Moral Fortitude is proud to interview Wattpad author TheWitchAndTheCat. With her growing success on Wattpad with her stories All you need is ME and Fire and Ice, it’s only a matter of time before this wonderful writer finds success beyond Wattpad.
Welcome and thank you for taking the time to answer our questions.
When did you first start writing LGBT books?
I began writing a story maybe two or three years ago, as the attraction for this particular writing section grew into deep curiosity; curiosity of how I would portray love or stories concerning LGBT themes, in particular MxM romance. I began to post the very first story on Wattpad in January 2013 and since then I keep writing MxM books.
What inspired you to write LGBT fiction?
I could probably say many things, as the first LGBT story I read, the first movie I watched, the fact I am a supporter of the LGBT community and writing might be a way to show how love is the same for everyone, how life can be the same for everyone or sometimes even harder, how we all strive for the same rights and duties, or simple curiosity as mentioned above. Probably everything had an impact on me and the fact I tend to be an open-minded person might have naturally influenced my choice of books and open my reading panorama to LGBT themed stories, which triggered my interest in understanding the different aspects and realities concerning said community. I must admit it is rather fascinating and challenging sometimes to write in the shoes of a man and try my best in conveying feelings, emotions, reactions and such in the most appropriate (for the character) and realistic way. But what can I say? Writing is one of my greatest passions!
Where do your ideas come from?
They come just from my imagination and I guess a bit from the world and reality surrounding us, as I try to write about topics and issues that occur every day, of course, if the story is not fantasy or so. An idea or picture of a certain character develops in my mind and I begin to see him or her acting, walking around, talking, and so other connected characters pop up in my mind and they interact together. It might seem slightly weird, but that is how it works for me. A character starts to slowly take form in my mind and step after step everything evolves and creates around that certain fictional person. And so the story.
How much research do you do for your stories?
I try to do good research for my stories, but of course it depends on the plot, on the characters and on the elements involved. Some books need more than others and this is just normal; however, whenever I am not sure about a certain fact or data, I always go and research for a clear answer or explanation. To give a simple example: in a story I am writing the two main protagonists ride motorbikes and so I looked at all the technical names of the parts of a bike, how to describe some motions, how paddock and racing circuits are organized and other details involving riding and bikes in general.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to see where an idea takes you?
I usually work on a plot and scheme of the story, writing down the main events and points of it I intend to write or work at, the pace of it in case we are talking about romance or so, and I especially work on a detailed outline for characters, where I have all their characteristics listed and described, their personalities, hobbies, background, acting, possible reactions, development of the character in relation to certain events and other characters.
If the book is not a simple and light romantic love story, then I even pay more attention to the plot and outline of the story, in order to avoid possible plot-holes or contradictions.
Do you have a special time of day to write or how do you structure your day?
I have no particular or special time, it depends on how much time I have to write, but I can say I almost never write late in the evening, as I am more productive in the morning or afternoon.
How long on average does it take to write a book?
Same as before, it depends on the time I have and such. I can tell that the stories posted on Wattpad, considering I cannot dedicate every day to writing, have an average of four or five months.
Do you proofread/edit all your work or do you get someone to assist?
At the moment I must admit I do all the proofreading and editing, even though three of my stories on Wattpad are not edited. I shall edit them as soon as possible and then, if I will ever decide to publish them for sale, I will ask for assistance in editing, as English is not my first language.
Do you think the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
I would say that yes, a good and catching cover of course plays an important role in attracting the first look and attention, especially when many books are listed on a website or exposed on a shelf of a bookstore, but then it is entirely to the summary and story to play the main role.
How do you choose the right cover for your book?
Well, in my very narrow experience I can say that I try to visualize an image that would best suit the story and then ask someone to work over it, as I am not good with making covers and such. I try to consider the core and essence of the story, the title and the characters main features and with that in mind I try to focus on how to convey everything in said cover. It is not always easy and to be honest, whenever I purchase a story, it is not the cover that plays the most catching part, but the title. Titles are what attract my attention at first and then I go for the summary.
What are your thoughts on bad/good reviews?
