Free Author Interview: Leigh Lane

Where can we find your book?
You can find my most recent release World-Mart online at Amazon, although it will be available soon through more online retailers, such as Barnes and Noble.  Here is a link to my Amazon author page.
How much does it cost?
The paperback is $10.99 and the Kindle/ePub is $4.99.
Tell us a little about your book.
World-Mart is a dystopia inspired by the growing role of corporations in government.  It imagines a world in which “Corporate” owns everything and everyone is reduced to a bar code on a nametag.  The story follows one family in their struggle to survive in a world that is literally crumbling all around them.
Do you have any upcoming projects?
Yes.  I’m currently writing a speculative horror/psychological thriller.  Sorry, but this one is top-secret until I’m finished with it.
What has your journey as a writer been like?
It has been a roller-coaster ride.  I’ve been writing ever since I was a child.  I tried to sell a screenplay to Warner Bros. when I was fourteen, which served as my first taste of rejection.  It was a bitter lesson for a fourteen-year-old, but it only fed my determination.  I wrote my first novel shortly thereafter, and so began my many years of writing, querying, getting rejected, and writing some more.  I sold my first novel a few years ago to a small press, which was exciting, only to learn that selling a book to a publisher is a piece of cake compared to selling your published book to the rest of the world.  For me, though, writing in itself is part of the journey.  I feel enriched as a human being for what I’ve written as well as what I’ve learned along the way.
Why did you choose to self-publish?
I self-published because I wanted a venue for my more artistic (less marketable) books.  I write for many reasons, but the most important to me is the desire to make a difference in this world.  When it comes to my speculative fiction, what I write is not always pretty.  Sometimes it’s downright ugly, but it’s always with purpose.  Dystopia is not a mass market genre—but sometimes publishing a book isn’t about fitting into the mass market, but rather the importance that book may have in the larger scheme.  It’s about making art for art’s sake.  I wrote World-Mart to be read under the stars by philosophers, to be analyzed in college classrooms, and to affect the mind of every reader who chooses to board my crazy little ride.
Would you do it again?
Absolutely.  There’s no greater feeling in the world than to hear from a reader who you’ve never met say, “This book changed me.”
Please share some advice to help future authors.
Don’t be so eager to publish that you lose sight of the important details.  Don’t try to be your own editor, or you’ll end up shooting yourself in the foot.  Don’t rely on spell/grammar check unless you want a grammatical mess.  Don’t attempt to create your own cover art unless you really are that artistically inclined.  Make sure you have gone over your manuscript several times, not just a few, and give yourself a good month between readings.  Look for words you can cut; most of the time, less truly is more.  When you are ready to publish, seek out reviewers, as many as you can, and take bad reviews with a grain of salt.
What drives you to write?
I appease several muses, each with their own demands.  An idea will drive me nuts if I don’t “release” it in a timely manner.  Moreover, I’m driven to write—period.  It is what I was born to do.  Writing keeps me sane.
What criticisms have helped you grow as a writer?
We all have our bad habits, and I’m grateful to all those who have helped over the years to point out mine.  Editors and peers helped me to identify amateur errors, such as “telling” instead of “showing,” using too much passive voice, and overusing certain words (we all have them).  I went back to college and earned my English degree when I realized I could not write what I wanted to write on talent alone.  I took an advanced grammar class.  I took advice and criticism from wherever I could find it, swallowing my pride at every turn.  It’s made all the difference.
Leigh M. Lane writes mixed-genre science fiction, with an emphasis on allegory and social commentary.  Her provocative flair is reminiscent of the works of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Olaf Stapledon, Ray Bradbury, and H. G. Wells.  While her works often mesh the unreal and the profound with gritty realism, her themes are also insightful and timely and her stories fast-paced yet complex.  She currently has two self-published titles available, as well as six novels and eight anthology contributions published through small press under a different name.  For more about her and her writing, visit her website: http://www.cerebralwriter.com.

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