Hybrid Author Odessa Gillespie Black: Why I chose to go both ways.... Author of Ever After, Black Soul, and Object of my Protection. Ask Me Anything!

Odessa Black
Nov 11, 2017

Pledging to be a published author, I submitted to many publishers, but after being accepted and published, I learned that I would have to do much of my own promotion. Since I could tackle most of this myself, with the help of an amazing cover designer and a group of helpful author friends, I decided to branch out on my own.

I will answer anything about my personal life, the process of publishing, and the process of self-pubbing. I'm an open book :). Ask me anything!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OdessaGillespieBlack/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/OdessaGBlack

Wordpress: odessablack.wordpress.com

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Conversation (45)

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when did you start writing ?

Nov 11, 7:31PM EST0

I began writing full-length novels when I was 13. Granted, their content was juvenile, they were a start. Needless to say, I cringe when I go back and reread them, but I'm proud of them. They helped inspire me to where I am today. Do you plan to write professionally or for publication?

Nov 13, 2:11AM EST0

While writing do you have a good support team and who is the credit to be given? 

Nov 11, 7:23PM EST0

I have a wonderful family. My sister is the best supporter of them all. She takes me out into public and yells all over the store or restaurant that people need to check out my books. I get embarrassed, but she has no shame in promoting me. She does all she can do to help.

My kids do a lot of extra chores to see to it that I have the proper amount of writing time, and my husband has been gracious enough to allow me to write full time.

My mother-in-law edits for me and pretty much waits on me hand and foot while I'm writing. I really do have it made. I love them all.

Nov 11, 7:29PM EST0

Hi, all! Thank you for coming to my AMA. So, I'm ready for you to ask me anything. Ready, set, go!

Nov 11, 6:19PM EST0

Who is your favorite author?

Nov 10, 2:52AM EST0

My favorite author is Stephen King. Dean Koontz, VC Andrews and Anne Rice all run a close second. There are so many great authors out there that it's hard to choose. But I'll never forget reading Pet Sematary. The scene where the main character retrieves his son's body from his grave just got all over me. I shivered and teared up because it was so vividly written. Amazing stuff!

Nov 11, 9:50AM EST1

Who is your favorite author?

Nov 11, 6:20PM EST0

Are you working on another book?

Nov 9, 9:52PM EST0

I am working on my eighth book. It's called Dante's Embrace. It's a YA Paranormal Romance. I'll have to admit, this one has taken some months to pull together. It's one of the harder one's I've tackled. The next one after that is the 3rd in the Forbidden Series: Souls on Fire, but I'm determined to finish DE before I start it. My cover designer has a great way of motivating me when I'm off balance (my father's passing has pushed me into a bit of writer's block), so I am indebted to her for her help. Winter Bayne is amazing. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter and on her blog. All named Winter Bayne. :)

Nov 11, 9:54AM EST0

If you click this link, or paste it into your browser, it will take you to the amazon page that lists all my books, starting with this one. http://bit.ly/2kHSQ5JBlackSoul

Nov 11, 6:22PM EST0

What is your advice to Indie Authors? On writing? Marketing?

Nov 9, 4:23PM EST0

Write every day. No matter what it is, though it's best to stay on the current work in progress. I am a member of a writing sprint group that normally works at night. They set a timer for 30 minutes and see how many words they can type. The goal is to get the story down on paper or lap top screen, which I call getting the bones of the story set up. After that you go back on round two and add the meat and muscle to your story.

Marketing: Amazon Ads--costly at times, but so worth it. Facebook Ads--I'm not so sure of. I have put a few up, but the people who are clicking seem to have no profile, then I get charged this crazy amount for clicks I'm not sure were authentic. I'd say the best results I get are from Facebook groups. Just copying and pasting a post about each book on different days, has increased my sales. You really have to find what works for you, but these are my suggestions.

Nov 11, 9:59AM EST1

Does my bio, photo, and blog address have to appear on the book jacket?

Nov 9, 1:27PM EST0

No. But I would put it in the book. Bio should go in the back on the last page along with your contact info: Facebook, Twitter, Blog, etc. That's the best place for all that stuff. Check out a few best-selling books to see how they've formatted their interior and book jacket. You'll find a way that works best for you.

Nov 11, 10:01AM EST0

What was the first book that you read?

Nov 9, 11:18AM EST0

The Bible. I was four years old. I understood most of the shorter passages. I loved it. I've learned it has some pretty gory stuff (women boiling their babies to survive famine), love stories, all sorts of cool things. It's sort of a map and survival guide for me.

The first book I read after that was Pokey Little Puppies. I loved dogs then and still do. I have 8. :)

When I moved on to bigger books, more grownup stuff, I read VC Andrews and fell in love with the fiction genre. She knew how to draw you in, make you love her characters, kill them off without making you hate her--cuz that's just how life is (people don't live forever unless you're writing about reincarnation, like I do. :)--then she drew you into the next book like an industrial magnet to crushed car. 

