Was there a reason you decided to self publish and not go direct to a publisher?
Lily: I tried a couple of publishers, but they weren’t interested in writing that had been previously offered as fanfiction. I have to thank Tee Baggins because she suggested self-publishing and helped guide me to all the right places.
Did you receive any negativity from people?
Lily: Yes, some. There are a few trolls on Goodreads who object to authors of fanfiction publishing their stories. These people do no realize the hours and hours of work which goes into writing and editing even a short story. But they are fortunately in a minority. I’ve had so much support and many positive reviews from people who have read my stories and this far outweighs the few and insignificant negative tags. (*Agreed, people should accept that you are trying to reach more than just FF readers and this is your story, to do with as you please*)
Any advice for others wanting to follow in your footsteps…like me 🙂 ?
Lily: Go for it. Write your story. Get several people to read it for you and make sure it is well edited. Then once it’s published, plug, plug, plug! And don’t be afraid to ask questions or get advice.
Can you tell me about your current piece and anything due to come out?
Lily: I’m currently working on a story based around a gay porn studio. My original thinking was to make a series of stories focusing on one of the stars each time, but linking the books by having the same characters mentioned in each. I’m still working on the first story—which isn’t short any more! And I have changed my mind about the ending of it. Even though I’m past half way now, I’m a long way off from finishing it, so I can’t say when it will be published.
UPDATE: The story is complete – just going through all the stages of editing now.
What are your thoughts on the whole BDSM obsession in current publications, and would you write that kind of story?
Lily: Whatever floats your boat! I have written several ‘non-vanilla’ scenes, but they are just hot not BDSM. I don’t think I would focus totally on BDSM in one of my stories—I wouldn’t feel confident enough to start with.
Of all the authors out there, both established and not, who is your favorite and why?
Lily: I’ve read a wide variety of m/m authors and have many favorites, but if I had to choose one, I would go for N. R. Walker. I love everything she writes and I know her work always has that feel-good factor to it. Her stories and characters make me smile. Perhaps it’s because I write so much angst in many of mine. I currently also love anything by Jay Bell, AJ Rose, Tee Baggins and Rick R Reed.
What is the hardest part of self publication?
Lily: For me, making the book cover so I could upload it onto Kindle. All my computer skills have been self-taught. It takes me ages to grasp something new and trying to get to grips with Photoshop was frustrating. And the formatting of the text took a while to sort out!
What made you want to become an author?
Lily: I never set out to become one, although I often had story ideas in my mind which I never wrote down. But after reading FF for about nine months, I suddenly had an idea and wrote my first two chapters down in a day or so. I added some more chapters over the following months and then started Oxford Blues, which gained me many friends in the Twi fandom. Other stories followed, along with a wider readership and, after joining Facebook, I met up with many people and writers who encouraged and helped me on the way.
Do you worry about negative reviews and how would you feel if you got one?
Lily: I haven’t had many yet, thank goodness, but I read them and look for a delete button. There’s nothing you can do about it, though—they’ll always be someone who criticizes what you do.
Can you tell me your top five books to read?
Lily: Too many classics to name, but from m/m books: Protection, Point of No Return, Wanting, Something Different and Blind Faith recently. Updated – Power Exchange, The Nothingness of Ben, Something Like Summer, Plan B and Through These Eyes.
What are you reading at the moment?
Lily: Plan B
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Lily: Sitting on my settee and writing for hours. I can look like I’m working when I’m not.
The worst thing?
Lily: Sitting on my settee and writing for hours, but getting distracted by Facebook, tumblr, YouTube etc.
Do you have a set genre you like to stick to?
Lily: I only write M/M romance and erotica. My first story had two chapters of het sex, which I have since deleted and edited so it was purely m/m. It is titled Heartbeat and was the story I submitted to the SU4K compilation—I killed off Bella! (*Hahahahaha, sounds good to me*)
How would you like to be remembered?
Lily: When I’m gone, it won’t really matter to me. I hope I’m remembered for positive things and it would be nice if my writing lives on.