I'm working on publishing my first story and I want to help my fellow writers who are doing the same thing! Ask Me Anything!

Lisa Hodorovych
Jan 11, 2018

After thirty-one years (well, really after about fifteen years since I realized I wanted to be an author when I was in high school, but I've always loved writing ever since I was little), I'm finally living my dream! I'm finally going to publish my first story! And I'm self-publishing it, which is NOT easy!

Every day I am learning something new and I want to pass this knowledge onto my fellow writers! I want to help anybody who's working on publishing their first story! Or if you've published in the past, but want to ask a question, please don't hesitate to do so! I can't promise I'll have the answer to everything, but I will try my best to do so!

Lets do this together! 

I'm also doing a Kickstarter campaign to help raise funds to publish said story! If you would like to help me out, I would really appreciate it! The link to it is here! Thank you!

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Conversation (47)

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Please forgive me, everyone for being absent for so long! Life got a little crazy toward the end of the week last week! However, I am back to answer your questions! Thank you to everyone who has asked me questions! I have felt like a rock star! :-) Haha! Here's to you all! I wish you great happiness and success as you travel on this journey with me! <3

Jan 16, 8:54AM EST0

Can you give us a little background about yourself and how you finally pursued writing?

Jan 11, 11:15AM EST0

Hi, RogerCornet!

Absolutely! So I am a Jersey girl, born and raised! I am Italian, so growing up was all about family gatherings for any event, whether it was a holiday, a birthday, graduation...whatever was going on the family was always together! This is why I love get togethers, whether it is with family or friends!

When it comes to writing, I have always loved writing! I remember in elementary school, we had a "mini publishing company" that was run by some parents! If you wrote a story, they would "publish" it for you! I remember constantly sending it stories to be "published", which I am on the hunt for now in my house, but I can't find them!

I recently looked at my 5th grade yearbook and under my name where it says "What do you want to be when you grow up?", I said, "Author"!

I feel like I was destined! Then as I was growing up I fell in love with animals! All I wanted to do was work with animals, so I thought I would be a zoologist! Come my sophomore/junior year in high school we had to put my dog down and it devastated me! I thought, "If I get this emotional with my dog, how am I going to be if I get attached to an animal at a zoo!"

Zoology was now out of the question! I had to re-think things, but it didn't take me long! That's when my renewed passion for writing came back into my life! I began working on one of my plethora of stories and was reminded how much I love to do this! From there, I went to college for creative writing and now, nine years after graduating, I'm publishing my first story!

I hope this helps, RogerCornet! If you want to learn more, just let me know! I am an open book! Haha!

Thanks for the great question!

Jan 16, 9:54AM EST0

What are your other goals this 2018?

Jan 11, 10:43AM EST0

Hi, Milan123!

I would have to say growing my Mary Kay business! Of course, my top priorty is getting my book published, but I am a Mary Kay consultant, as well! I have been doing it for two years, so I would love for my business to grow, to gain new clients (while keeping the ones that have been with me since day one, of course), and maybe even start a team!

Thanks, Milan123 for the question!

Jan 16, 9:38AM EST0

Apart from writing, what are your other hobbies or interests?

Jan 11, 9:26AM EST0

Hi, Cathy!

Oh, gosh! Um...I would have to say that I love to bake! It's funny because my husband loves to and knows how to cook, so we have the perfect match-up; he's the cook and I'm the baker! Haha!

I also love watching movies and TV! I consider myself to be a big nerd, so I love the "comic book" movies (mainly the movies from the Marvel Universe, DC has totally gone downhill, in my opinion)! I also LOVE Godzilla! I have every single movie of Godzilla and I have loved watching it from when I was little!

I do love to do needle-point! I haven't done it in years, but I do want to pick it back up again! Lastly, my favorite holiday is Halloween! I just love dressing up and being someone different for one night and all the decorations! It's just so much fun!

Thank you, Cathy for the question!

Jan 16, 9:26AM EST0

Can you give us a sneak peek of your first book/story? What is it about?

Jan 11, 6:40AM EST0

Hi, MichelleC!

I would love to! I don't know if I can post anything on here, but soon I will have a website up and a newsletter going out monthly to showcase my work, let people know what's going on in MY writing world, etc.

