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Friday, 9 August 2019

Author Interview with Joey Paul

Supporting fellow authors is important, so I warmly welcome Joey Paul to my blog today with another fabulous interview.

Hello Joey! Thank you for agreeing to do this interview with me. Tell me a bit about yourself and your writing background.
Thanks for having me! I'm 37, have been writing seriously since I was 19 and medically retired from the working world. I was facing a life of doing nothing and that terrified me, so I picked up a pen and started on an idea that had been brewing in my head for a very long time. Ten days later it was done and I kept going with that. I'm disabled, if it wasn't obvious from the reasoning for my retirement at so young. I have a myriad of conditions and all of that kinda ganged up on me, but I do manage to write! I have almost sixteen books published and have been doing this for fourteen years!

Were any of your YA books conceived when you were a teen?
Yes! My first proper book I wrote when I was 13, but it took me a long time to flesh it out, pull it to pieces and make it into what it is now. Blackout my debut was also written as a teen, and like I said above, had been an idea of mine for years before I put pen to paper. The beginnings of the Dying Thoughts series were also conceived as a teen, though it took me a good fifteen years to finish the series as a whole.

Did you always want to be a writer?
No actually, when I was 5 I was pretty damn sure I was going to be a doctor. It came from a childhood of hospital stays and doctor visits. I made it all the way to college to do the A-levels I'd need to get into medical school and I got sicker, and it was just not possible for me to do that anymore. So I went into the working world from 16 to 19 and then when I was retired it became clear that my love of fiction could be turned into something I very much enjoyed.

I see you studied Health and Social Care – has that inspired your fiction in any way?
It has and it hasn't. I went for Health and Social Care because health matters had always interested me. However, I don't use a lot of that in my fiction, but it does give me some knowledge of what goes into being disabled, especially when I'm disabled as well. I don't have formal care, but I do know how it all works from the classes I took for my degree. So in a way it has inspired my fiction!

You’ve published loads of books! Roughly how many does each one take you – do you work on several at once?
I write two books at once, and generally they take between 5 to 6 months to draft for the first time. I've been publishing for 14 years, but before that was writing books continuously so it kinda gave me a lot of a backlog, but that's not a bad thing! I have roughly ten more books finished, but they're all in the drafting and/or editing stage and I try to publish two books a year, health permitting. I did three this year because I wanted to end out the Dying Thoughts series and start my new trilogy and another new series next year!

It’s amazing that you’re pursuing what you love despite what you’ve been through. How has your disability impacted your creative work?
Yes in some ways it has. When I first started writing, even though I was really sick, I'd never really seen myself as disabled. In Blackout, one of the background characters has the same lung issue as me, and that was my way of giving rep to a rare disease, but I never really thought about disabled characters beyond that. Simply because at the time, I didn't see myself as disabled. Now I do, and it's empowered me in a way, so a lot of my books and characters have some kind of disability. The whole idea that if you want rep, you need to do some of it yourself.

Traditional or independently published? What are the ups/downs of each?
I went with indie because I retained full control. My biggest fear was not being able to meet deadlines because of my up and down health. Now though, I'm doing somewhat more stable health wise and I'm more able to keep up with the demand, my own and my readers. But I think a lot of the downs for me in indie is the marketing and the cost of editors and such. I'm lucky that I have an amazing team who have been with me for a while. I think one of the downs of traditional is that you have to give up so much control when it comes to things like covers and release days, but at the same time, there's no cost to you. With indie I can control when I release, what my covers look like etc, but then the marketing and promotion all lands in my lap!

What kind of marketing/promotion do you do?
I do things like Amazon ads, Facebook ads, as well as promotion on my social media, my YouTube channel and my blog. I try to put profits from sales back into the marketing so that I can keep generating that profit. I'm still very much learning about it though!

What made you want to interview authors and review books on your blog? When did you start?
I was part of a small group of authors trying to help each other out with reach and part of that was doing blog posts every week. I decided then that I would do author interviews, guest blogs and reviews on a Friday to balance out my advice posts on the Monday and the other things going up on my blog. It made the most sense to reach out to other authors, get to read some amazing books, and make friends along the way. The group itself didn't last long, but the idea has. I think I've only missed one week and that was because I was in hospital!

Finally, what advice would you give to inspiring authors?
I guess my advice is to not rush through things. That just because your friends and other people are at a position you're not, it doesn't mean you've failed. Your journey may take longer, may be shorter, but don't rush through it all and just remember that it takes as long as it takes, and that's okay!

Her interviewing me and review of Anne:

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I've published three YA fiction books and two poetry volumes. To check em out, copy and paste this link into your browser: