Hiya, folks! We’re super excited to present one of the most talented self-published authors we’ve come across, Lana Sky! With 5 published titles (more to come), and nearly 90k social media followers, she’s readying herself to become a household name. Our review for her latest offering, “Pretty Perfect“, will be posted in a few weeks, but for now we’d like to give you the chance to get to know her better AND win some awesome prizes!
Check out what Lana had to say about handling critiques, her must-have writing software, and things to consider before publishing.
TSR: Hi Lana! Thanks for joining us today. We’re going to jump right in with our first question which is, what’s the first thing you ever wrote and what was it about?
LANA: Wow, that’s an interesting question. The first thing I ever seriously wrote was a story about a unicorn princess when I was about eleven.
A unicorn princess, huh? Sounds like a good one. Do you ever reread your older work?
Yes! All the time. Sometimes I even find that I enjoy those stories more than my newer ones.
I know what you mean. There’s something about our first attempts at writing…a rawness that honed in on getting the words on the page. Now that you’re a seasoned veteran, are there any “writing rules” you tend to break?
All of them, lol. I find that there are no real “rules” to writing (other than sentence structure and grammar). I think that every story and character requires their own rules, some different than others.
I like that! Through your process of writing, have you learned what your strengths and weaknesses are?
Yes. I LOVE and am great at developing unique, interesting characters, but I hate editing. With a fiery passion.
Ah editing, the bane of every writer’s existence! Let’s move on, shall we. Of the many books you’ve written, which is your favorite?
That’s hard to pick! I’ve written so many books and I love each one differently. They’re all my favorites, in their own way.
Such a motherly answer! Then again, our books are like our babies. Do you read reviews of your work? If so, how do you handle the more critical ones?
Yes, I do. Sometimes it’s easy to find patterns in your stories that you might not otherwise be aware of, through reviews. However, it can always sting to read a critical one. I try to take what I can from those with legitimate critiques. As for the typical “I didn’t like it,” reviews, I tend to just accept the fact that not everyone will enjoy everything I write.
That’s a hard truth for most writers to swallow. We work hard, often pushing through tons of obstacles like writer’s block to get the words out. In the end we want everyone to love it, but that isn’t always the case. Speaking of writer’s block, do you believe in it, or is it as some say, a myth/excuse?
I believe in it, YES. Sometimes your brain just doesn’t cooperate. You don’t have the right inspiration or the right idea, and I find that if I try to force myself to write in those cases, it tends to turn out horrible. Sometimes, the best thing to do is wait it out.
There are many schools of thought in regards to plot building, be it the Snowflake Method or the 3/5 act story structure. Which do you find the most useful and why?
Are there any writing tools or software that make your process easier?
Microsoft Word and Google Drive. I can’t write on anything else.
You’ve self-published 5 novels, now. What’s the most important thing a writer should consider before publishing?
Money. Covers, editing and formatting cost money. Some people may be tempted to cut corners, but I found that it’s better to be thrifty than frugal. Those three things convey more to a reader than anything else and an unprofessional cover, unedited draft and shoddy formatting can hamper even the best of stories.
I agree. It’s hard to get into a story if you keep running into typos. What advice would you give authors in regards to promoting their work?
Make friends. Have faith in yourself. Get out there. I recommend a social media mix of whatever the author is most comfortable with. I don’t have a lot of free time so I prefer platforms that I can access easily on the go like Facebook. Some authors excel with blog posts and newsletters, and some thrive on a mixture of all different media types. My advice is to figure out what you’re comfortable with through trial and error.
And finally, your latest novel, Pretty Perfect, centers around an emotionally fragile Ballerina and the instructor who pushes her beyond her limits. Where did the idea come from and what do you hope your readers gain from reading?
I’m not really sure where the idea sprang from. I just have a general love of taboo, twisted romances that doesn’t have a clear resolution. By reading Pretty Perfect I hope that readers can identify in some way with Anya’s struggle
Lana Sky is a reclusive writer in the United States who spends most of her time daydreaming about complex male characters and legless cats. She writes mostly paranormal romance, in between watching reruns of Ab Fab and drinking iced tea. Only iced tea.
Interview done by Gwendolyn B.
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Psst! Have you entered our “Pretty Perfect” writing contest? No? What are you waiting for? Check the link for details on how you can win a copy of the book and much more!