It is about a girl and her three friends going on a nice, long vacation in Lake Minnetaha, Washington! While away her friends leave her with no explaination! She stays waiting for them to come back so they can go home together! However, while she waits something finds her!

And that's all I'm going to say! Haha!

Jan 16, 9:19AM EST0

What is the toughest part in writing? How about the fun part of it?

Jan 10, 9:21PM EST0

Hi, Josienette!

I would have to say, for me, the toughest part of writing is making sure the story flows well, sounds good, and I'm not over-using words! I do that CONSTANTLY in my stories, so I either have a thesaurus handy or I go onto thesaurus.com to help me use different words! I also, sometimes, rush my stories along; meaning I have my character do something and then skip ahead to something else with nothing inbetween because I feel that nothing needs to be explained, but I'm so wrong! Haha!

That's easy! The fun part is actually creating the stories, the characters, the dialogue, etc. I love that! So many times I have looked back at my stories and thought, "Oh, that's good! I came up with that!" Haha!

I'd laugh at certain dialogue, I'd cry at certain spots...I mean if I do that while reading it, hopefully somebody else will!

I hope this helps! If you want to learn more, please don't hesitate to ask!

Thanks, for the great question!

Jan 16, 9:14AM EST0

How long did it take you to finish writing this book?

Jan 10, 5:37PM EST0

Hi, PGR1714!

Oh, gosh, I've been working on this bad boy for YEARS! This story was actually my college thesis (since I majored in Creative Writing all I had to do in order to graduate was write a story) that I have elaborated on and changed!

To be exact, this year will be 10 years and I can't believe I just said that! Ugh! How time flies! Anywho...I have one story that I'm working on from high school that won't be published for some time because I have another story I've been incessantly working on that I just developed about five years ago!

All of my stories came to me at different times in my life!

Thanks, PGR1714 for the question!

Jan 16, 9:06AM EST0

When you plotted the story, do you already have the idea in mind and put it on writing or you create the story as you go along?

Jan 10, 3:42PM EST0

Hi, KCampos91!

Honestly, a little bit of both! Want to hear something funny? Most of my stories are short dreams that I have that I turn into a lengthy story!

For example, I am working on a vampire trilogy that came about after having (what felt like) a five second dream of me being chased by something and getting caught! That's it! Three books from a short dream! Haha!

So, yes I usually do have some sort of idea in my head that I put into writing, but I create the story as I go along! Make sense?

I hope this helps! Thanks for the great question! If you want to learn more, please don't hesitate to ask!

Last edited @ Jan 16, 9:00AM EST.
Jan 16, 9:00AM EST0

Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?

Jan 10, 6:15AM EST0

Hi, Moissona!

Want to hear something funny? I'm a writer who doesn't read! It's sad, but it is true! Even in college when I took literary classes, I barely read the books!

I kind of hate myself for it and I'm trying to be better, but it's not easy for me! I pick up a book, I read a couple of pages and then I stop! I don't pick the book up again for some time!

However, I do read through books that help me with certain things! Like right now I'm reading through "Plant-Based Diet for Dummies" because I'm trying to eat better and I'm reading through "Your First 1000 Copies" so I know how to promote my book and myself when I publish it!

When it comes to a favorite author, I would definitely say I'm obsessed with Edgar Allan Poe! We share a birthday so I already have that connection with him! But I've always loved his work! It started with "The Raven" and then escalated from there! 

I would say I'm more of a movie person then a book person, so...yeah!

Thank you, Moissona for your question!

Jan 10, 10:53AM EST0

Is there a specific genre that you would like to work on or are you open to anything?

Jan 10, 12:54AM EST0

Hi, Mackeba950!

I definitely lean more towards ficition work! I honestly wouldn't say I have one particular genre I like to work on! I do like writing more thriller/suspense/horror type stories, but I do add in action, comedy, romance, etc.

I wouldn't mind writing something non-fiction, like a biography! I do love researching! I used to be a HUGE wrestling fan (WWE wrestling, not olympic wrestling) and a had a wrestling blog! When I was in college, I had my own wrestling column in the college newspaper! By the way...I'm still a fan, I just don't watch it as religiously as I used to! Anywho, I loved researching the careers of certain wrestlers, looking up past matches, past events, etc.

I wouldn't mind doing something like that in the future, but for now I'm going to stick to my ficition!

Thank you, Mackeba950 for your question!

Jan 10, 10:39AM EST0

How do you balance writing, career and family?

Jan 10, 12:39AM EST0

Hi, Kristy!

Well, technically my writing is my career, but I also sell Mary Kay and I write for an online publication, which sometimes takes a lot of time out of my day! But it's not easy!

I just got married in October so no kids (YET), but my husband and I live with my parents since they're older and don't drive so I'm driving them everywhere! My mom still works so I'm taking her back and forth to work. They have doctor appointments to go to, they have to do grocery shopping, and my mom likes to go out, which all of this I don't mind doing for them! They're my parents! They have been there for me since day one, but sometimes it's hard when all I want to do is work and I have to drive them around!

My husband tells me all the time I need to learn time management! That was never my forte in life, but it is something that I do need to learn! Plus, having a smartphone with everything on it is really helpful, as well!

In the end, I don't really balance everything out! I just go with the flow and if I get stuff done, great! If not, as much as it pains me, there's another day to work on things!

I hope this helps, Kristy! Thank you for your question! If you need anything else, please don't hesitate to ask!

Jan 10, 10:32AM EST0

Have you tried sending out work to publishing companies? Since when? Can you share your experience?

Jan 9, 10:54PM EST0

Hi, Janine!

I did send my work to one publishing company that said they loved it and would like to work with me and then I never heard from them again! I kept on trying to get back in contact with them, but nothing! I have looked to see if my work got published somewhere under a different author name, but thankfully I haven't! Even if it did, the story has changed so much that nobody would even recognize it!

I also sent in my work to a SciFi/Fantasy Magazine in Jersey in hopes to have my work published, but they rejected it! That was my fuel to continue on! That story I expanded on and is now the one I'm about to publish! So, yeah!

I hope this helps, Janine! Thank you for the great question!

Jan 10, 10:23AM EST0

What are the challenges of a self published author?

Jan 9, 6:45PM EST0

Hi, Lisa!

Oh gosh, where do I begin? There are a lot, however, at the same time it's the most rewarding experience, I believe, an author can have!

So, first there's the financial challenge! Thankfully, a friend of mine told me about a website that let's you publish your books for free, but if you want certain things done (like having one of their people edit it or upload your design for the cover art) that does cost money! Also, you want to get your own ISBN for your books, which costs a lot of money! And for me, someone who's working from home, doesn't have a full-time job, and trying to get my work published; money isn't abundant!

That's why I created a "fundraiser" on Kickstarter; to help pay for certain expenses that I can't handle right now!

Second is finding followers ("fans") to not only buy your book, but tell others, as well, that they should buy it! That's why I am working on creating an e-mail list, so I can send out "newsletters" telling people about myself (I'm actually under a penname so it would be "her" talking), my works, when they're being published, etc. I am also working on creating a website/blog to share my work on!

As I previously mentioned in another comment, I do have a Facebook author group/page (Azil Edinburgh's Official Author Page) and I do have a Twitter account (@AzilTheAuthor87), but social media is not the way to sell your books! You need to broaden your horizon if you want to sell and make some sort of money!

I think I'll stop there for now because I don't want to scare you! There's a lot to doing this on your own, but again once it is done it feels so amazing to know you did this on your own!

I hope this helps, Lisa! Thank you for the great question! If you want to learn more, please don't hesitate to ask!

Jan 10, 10:17AM EST0

Do you ever get writer's block? How do you deal with it?

Jan 9, 12:32PM EST0

Hi, Xulian!

Absolutely! I get it when I'm in the middle of writing something and it bothers me so much! But it happens! It's like my brain's way of saying, "Please give me a break! I can't handle this anymore!" 

So I take a step back and rest for a little while! Sometimes it's a couple of hours! Sometimes it's a couple of days! But once my mind is calm, I go back to work! I remind myself that this is my life, my dream, my career so I don't stay away from it for too long, but yeah that's what I do when I have writer's block!

