Indie Q&A with Angela Alsaleem

Q: What have you been doing in your personal life since the last interview?

Angela : Wow. A lot has happened since our last interview. My husband and I bought our first (and hopefully last) house. It’s amazing. I’ve read new books. I’ve learned new recipes. Since purchasing a house, my small family unit has grown much closer together since we are now able to do activities we normally can’t do in an apartment…such as starting a garden, painting, and the like. My husband got promoted to be the manager of Colusa County Behavioral Health and the Substance Abuse program, so we’re all very excited about this. That’s pretty much it for my personal life. Other than work and writing, I don’t have a heck of a lot going on.

Q: What new projects are you working on?

A : I’m working on Djinn: A Love Story. I don’t know if I told you about this project last time we talked, so I’ll talk about it again. Because of the move and the holidays and…well…everything, I haven’t had as much time to devote to my writing as I did before which means this novel has been slower going. I’m using the Middle Eastern idea of the Djinn, Westernizing it a bit, and making my version of a love story. For those of you who have read my work, you understand that my version of a love story is very different from the sappy, happy ending, everyone goes home smiling type of story. It’s a much bigger project than anything I’ve worked on in the past. It required much more research and planning. But I’ve very happy with where the novel is taking me. I can’t wait to finish it and start polishing it up.

Q: As a writer, do you ever see yourself exploring any different genre?

A: I’ve thought about Fantasy and Sci-Fi since these are genres I enjoy. I’ve considered some Young Adult fiction because that’s where I got hooked on reading…and I love the Harry Potter series. I don’t totally consider horror a genre, per se, considering horror is an emotion invoked by the story. A lot of stories evoke that emotion across all genres. So, I guess my answer is yes, I would love to explore other genres, but my work will probably always be dark since my mind goes that way, anyway. Dark Comedy? Yeah. Women Scorned had a lot of that.

Q: There’s been a huge negative outlook on the Indie Writer ( Independent writer) with some people saying that they can not make it on their own. What’s your view on it?

A: A lot of very famous writers got their start as Indie Writers. In fact, there are several contests currently running geared specifically for the Indie Writer. I think if a person has the ability to really market themselves and get their name out there, then they have a great shot at becoming well known writers. However, anyone can publish anything on Booksurge and the like. It’s not hard to do. This means that a lot of writing that isn’t necessarily good writing would flood the market and make it more difficult for readers to find what they really like. This is both good and bad. Good because readers will be exposed to stories they never would’ve read before since any “normal” publisher might not have published the work. However, this also means that a lot of crap will get published. I think if an Indie Writer can take a step back from their work and see it for what it is, fix it where it needs fixing, EDIT, and do the work, then they have a great shot at putting readable, eloquent, well-thought-out work into the market place. And WAY TO GO for them!

Q: Some Publishing Houses believe self-published writers will ruin literature, if this surge of people begin to flood the market. What’s your take on it?

A: I’m at odds on this. On the one hand, I agree. When a book has gone through a publisher, the idea is that it’s been gone over, made as near perfect as possible, and will be a good book. It’d be nice if that were true, however. A lot of garbage gets published. I’ve read my fair share of stupid books. So, on the other hand, plenty of excellent quality work gets passed over because it’s not what is currently popular and marketable. This is just as bad. I think the self-published writers who don’t take the time to really care about what they are putting in the marketplace, if they acti irresponsibly and simply publish everything they put down thinking it golden, then yes, these people could leave a bad taste in other people’s mouths. Will they ruin the market? No. But they would make it much more difficult for those Indie Writers who really care, who are writing excellent work, to break through. It would be more difficult for bookstores and readers to take the good writers seriously because of the surge of bad writers.

Q: Do you believe the internet will help Indie Writers or hurt them in the end?

A: It can help them get their name out there, but could hurt them if too much drivel is published. I love websites. I love hunting for my favorite writers and visiting their websites, seeing what’s new with them, reading blogs or updates, checking to see if they might be doing a book signing near me. In this way, I think the internet helps. I also think the internet helps writers become published with the new Print On Demand companies. Booksurge, Createspace, and Lulu are just a few. But this over exposure could hurt them in the end if, like I said before, too many bad writers flood the market (not that I think there are too many bad writers…I think many of these bad writers COULD be good if they simply shrunk their ego a bit and cared more about what they produced).

Q: Would you advise writers to take their own route or submit to a Publisher?

A: It depends on the writer’s goals and ambitions. If a writer’s goal is to become a national bestseller, than traditional publishing is where they need to be marketing their work. However, if the writer’s goal is to simply get their work out their for the world to see and they don’t mind that they will have small if any book sales, then they should take their own route and self publish. My goal is the become a bestseller. It’s always been my dream. So I market my work with the big publishing houses. It’s a longer process. I’m more likely to get rejected. But I’m willing to put up with it because it’s what I want. I want to see my book on the shelves at the local bookstore. Bookstores don’t buy Print On Demand books. I would advise a writer to persue their goals, whatever they may be.

Q: Are you on Twitter yet?

A: No. I can’t get into it. I’m on Facebook and Myspace and Authonomy.com. My website is angelaalsaleem.weebly.com. Between these four things, I don’t have a lot of time to devote to Twitter, and from what I understand of it, it’s rather addicting. I’m currently addicted to RockBand on the Wii…I don’t need something else to take me away from my writing.

Q: Anything you’d like to say to readers who visit the site?

A: Yes…read my work! Ha ha ha…just kidding. Sorta. Ahem…anyway, I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to interview me again. I think what you are doing for the writing community is amazing. You’re certainly putting a huge effort into getting unknowns known. It’s appreciated. I wish you the best of luck.

For the readers out there, keep reading. Just because something was self published doesn’t mean it’s bad. Keep an open mind and find your own way to the work you like.

For the writers, don’t stop. Ever. Please, care about what you write. Set your ego aside and be willing to admit your mistakes in your work. Polish your work. Put your best foot forward. But don’t ever, ever stop writing.

Angela Alsaleem

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