Welcome to Mary Ellen Quire
Where are you from and where do you live now? I’m from Kentucky and have lived there all of my life.
Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. I have been plucking away at writing for quite some time. Sheldon’s Diary is my most recent book. I guess you could put in the young adult genre, although it does pretty well in Women’s Fiction. The stories are a mixture of action, adventure, light-hearted comedy and suspense. The entire book can be summed up by the burning question many animal lovers have had running through their mind, “What do they really do while you’re away?”
Are your characters based on real people? All of the humans in Sheldon’s Diary are based on real people and I would say that probably fifty percent of all the critters in the book are real. The other fifty percent come from a wild and woolly imagination.
Sort these into order of importance: Great characters; great world-building; solid plot; technically perfect. Can you explain why you chose this order? (Yes I know they all are important…) Great characters, without them you have nothing but an empty map.
Solid plot, readers need this as motivation to keep reading and as a reward for having travelled the journey with you. Writer’s need it because it’s probably the only bit of order that can be found in a mind swimming with possibilities.
Great world-building, it’s third because it can make for an awesome story, but for me as a writer I don’t believe it is absolutely essential. Many great books have been written with the background tucked nicely away in the background.
Technically perfect, is there such a thing?
In what formats are your books available? (E-books, print, large print audio) Are you intending to expand these and if not, what is the reason? Sheldon’s Diary is available in paperback and in the Kindle version. I would love to see it in Nook, but that will be later. Audio may also come in time.
Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? I do self-edit, not because I’m an English whiz or anything, but because professional editing is very costly to me right now. Occasionally, I’ll have a friend do a once over for a manuscript to catch things I have missed. Do I believe a book suffers without professional editing? Sometimes, but I’ve read many books that have hit the shelves over the years, professionally edited, that still have mistakes.
Do you think indie/self-published authors are viewed differently to traditionally published authors? Why do you think this might be? Unfortunately, I do think there is a stigma place on indie/self-published authors. It’s one that seems to say, “Hey, you just weren’t good enough to publish with a real publisher, but you were definitely vain enough to pay for it.” What people do not realize is that books are rejected by traditional publishers for a number of reasons, not just because the story was inferior. For example, the publisher may have all of that type/genre of book they can handle at the time or they might not be able to make it sell. Publishing is a business after all, so you have to hit the right one with the right thing at the right time. It’s a crap shoot.
Do you read work by self-published authors? I’ve found several really good books/series through self-published authors. It just goes to show you that just because it trickles away from the traditional doesn’t mean it sucks.
What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot? Mostly I believe the book is always better then the movie/video game because you are allowed to really delve down deep into the character(s). You’re in their brains, mulling around in their thoughts and feelings, and you get a better sense of who they really are. You cannot do that in any other type of media.
What are your views on authors offering free books? I love the idea. I think it’s an awesome way get readers take a chance on your book and see if they not only enjoy that particular one, but the author’s style of telling a story.
Do you have any pets? Right now, I have four. Two of them are cats, Sir Sheldon and Sir Cheddar. One rat, Templeton. And then there’s my 15 year old Ball python, The Wheezer.
Book links, website/blog and author links: