me to write. Instead, I tell the story that feels right to me.
Now, that’s not to say I figure out everything on my own. I don’t. I’m lucky enough to have the WWW group as well as a local group I belong to in Savannah, Georgia, to brainstorm with. We help each other figure out everything from plot structures to promotions. I’ve also got brilliant editors, cover designers, and beta readers. Without them, my books wouldn’t have made it to the shelves, let alone the best-sellers lists.
The worst part of being an indie is having to break through the glass ceiling. As with all other professions, there are both good and bad indie writers. When it comes to publishing, however, people tend to group all indies together. So, when one indie publishes a poorly written, poorly edited book, people assume all indies display the same lack of quality.
Another assumption people make is that indies are indies because they aren’t good enough to have a traditional publisher. I’m sure that’s true for some, but for many (including me) staying indie is a conscious choice. It’s frustrating when people believe an indie is settling, when they’re really doing exactly what they want to do.
SADYE: Which of your books are you the most proud of?
ANDREA: I suppose the expected answer would be my first book (“Crossfire”), simply because it’s my first. For me, though, that’s not the case. Don’t get me wrong, I really love my first book. I struggled for a long time to get it on paper, not knowing anything at all about writing. But, because of that, it has a lot of what I call rookie mistakes. ...
So, after all that, the answer to your question would have to be “Pandora.” That’s the fourth installment in the Omega Group series, and it was a bit of a departure from the others. That story took us deep into the realm of the Greek gods.
I was really able to delve into my imagination in this one because so much of it took place in mythical locations that I got to design from top to bottom. It was far more difficult for me than weaving the supernatural into a real-world setting, but the extra effort really paid off, I think.
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Categories: Author Interview