It’s always fun to find out how other authors write their books. Recently, I interviewed Andrea Buginsky to find out more about her writing process. I also wanted to find out how she publishes and markets her books. Here’s that interview:
Andrea, you write fantasy books for teens and YAs. How did you get started with this and why did this genre appeal to you so much that you decided to write fantasy novels?
I studied journalism in college, and started freelance writing when I graduated. About a year later, I decided I wanted to try to write a book. My first go was an adult romance novel, because I love Danielle Steel. But it just wasn’t my forte.
One day, I was watching the movie The Seeker: The Darkness is Rising, and I thought, “Hey, I love fantasy. This is what I want to write.” And I knew I wanted to write for teens. At the time, I was playing an online RPG with my family, so I created a world for our characters, and adventures for them to go on. The Chosen was born.
How do you come up with your story lines?
I’m honestly not sure. I watch a lot of fantasy movies and read fantasy books. It’s my favorite genre. I think my mind just starts creating a small idea, and I take it from there. Once an idea sparks, and I start writing, I continue with the idea throughout a story. I’ll take notes and make an outline as I go, so I know where the story is going. But sometimes, the words just flow on their own. I love when this happens!
Please describe the process you go through to write your fantasy books. How you specifically make sure your stories will appeal to teens and YAs?
I create my main character(s) to be in their teens, so they’ll appeal to a wide range of YA readers. Then, I think of some of the things I went through as a teen, and some things I would have liked to experience, and I put my character in that situation. Even a student at a school for witches can have fights with their friends, or experience having a boyfriend for the first time.
What do you enjoy most about writing fantasy for teens and YAs?
Creating the magic. With fantasy, anything is possible. There are no rules. If I suddenly want to add giants or fairies to my stories, I can do that.
What is the most difficult part about writing fantasy for the teen and YA market?
The competition. There are tons of YA fantasy series, and more and more coming out every year. To figure out a niche that you can use to separate your own series from the rest is very difficult.
Are your books traditionally published or self-published? If self-published, why did you decide to go this route?
Self published. I started out with a small Indie press, but I was doing a lot of the marketing, and didn’t have control over certain aspects of my books. They weren’t selling very well. When I started my second series, I decided to try publishing it on my own. I had taken a great course in self-publishing, and knew all the steps to follow. It was a lot of work, but it was worth it. I felt like I gave birth to my first child, even more so than when I completed writing my first book. This time, I did everything myself, and it felt great! When my contract was up with my publisher for my other books, I re-released them myself.
What have been the most effective methods for marketing your books?
Marketing is still something I’m learning, and I don’t have a sure-fire effective method right now. Letting my regular readers know when my new books are published is the most successful. I also advertise them on FB pages, do blog tours and interviews, and belong to a couple of tweet teams.
You’ve been a member of the Working Writer’s Club for a while. What do you enjoy most about being in this free club for writers? Has it helped you write your books or market them – if not, what other areas of your writing has it helped you with?
I’ve recently started going through a lot of tips I’ve learned from all of the above, and am really getting back into my writing, and getting my name out there. The Club definitely helps me with my writing career!
What is your next fantasy novel, what will it be about (just a one sentence summary) and when should it be ready for release?
I am currently working on New Avalon book 3. It’s Elena’s third year at New Avalon, and as she continues to struggle with her nightmares, she’ll be facing a different kind of demon as she goes about trying new herbs for sleeping.
I plan to release it next year.
What is your best writing tip for aspiring fantasy book writers?
Keep notes on your characters, creatures, places, spells, etc., especially if you’re writing a series. It will help you remember important points along the way, and not mix things up in subsequent books. Believe me, readers will notice!
Thanks so much for this interview, Andrea. Now, where can people learn more about you and your books?
That’s easy. You can find me at: