Hazel is a short story writer and is Caribbean. Find out how she knows her story is "working." And check out her marketing ideas; I particularly favor the "telephone" idea.
I wanted to start writing fiction in my early teens, but didn’t actually start writing short stories until after I had finished my first degree. Caribbean writers in English were beginning to come into their own, so I realized that it was possible to become a writer.
There were lots of vibrant changes taking place in my country that I wanted to write about. After I won a few awards in a local competition, I decided to take writing more seriously, but having a fulltime job made it difficult to write as much as I would have liked.
How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or do you prefer writing freehand?
I am still on my PC, most of the time. The computer is good. It makes editing a breeze.
What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?
Favorite part; seeing the characters come alive as I write. Very often they tell me where they want to go, what they want to do. Least favorite; revising and proofreading
How do you come up with your characters? Why would readers want to get to know them?
My characters come from my society and culture, sometimes from a scene I have witnessed, or a statement someone makes. When people know that you write, they go out of their way to tell you unusual stories. However, sometimes there is a theme I want to explore and the characters just jump into the story as if they have a real life of their own and want their story told. This often makes them larger than the book life, and very interesting. When I find, on re-reading, that I am drawn to a character, I know the story is working.
What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?
For my eBooks, word of mouth, social marketing and any free avenues I can find on the Internet. I have even tried putting info about a new book on my telephone answering service.
How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?
I am retired, so I work at different hours of day and night, as the muse dictates.
What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?
I have three eBooks on Amazon -
My Darling You
When Times are Strange
and I just put out Mr. King's Daughter.
This is a YA level modern folktale from Jamaica. I write for both adults and children.
Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.
I have two unfinished novels for adults, which I have to start concentrating on. They require a bit of research, which is probably the holdup.
What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?
Read as much as you can in the genre which interests you. There are many free books available on the Internet. Also, read as much as you can about the writing process. Again, there are many, many sites on the Internet giving free advice on how to go about this. Don’t doubt yourself and your ideas. Put them in writing and then go through the honing process. My first drafts as often quite horrible, but once I have it down, it becomes easy to re-write. AND get an editor before submitting your work anywhere.
Thank you, Hazel! Learn more about Hazel at: