Posted by L J Grandi on January 2, 2014
I’m super excited to be kicking off the Indie and Proud campaign by hosting an interview with fellow author Ingrid Hall. Woohoo, here we go… Which part of the world do you live in Ingrid?
Hello or G’day as I think you greet each other down under…I am REALLY excited to be firing the opening salvo of Indie and Proud with you right now! I am from Newcastle Upon Tyne which is in England, very close to the Scottish Borders.
What is the title/ genre of your latest book, and what inspired you to write it.
My latest book is a novella called The Tunnel Betwixt… it is not published yet, however it is scheduled for release imminently. It revolves around Julia, a young woman who as a result of a horrific accident finds herself catapulted into the tunnel that we go through when we die and is all about her near death experience. I was inspired to write this in part due to a similar experience I had when a routine operation went badly wrong in my mid-twenties and I was inches away from death, however because of the quirky nature in which I write then Julia’s journey is most definitely unique!
Do you find the writing process challenging, or are you constantly bombarded with ideas?
I think most writers at some point or another find the writing process challenging, however if I am having one of those days I don’t beat myself up about it, I simply move onto one of the many other stories that I am developing! I think because I started seriously writing later in life (I was 41 when I published my first novel) then I have clocked up the life experience that I needed and I have several stories bubbling away at different stages of development in my head at any one time. I am pretty focused though and have the whole of 2014 mapped out in terms of what I will be writing and a fairly solid idea about what will be coming in 2015.
How do you create your characters – are they based on people you know, aspects of yourself, or are they entirely fictitious?
I let my characters develop themselves. They quite literally come to me when I am sleeping and I have some very interesting conversations with them! Irene Wilde is a little dead grandma who finds herself in the afterlife, I love her to bits but she can also be a pain in the backside at times because when she goes off into one, then she simply won’t shut up. Julia, my lead character from The Tunnel Betwixt… is obviously much younger and is more refined than Irene. Of course there are elements of me in all of my characters, I think any author that says otherwise is lying through their teeth however those traits are sufficiently mashed, I think, so that the characters have their own outright identity.
Have you always wanted to write, or is this something new for you?
I have always known that I was put on this planet to write however for the first four decades of my life, I simply couldn’t cut it! I used to lock myself away in my bedroom as a child, or hide under the kitchen table and dream up stories. As a teenager I kept really detailed diaries but binned them all when a boyfriend at the time read them and found some unfavourable stuff in there about him! During my early to mid –twenties I wrote a lot of stuff, mostly autobiographical as at that point, I hadn’t grasped the art of storytelling. I also took some creative writing classes at around that time and met some fabulous people but hated being told by the tutor what I had to write each week! Life then got in the way and I didn’t really write at all for over ten years until an emotional meltdown unexpectedly put me back on track…
Do you write a synopsis/outline before you start your books, or do you just jump in and let the story take you on its own journey?
With Granny Irene’s Guide to the Afterlife – Revenge – I was at such a bad, raw place in my life that I simply sat down and let it all come out. 250,000 words later and I published the book however then realised that it was way too long and needed some tweaking, so I have broken it down into parts. I have republished part 1 and parts 2 and 3 will be released at some point either later in 2014 or early 2015. I like to think that The Tunnel Betwixt is more structured stream of consciousness. I knew where the stepping stones where when writing it however I wasn’t afraid to wander slightly off track, knowing full well that I would always be able to find my way back. I am now in the process of tightening it up and feel that I have had a much better grip on the entire process this time. I have an outline in my head for my first foray into erotica as my alter ego Luna Ballantyne which I will be working on and then releasing during 2014.
Ingrid If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I am hoping that The Tunnel Betwixt is going to come out as near damned perfect as possible! I do definitely have regrets about Granny Irene, looking back I know that I published ahead of time and it was a real test of ego to rework and then republish. That said, it was a learning process which I feel that I have wholeheartedly benefited from because instead of breaking me or making me quit, it actually served to make me stronger. I am definitely now on my correct life path and I will keep on writing and bending those genres until the day I die. For the first time in years, I am really excited about the future and I am incredibly optimistic about 2014.
Did you learn anything from writing your book, if so what was it?
I have learnt lots from writing both of my books. First and foremost I have learned never to under estimate the need to edit, edit, edit. I have also learned to take what people say about me on the chin. You can’t whack a healthy dose of constructive criticism if it is delivered correctly. Accept the positives, learn from the negatives, ignore the nutters and then move on. I know who I am and I am incredibly comfortable in my own skin.
What do you love about being an author?
Well, that is a question and a half isn’t it? I think I should answer in two parts! In general I love the fact that every single day I wake up and I step into worlds that are entirely of my own creation. I get to interact on every single level with characters that have sprung from my soul. I also love the fact that with my writing, I am in control. In terms of specifically being an indie author, I love the freedom and flexibility that I have in not having to answer to an agent or a publisher. I love the fact that I decide what I write and that I can publish my books and make them available worldwide in a heartbeat…There are downsides however I am not going to focus on that!
Do you have a special routine to get in the mood for writing, or do you just go for it?
I prefer to do the creative stuff, the actual story writing early in the morning, anything from 5am and no later than 2pm. Editing, tweaking, I can do that anytime but the pure, raw creative stuff seems to flow when I am up with the birds.
If you could give some advice to a budding author what would it be?
Know who you are and be true to yourself. Don’t get downhearted because of criticism but don’t be so arrogant that you think your work is above criticism! Always remember that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, accept it graciously, take from it whatever you can and then move on. I would also urge budding writers to think carefully about the path that they wish to take. Do they want to write purely for themselves, or do they want to be commercial? It’s a tightrope that we walk and if a writer only wants to work within one specific genre then they need to think very carefully about how financially it is all likely to pan out.
What are three things you can’t live without?
Easy, that would be my husband and my two children!
If you could have dinner with three people (either alive or dead) who would they be and why?
Well, you obviously so that we could compare notes! J.K Rowling because of the way she just took over the world with her Harry Potter books and Ingrid Bergman because I would like to meet the woman that I was named after!
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what two books would you want with you?
Gone with the Wind because even after all of this time I still love Scarlett O’Hara and it is my all time favourite book and also Fifty Shades of Grey, because in spite of threatening to read it a million times over, I still haven’t actually read it!
What do you do for fun?
Watch silly reality shows and soaps with my daughter. Annoy my teenaged son. Get ridiculously drunk (even at my age) with my best friend and hang out with my husband.
If you weren’t a soon to be best-selling author you would be…….
A best- selling author, silly!
What are you reading now?
Because I review indie books for my blog, I always have at least two on the go at any one time. Right now it is Beautiful Sorrow, a memoir by Jenn London and Sex in the Title by Zack Love.
Is there any special message you’d like to share with your readers?
Expect the unexpected!
How can we contact you or find out more about your books?
You can find me at www.ingridhall.com on Twitter @authoringrid and
What can we expect from you in the future Ingrid?
You can expect The Tunnel Betwixt… my novella which is due out imminently. Beyond that you can expect my first paranormal erotic novel based around the Newcastle witches writing as Luna Ballantyne as well as Part 2 of Granny Irene’s Guide to the Afterlife, Revenge beyond that, well, I have lots bubbling away in the cauldron that is my mind…
AWESOME!! That was a fantastic interview Ingrid, thank you so much! Hmm I love getting into the mind of an author. Now the next stop on the Indie & Proud campaign is on the 9th of January when DZC will be hosting Daniel Klock. So don’t miss out on it, check it out at http://www.dzc-books.co.uk
You can also keep up to date with sizzling snippets at the Indie and Proud Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/indieandproud