Today multi-published author Gayla Drummond visits my world. Welcome, Gayla, and tell us more about Discord. Where did she get her name and how did she get into her line of business?
I love Greek mythology, but Eris (the goddess of strife, discord, contention, and rivalry) wasn’t a name choice I liked for a character. So Discord, or rather, Discordia it was. As the series develops, it will become clearer how right that choice for her name was. ;)
As for how she began working at Arcane Solutions, Discord’s mom took her car shopping. Discord had her first retro-cognition vision in a used car. She saw a murder and her father contacted the police. She met Damian, and that meeting led to her job at Arcane Solutions after he mentioned her to Mr. Whitehaven, who recruited her.
Elves? Tell us more about them without dropping spoilers.
I have a crush on movie-Legolas, so there are elves. Gorgeous, arrogant, sneaky snobs of elves with secrets who will lie their butts off at the drop of a hat.
You've got some gorgeous cover art there. Care to tell us more about it.
Thank you! I made it, using a couple of RF stock images and one of my storm-chasing House Hunney’s lightning photos. Did a ‘taste test’ with several people to get it just right. [pets cover]
You say you've got eight books in the series. Do you plot them all out in advance or do you let them grow organically?
(It’ll be nine total, did you mean 8 more?) I plot, but am perfectly willing to change outlines and let the series grow as it will. Well, as long as none of the characters decided to do anything stupid.
I made the mistake of putting out three titles in another series without letting them simmer. Ended up retiring them and now, with three years of world-building, I think I’m ready to start rebooting that one.
You self-publish your novels, which is quite a production. Why did you decide to go this route and what are some of the most important aspects of being a self-published author?
Ebooks and self-publishing were gaining momentum when I decided seriously pursue my dream of being a writer. At 37, I didn’t want to send out subs and wait, wait, wait for a chance to maybe be published. So I didn’t. I learned about Amazon’s KDP program, and that was that.
Quality is the most important aspect. I don’t think anyone should put out work and ask people to buy it unless they’ve had other eyes on it first. I’m speaking from experience, because when I released my first two ebooks, I did everything myself, and predictably, they sucked.
I don’t know why anyone even bought them, because I cringe when I read them now.
Willingness to learn and improve are important. No one is good at something the first time they do it. Practice helps. So does cussing when you’re on the third attempt at formatting and something is still messed up. ;)
How do you challenge yourself to improve your skills? Kinda like an author-gym, if it were. [smiles]
I write a LOT to hone my skills. I pay close attention to what my editors correct in each story. I went crazy with semi-colons in one. There was a threat involving a cast iron skillet suddenly descending upon my skull when I became overly enamored with dialog tags for another.
When they point out a problem, I do my best to break that bad habit immediately.
Now, for some quick questions:
Favourite sin? Lust.
Favourite past time other than writing? Reading.
Best holiday destination? Disneyworld!
All-time favourite novel? Right now, it’s The Silver Wolf by Alice Borchardt.
What song would you play loud and sing to if no one were listening? Wish I had an Angel by Nightwish.
Arcane Solutions is the first in the Discord Jones urban fantasy series (there are 8 more books planned).
It's currently available at Smashwords, AmazonUS, AmazonUK, AmazonDE, AmazonFR, AmazonIT, and AmazonES with more sites to come.