Indies Fully Booked

Writing Buddies with Cathrine Swift

December 27, 2021 AK Mulford & K. Elle Morrison Episode 33
Indies Fully Booked
Writing Buddies with Cathrine Swift
Show Notes Transcript

Kate and Ali are first and foremost writing buddies! They chat about why having writing community is so important and chat with author guest, Cathrine Swift.

Find out more about Cathrine Swift on Tiktok!

Join the community in the Indies Fully Booked Facebook group!

You can find Ali at akmulford.com and Kate at kellemorrison.com!

Watch the Uncut Intros on Youtube!

Thanks for listening! If you enjoyed this episode, please consider rating and reviewing!

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ALI:

Hi and welcome to indies fully booked. I'm AK Mulford, a fantasy author living in New Zealand and I'm joined across the ocean to my author co host, K. Elle Morrison. Hi, Kate. Hi. Together, we're Kate and Ali to busy moms fumbling our way through the world of self publishing, sharing our successes and failures and picking the brains of our fellow authors along the way. Today on the show, we're joined by guest, Catherine Swift, and we're talking about writing buddies. Having writing buddy. But first, we'd like to say a big thank you to our patrons, Your support helps pay for the hosting and transcription of this show. And we really appreciate it. If you'd like to check out our Patreon page, you can go to patreon.com/in these fully booked. And now I want to check in with the campfire to my marshmallow. Oh.

KATE:

Oh, only part of camping that I would ever do. I would literally go do like s'mores and then go home. That's Moore's Moore's wars and then I go home. Actually a little kid at my son's school was asking me if we go camping and I said, No, we don't camp we just eat marshmallows and chocolate at home. And he was just like, dude, I'm for

ALI:

do s'mores. Like here? It's like a real American thing. I think. Yeah. Um, and like it. Yeah. It's like Halloween, like, have anything to do with like, sugary things. But like, it's always fun being like, we're gonna like it's like, have this experience for you like with like, adult people who have never had us.

KATE:

My gosh, and they never turn out right? Actually, I this is so this is so random. I have a scar on my arm. From when I was like 16 and I was our scar. Yes, it is. So I had a marshmallow on a stick and I was like, drunk in a field somewhere. And I was like, totally out of it. And someone's like, oh my god, your marshmallows on fire. And I went what and like, totally, like, flung it up in the air and it fell on my arm on fire. And hot molten sugar on my camera. Yeah, yeah, it was awful. I'm not sure I still have the scar. Yet. There it is. Like 16 years later.

ALI:

Yeah. Oh my gosh. So yeah, so you have to come up with a cooler story for that. Like, how did you do that? As a bear? A bear?

KATE:

A very tiny bear.

ALI:

I was drugged. Good. I Flug a hot merge.

KATE:

Oh, man. Oh my gosh. So yeah. Anyway, how are you?

ALI:

I'm good. I just got the witch's blade. So that is in the back pretty.

Unknown:

Ah, I love that. Show me the other one. This is for you. Yeah. Or the?

KATE:

Oh, yeah. What's on the back of a hardcover of?

Unknown:

Oh, they're both gorgeous. Yeah,

KATE:

I love them both, obviously, but

Unknown:

ah, look good. Like this.

ALI:

They're so perfect. The names don't like perfectly line up and I know that's gonna bother some. Some people just one person. It's only got one person's gonna I know. I'm gonna get an email, but.

KATE:

But you know what, the books are the same height. That's like the RAM.

ALI:

Almost. The witches blade is slightly bigger. Mm hmm. It's like 500 more pages.

KATE:

That's so exciting. I'm super excited. Fifth,

ALI:

I have my heart cover up.

KATE:

It looks perfect. Next to high mountain CT too.

ALI:

Right? Don't they look great together. I love it. Um, so I think you can tell they're part of the same series, but they also, you know, distinguishable too. So for sure. Yeah. Anyway, that's, that's why I've got going on is coming out in three days. And when we're recording this, it'll be out by the time this comes out. But the soap but the paperbacks are already. They're already live. Because last, so last time, I press publish on the paperbacks, three days out, right. And then five days after I hit publish, I got a message saying we need you to prove that you own the intellectual property of this book and it's yours. And so then I had to send them back like showing that I owned by ISBN and things. And then that was like another two weeks. So it was like three weeks after the release date that that Amazon paper Next one up. And so this time I'm like, not again, like I know I'm, I'm both so certain that it would happen again. I had all the documentation ready to go. And so, so I was like five days out, I'm gonna hit publish on the paperbacks, and then within an hour within an hour they were live that was like, Oh my gosh, it's five days before. Oh my gosh, it was so useful. I've already gone on and bought the paperbacks because Amazon delivers so quickly and so they're gonna get it like two days before the actual release day.

KATE:

That's too bad though. So, you do the hard backs on Ingram Spark? Yes, and you do the paperbacks on on Amazon and Ingram and Ingram, but you if you're preorder paperbacks, are they are Ingram. So, when I feel like people want to know this, yes. So say you have Ingram sparks, they set up the the preorder through Amazon and people can pre order it through Amazon, but it's technically taken care of by Ingram Spark, right? It's fulfilled

ALI:

by the Ingram Spark distributor. Same with the hardcovers.

KATE:

Okay, and then you went back and also added the paperback to Amazon.

ALI:

Yeah, so you know how when you go to Amazon to buy things it'll say like it below it'll say like three new or four new and one used or whatever and you can like click on different distributors to buy them from it's like that so there's like the Amazon version and there's the Ingram Spark version. Yeah, and so now the Amazon version is live. But to be honest, the Ingram ones I don't like you know, a few people like really like the hard covers and buy the hard covers. But most of the my sales go through Amazon usually like are usually the Amazon paperback. So I don't sell as many of the Ingram ones, those are more for, like if people go to their like, favorite local bookstores or something and ask to buy them or, like if a library is stocking the books, they'll get it from Ingram. So that so so it's not like the same number of sales as people who are like, oh, I want to buy the book. And usually they buy it through Amazon. But yeah, it's nice that they have more alternatives.

KATE:

Yeah. But the initial pre over paperbacks would be distributed by Ingram Spark, and then everything after that will probably be distributed through Amazon.

ALI:

Yeah, it'll, it'll just depend. So if the if somebody buys a paperback through Barnes and Noble or through, like Target, online or Book Depository or something that they'll be getting an Ingram copy. Gotcha.

KATE:

Good to know, because I'm getting ready. I have, I have my list of things. I'm checking things off as I go, are you gonna do pre orders for your paperbacks? I am and so but remember, last time, I had a problem because of Ingram Spark just did not want to communicate with Amazon and I had an ISBN issue is like a whole big thing. And Ingram Spark didn't actually accept all the information until like a month later. Yeah, it was a total disaster. That was stressful. So this time, I'm setting up the preorder for the paperbacks through Ingram Spark first, and the e book through Amazon. And the e book is already actually loaded for the preorder, but I wanted to wait to press the button until I got my full wrap from Bianca, which she should have it next week, early next week. So I'm gonna do my big. I mean, by the time this comes out, everyone's gonna see it my big like, cover reveal, and title reveal. And I'll probably do a reader's group on Facebook after that, too. Oh, yeah, I'm

ALI:

excited.

KATE:

Hopefully, we'll see how it goes. I'm really hoping that going through Ingram Spark first this time, doesn't, you know, doesn't hinder anything. But you feel

ALI:

like we're just constantly I think this is we're gonna be doing this in 10 years, we're still going to be trying to like the next launch is always going to try and make up for the mistakes of the previous one like every single time

KATE:

forever. And I was texting. I was messaging yesterday. I was like, so I need this right? And then I would be like, oh, yeah, I need this. And you're like, do they need me for this

ALI:

conversation? By the time I picked up the phone, you'd already already figured it out. Wait, nevermind.

Unknown:

I already did well, because

KATE:

I also wanted to start setting up I bought I bought a big pack of ISBN and so I was going through and assigning ones for Book Two and blood on my name because I just wanted them done. Like, you know not have to worry, because you do have to wait. Like, I think it's like 12 hours for the ISBN to be attributed to a title. Oh, I don't know. Do Goucher Yeah, this is a US thing. Yeah. Cuz, like your lighting anytime it's you. Yeah. So I was doing that. And I was like, Okay, well, blood in my name is going to be a hardback, paperback, and an e book. And then to you, I was like, should I even do a paperback? But I already paid for the paperback. But I've already paid for the cover. So I was just like, Yeah, I'm just gonna do it shut up. Just I'm just gonna do it. I'm like, How

ALI:

much more is it

Unknown:

to do is to do the

ALI:

to wrap covers, it's like $50 more to do. The hard cover add on.

KATE:

It was only 40. Because I, I had my previous artists do blood on my name. And so he was kind enough to leave me in the same like price bracket that he had for the first cover of under the black banners. So he was like, yeah, so it's this much and an extra $40 for the hardcover wrap. And that still keeps you in that same bracket. And I was like, oh, okay, cool. Like, that's fine. But yeah, typically, his covers are like,

Unknown:

I think they've shot up to like, $500. Yeah, yeah.

KATE:

So I was just like, Oh,

Unknown:

thank goodness.

ALI:

But yeah, I mean, like, you don't like for to recover the cost of that $40? Is not that like an unachievable? Oh, great books to sell. So like, if it were $400 More to do like a hardcover app? I don't know if we need that. But like, for that amount, it's like, you know,

KATE:

10 bucks, right? Like, it's really not all that bad, especially if it's like, if it gets picked up by, you know, like, Barnes and Noble or something, and they're like, yeah, we'll stock this book for you stock like 10 of them or whatever. Like, there you go. There's the cost of that. That ran Yeah, exactly. So yeah, that's exciting. So have you picked a

Unknown:

date? For,

KATE:

for under black banners to? I really think it's going to be January 31. Yeah, I feel like that's a good date. That's kind of like a sweet spot for like the nursing program application. And my semester ends, December 17. So that'd be a good time for me to really, like, buckle down and get it done. And then also, hopefully have a good amount done on blood of my name. So I can hopefully publish that. Before me. Yeah, that's awesome.

Unknown:

This is I love that

ALI:

our topic today is writing buddies. And we're just like being an example. Like, reading buddies,

KATE:

this really is exactly do. Yeah. Because we are each other's writing buddies and critique partners and stuff like that. And it is really one of those things where you have to find the right person, and the right. Feel, because I feel like a big, I hear this a lot Whenever someone's like, I really thought I had a writing buddy, but they turned out to kind of be a jerk, and they critique the wrong things. And they really just tore my stuff apart and didn't give me like constructive criticism. Yeah, where if you have a good writing, buddy, you can kind of just go off on like all.

ALI:

That's all we do is go off. But you know, what I love is that we're both I think, you know, we're very different, you and I, and that I think plays to our strengths. Because like, we both catch different things. And we both have an eye for different stuff. And like, we're good at being like, like, I know, if you go like, Oh, I don't know about this thing, or what about this thing. I'm like, oh, cool, because that's usually like a blind spot of mine that I might not even like pick up on and vice versa. And I think that's why it works. And also because we like, we're friends we know, like it's it's never malicious. You know, it's never like, we're like, No, this is terrible. Like, Oh, what about if we do this, and it's almost like, I feel like a very little of it is us giving each other feedback or advice. And a lot of it's us asking questions of the other person of like, Oh, what are you going to try and do with that? Or how are you going to make that work? Or, you know, like, things like that. And it's more about pulling the other person out of their head?

KATE:

Yes, you do that for me a lot. And then sometimes I'll even like because I know, I know my limitations very well, because I'm a very, we've all realized that I am not a cinnamon roll person. And I have a really hard time writing really like gushy moments. And so like a couple was like a couple of weeks ago, maybe last week. I was like Alright, I'm gonna give you two scenarios. And I need you to tell me which of these two and you were just in. I figured which one you were gonna pick. But I needed to know if it gave you the goosebumps, like, you know what I mean?

ALI:

I was screaming at the phone. I was just like, and then, and then they could do this. And I was just like, I did this to happen. And I'm, like, all up in my fields about it. Like, yes. I have a feeling that it's like such a great, yes. People are like, that's what you want. Yeah, no, it's people that feel like super emotionally attached to that moment. Yeah.

KATE:

And I think as a writing, buddy, the rule of thumb is find someone who gets goosebumps when you tell them your like, your plot twists. Like, whenever you tell me something, and I'm like, Oh, my God, goosebumps. That's it. That's the one. Like, I know, that's the one.

Unknown:

Yeah, you know,

ALI:

when I told you the one for Book Three, which I'm writing now, and like, I was like, I don't know, I'm thinking of doing this. And you were like, yes. Good. Okay. I feel good. I feel like it's gonna be okay.

KATE:

Yeah, you have to trust your writing partner. And you also have to be able to like, kind of breathe with them. You know what I mean? Like, there's definitely times where you and I are both, like, in a really stressful situation. But we can kind of like decompress together, and then move forward. Like, sometimes that's like, just sitting on, like, on Zoom before we record and just like talking back and forth, and like, just letting it all come out.

ALI:

Yeah, I think you do, you need that. And I think sometimes it's just having somebody else to go, like, I'm also having a bad day. And like, that's okay. You know, it's okay, that we're both just having a rough time right now. And like, I think, feeling seen in that and knowing that, like you're not alone in it is is very helpful. And it helps you kind of move through it and be like, Okay, well, everything's awful. And

KATE:

there we go, we got to move fast. It also helps like, I think having a writing buddy is super important on like, other levels, too, because, you know, I have more background in like small shop business and like the business aspect of things, and you have more like, the actual publishing process, and like indie publishing process, and you have all these great,

Unknown:

like podcasts and resources, resources,

KATE:

the word I was looking for, so you have the words that I need, or just

Unknown:

do it Oh, you just do it. And so like, anytime I can,

KATE:

anytime I have to be like, wonder about something, I can always be like, hey, what do you think of this? And you're like, Well, I heard this on a podcast, I'm like, perfect. Tell me the podcast.

ALI:

I always have a thing to point people to I'm like, I've read this book, I read this thing, or I listen to this show that, and I always have something to be like, Oh, they talked about that on this thing. I know. It's super annoying, but also sometimes it's helpful, because that's variable have more resources. But yeah, it's true. It's like sometimes you just need to be like, like, oh, yeah, this thing. And then I'm, I like coming to you all the time with like, the business side of things, especially like, you know, with like, rejection sensitivity, dysphoria and stuff. I'm terrible with like, like, you're very good at just being like, Nope, this is what, like emails or messages you're very, like, clear and concise and to the point. And I'm like, Well, if you you know, if you just wanted to the you know, and it's like super painful, and you're just like, nope, and that's why you are

KATE:

email person,

ALI:

I have the two of us because I'm just like super Wofully. And you're just like, straight to the point.

KATE:

I am very good at emailing people kind. I wouldn't call them rejections. But it's more of like a, a way to be like, a placeholder, like, I really appreciate you doing A, B and C. But at the moment, we're doing XY and Z. So when we get to A and B, and C, we will contact you. That is so good. Thank you for being you.

ALI:

Thank you.

KATE:

I had to do that a lot in the small shop world. I had a lot of people constantly asking me, you know, being on my rec team or if they could have a discount or when's the next sale or if they could get a bulk discount that they pay me a ton of money or what you know, for like 100 things and I'm like I'm one person. And so I had to really like hone that skill. So I am very good at that and giving people very gentle redirection Yeah, it's like one of my strengths.

ALI:

You know, one of the hard things for me is like that I can't be like, I can't be everybody's writing, buddy, you know, and, and there's only so much time I have in the day to like put into like socializing and chatting with other people. That's why I love this podcast, because I feel like, we can have the same conversations that we have together with lots of people at once. And I feel like a lot of these conversations we do have, like, I have individually with other people all the time, too. And so I feel like the podcast is like a great resource in that sense. But it is, those things where it's like, you've got to, you've got to find your, like, your tribe, you've got to find a group of writing people. And then when you find the good ones, like you, you just got hold on, just cling on to it.

KATE:

Well, and also like you do here, but I feel like we do a really good job. Like if we hear a topic being talked about a lot. And, you know, amongst the Tick Tock writing community, I like to try to, you know, have us bring it into the podcast and talk about it here. Because I think we both have like, we usually have very interesting perspectives, and they're not the exact same all the time.

ALI:

Never, almost never.

Unknown:

So I love that we

KATE:

get to do that. And, you know, I do love that. I get the the messages every once in a while where it's like, I listened to your guys's podcast, and you sound so great. And I would love to hear your thoughts on this. I'm like, I would love to give you my thoughts. But unfortunately, I do not have the time to give you my thoughts today.

ALI:

But we'd love to record an episode about it. And we can do a whole thing for Yeah, exactly. It's like being able to like, chat with a lot of people at once. You know, instead of doing like individual diva DMS? Yes. You know, it's hard to get back to everybody. And I don't always have like the social bandwidth for like communicating with a lot of people on any given day. You know, it's like I kind of I'm, I see I'm a seeming extrovert, but I'm an introverted person. Yeah. So I feel that drain at the end. Yeah. So I have some people that I that I'm close with who like fill me up, and then other people who I feel like I enjoy connecting with, but it does, like kind of like, drain my energy. And so I have to be like, kind of protective of that balance. So I feel like that's an important thing to be thinking about too, with the writing communities like, it's okay to not go to, to hardcore into every space that you're in neither, you know,

KATE:

well, in your right, because there are a lot of people out there who are seeking advice for free. And as indie authors, we really want to help everybody, we really want to be a community. But yeah, we do have to, especially right now, with everything else going on, like pandemic and a lot of us are parents, we really do have to be more protective of our own time and space and mental health and what we can really commit to give to other people. Totally.

ALI:

And that's why I think with all I think this is something that I think comes to a lot of people as we get older too is that you realize that like, like quality friendships are more important than the quantity of friendships that you have. And for me, the ones that I try and like hang on to and cultivate are the ones that are I'm putting as much in as I'm getting back. You know, it's a there's a reciprocity in the relationships. And it's not I think we've all had experiences where we've, it's been completely one sided, and we've been giving, like so much of ourselves to somebody else. And so now I'm, I kind of see it a lot sooner. Just like I'm like, No, I can't, I can't be doing that, you know, anymore. That was that was for me when I was in my 20s. And now I can't I can't be doing that.

Unknown:

It takes it

KATE:

takes experience it takes it kind of takes getting burned to figure out those things, which sucks. But

ALI:

yeah, that's the thing is you got to jump into different like spaces, like there's Facebook communities, there's Tiktok communities for NaNoWriMo you met a lot of your friends through and so like, there's lots of different spaces to be meeting people and like kind of, then once you meet them, you kind of figure out who the people are that you really like, connect with and then you probably end up like forming your own little thing like doing critiques with each other, like forming closer relationships with those. But

KATE:

I will say that if you are if you yourself are looking for a critique partner or you're looking for a writing, buddy, you kind of have to first ask yourself Like, am I ready for critique? Am I going to accept the critique? Am I willing to do the work?

ALI:

Can I put that amount of time back into somebody else's writing?

KATE:

Yeah, in there definitely have been times where someone has asked me to like beta read for them. Or I was recently in a situation where someone asked me to art great for them. And I had a lot of critique for them, within like, the first few chapters, and come to find out that they had already heard that critique and decided that they didn't want to do anything about it, which was their own thing. Like, if that's what they're gonna do, that's fine. But it was basically just kind of wasting a lot of people's time, if you're not willing to take the critique and work on it. If multiple people are telling you, hey, you need to work on this, and you're still unwilling to do it, then you're kind of, you're just kind of wasting people's time. Yeah, it's

ALI:

like, and you should be very upfront about that. If you don't, if, if you're like, yes, is what I'm writing, take it or leave it, I'm not changing anything, you should be super upfront about that. And then give people ample opportunity to walk away if they don't like it. Because you're, instead of like, because I get people who will message me for like, you know, typos and arcs and stuff. And I'm so appreciative that they took the time to like, write those things down and send them to me, like that's way above and beyond just an average reading experience to be like giving that level of feedback. And to not appreciate it and not take it on board. I feel like it's just really like, not cool. And if you're, if you're Yeah, if you're not going to do that you should be like telling people, yeah, so that you're not getting these messages, and then going, Oh, well, I'm sorry, you wasted all this time putting together an eloquent response to why the scene wasn't working. And then one thing and then, especially if you're asking if you advertise it as asking for feedback, and then not not taking their feedback, that's like, that's the worst is when people are like, really asking for, for like, you know, I'm okay, tell me whatever, like, oh, you know, tell me this feedback. And then it's like feedback, like 10. Other people have told them and they're just like, thanks for that feedback. You know, I'm not I don't think I'm gonna change anything. It's like, well, why did you ask, why did you ask

KATE:

this? Exactly. And I think, you know, as writers and creators, we have to learn how to grow. And I say this all the time, growth is uncomfortable, like, it's meant to be uncomfortable. If it if you feel like you're very comfortable in, you know, in your own writing and in your own space, then you possibly aren't looking for the right people to help you grow, we could all grow,

ALI:

we could all change. That's such a good point. Because it's also about finding people to help push you in the right ways. And in the right direction. You know, it's like, you don't want people who are like, mean and hypercritical, like nobody wants that. But you also don't want people who just say everything you do is awesome all the time and never have any ability to like elevate your work. And so when I think we all kind of instinctively like know who those people are. And so when you find those people who kind of like, help push you in the right ways, those are the writing buddies, you want to like, hang on to for sure. And also,

KATE:

if you need to be totally like gassed up and you need someone to like read whatever it is and tell you how great it is. Find a reading buddy. Yeah, find someone who reads who's willing to read your writing and tell you how great it is. You know who those people are, they're your best young from, you know, high school or whatever College. They're the people that you've known for so long, who will do anything you want just to you know, just tell you're awesome. Those are the people that you ask to gas you up. But if you're going to be writing highly people, yeah, you need the height person. But you also need someone who's going to help you grow balance. Yes.

Unknown:

Yeah, exactly. For sure. Right. Well, that was excellent. That was a great episode.

ALI:

That was a great example of how you and I go off big reading buddies. This is a perfect example. Yes. Shall we go chat with another writing buddy of ours? Let's go. Okay. Well, we are super excited to welcome our guest, Catherine Swift. Hi, Catherine. Thanks for being on the show. Thank you for having me. So could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your author journey so

Unknown:

far? Absolutely. So I am a Canadian indie author. So far I've published one book, my debut novel is called Let it rain. And it is a steamy, medieval romance full of representation and diversity. Those are two things that I'm super passionate about. I've been writing since I was probably four or five years old. And as you know, most of us say, and it's true. And I just finally decided I was turning 27. And I got the idea for this book a few months after my daughter was born. And I did wrote the first draft for NaNoWriMo. And I was like, Okay, I'm going to publish it. I've written like, 15 books before this, but I've never done it, you know, just just did it. And I was like, I'm doing it. I'm going to publish it by 30. And I turned 30 In April, and the book was published in June. And the reason it took that extra time was because I wanted to publish it for Pride Month, because the main characters queer, and I was like, let's do it for Pride Month. I thought that was super cool. That's awesome. We love that. That's great.

ALI:

So awesome. I love that too. Yes, here for the queer app. Could you tell us a little bit about why you chose to Self Publish?

