How long have you been writing? Has writing always been something you wanted to do?
I was first inspired to write in the fourth grade, when a story I wrote won a prize in the county literacy fair. After that, I was hooked! I didn’t know that I wanted to write professionally until much later, though. In fact, I didn’t publish my first book until 2011. I was motivated to finally move toward making a living by writing after I lost my job in 2008.
What books or stories have you written?
My first books, released in July of last year, include “Becoming,” “Central” and “Foretold” (the Daughters of Saraqael Trilogy). I’ve also published an Estilorian short story called “The Prophecy,” and my latest release is “Defy” (Firstborn Trilogy Book One). The books are YA fantasy/romance.
The hardest thing to overcome as an indie author is the stigma often attached to being self-published. I’ve heard indie authors criticized for taking the “easy way out” by opting to self-publish as opposed to going through traditional channels. Anyone who thinks self-publishing is easy is, quite frankly, wrong. An indie author is responsible for not only writing the book, but editing it, formatting it, creating the cover, marketing it and everything else that goes into selling a book. Sure, some of those tasks are done through outside service providers, but the author still pays for those efforts. Thus, finding the time, money and strong will to overcome these challenges were the most difficult steps toward publication.
Is there any advice you have been given that you could give to a young up-and-coming writer?
Write, write, write! The more books and written works you have available when you publish, the more likely you are to draw and maintain the attention of readers. Authors who publish one book rarely achieve much success. Those with multiple books, on the other hand, have a better time building a reader base. Every spare moment you have, write!
Do you think writing has any benefits, and if so what would they be?
Writing has immeasurable benefits. It’s often therapeutic, which is why many people keep journals. It’s a way to put our thoughts down into a tangible format, something that not many of us can do through speech. A lot of us who write do so because there’s a story inside our heads trying to get out. Life would be awfully boring without all of the voices talking to me throughout the day!
Has writing made you a better person? Was there a point in your life where writing helped you deal with something, a death or a problem relationship perhaps?
Writing has made me a more well-rounded person, I think. I once worked in the field of children’s mental health. My job put me into contact with youth who had been hospitalized for suicidal or homicidal ideation. Most of them lived in the inner-city of Atlanta, a very diverse population. The nonprofit organization I worked for served those in need, so I met a number of families who struggled just to get through one day at a time. In my mind, those families were heroic. They worked hard in search of something better, and with help, a number of them achieved it.
My first book, “Becoming,” was inspired by a 17-year-old girl who made the most of a very bad situation. I’ll always contribute the success of the book to her, since she proved so inspiring. Thus, what writing has done is open my mind and help me remember that everyone is facing some kind of struggle. We should do what we can to help others and always keep things in perspective!
Raine Thomas is the author of a popular series of YA fantasy romance novels about the Estilorian plane, including the Daughters of Saraqael trilogy and the Firstborn trilogy. She is a proud member of Romance Writers of America and is a contributing blogger to The Writer’s Voice. When she isn’t planning weddings, writing or glued to social networking sites, she can usually be found on one of Florida’s beautiful beaches with her husband and daughter or crossing the border to visit with her Canadian friends and relatives.
Readers can follow Raine on Twitter, be her friend on Facebook, check out her books on Good Reads, see what kinds of things she likes on Pinterest, and get updates on what she’s up to these days on her website and blog.