Every review is precious, as every single comment or thought on the story. I must admit I do really cherish every single comment I receive for the stories I post on Wattpad and it is always great pleasure to read them and answer whenever possible. Of course good reviews bring a huge smile and make you feel satisfied and happy in seeing people appreciate and enjoy your work, while negative and bad reviews might be hard to take sometimes, especially when they reach the almost rude point. But I can say that some criticizing reviews actually help in improving in certain points and might make you reflect. Then of course, there is a big difference between a criticizing but constructive review and a bad and simply destructive review. It is true that sometimes writers do face some comments or such that can be rather harsh and sometimes even not justified, e.g. when a reader unkindly criticizes a book after having read only a chapter of said book.
Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers?
At the moment I have no strategies; maybe in the future, when I will try to publish something, I might need to develop one.
Do you use social media and how has this worked best for you?
At the moment I do not use any social media to promote my stories, as I write on an amateur level. However, I think social media might be a good promoting platform, as they can reach a vast portion of possible readers and fans. As for the reviewers, it should be better to plan or have a good advertising strategy.
What would you say are the main advantages/disadvantages of self-publishing?
Difficult to say as it depends on the author and on the story. I have not tried to self-publish yet and I shall see in the future what to do with that, if give it a try or not. If I will decide to go for self-publishing, it would be mostly for fun and for gaining some firsthand experience. I think the main advantage of self-publishing is how easily and quickly you can do it, and the fact you do not need to depend on someone else to publish your story, but the same advantage can turn out to be very tricky. It can be a good platform for new writers, but if they want to publish something professional and hope to make money out of it, well, better to look for extra help with editing, cover, beta readers, extra reviewers who are not just good friends. As for the main disadvantage, well, as already mentioned, if it is done with the intent of making money, I believe it can be the lack of a proper visibility and advertisement on the market that a professional team and editor can provide, as well as the lack of professional editors and beta readers that could improve or adjust the story according to the targeted audience.
What advice would you offer to other writers who would consider self-publishing?
As I said, I never self-published before, therefore I am in no position to offer any practical advice, aside what has been already written above. I would probably like to stress just one little practical advice if people intend to turn it into a business: be sure to properly edit and proofread the story. Actually, maybe find an editor to do it for you, because many times I came across self-published stories (on sale, not for free) that had rather “bizarre” grammar. I believe that will not help selling the book or promoting the general self-publishing business. And yes, please follow the advice Kerstin – SmugDevil gave in the interview posted here (Btw, thanks for citing me as one of your favourite authors on Wattpad, as you know how much I love your story “Timmy”, and no, I am not returning any flattering favour, but simply being honest!)
Do you have a favourite author/book?
I have too many favourite books and many favourite authors, as I am an avid and eclectic reader. Well, maybe I could list here “The Lord of the Rings” by JRR Tolkien, “Master and Margarita” by Mikhail Bulgakov, “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen, “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte and Neil Gaiman, but the actual list is way longer!
What is your next project and what should we expect?
Well, I am currently working on two stories (MxM romance) and had put one on-hold (MxM lycan/romance), therefore for now I am concentrating on what I have at hand and then I shall see. In regards to Wattpad stories, the future projects involve a forth book of the “Fire and Ice” series concerning River and Nic and a short spin-off for Jess and Xander, all protagonists of the “Fire and Ice” series. Then I have other small ideas in mind, but nothing of planned, so we shall see with time.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Good question! Well, let’s see about that. Maybe I will have a published book and another ready to be released, but who knows, right?
How can readers discover more about you?
They can simply write me messages and ask about my stories or such on my Wattpad page, as I always try my best to reply every single message.
As soon as possible I would like to publish something here and hopefully that will be soon, but for now, if someone is interested in reading some of my works, you can find my stories here : TheWitchAndTheCat
I would like to thank you very much for the chance you offered me with this interview; it was really nice to answer your questions. I would also like to thank all of my fans and readers from Wattpad: thanks, you are all fantastic!
Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. I understand how busy you are and we all feel special that you have given us a wonderful insightful interview. I look forward to helping you self-punish here on Moral Fortitude should you ever want to take that next step.