I hope this helps! Thanks, Xulian for your question!

Jan 10, 9:52AM EST0
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Are you writing new stories this time? Any plans of doing a series or a sequel?

Jan 9, 11:53AM EST0

Hi, Tim!

I am always working on something! The one thing that stinks about being a writer is as your working on one story, something pops up for another! There was a point I was going back and forth, but then I said to myself, "No, Lisa! Stick to one story at a time!"

It wasn't easy for me to do, but because of it now I have one story done and ready to be published!

For the story that's going to be published there isn't a sequel YET! My mind is always working and is always thinking! However, I do have a vampire trilology in the works and a two-part story about a group of assassins, so be on the look-out!

Thank you, Tim for your question!

Jan 10, 9:47AM EST0

What do you think makes a good story? What elements are needed?

Jan 9, 9:30AM EST0

Hi, B. Codrut!

Oh, that is a loaded question! Great question, but wow! Um...to me, I think having great description and great dialogue makes a great story! As I read my stories, I imagine it's happening right in front of me; like I'm watching a movie! I feel that, as I read a story, if I'm able to see it as it's happening then I'm reading a great story! I'm drawn in and I want to read more! However, if that doesn't happen then I can't continue!

Also, having strong characters, ones that people can relate to makes for a great story!

I hope this helps! If you want to learn more, please don't hesitate to ask! Thanks!

Jan 9, 11:43AM EST0

How will you promote your work? Do you have any social media site or links we can follow?

Jan 9, 8:57AM EST0

Hi, Amna!

That is an excellent question! I actually learned that promoting on social media alone doesn't really do much for your sales! Yes, I do have a Facebook author page (Azil Edinburgh's Official Facebook Page) and I do have a Twitter account (@AzilTheAuthor87) that I will promote my work on! However, I am creating an e-mail list to get the word out about my work and I am creating a website/blog, as well!

Both will, hopefully, help me gain new followers that will look at my work, purchase my books, and become long-lasting fans/friends!

I hope this helped, Amna! Thank you for asking!

Jan 9, 11:33AM EST0
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How much research do you do prior to writing?

Jan 9, 7:48AM EST0

Hi, Adrian!

To be honest, at first I didn't do any research! I thought I didn't have to because it's my story coming from my mind! Why would I have to research anything? But then my one friend (and fellow writer) opened my eyes! To make certain things a little bit more believable, you have to do the research to make sure you get things correct!

For example, the story I'm working on publishing now is set in Washington state! I researched to see what type of landscape it has, what type of trees it has, why type of national parks it has; all to make the story that much more believable!

Now, I am also working on a vampire story! However, I'm not going to do too much research on because I'm creating my own vampire!

In my opinion, it just depends on the type of story you're creating!

I hope this helps, Adrian! Thank you for asking!

Jan 9, 11:26AM EST0

What’s the most interesting book you’ve ever read?

Jan 9, 5:59AM EST0

Hi, Michelle!

Oh, great question! The most interesting book I ever read! Wow! Um...are we talking ficition or non-ficition?

If it's ficition, I would have to say "The Dogs of Babel" by Carolyn Parkhurst! I read it my senior year in high school to do a "book report" on it and it was amazing! Not to give too much away, but it's about getting a dog to talk! It really is a great read, if you haven't read it yet!

If it's non-ficition, I would have to say "The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles" by Steven Pressfield! That book gave me such a swift kick in the butt to stop thinking about writing my book and to actually do it! That is another great read!

I hope this helps, Michelle! Thanks!

Jan 9, 11:17AM EST0

Do you have any advice or help you can share to your fellow writers who are also trying to publish their story?

Jan 9, 4:01AM EST0

Hi, Yana!

My biggest advice will be to never give up! I know that sounds EXTREMELY cliche, but it's true! There's a lot to learn about publishing your own story and there's a lot to do! It's over-whelming, but at the same time so exciting!

Don't let the over-whelming take over the excitement! Don't let the fear take over your passion! If this is what you want to do more than anything, you will fight through it and you will come out on top! Live your dream, not the dreams of others!

I hope that helps, Yana! That was a great question and I thank you for asking it! If you want more, just ask!

Jan 9, 11:05AM EST0
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