interview

BookRix Bestselling Author: An Interview with Elvira Zeißler

BookRix Bestseller!

BookRix author sells 5000 eBooks!!!

So far, there haven’t been any big “Success Stories” with BookRix members on the English side of the site. However, things will not always be like this, as BookRix popularity grows with each day. We want to introduce you to Elvira Zeißler (pronounced Zeissler), a German BookRix Bestseller! Elvira (user elviraz) writes in a wide range of genres, from Fantasy and Romance to Children’s Books and Poetry.

Her first book, Fairy Child I (Fantasy), published in June 2012, has sold 2869 copies so far and the numbers are still rising! Her next book, The Bonding of Souls (Romance), published in October 2012, has sold 665 copies so far. And her most recent book, Fairy Child II (Fantasy), published in November 2012, has sold 1466 copies! We’re hoping that she’s going to take the plunge and start publishing her books in English too! So keep your eyes open!

Here is the interview by the BookRix German Team conducted with Elvira back in November, 2012, translated just for you (by RebeckDawn):

The many futile attempts to have my novel noticed by a well-known publisher or even an agent, were really starting to wear me down. It was a dark time and I was starting to doubt myself and my stories. But then I came to Bookrix…

Dear Elvira,

Thank you for this interview and for answering our questions. Many users have sent us questions that we’re sure will make you happy. We have picked out the best questions and don’t want to wait another moment for your answers. Let’s get to it!

1. Why did you choose to publish at BookRix?
At BookRix, I don’t feel like a lone warrior who fights in vain against the “Windmills of Publishing”. :)
Actually, Bookrix was the one who gave me the idea. Late last year, when you announced your publishing service, I first thought seriously about eBooks. Since I wasn’t even reading eBooks at that time, the idea of publishing eBooks was previously non-existent.

2. What was the first book you wrote?
Apart from short stories and poems, it was my novel, Dark Fire, which I had started when I was 17 and finally completed at 24. During the process, I didn’t even really believe that I would ever make it to the end. And yet, I kept pulling the manuscript out of the drawer to work on it.

3. How long did it take you to finish Fairy Child? (Original language title “Feenkind”)
Part One and Two of Fairy Child took me two years of intensive work. Every day after work I’d go to my PC again and write for at least an hour. The story wasn’t simply flowing out of me. Before I fell asleep at night, I couldn’t imagine what I was going to write the next day.

4. The question that all your fans are probably asking: When will the sequel to Fairy Child be released?
The eBook is almost completed, and a beautiful new cover was just added (thanks to Cassyk). Here at Bookrix, the book should be available in November, and therefore it will be in all the shops by early December at the latest.

***This interview is from November 2012. Since then, her second book has been published.

5. Where did you get the idea for The Bonding of Souls? (Original language title “Seelenband”)
The Bonding of Souls was totally “interleaved”. I had a hangover from the fantasy novel that I was writing, and suddenly I had a strong desire to get involved with a romance novel. So I wrote The Bonding of Souls.
* Laughs * No, it wasn’t quite that simple, of course. I’m always very structured when thinking about my characters.
With Valerie, it was important to me that the female readers could identify with her. And in John, it was important that he wasn’t a vampire, werewolf or angel. :o Also, you might have noticed that my romance novels are about what I’m interested in (in the fictional realm, fortunately not in the real world), like mysterious men with a certain dark side. When I brought all of that together, The Bonding of Souls emerged.

6. Some fans of The Bonding of Souls (especially the women) are wondering: Is John inspired by a real person?
The answer is both yes and no! I am happily married and my husband and John definitely share many of the positive attributes. However, he is nothing more than a role model for John or any of my other male characters; just as I am neither Valerie nor Julie Dhalia. My characters are always completely fictitious, even though they may share some properties with real people.

7. Can you explain the success of your novels?
I’m not sure, but I’d like to know so I can repeat it in the future. :) No, seriously, I’m very adamant about keeping my stories and the actions of the characters believable and realistic for the readers. This is especially true with feelings (above all – love)and it is important to me to let them grow and reveal them slowly to convey authenticity. What I do not like are big words, where you, the reader will end up feeling nothing. I always try to incorporate unexpected twists and turns as well, which sometimes end successfully and sometimes fail.

8. Your stories have such a variety of different subjects, so how do you know when it is going to be worthwhile to actually pursue a new idea?
I must admit that I (unfortunately) am not a gushing fountain of ideas, like many other authors who must often decide which idea they are now pursuing further. Before I start a novel, I consider first, which genre I want to write in. Then I think about what is commonly known about this topic/genre and try to find a gap, that is, something that has not already been written about extensively. If I then, at some point in my search, happen upon something that creates a kind of inner excitement and my imagination begins to develop a story, I know I have found something worthwhile. I’ll then take a few days to try it out and see if I can actually get together enough “story” to make a rewarding story-line with it.

9. In your books fate often plays a role – Is there a special reason for this, or is it your destiny to write about fate?
* Laughs * A good question. I haven’t really thought much about it. But if I had to choose, I would say that I have a tendency to trust reason. There are many forces that can influence our lives, but in the end our freewill decides which path our lives, and therefore our destinies, will take. In that sense I don’t believe in a fixed or predetermined fate, but I find the subject itself rather fascinating.

10. Is there a piece of text, a protagonist, or an idea that you’re particularly proud of?
All my novels have a lot of heart and soul, and of that, I’m really proud. I regard Fairy Child as my masterpiece. However, if I have to pick just one thing, it’s probably the Dark Fairy, Eliza, from Fairy Child, and the transformation that her character experiences in the Part Two. When I started to write the story, which was not really even planned, the character of Eliza just developed a life of its own, which surprised even me. :)

11. Can we expect another book series from you in the near future?
Yes. I’m writing another fantasy novel with the working title, Dragon Tooth and I hope I have it ready early in the New Year. It’s about a boy from our world who lands by accident in a fantasy world and tries to get back. This is not a new topic, but I hope that I gave him, in one way or another, some interesting and new situations. My two short stories, The Oath of the Dragon and The Song of The Ice Desert are small prequels for Dragon Tooth.
The first chapter is already on BX, but because the cover isn’t uploaded yet, the book has not yet received a lot of clicks. ;)

12. Do you do your own marketing and if so, how?
I still have a lot to learn about this area because I’m not really an active participant in social media. I guess I’m too old fashioned. :) The only things I’m doing at the moment are audiobooks of my novels. I have been adding them one at a time onto Youtube.

13. The next question is really overdone, but it’s also one of the most interesting: Why exactly do you write?
First, I just wanted to try and see if I could do it. But now, it has become an inner need. It just doesn’t feel right not to have a story to think about in all my quiet moments. I cannot imagine life without writing anymore.

14. And who are you writing for?
For me, for my family (which consists of my biggest fans), and now also for my readers. It’s an indescribable feeling when someone expresses positivity about the work that you invested so many, often doubt-filled, years of your life to.

15. Do you have an author role model?
Not really, no. There are always books or sites from which I learn something while reading and think, “Ah, so that’s how that works”. My only novel that was inspired by other books and authors is Dark Fire. I started it after I read Phantom by Susan Kay and Dangerous Liaisons.

16. Do you find it more difficult to start or to end a book?
The beginning is definitely more difficult for me. In my mind, I have to have at least the rough draft of the story completed before I start to write it at all. Also, at the beginning I put a lot more pressure on myself and have higher expectations. The reader has to be convinced that the book is worthwhile in the first few pages. That’s also why I like to start with a prologue that makes you curious, without giving too much away.
Writing the end can sometimes be really tricky, but mostly it arises as the story unfolds.

17. Are there any BookRix members who have helped you with your books?
Unfortunately, since I have a serious lack of time at the moment, I barely get to be present in the groups at all anymore. Right now, I’m basically non-existent in the community.

18. Who designed your beautiful cover?
Cassyk, A.K.A. Casandra Krammer. Because I am an amateur cover art designer, I am infinitely grateful for her skills. :)

19. What was the biggest setback to you, in relation to the tests each author must suffer, and how did you overcome this crisis?
The many futile attempts to have my novel noticed by a well-known publisher or even an agent, were really starting to wear me down. It was a dark time and I was starting to doubt myself and my stories. But then I came to Bookrix…

20. How important is contact with your fans?
I find the direct contact with my readers to be really great. Of course, all positive feedback goes down real easy and makes me happy. And I always think a lot about any overly critical comments and try to implement the feedback into my future writing.

