E.M. Graham is releasing An Errant Witch, the third in her Witch Kin Chronicles series. She talks about her love of travel, of being a multi-genre writer, and her journey as an indie author.
Please tell us a little about yourself
I live in Newfoundland on the edge of the great North Atlantic Ocean, the wonderful and wild setting for most of my books. I love to travel, and find myself drawn to islands around the world. I’ve lived on Santorini, Taiwan, and my new favorite island’s are the Outer Hebrides in Scotland – maybe there’s another move in my future. But I have to say, being an Indie author has been the most exciting journey yet so far.
As a writer – As an Indie writer, I’ve been learning the hard way – every mistake there is, I’ve done it. But the learning curve is tremendous with every new book out. I haven’t yet done much in the way of advertising or marketing – just dabbling my toes, really. The time is coming for the big plunge, and I’ve been investing in courses and books to get me prepared. So much to learn.
I read almost everything, all genres, and this is reflected in my writing – I have so many stories in my head sometimes it’s hard to choose which genre to write in! My mysteries and romances have been previously published (Carmel McAlistair/ St. Jude Without - Cozy Cat Press and Atlantic Romances).
I’d love to hear more about your book
My upcoming novel An Errant Witch is the third in the series. Dara (de Teilhard) Martin is a half-blood witch who is finally coming into her power; however, she's had to keep her magic under the radar of the ruling Witch Kin. Although her greatest desire is to become a magic practitioner, it seems out of reach until she finds Hugh, another half-blood who has successfully carved out a career within the Kin. In An Errant Witch (#3 in the Witch Kin Chronicles), Dara travels to Scotland and it seems her dreams could be coming true, if it wasn’t that her past is coming back to haunt her.
How have you seen your characters grow and change over the course of the series? Has anything surprised you?
Characters always grow and learn as the series progress, just like all of us. Dara slowly morphs from the stubborn, rebellious misfit in An Ignorant Witch (Book 1) to a more mature witch in Book 3 who is willing to admit her errors and now has confidence to chase her dreams. What surprises me each and every time, is how she reacts to the things that happen to and around her, and how things so nicely come together at the end of each book. The writing process is weird like that - I often feel I’m ‘uncovering’ a story rather than creating it, as if it exists already outside of me.
You mentioned you've published books in several other genres. Do you have a favorite genre to write?
The funny thing is, I don’t think in genres when the idea first comes. I fall in love with the characters in my head, and as their situation / world unfolds, then I have to try to ‘categorize’ them. But no matter the genre, I find that my stories all have in common adventure, mystery, and the growth of the character. And humor, I have to inject comedy because that’s how I write.
What is your writing process like?
I work evenings in nursing to support my writing habit. I guess I’m one of the lucky ones in this day and age – I have a job to go to, and have lots of people-contact there, so the isolation isn’t so hard on me. Every day, I get up at 7am and work on the business until lunchtime – whether I’m writing, planning, contacting my artist, reading books on marketing, editing. On my evenings off, I tend to veg with the TV or reading - and this is all part of the creative process!
Do you feel you've found a publishing process that works for you, or is it a constantly evolving process?
Constantly evolving as I learn more. My first series is trad published with Cozy Cat Press, and I love the folks there. But when I found myself writing a paranormal/ coming-of-age series, I realized it didn’t really fit with their scope, so I decided to self-publish.
There’s always so much to learn with this process, and one of the most important is to find a good team to work with - editors, beta readers, cover artist and ARC team. It takes time to find ones you really mesh with, and who understand your work. Recently I’ve discovered Beta Books for a manuscript I’ve been playing with for four years (!) and I’ve been blown away by the wonderful feedback, and it’s made me excited for this new series all over again.
What did your beta process look like for An Errant Witch? Did you work with the same readers in the previous two books?
Yes, they started with Book 1, and have worked with me right through. I love how they catch me on details I may have overlooked! When you find good Betas, you have to hold them close while of course, looking for other fresh eyes too.
So how did you build your beta team?
At first, it took a lot of nerve to summon up the courage to approach people. And then of course, not everyone ‘gets’ your work so there is a process of nurturing just the ones you recognize as being very helpful, and these aren’t the ones who say ‘that’s great’. I want Betas who have opinions, even if they don’t match mine, because that helps me see my story through different eyes. You’re making the process a lot easier with Beta Books, I have to say!
What have you been doing to stay connected and encouraged in the last few months?
I’m one of the lucky ones - in my other life I work in healthcare, so as an essential worker I go to my regular job and see people face-to-face every day. But other than that, I don’t know how we could have managed without the internet and online writers groups.
How can people connect with you and find your book?
An Errant Witch is launching on May 8 - so excited! Right now this series is only available on Amazon as it’s doing so well on Kindle Select, but next year I’ll place it wide with the rest of my books. It’s available for order on Amazon or you can find out more about my works at LizGraham-Author.com or on facebook.com/witchkinchronicles.