Unknown:

Yeah, cuz I'm a control freak, type a Aries. The idea, I'm also very impatient. So the idea of taking my manuscript, my baby manuscript and handing it over to somebody, and then being like, I'm gonna cut this, and I'm gonna change this ad. And then the fact that we would still have to do the marketing anyway, I was just like, I'll just stay in my happy place. Oh, intense control. And I'll publish my title that I want. And I'll publish it how I want. And it's all on my terms. Granted, it was so much extra work, you know, how much so much extra work, but I don't know if I'll ever do traditional, honestly, I don't. Yeah, it's a great feeling

KATE:

of being able to like keep that control into yourself, especially with like, the way that most traditional publishers are going. Like, you're already doing all that work. So that makes sense.

ALI:

And also being able to pick your release days, like you were saying, like choosing to release on Pride Month. And having that flexibility to like, have your stories come out when you want them to, I think is also like really awesome that you have the plan right from the inception of the story all the way through to its release.

Unknown:

Until and the other thing that really got me was, I heard I don't know how true this is. But I heard that if they take your first book, but they don't like want the sequels, then you can never unless you want to fight them to get your rights back. You can't publish your book, like the second book or the third book, you're you're stuck, your characters are gone. And I was just like, I can't do that. Like this was supposed to be a standalone novel. And then I got about halfway through draft two. And I was like, my characters talk to me in my head. I don't know if you. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. So my one character, he was like, Well, I want a prequel book. And I was like, Dude, there's not even know. Like, can you die in the first book? Like, yeah. Think there's like 19 characters in my book or something? And so and then my other character who she was just like, the king's mistress in the beginning, she was like, No, I want a sequel. And I was like, Yeah, okay, I can't traditionally publish like, I'm not even gonna try it. I'm just gonna do it myself.

ALI:

Yeah, I love how so you're able to, like pivot for your readers to if they say we want a story about this character, you can just say, okay, like, he's gonna head off in that direction. So yeah, being able to kind of like control what stories you tell, and one I think is really awesome. And so

Unknown:

like you with all of your, like, your, your crossover stories, it will not cross over, but like, I'm just watching you release stuff. And I'm like, what, like, what are you doing? Like, how are you doing

ALI:

this? What is even happening? I know it, I mean, like, seriously, the high mountain quote was going to be a standard. Now it's 10 different bodies of work. So and, and like other episodic series, so you know, it just keeps kind of like spiraling. But I love that and I love that you can kind of like give each character their moment to like really kind of fully shine and flesh them out and that each gauge could or doesn't have to be like a side character and stuff as well that you can like take each one and give them their moment to be the main characters of their stories and stuff. So I've been having fun with that. But can you talk us through you know, the self publishing is a bit like a choose your own adventure novel, and each of us does it slightly differently. But could you talk us through what you did for your editing process from when you like reached the end to getting it out and published.

Unknown:

Yeah, so I had I did developmental editing myself because I have like some training, which is professional by any means, but I do some training. And then I probably did 11 drafts before it went to my editor. And then we she sent it back to me because we were like getting really close to crunch time, she had some delays in her personal life. So I sent her the first act, and then she sent it back to me while I sent her the second act. And then back and forth, kind of until we got to the end. And then I went back through a couple times, we had some miscommunication issue, they'll say, and so that I had to go back and edit it. And it was like three days till release. And I'm still like, tapping away and I'm just losing my mind losing. It all worked out kind of while I was going in and editing those final edits. There's a to like the number two in my book somehow. Just random number two, random number two. I was I thought of doing a fun scavenger hunt on Tik Tok. I'm like, hey, if anybody can find like the random number two attention to it, you know, cuz like, Yeah, somebody will see it. So I'm working on a second edition now because I'm perfectionist and I can't leave the kids leave it for the two. Just for the two Well, no, cuz there's other stuff, but nothing major. It's just, yeah, it's when you can you read and you're like, oh, that certain structure could just be like,

KATE:

a little bit different. Yeah,

ALI:

I have one that's going to be in the witches blade that somebody messaged me today. And it's too late. Now it's like already, like, uploaded everywhere. And so I can't, like, fix it. And it's just, it's the there is there's one word is missing a you. And I wonder if anybody else will see it. But I'm like, Well, I kind of said to her, I was like this is just gonna have to exist. It's too late. Yeah, it's offloading process

Unknown:

is a pain in the butt. It is

KATE:

on how you're going to do it. Like if you're going to go through Ingram Spark and have to redo like the uploading process are going to charge you an extra What, like 50 bucks to do it. Or something like

ALI:

thinking that like, it's not like that I've just like hallucinated me uploading content. And that it's not there. Like I keep thinking like, it's gonna take over to like the day could be like, Did I do it? Is it there? Like,

Unknown:

fever publishing dreams? Like,

ALI:

like, yeah, just gotta wake up stressed out in the middle of the night for the next five days.

Unknown:

Honestly, I feel like publishing my book was like, giving birth like, I've like, I feel like I birthed it. It was the burnout was very similar to when you bring home a newborn from the hospital. Like I needed like a fourth trimester aftercare program. I was like, why is this you know, you don't make make a hospital bed, when you've got enough to do lists that like this. Well, it may cost a little bag on it, I was insane how much stuff there is to do. If you want to do it properly, right? It all has

KATE:

to be in like a specific order. Like right now I'm getting I'm not even technically done writing book to under the Black Panthers. And I got my cover yesterday. And I was like, Okay, well, I really want to set up the, you know, the pre orders, but this time, I'm going to do it a little differently. I really want Ingram sparks to have the paperbacks and then move everything over to Amazon. Well, the way I have to do that exact at the blurb I have to have the ISBN number to be able to do that I need to have the what else is on my list? I have that yeah, the page count I have to have. I have to assign my ISBN and Amy. And I need my verb, my blurb pre proofer ahead so I can give it to the cover designers so she can finish the wrap to do all this. It is one of those things where it's like if

ALI:

you're all these chicken eggs situation that you really have

KATE:

to like focus on like the exact line. But yeah, I mean, I totally get you with the list. I've got like lists and lists of things.

Unknown:

It's and then you need lists for how many lists you have. So you can keep all your freaking lists straight.

KATE:

I mean, this is a reminder that there is technically a list on our Facebook page, if anyone's looking at our group. Anyway. So you said you wrote this book during NaNoWriMo, which is awesome, because I actually also wrote under the Black Panthers during NaNoWriMo last year. Do you plan on doing nano this year?

Unknown:

I am doing nano this year? Yes. So I'm writing the sequel burn terrain right now. But I'm taking a break for nano and I'm going to take a book that I wrote seven years ago. And I'm going to take it and just like I thought it was just gonna be a quick polish up, which is why I chose it for Nano. So I was like, oh just go in and like I'll get a 50,000 word count super easy. It'll be an easy nano win this year and I can take a break from medieval because this is the we can tell BREAKING romance. It's a complete rewrite you guys, it's a complete rewrite. Like, every, like my first wrote it seven years ago, everybody's white and everybody's straight. I can't do that anymore. Just characters names I have to change. Not everything the story is gonna like it. It's just gonna be so much more now.

KATE:

So yeah, cuz he learned a lot more. Yeah, exactly.

Unknown:

So yeah, my aim is because it's already written. And I feel like this is kind of like coming in like draft six, seven kind of thing. that'll hopefully get them spring. And then I'll be able to bring some more contemporary readers in because Let it rain is very nice. You know, you have to like medieval swords, horses, etc. To get in there. So the next book will be a little bit more mainstream. Sure. Yeah. A was a British rock star romance is

KATE:

Oh, everybody loves that. Yeah, that's a favorite for sure. Favorite trope? So do you have any advice for budding authors out there?

Unknown:

Join tick tock and find your community and fall in love with so many people. And honestly, like, I don't think that I would have been not that I'm saying I'm massively successful, because I'm not. But I don't think I would have been as happy and successful with my book release, if I didn't have like you guys and everybody else who we've met, right? Like, how freaking amazing is our community? It's bonkers. And so, you know, you have those people where you like, you'll post a tic tock, or post on Instagram and be like, I'm losing my mind. And somebody will be like, Yeah, we did it like we've been there. And just knowing you're not alone, I don't know what your guys's personal life experiences have been. But like, I'm the only writer I know. Like, there's nobody who I can go to and be like, I don't know how to, like, do my book cover, or I don't know what to do with this plot point where you're like, what's a plot point. But having somebody who, like coworkers who get you, that is so important, you can take as many writing courses as you want. But like, for me, the support system is what got me from writing the first draft to actually pushing publish. That was my experience.

KATE:

I love that we love obviously, we love that

ALI:

best community, I really think it is. And it's just like this amazing amount of support. And it's just so validating to have that kind of empathy from other people have them being able to see you and go like, I know what it feels like to feel this way. And I know how difficult this thing is and to have people to reach out to and cheer you on who know what a big deal it is, when you have successes to is just like, it's the best thing. It really is like, awesome having having writing buddies and friends for sure. Absolutely.

KATE:

It's it's even kind of different. I've been in writing groups before, before I really. I met I met the right people in the Tiktok community, I feel like I was in the Tiktok community of writers for a long time. And then I just didn't really find like that community until after I had joined a like writers group. And the writers group was great. But they weren't necessarily like they weren't the same genre. We didn't necessarily have similar voices. They were all really fantastic. And they'd all been a group together for a lot longer. So I was the outsider. And as welcoming as they were, it still felt like I was the outsider, like, like a month later. I was definitely like, I think I just need to carve out my own little space. Totally find my own people. And then Alli came along and

ALI:

logged on to this is what

KATE:

this feels like. Yes, we've talked about this before, though. Like you really do need to find your writing, buddy. You're like you're a person

ALI:

who can panic call when you get an error message on KDP at 2am. Yep. We've all

Unknown:

been you don't even have to like both be indie authors. Like my best writing friend. She's going through with that Twitter thing. Where they went, Oh, yeah. Oh, that's worse. Yeah. Yeah, she's got right now. Yes. And she's like slowly getting rejections. So she's sending me messages. And she's like, you're prepping for Nano, but she's not doing Nano. So you can still be there even if you like, you don't have the same voice or you don't have the same goals or whatever. And I think that that's really cool too, is that no matter where we're coming from, whether we've got one book out, or 15 as long as we're all kind nice people, which most of us are, we can just be there together and I just I just push I'm obsessed. I'm obsessed.