21. Have you ever struggled with writer’s block? How did you overcome it?
I decided not to force myself to write. When I have no desire to do it, but would rather read a book or just lazily watching TV, that’s okay. As I have been writing for almost half my life, I know that there are dry patches and that the writer’s block always goes away. That’s one of the advantages of being an indie author – not having a publisher breathing down my neck! :)

22. Do you follow a strict schedule for when you write or do you only write when you really feel like it?
As I said, I no longer feel forced to write. It’s better if I “grab some” free time when I can. I notice more and more that my head starts to work immediately after I’ve had some leisure time. When I had a few days off and my daughter was still in kindergarten, I was writing almost all the time.

23. When do you write best?
Whenever I have some time.

24. If you could have one wish, what would you wish for?
You mean, other than that my daughter starts sleeping in her own bed at last? :) I would wish that my novels sell so well that I didn’t have to work full time anymore and could then have more time for my family and my writing.

25. Do you have any tips to share with other authors?
Don’t let yourselves be discouraged by rejections, writer’s block and criticism. I’m sure if you really want something, you’ll find a way. Even if this path leads you away from your original plan of shelves filled with print books and suddenly your eBooks are all over the internet and media. :)

Thank you for this wonderfully sympathetic interview! We wish you continued success as an indie author, and we are looking forward to more work from your pen.

Stay tuned for more interviews with BookRix Bestselling Authors!

Coffee Shop Encounters: Part Deux



sarah portfolio coffee

Typically I make breakfast at home. It’s fast, its cheap, and on most days it’s healthy. But some mornings I wake up craving something crafted by hands other than my own. Today in particular, I was really in the mood for an almond latte and a veggie breakfast panini from Portfolio Coffee House. With our blog series in mind (Coffee Shop Encounters), I made a point to survey the scene and see what Portfolio had to offer. I met Sarah Korell on my fourth bite…. she knocked over my latte with her purse. I told her I’d buy my replacement drink if she agreed to be interviewed.

1. What book has been the biggest influence in your life?

“I know why the cage bird sings” by Maya Angelou. It’s basically her autobiography. The book shows  how the pressures of living in a thoroughly racist society have profoundly shaped the character of her family members and she strives to surmount them. It also documents her victories and successes. It taught me  that no matter what circumstances you come from, we ultimately have the power to shape our own future.

2. What author and/or character do you identify with most?

The author I identify most with is Jane Austen. I feel I have this hopeless romantic side of me yet I still have this ever present stubborn independent side, which is usually a characteristic in the female characters of her books.

3. What do you think happens to you when you die?

I believe we are all energy and after we leave our bodies. When we “die” we become one with the highest energy force or higher power…..and no I don’t wear crystals around my neck. Haha.

4. Have you ever penned anything yourself? And if so what’s the recurring theme?

I mostly just  write journal entries daily. The recurring theme seems to be  a series of bad dates and short lived relationships.

5. If you had to re-live your life as a character in a book, what book/character would it be?

If I could come back as a character in a book it would be Algrenon  Moncrieff  from “The Importance of Being Earnest”. Algrenon’s character is brilliant, witty, selfish, amoral. He  invents a fictional friend, “Bunbury,”  whose frequent sudden relapses allow Algernon to wriggle out of unpleasant or dull social obligations. Therefore he basically gets to live a life of of leisure.

Sarah was such a stand-up gal. Not only did she let me interview her, but she also insisted on buying me another drink. Very classy!

Switching gears for a moment – Have you ever wondered who’s running the show at BookRix? We’re pulling back the curtain (week by week) and introducing you to the folks that make it all possible: http://www.bookrix.com/_groupforum-en-behind-the-scenes-at-bookrix-who-is-running-the-show.html Check it out and let us know what you think!

Archives

Grab the BookRix Button

BookRix Between the Lines

HELPFUL BOOKS

BookRix Between the Lines

BookRix Blog Buddies

Reading Addiction Blog Tours Me, My Shelf and I Parajunkee Design When A Southern Woman Rambles