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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Author Interview – Tanya Karen Gough

How do you feel about self-publishing? I’m still a bit torn when it comes to self-publishing, even though that is the route I chose for ROOT BOUND.  As a writer, I’m grateful that it’s possible to publish my own work, especially at a time when traditional publishing is shrinking and so afraid to publish anything that isn’t standard blockbuster material. On the other hand, the rapid growth of self-publishing and eBooks are part of the reason this situation exists in the first place.  From a marketing perspective, self-publishing is tough. Really, really tough. I think it was still possible to strike it big like Amanda Hawking or E.L. James when there were fewer people fighting for a growing number of readers, but now, the number of readers has tapered off, but more people are self-publishing than ever. It gets very difficult to cut through all that noise. But again, getting a traditional book deal is no guarantee that your book will sell either, and you have to put in the time no matter which way you go.

Finally, as an avid reader, I am painfully aware of the way the changing publishing industry has affected bookstores, especially all those great indie shops who are currently struggling or already gone. I might also feel the loss more than most people, since I’ve already been through this process when I closed down my own CD and video store in Stratford, Ontario. And self-published authors rarely get into bookstores in the first place. I don’t think that print-on-demand services will ever compensate for that.

How long have you been writing? All my life. My mom has books of poetry I wrote when I was 8, 9 and 10 years old. I wrote short stories through high school. I majored in English in university, so I concentrated on research and academic writing at that point. Then I went overseas to teach, where I contributed lesson plans and reading passages to English textbooks. Since I came home, I’ve worked on a number of Shakespeare text projects, and I’ve written quite a lot of marketing copy for my own business and other jobs. Since I started working in content management, I’ve become interested in working with language as data, and I hope to continue working in that area. It’s quite fascinating.

How did you come up with the title? I chose ROOT BOUND for a number of reasons: first, the series was always intended to center on the elements (which is why they’re known collectively as “Emma & the Elementals”). ROOT BOUND is the earth book, which represents home, grounding oneself, and finding your place in the world. The title points to several of those aspects: you are rootbound when you are stuck in your life and have no place to grow, or you can be root bound in the sense that you are travelling toward your roots. Emma is both; she’s trying to break free and find her own way, but at the same time, she needs to settle down someplace in order to do that. I take the metaphor even further in the book, but I’ll leave your readers to discover that for themselves.

Can you tell us about your main character? Emma is a young girl who lives with her father, an itinerant musician who makes his living travelling around the country to find gigs in bars and hotels. It’s just the two of them, and life is constantly changing. They have to make do with the things they have, which isn’t much. Everything they own has to fit into their broken-down old car, and sometimes life just isn’t all that pretty. Emma copes by reading a fairy tale book her mother left her, and sometimes the monotony of the road makes it hard for her to see the difference between the real world around her and the fantasy world in her head. Being young, she’s still innocent in many ways, though she’s a lot more independent than other kids her age.

More than anything else, she misses her mother, and Emma’s fantasy world in ROOT BOUND is an attempt to deal with that loss.

Who is your publisher? I self-publish under the imprint Baba Yaga Press. I chose to go with an imprint for two reasons: first, it helps me segregate the business side of writing (me, the publisher) from the creative side (me, the author); and secondly, I find that having an imprint helps make the presentation more professional. There’s still some stigma out there when it comes to self-published work, and I find the imprint helps.

Root Bound

Buy Now @ Amazon @Smashwords

Genre - Middle Grade Fantasy Adventure

Rating – G (ages 10+)

More details about the author & the book

Connect with Tanya Karen Gough on Facebook & Twitter

Blog http://emmaseries.blogspot.com


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