Introducing Ash Litton
Today I have a guest author. Ash Litton is working away at becoming a self published author and is currently working on a dystopian science fiction series based on near future exploration of the solar system.It’s a real privilege to have this opportunity to interview someone putting such effort into their self publishing career.
Do you write full-time or part-time? What do you prefer to write?
Ash: I consider myself a full-time writer working two jobs. I have my day job, and on my breaks and lunch, I’m writing. Before work: I’m writing. After work: I’m writing. The wonderful thing about my job as a writer is that I can do it anywhere, anytime.
As to what I write: I love most things. I’m always up for some type of fantasy fiction, be it Science Fiction with FTL drives or Epic Fantasy with castles and dragons. Gimme Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Steampunk, Cyberpunk, the works. The stranger the better, and the more crossover between genres, the more likely I’ll be there reading and writing it.
Do you write on a typewriter, computer, use a dictation program, or go traditionally longhand?
Ash: I’ve done a little of all, except I haven’t touched a typewriter in years (and, yes, that click-clack of the typewriter is so incredibly therapeutic).
Most, if not all, of my writing happens on the computer. I even bought a Surface tablet with a keyboard a couple years ago because I wanted to be able to write on the go, using a Microsoft-compatible system since I do all my writing in Microsoft Word.
If I’m in a place where I don’t have access to my tablet, then I jump to pen and paper, and if I don’t have pen and paper, I jump on my phone and use the voice recorder (which is so much faster than typing on my iddy-bitty screen, and actually really great in those moments when I wake up from a vivid dream and don’t want to turn all the lights on).
Do you ever get Writer’s Block, and do you have any tips for getting through it?
Ash: Oh, yeah, I’ve gotten it. I tend to approach it more as a Road Block, though. Sometimes you just have to detour to find the next best route through, so that entails taking a step back, assessing where I am and where I need to go, and looking at the key points of a scene to see how they’re connected and how best to connect them to the next scene.
If I still can’t get it, I “OnStar” my peers and pitch them my scene and see how they would get through it—very often we work things out within just a few minutes to hours of talking.
What’s your views on social media for marketing, and which of them have worked best for you?
Ash: Like everything: use in moderation. Excessive chatter (even on a blog), means people aren’t paying attention to you because you’re just saying the same thing over and over again. They zone out. I even found that when I stopped posting once a week to my blog and switched to every 15 days, traffic to my site actually increased—and rapidly, at that!
People do appreciate quality over quantity when it comes to social media. So Twitter, Facebook, all of it: use it in moderation. Out of those that I’ve used, though, I say Facebook has been the one to increase sales for me. By making use of the Indie Author/Self-published Author groups out there, you can know up front how many people you’re potentially targeting with your advertising just based on how many people belong to the group.
You might be worried that it’s only other authors in those Facebook groups, but keep in mind: authors like to read, too. And authors especially know the virtue of leaving a good review.
Final question. Where do you see publishing going in the future?
Ash: I foresee a lot of crossover. Self-publishing has gained a lot of ground over the last decade, and I think given a few more years, it’ll be the way to go. When that happens, I think Trad publishers are going to scoop up more and more self-published authors (especially those that’ve already built up their audience and proven they have marketability).
Now whether all self-published authors will go for this? Eh, I think many will.
I’ve self-published my Appalachian Dream Tales, once a year for the last three years, and even though they’re short stories, I’ve put an incredible amount of time into getting them thoroughly edited and whipped into shape. Add to it that I’ve made my own covers, sought out peers for review, and set up marketing plans and schedules, and you can only imagine the hours that have gone in to each one. I think a lot of self-publishers will jump into Trad publishing if asked, just so they can spend more time writing and less time managing the full-circle platform.
Ash Litton is a writer and lover of sci-fi, fantasy, and all things fictional. She is the author of No Signal, Thoroughbred, Evening Hallow, and Comeuppance, and works on other Appalachian Dream Tales between her ongoing novel projects.
When she’s not writing, she’s drawing, and when she’s not doing either of those, she’s dreaming up new projects to work on. Born and raised in rural West Virginia, Ash has always wondered what things lay hidden in the hills around her. She attended West Virginia University, where she studied the English language before returning home to her family in rural West Virginia.