Thanks for joining us, Rival. Please take a seat and make yourself comfortable.
How long have you been published? What titles have you published and with which publisher? Have you self-published any titles? Please give details.
I was originally published in 2013 by Solstice Publishing. They put out my first two books, “Quest for the Red Sapphire” and “Sapphire Crucible.” Then I went to Sarah Book Publishing for a change of pace. They published “Mandrean Revenge” and “Repercussions Abound.” I have at least two more books scheduled with them.
Very nice. Tell us a little bit about your books — what genre you write, if you write a series, any upcoming releases or your current work-in-progress. If you have an upcoming release, please specify the release date.
I write High or Epic Fantasy depending on your terminology. My books are all part of my Sapphire Chronicles series. I am just starting the fifth book called “The Thief Master of Ravensburg.” I hope to be done with it by the end of the year as I write very slowly and constantly check my work for inconsistencies.
Editing is a time-consuming process, but it’s crucial to producing a quality book.
Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?
Excellent. I have a mystery series, but I also like to work on standalone titles of various genres. Some readers have suggested I try my cozy series with the Hallmark Channel. I wish you luck with trying for a movie.
What type of reader are you hoping to attract? Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?
I think any age bracket would be interested in these books. Mostly I think they’re geared to Young Adults.
I’m a librarian, as well as an author, and I know that there’s quite a bit of crossover between YA and adult novels. For instance, the Harry Potter series is read by all ages.
What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?
Agents are worth their weight in gold. Keep applying to agents until you get one. Once they are on the job, let them find you a publisher. They can find you places you could never find on your own. Otherwise, you can try it on your own but it’s harder to get into a publisher without an introduction from an agent.
I agree completely and have been querying agents for several months now in the hope of finding a large publisher for my psychological thriller.
What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?
It took me a year and a half to find an agent. Then it took another year and a half to publish my first book. Both problems I blame on having a 900-page manuscript. It scared off both agents and publishers. We finally decided to separate it into my first to books and it was picked up within a month.
Yes, many aspects of publishing are take longer than the writing itself.
Have you taken any writing or publishing classes? If so, please provide information about them and if you feel they helped you further your professional skills.
I took writing classes in high school but tested out of most of them in college. The ones I did take honed my skills but I received excellent grades in at the time. The biggest thing I learned was not to argue when someone just doesn’t like your writing style. This helped me deal with editors who had a different style.
What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?
I like to read and watch sports. Whenever possible I spend time with my family.
I’m the same, but I don’t watch sports. I got into binge watching Bones and Castle (I love both shows probably because I write mysteries). I work full-time so, when I’m not working or writing, I also try to find time to spend with my husband and daughter.
What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?
What I Like most is seeing my dreams in print. What I like least is promoting the book. It takes me away from writing. The toughest challenge is generating sales.
Most of the authors I’ve interviewed have expressed the same feeling about marketing their books. I also find it a challenge.
Please list your social media and book links for people who would like to connect with you and/or buy your books.
Web Site: http://www.rivalgates.com/
Purchase “Quest for the Red Sapphire”
Purchase “The Sapphire Crucible”
Purchase “Mandrean Revenge”
Barnes & Noble : http://bit.ly/1QYOL2y
Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZL_knO95Tk
Purchase “Repercussions Abound”
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1f8PJNr
Thanks so much for the interview, Rival. It’s been a pleasure having you on the blog. Best wishes on finishing your series and landing a movie deal.