If you haven’t heard of our new project, the On Fire anthology, this interview series will showcase our authors and their writing lives beyond their ignited tales. In Lorraine Sharma Nelson’s “Consumed,” Vijay gets his wish fulfilled, much to his eternal and everlasting dismay.
How do you achieve balance between writing, marketing, family, and any other work you do?
Organization is key, and I say that as someone who is not naturally organized and had to learn or be sucked under. It isn’t easy, but if I have my commitments scheduled on my calendar I can make it work.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
Being of Indian heritage, I would choose the Asian elephant. I’ve always loved these animals for their dedication to each other within their matriarchal herds, and their care and support of their young.
How many stories have you written?
Counting all the ones I wrote as a kid, the total is over 300. In the past year-and-a-half I’ve had two sci-fi stories win third place in contests for publication in online journals. I also have four stories published in anthologies – two in horror, one in fantasy and one in crime. In the fall of 2017 I have three more stories that will be published in horror, crime and fantasy anthologies.
If you could go back in time, what would you say to your younger self about becoming an author?
Don’t just write your stories and file them away in drawers. Send them out to agents and publishers. And never give up.
What marketing techniques do you find most effective?
I try to use my social media sites to publicize upcoming works as much as possible, without beating my followers over their heads with the news. It’s a delicate balancing act. I find that I get the most response on Twitter. It’s an easy, effective way to get my message out in the world. I’ll post the upcoming book every couple of days for a while, until I see that the response has tapered off, then I’ll give it a rest.
Pubicity for upcoming and published books is ongoing for the most part. Even after the excitement of the launch has died down, I’ll mention something about it again, post a picture of the cover, or list a generous review from Amazon. It never hurts to post something every so often. You never know what kind of interest it will generate.
In addition, I have a website to keep my readers up-to-date on new and upcoming projects. Finally, I have an author page on Goodreads, so I’m looking forward to using that to publicize new works where I can leave the announcement on my page indefinitely.
I’ll usually write a short blurb to send to the local newspaper as well. They love seeing what the residents of their town are up to and usually have no objection to printing it in their paper.
What is the first book or story that made you cry?
I read “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis when I was six, and when Aslan died I cried. I cried again when he was resurrected because I was so relieved.
What are your hobbies?
I love reading, movies, hiking, and international travel. Immersing myself in other cultures, trying different foods, exploring new places, are some of my favorite things to do. The silver lining here is that all of my hobbies provide me with story ideas.
Roughly what percentage of your time is spent editing?
I’d say I spend 30% of my time on the editing process. A short story usually takes me four to five days to write, depending on word length. Then I’ll spend a couple of days editing and polishing it before sending it off. I make every moment of the editing process count, and read and re-read my edited story until my eyes cross.
Who is your favorite character in your current story and why?
I love the Goddess of Fire, Agneya. She’s one sharp, tough cookie, who gives Vijay his Just Desserts.
Lorraine grew up globally but now calls the United States home. She has a Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature, and a Master’s in Mass Communications. In addition to being a writer, Lorraine is also a wife, a mother, an avid sci-fi geek, and a New England Regional Board Member for UNICEF USA. She loves travel, reading, movies, and coconut cupcakes (though not necessarily in that order). Lorraine is published in sci-fi, horror, fantasy and mystery/crime. She can be found at her website, at Goodreads , on Twitter, and on Pinterest.
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