ALI:

I've always thought that was really strange when people want to create these like strange dividing lines because I feel like like we're all like at the end of the day. We're We're all storytellers like. And I feel like that's a very unique sort of person, people who want to create stories that they like put out into the world for people and however you go about getting your stories out there, I feel like those things that kind of connect us are so much greater than, like, how we go about doing that, you know, so I just really love like, seeing everybody on all of their different journeys, all doing different things, and just kind of like, finding their own goals is just, it's the best. I love that.

Unknown:

Absolutely, for sure.

KATE:

So when you're not writing, what do you do to procrastinate?

Unknown:

Oh, wonderful question. Well, I don't know if it counts as procrastination. But I have a three year old daughter who I'm like, amazing thing on the planet. So I was gonna call her more of like, a lovely distraction. Who interrupts me million times a day. But other than her, I homeschool her so that takes up quite a bit of time. And then I'm also a lifestyle wedding boudoir photographer. And, you know, making 1000 Pinterest boards and making 1000 lists and YouTube and writing books I shouldn't be writing. I should be focusing on one book. Though it

KATE:

sounds like I mean, I did a little bit of photography. And someone actually asked me this once. Would you ever see yourself like taking the photos for covers?

Unknown:

Want to show bad coverage designed to cover photos? I was talking to my husband about that this morning. I was like, because there's a girl on I believe it's girl on Tik Tok, who was posting. She's like, I'm a photographer. And I decided I want to start taking cover photos. And I was like, I want to do that. That's amazing. I couldn't like why are you going to careers? Yeah,

KATE:

you could take the you could actually take

Unknown:

the photos for your covers. And that'd be great. Yeah, I would. I would love that. Yes. But then I got to start a whole other thing. And just well see where as indie authors, we just do.

KATE:

We're we're users, creators. I was listening to a podcast that Ali has been telling me to listen to it. It was like

Unknown:

it was the the podcast host was like, We are all artisanal creators. We're not just writers. We're artisanal creators. Oh, yeah, that makes sense. That encompasses way fancier than it is. But yeah,

KATE:

well, it makes more sense. Like, it's not just that we're writers or that we're indie authors, we're creators. And, you know, we are making everything by hand, we're making the marketing happen we're making, making the pretty fancy covers happen and, and, you know, typically, we're doing the formatting. And that, in itself is an art form that most people, you know, don't know how to do, unless you're actually doing you know, trying to get it done. So, you know, we're all I like,

ALI:

the phrase or like the term creative entrepreneurs. Yeah. Because I feel like that like because we do we take all these things that were we put our creativity into and have all of these different like side incomes and side hustles and like different things that we're doing and like I don't, I don't think that many people are just doing one thing you know that we talk to you. There's so many people who are expressing themselves creatively in so many different ways. So

Unknown:

I don't think creative people know how to just quit like or not quit, but like just be in one thing. That's not my experience anyway. Which is hilarious because I actually

KATE:

have a tattoo that says just be but no idea had

Unknown:

ended though. Just be gentle ever you want to be today. Right?

KATE:

Sharpie every every day just today, I'm just going to be a writer, a mom, a chauffeur. Funny. Oh my gosh, I

ALI:

love it. Well, it has been so fabulous. having you on the show. We'd love chatting with you. Can you tell our listeners where they can find you online?

Unknown:

My main website is author Catherine Swift, calm. But make sure you spell my name right because my mom didn't want me to have cool keychain. So she spelt my first name weird. So 80 Yeah, you get it. So it's C A T H R I N E, then swift like Taylor swift.com Obviously. And I'm all over Tik Tok, as you've heard me say, as well as Instagram. So, I love I love talking on social media. So come say hi again, thank you.

ALI:

See you on Tik Tok.

KATE:

Thank you all for joining us today. You can Find this for all podcasts live on your phone and on our YouTube channel. You can also reach us

ALI:

at our author websites. My website is aka Mulford

KATE:

calm and mines kal morrison.com. Thank you again to our guests Catherine swift into our Patreon members. If you'd like to become a patreon member, you can go to patreon.com/indies fully booked. If you enjoyed our show, please consider leaving us a like and review new episodes every Monday and you can join our Facebook group at Indie fully booked podcast.

ALI:

See you next time.