Nov 11, 10:06AM EST1

I wanted to add to that first paragraph that in no means did I enjoy the famine/psycho mom's part. Yucky stuff, but it happened. The Bible is just that diverse in its story telling. That was my point. 

Nov 11, 10:08AM EST0

Do you require exclusivity?

Nov 9, 10:32AM EST0

I'm not quite sure what you mean. Expand a little.

Nov 11, 10:09AM EST0

How much will it cost you to publish a book? Are there any hidden costs?

Nov 9, 10:26AM EST0

Nothing, other than my cover designer's cost and editing costs, if any.

With a publisher, absolutely zero. I get 40%. Their contract states all the other percentages I get when other types of publishing happen, but that's a general, rounded up royalty. 

Nov 11, 10:10AM EST0

Do you pen or type writer or computer?

Nov 9, 10:23AM EST0

When I started writing, lap tops weren't available so I wrote in pencil and pen. I wrote a thousand page book when I was 14, all handwritten on notebook paper. I loved that process. I started with pencil, edited with the eraser, then started with pen when I didn't have to edit so much. I wrote for friends, so I wasn't meticulous. They loved it so much I kept writing other books. I'm a series geek. I love reading and writing them. 

I now use a lap top only. I love the ability to scan through pages at a time with just the touch of a finger. I look back at old writings of mine and realize that I needed to edit. I really wish I'd had a lap top then. It would have made my world so much easier. :)

Nov 11, 10:14AM EST0

Do you have a Facebook page I could like?

Nov 9, 9:23AM EST0


I'd love it, if you could say on my page wall that you were from the AMA so I can keep track of who came from where. Thank you for your interest.

Nov 11, 10:16AM EST0

Do you have DRM (Digital Rights Management) Protections?

Nov 9, 5:38AM EST0

Yes. I do on everything. I safeguard all my work. It is all copyrighted, also.

Nov 11, 10:17AM EST0

What have you put most of your effort into regarding writing?

Nov 9, 5:23AM EST0

There are a few things, actually. World building, Characterization, and Time Line Accuracy. I'll tackle the rest when I'm sure I have these things all in tact. I've gotten many compliments on characterization--the believability of my characters/depth of personality. 

Nov 11, 10:19AM EST0

How do you make an income while you are writing?

Nov 9, 5:11AM EST0

I have concession stands my father left me when he passed. We sell funnel cakes, deep friend oreos, deep fried twinkies, cotton candy, candy apples, popcorn, All the traditional fair foods. I have to stay away from them due to a battle with weight gain. haha

I also work as a powder coater at Advance Powder Coating Solutions. We cook paint onto metal for a more sturdy finish that traditional paint.

Nov 11, 10:21AM EST0

What's your favorite style of writing?

Nov 9, 4:16AM EST0

!st Person. I've tried to tackle other pov's, but it's hard for me to not switch back to first. I could try Omniscient 3rd person and try to keep the "I's" out, but it seems like a lot more thinking and it detracts from my creative juices. I've always loved the deep pov of 1st Person.

Nov 11, 10:23AM EST0

Do you have a website where I can learn more about your work expertise?

Nov 9, 1:08AM EST0

Facebook would probably give you the most information about me. That link is: https://www.facebook.com/OdessaGillespieBlack/

Nov 11, 10:24AM EST0

Do you write Alone or in public?

Nov 8, 11:36PM EST0


I love public places: coffee shops, McDonalds, parks, and my mother-in-law's kitchen table. I prefer no noise, but that's never really an option given the large size of my family and extended family. We all live in a row and the doors are everslamming. Lots of kids. I've learned to multitask and drown out the activity.

In public places, that's much easier. The noise of customers doesn't bother me. People rarely talk to me when they see my nose buried in the lap top. In fact, I might need their noise--minus the interaction--after so many years of writing with it in the background. Until writing this response, I've never really looked at it like that. Thank you for your insightful question. :)

Nov 11, 10:28AM EST0

What is something memorable you have heard from your readers/fans?

Nov 8, 6:46PM EST0

That one of my books reminded them of Stephen King's writing. I was so happy. That was a highlight in my career. 

Also, having a 14 year old ask me for my autograph, not a signed novel. She had already gotten that, but she said I was going places and wanted an autograph so she could say she met me. I was in tears.

Nov 11, 6:15PM EST0

How did you get connected with publishers for your interviews?

Nov 8, 6:39PM EST0

Many, many query letters. And boy, is that ever a daunting task. I didn't know the first thing about writing a query until I had so many turn downs. A very nice acquisitions editor informed me that my query letter needed work and sent me a link for some tips. It helps so much to research before you do anything in this business. :)

Nov 11, 6:16PM EST0

Do you do book tours?

Nov 8, 6:20PM EST0

I do. So far, it's only been locally, but next year, I'll be heading out of state, and possibly over seas. I've had venues in England invite me for signings. I can't wait for the travel.

Nov 11, 6:18PM EST0

I can't wait to hear from everyone. You can ask me anything about my life from birth to present. And anything about my career. I'd love to share all the juicy tidbits.

Nov 8, 5:34PM EST0
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