Writer Life & Lessons

Interview with S. M. Boyce – Part III

It’s my birthday tomorrow!

… Just thought you should know …


 “I really think self-publishing is a gift to writers. I think that it gives you control over your work, it empowers you to feel like you actually know what you’re doing.” ~ S. M. Boyce


At the end of April, C. R. Trumbo and I interviewed the wonderful S. M Boyce, and we’re posting a quarter of the discussion each week!

Our thirty minutes of chat about her books, published and in-progress, led to 4,000 words of transcript, so we’ve split it into four parts – two here, and two on C. R Trumbo’s blog.

If you missed Part I, click here.

If you missed Part II, click here.

This week, it’s time for Part III!

The Interview ~ Part III


The Journey to Publication

K. R. – “You’ve spoken about editing a little bit, but how does the editing process work for you, or how do you edit? When I edit I read through and then I go through having picked out specific scenes or some people do it as they go along, or does it shift between books?”

S. M. – “Editing, that ones hard because everyone does things differently and it changes over time. I found… with  Lichgates it was go through once, write everything don’t stop. And then go through five zillion times trying to make it right. So that didn’t work for me.

Treason was: I wrote my first draft, edited that about 2 or 3 times, just going through in line after I’d finished and then giving it editors and doing the back and forth there.

But with book three, Heritage, I think this is my groove. Usually I don’t like it when anyone reads my first draft because it doesn’t matter who you are, your first draft is gunna suck.

But Jeff, my husband, insisted this time that he read it, chapter by chapter. He knows the entire plot of the entire series so he knows what I’m trying to do. And so he’s been reading it as he goes through and he keeps catching plot holes to where if I had continued to write, it would have created the massive re-write for me later and he caught it before it was a problem.

So, if you have that one person who you write for, who can actually go through and edit it as you are writing the book, I think it’s really helpful because they can help you catch errors before it becomes a problem. So that’s become my new system and I think I’m gunna keep it; I really like it.”

K. R. – “That sounds like something I could use actually, because I get to the end of it having essentially written in plot holes and then made them wider as I go along because I haven’t realised.”

S. M. – “Yeah? Exactly. If you use that let me know, see how it works for you.”


C. R. – “I don’t remember – you are traditionally published?”

S. M. – “Actually I’m indie. I was originally indie and then I went traditional with immortal ink publishing, and through a series of very strange events that everyone’s okay with them, I’m now published under caffeinated books publishing. That happened a couple weeks ago, that’s really recently. So it’s just kind of been a plodding along, going with whatever happens.”

C. R. – “Alright. I was going to ask how many different places did you submit to / were rejected from, before you finally got here.”

S. M. – “Actually, I did not apply anywhere.”

C. R. – “Really?”

S. M. – “Yup. I’m probably one of the only authors who didn’t go through a series of rejections before giving up and going indie. But I’ve actually done a lot of research – I went a little neurotic going through all this research. I really think self-publishing is a gift to writers. I think that it gives you control over your work, it empowers you to feel like you actually know what you’re doing, and it lets you make a living off of your writing. Which is not a common thing.

But, you know, it’s hard. You become the manager of everything; you’re the business manager, you’re the accountant, you’re the marketer, you’re the PR specialist, you’re the designer.

You better never be your own editor. I don’t care. You always have to have an editor.

And it’s luckily becoming easier for indie’s, because you have independent publishers who are now giving you half of your rights if you want to go that way, and still give you leeway to have input into your cover. Or if you do go by yourself, there are a lot of vendors who make it easier. So there are cover artists who can do a cover for two hundred bucks. That kind of thing. And they’re good quality. So it’s definitely becoming easier to go indie.

Did I answer your question? I feel like I rambled there.”

C. R. – “That’s alright!”

S. M. – “I do that a lot.”

C. R. – “That’s okay.”

K. R. – “It’s alright because you’ve almost started answering my question.”

S. M. – “And that was entirely intentional.”


K. R. – “Yeah, it was designed that way. How have you found working with professionals like publisher and agents?”

S. M. – “Wonderful. I actually don’t run into a lot of professional people in the author world; whether it’s traditional or indie. Everyone seems to really have a cool, level head. You know I think the biggest blessing with that, actually, is that there seems to be two different perspectives at least with authors, and it doesn’t seem to matter whether they’re traditional or indie.

There are some people who expect you to do a favour for a favour. For instance, if they review your book, they expect you to review their book almost instantly. Almost immediately after they do yours.

And I’m not of that camp. I’m very much of “if I like you, I’m going to support you no matter what; whether you review my stuff or not. And when there’s a miscommunication between those two camps, it can actually blow up in your face. That happened to me once, I lost a pretty good friend from just a big miscommunication.

So I guess for that, just always make sure you communicate your expectations very clearly. No matter if its indie or traditional. Make sure that you’re not assuming anything.”

That’s all for today! Do you have any questions about the things we’ve discussed this week? Leave them in the comments!

Check back next week for a link to Part IV, being hosted by over at  C. R. Trumbo’s site!

~ ~ ~

Interested in our books?

* S. M. Boyce’s first book, Lichgates is available [for free on Kindle!] here.

* Information about C. R. Trumbo’s work-in-progress, The Forsaken can be found here.

* Information about my novels can be found here.

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