Spotlight 49: Eve Power
Links mentioned in this episode:
GUEST: Eve Power’s website
STARTER KIT: Self-Publishing Formula’s publishing resource kit
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Spotlight 49: Eve Power
Mark Dawson: I'm Mark Dawson from the Self-Publishing Show and this is Self-Publishing Spotlight, where we shine a light on the indie authors who are changing the world of publishing one book at a time.
Tom Ashford: Hello, and welcome to the Self-Publishing Spotlight. We meet indie authors at all stages of their careers and ask them a series of five questions, five questions about their process, their mistakes, and their successes. Five answers that will help you level up your own author career.
My name is Tom Ashford and I'm part of the Self-Publishing Formula. Don't forget that you can get your self-publishing resource kit at selfpublishingformula.com/starterkit.
This week's guest is Eve Power. She's about to release her first book in the post-apocalyptic genre and she lives in Ireland.
Eve Power: Hi Tom, how are you?
Tom Ashford: I'm great, how are you? How's it over in Dublin?
Eve Power: Hanging in there. We're on a bit of a lockdown at the minute, but sure.
Tom Ashford: Would you like to start by talking about the book you're about to release and your pen name?
Eve Power: Sure. My pen name is Dixon Reuel. Dixon from an Enid Blyton character and Reuel is from Tolkien. One of the R's in JRR Tolkien is actually the name Reuel.
Blood Brute is the name of my book series and the first book Rise of One is coming out in June of this year.
Tom Ashford: If we can go into the five questions, the first one is, why do you write? Why have you chosen post-apocalyptic and sci-fi?
Eve Power: It oddly ties in with what's happening in the world at the moment but it certainly didn't start out this way. I began this book about a year and a half ago. There's like tons of worlds and characters in my little head and I feel I have a duty to record them all, write them all down.
And through that, one day I asked myself the question, well, if there's a zombie apocalypse and humans are becoming less and less, what would vampires do in that situation? And that's where the Blood Brute series came from.
Tom Ashford: Had you always wanted to be a writer?
Eve Power: I think so. Yeah. I remember reading big books when I was quite young. The Neverending Story by Michael Ende, that is quite a big book. And I read that in my early teens and I think I knew from there, Oh, you can record fantasies and worlds and all the goings on and that.
Tom Ashford: In terms of publishing, I'm presuming you're going down the indie route?
Did you always intend to go down the indie route or were you interested in a traditional contract first?
Eve Power: Initially I had success as a poet. I had awards and publications in that respect, so I thought I was going down that route and then I embraced more aspects of writing in terms of novels and short stories.
I did look for the traditional route in the beginning, but I think if you're a little bit of a headstrong person or independent person, and you educate yourself that the world of publishing more and more, I realized indie for me, in my circumstances and especially the genre that I write in, is the way to go.
Tom Ashford: Do you want to talk a little bit about the poetry side of things?
Eve Power: Sure. I've realized that poetry is science fiction and science fiction is poetry, and that was a revelation I had because I thought there's quite a big divide between the two, but really they're just looking for the unusual and the magic in every day. So they're not too far apart in my head.
In terms of poetry, probably my biggest success, I was runner-up to the Patrick Kavanagh poetry award and I was named at different festivals and stuff as an emerging poet. And through that, I met the big, wider writing community, but I think focusing more on science fiction and this series that I want to write, it's just like, that's where my heart is at.
Tom Ashford: Fair enough.
Question number two is more about the processes. How do you write? In terms of approaching your book, did you plot the story out or did you just see where the story took you?
Eve Power: I'm definitely an organization person, spreadsheets, I worship at the altar of spreadsheets. So, I was initially inspired by this American artist, Thomas Cole, and he has a series of five paintings. It's about the rise and fall of an empire. And I thought that has really inspired me to add onto the Blood Brute series in terms of outlining it that way.
So open the spreadsheet, I have a spread sheet for obviously scene, obviously characters, but also spreadsheets in terms of calendars. So what do I want to do this year? What's the five year goal? What's the 10 year goal. And then say for launching, there's another spreadsheet on that.
For writing everyday, I like to use Google docs and you can actually have Google keep open on the right hand margin there as you type. So, that's quite good is that.
Tom Ashford: Is there a particular time and place that you prefer to write?
Eve Power: I am an early bird. I love getting up early. I'm on Twitter, the 5am righteous club#, you'll find me there. I'm not awake in the morning, so I'm not as critical in the morning. And I find that's when writing and planning work best before the workday starts as well, because I work full time.
Tom Ashford: Ah, okay. Well that leads into question number three:
Are you a full-time author, if you are, how did you get there? And if you aren't, what steps are you taking to make it happen?
Eve Power: I'm not a full-time writer. However, it is the goal. I have a 10 year plan set out for myself and I know what being a full-time writer looks like to me in terms of the financial side and in terms of the success side. I think that's very important to define those goals to yourself because so many people hear full-time writer and think, "Oh, you're wearing tweed, in a cabin by the lake."
But, for me it's to be able to record all these worlds and characters as a full-time job. So the plan is Blood Brute is five books and then I have a few ideas for a few more trilogies after that.
Tom Ashford: Question number four is what mistakes do you think you've made and what have you got right?
Eve Power: That's such a good question. In terms of mistakes, when you start off as an indie author, you're trying to do it all and you're trying to learn as well. You've nothing under your belt and so I think the biggest mistake I made was trying to do it on the cheap because you don't quite know in the beginning where to put your money.
Is it into education and online courses or obviously it's editing and then obviously everything is obvious to spend money on, but you don't really know where.
I think in terms of Rise of One, it was definitely the cover. I tried to do it on the cheap in the beginning, I went to Fiverr and 99designs, I got great covers, but that's not what you need to do if you're developing a five book series.
So, after trial and error, I had to bite the bullet, sit down with, find first of all, an illustrator and say, I need five books, plus two short story covers. Let's throw some money at this and do it professionally and properly. And that's a hard lesson I think, to learn.
In terms of what I got right, I actually really enjoy social media in terms of Twitter and even though I don't have a book out yet, I've been able to make really great friends and connect with not just other writers locally, but communities that I didn't even know existed before and different hashtags can unlock your way into different areas of support that I didn't even know were there and you realize you're not alone. So that's lovely too.
Tom Ashford: Yeah. Definitely.
To go back a little bit, you mentioned some potential trilogies in the future. What sort of stories and genres do you have in mind?
Eve Power: I love space adventure. I love space pirates. I love space mafia. So I've got something cooking in the works about that and like racing fast ships and dirty dealings in the underworld, like give it to me. I can't wait to write it. I'm really looking forward to it.
Tom Ashford: I'm moving into the space opera genre myself. It's great fun.
Eve Power: I love it.
Tom Ashford: Question number five, the final one, is what's your final piece of advice for authors starting out in indie publishing?
Eve Power: Okay. So, take your current timeline or timeframe for writing and publishing and then double it and then be able to play with that because everything takes so long. It'll take longer than you think and you want to put out such a good product that will entertain people and spark their imagination and hopefully show them adventure and solace and hope.
But you need time to do that and you should learn to give yourself time. That's probably the best piece of advice I have. If things take longer, embrace it because you're on the right track, just keep going but it will take time.
Tom Ashford: That's good advice. We can't all be Amanda Lee who releases about two books a month.
Eve Power: Well, I'm not trying that at the beginning, maybe in the future, you can work up to that, but not year one.
Tom Ashford: No, well, perfect. Those are your five questions. Thank you very much for coming on Eve.
Eve Power: Thank you for having me, Tom.
Tom Ashford: That's it for this week's Self Publishing Spotlight. Don't forget that you can get your free self publishing resource kit at selfpublishingformula.com/starter kit. And if you want to appear as a guest on the show, send us brief details about yourself and your writing at selfpublishingformula.com/spotlight-guest. I'm Tom Ashford and I'll see you again next week. .
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