The Writer's Life Chats with Maria Lucia author of Liberation Book One of the Andrusian Chronicles



 
About Maria Lucia:  

Born in Havana, Cuba, Maria Lucia immigrated to the United States in 1960. A University of Memphis education graduate and a professional musician and vocalist, she moved deeply into the study of music and launched a very successful musical career. She spent many years in private practice, facilitating her own seminars and counseling on creativity. Her experience includes programs for gifted children in the public school system and creativity seminars for musicians at the university level. She has been a musical director for church programs, a composer of music, and a producer of concerts. She has traveled nationally, performing and delivering seminars for more than twenty years.  Lucia has just relocated to Phoenix, AZ. The revised edition of her novel Liberation, Book One of the Andrusian Chronicles debuts at Changing Hands Bookstore in Phoenix on July 21st 2011.

Liberation tour page at Pump Up Your Book!

Purchase the book in kindle or book format at Amazon


Welcome to The Writer's Life, Maria Lucia Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

A: I started writing late in life. I never really dreamt that I would be creating a trilogy, not in my wildest dreams. I was a musician and a spiritual teacher. Those were my areas of focus. But after I moved to Washington D.C. and had lived there a while a story began brewing inside of me that would not take no for an answer. I felt like George Lucas with Star Wars, just doing the best I could long hand. The story came in sections and downloaded itself as fast as my little fingers could handle it. I obviously moved to the computer and began to capture what is now the Andrusian Chronicles, the story about the races and worlds of love.

Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

A: My novel is an out of the box creation. It doesn’t follow a traditional recipe. It combines science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, and contemporary politics into a powerful metaphysical story.
.I wrote it because the Andrusian races of love wouldn’t leave me alone! They wanted their story told. They followed me around all over D.C. until one day I gave in. I also wrote it because I felt that our planet needed to hear stories about other worlds that were different from ours. That had different societal structures that worked; worlds that were built form the heart in which violence just simply didn’t exist.

What kind of research was involved in writing (please italicize book title here – no caps or quote marks)?

A: There was a lot of research involved because of the topics that were discussed in the story. They ranged from paranormal investigations, to American Founding fathers, to our galaxy and the structure of it, to the stories and dating of current world issues and the countries and people involved.  I had help but it took a while to compile it for the story.

Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?

A: It has been a bumpy ride. There is so much to know about publishing and the book industry. Usually when someone has an original idea and wants to create a book they don’t necessarily have the ins and outs of the book industry mapped out clearly. I felt getting the story down was the hardest part, at least for me, until after it was completed. Then things began to really get hard.

For this particular book, how long did it take from the time you signed the contract to its release?

A: It took me three years to complete Liberation to the point that I could release it. I’ve published it myself through Andrusian Press.

Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is?  If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?
A:
I have had an agent. I had one for my first book, The Heart’s Unraveling. I don’t have one at the present time but I know they are essential in order to get published in the traditional way. It just depends on what road a person wants to take. You can and have the ability to create your own publishing company and do it all yourself. A lot of authors are changing over to that approach or you can have someone sell your manuscript to a publishing company. An agent is necessary for this one. They know the ropes and most of all traditional companies are set up to go through agents. That’s the appropriate way to handle it.


Do you plan subsequent books?

A: Absolutely. This is a trilogy and I’m working on the second book right now.

Can you describe your most favorite place to write?

A: I love very quiet spaces. I have a room that I’ve set up just for the second book so I can totally concentrate. I have the characters in there and the outlines all spread out so that I can totally immerse myself in my work when it’s time to go in there. I love the story all around me so I’ve had an artist create some of the characters for me so that I can look at them. I have a laptop just for writing. I use another computer for everything else. It’s really special for me to create this way. I find that the quieter it is the more I can get in touch with myself.

If money was no object, what would be the first thing you would invest in to promote your book?

A: TV, Radio and online marketing.

How important do you think self-promotion is and in what ways have you been promoting your book offline and online?

A: OMG! Self promotion is so very important. It’s everything. Whether you self publish or go through a publisher it is crucially important to be there totally for your work. It takes a lot of self respect to believe in your work but even more to promote it. Traditional publishers have many authors they are promoting. It’s up to you to make sure you don’t leave yourself behind. Writing the book is hard but what comes after you write it is even harder and you learn to do it. You go to book shows, and do book signings and get on Facebook daily among other social networking. I fought it for a long time because I felt it was just too much. But what I’ve learned is that it is a must. Online is becoming almost more important than offline. The publishing industry is changing, in every way.

What’s the most common reason you believe new writers give up their dream of becoming published and did you almost give up?

A: Yes, I almost gave it up and I still wonder even now. It takes a long time to do it right. If you want to send your work out there without the proper editing or the best cover, or the right publisher behind it, then that’s your choice. But if you want to be the best that you can be then you’ll need a team to help you get there. There are the editors, you will need at least two or three by the time you get done or even more if you want ultra perfection. Each editor will have things to say you may like or you may not. They are not always right and it will take time to go through that process. I mean months. If you want to do it right you will have your work accessed when you get your draft done. This takes time and money. Then according to what you derive from the assessments (I hope you get more than one) then you might have to rewrite the entire thing! It’s ok to do it but it takes time. So writers get tired of waiting and of working. You have to believe in your work and in your creative abilities and hang on until you are done and it goes to print. Remember, it takes money to do it right, if you are going to do it on your own. And it’s worth it! I really respects authors so much especially those that put in the work.

Any final words of wisdom for those of us who would like to be published?


A: There has never been a better time for authors to publish their own works. Everything in the publishing world is changing and I mean everything. It will be morphing into the path that movies and music follow, online sales, online marketing and big companies losing their grip. You can do it yourself. You can market it yourself. But do it right and save your money. It takes money to create a product and your book is a product for the world. Go and visit sites like www.readerwiews.com. You will see just one of many companies that support independent writers. If you want to have a book done then get going, make time everyday to follow your dream, and put time into what your heart wants. Do it because you love and respect yourself and your work. There are many industries built on self publishing. Choose well. There is a lot of junk out there. Go look at I Universe. Google self publishing, or you can do what I did. Create your own brand. There were no publishing houses that focused just on books that empower the heart. Not just romance novels or religious publishers but stories that show the power of love, the power of the heart. So I created one. And it’s not about sex or religion though it is spiritual. It’s about Love, why because that means something to me. Find out what means something to you and write about it. Then publish it, whether with an established well respected publisher, or your own. Don’t forget. Save your money. It takes money, thousands. You’ll need a publicist too, to help you place your work in the right place. But it’s worth it. Why? Because it’s what you love, it’s who you are in this world.

If you don’t have money right now then write. Get your work edited and have it ready for when you do manage to save a few dollars. Then do it right and make it look great. Because YOU are worth it! Get professionals to help and you’ll save yourself a lot of headaches. Until then do your homework and study the path of writing and publishing so you’ll be one step ahead when it’s your time to do it!
 Thanks for the feature!
Liberation, Book One of the Andrusian Chronicles


Thank you for your interview, Maria Lucia.  I wish you much success!






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