This week on Paper Hangover, we welcome Leanne Beattie author of CAGE OF BONE.
Leanne’s Blog is aptly named ‘Writing to Save my Soul,’ she hits home with her creativity and enthusiasm for writing, I hope it will rub off just interviewing her.
CAGE OF BONE is an indie release for Leanne, like many of our authors featured in the next month, working on book promotion is tiring but fulfilling.
The message behind CAGE OF BONE is one we can all recognize, it may not be through the same medium as suicide but denying our feelings is an all to familiar fall back. Learning to deal with feelings, of grief, unhappiness or self-loathing are all lessons we could all have used at some time in our lives.
Leanne, Where did the idea for CAGE OF BONE come from?
I am very influenced by music and get a lot of ideas from lyrics. CAGE OF BONE grew out of a phrase from the Jann Arden song Will You Remember Me? At first I thought I would be writing about someone with an eating disorder but eventually the book turned into the story of a girl eaten up with grief.
Tell us about CAGE OF BONE.
CAGE OF BONE is a young adult novel about a 16 year-old girl, Ronnie Campbell, as she tries to cope with her sister’s suicide. It’s an emotional story because Ronnie is very confused about the death. Her sister was the quintessential “golden girl” in high school: popular, smart and going places, so her suicide leaves Ronnie struggling to find answers. On top of everything, Ronnie’s parents are getting divorced and her father is starting a new family with another woman, so Ronnie feels abandoned and pushed aside. At an age when other kids are dating and going to parties, Ronnie is facing some pretty heavy burdens.
Once I had the basic story idea, I got an image of a girl who seems tough on the outside but is really hurting. Her toughness is all a façade. I think a lot of people can relate to that because everybody is suffering in some way. Griffin McNay, her love interest, is the ideal boy for Ronnie: cute, creative and understanding. He shows her there is more to life than what she is experiencing right now. Her best friend, Danielle, accepts Ronnie as she is, flaws and all, and has great faith in her.
CAGE OF BONE was released as an e-book on Amazon.com and Smashwords.com in May 2011. There will also be a print version available in late July.
What path led you to self-publishing? How does it feel to go it alone? Any advice?
I have a really good friend who has been an independent musician for many years and I was always fascinated by the process he went through of creating music and sharing it with the world. Because of him, I understood I didn’t need to wait for an agent to validate my writing by offering me representation—I could do it all myself.
As a self-published author I have total control of my writing career, everything from creating the product (the book) to editing, cover design, and marketing. It takes a lot of confidence and energy to self-publish because if you don’t do something yourself, it doesn’t get done. You have to have complete faith in your work to be able to sell it to others.
I am very active on Twitter (my handle is JoyMagnet) where I have developed a lot of good relationships with writers and readers, so I don’t feel like I am going it alone. My Twitter friends have been great at sharing my work with their followers and I do the same for them. It’s a very cooperative community and we share the ups and downs of being indie authors. I also have a Facebook author page, a blog and I have listed my book on Goodreads.
My advice would be to make connections with other writers and build a community long before your book is released. Don’t be afraid of sharing information because in the end it all comes back to you. By helping others you help yourself.
CAGE OF BONE is available here: www.amazon.com and here: Smashwords.com
You can find Leanne on Twitter @JoyMagnet
Blog: www.leanneardellebeattie.wordpress.com Or on Facebook
Thank you so much Leanne for joining us today on Paper Hangover.