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Interview with E.B. Tatby, author of ‘I Wish’

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E.B. TatbyE.B. Tatby was born and raised in Sioux City, Iowa. She is living her life-long dream of being an Author and is passionate about inspiring others (especially teens) to follow their dreams. Above all, she wants to remind them of the power to wish.

I Wish, a YA story, is her first published novel. She is currently working on a sequel.

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Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, E.B. Tatby. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

I Wish is a YA Fantasy and my first published book. I am currently working on a sequel to I Wish called I Could that will be released in late 2015. I am also working on a futuristic science fiction story with no announced release date at this time.

I Wish 2Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?

I originally planned to go the route of traditional publishing, but over the years independent publishing has became more and more of an opportunity. So that’s the route I chose. These days, it’s inexpensive and effective to release a book and find web-based publicity. I have also been surprised at how easy it is to schedule book signings in unexpected venues.

Still, whether an author decides to self-publish or goes through traditional publishing, four steps are an absolute must: 1) know your readers, 2) write a captivating story, 3) seek a professional editor, and 4) make sure your book cover professionally reflects your story.

Q: How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?

As an independently published author, it was simply a matter of setting up my eBook on Kindle. Kindle releases eBooks within a matter of hours. For my paperback, it takes about 1-2 weeks for a book to be published.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

I wasn’t expecting the speed at which a story can speak to readers and reach new ones. During the writing process, I’d always kept I Wish tightly guarded, with the exception of seeking editors and Beta readers. With social media, word-of-mouth helped spread the word about I Wish much faster than I expected. I quickly found people approaching me at book signings, via social media, and even in day-to-day interactions saying they loved it. It has been exciting for me to see so many people having fun with it and truly enjoying the story.

Q: What was the first thing you did as far as promotion when you were published for the first time?

When I first got published (and certainly leading up to the release), I increased my focus on social media, namely Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter. I also focused my efforts on scheduling local book signings. I especially enjoy speaking to teen readers who participate in their local library reading program.

Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?

Several teen readers who have read I Wish have asked me when the second book in the series will be released. That simple question from so many people has created a pull for my stories, where previously there had only ever existed a push.

In other words, before anyone had a chance to read my work, 100% of my motivation came from within me. But now, I feel a sense of obligation to readers to ensure I deliver the next story in a timely enough manner that they can get the most enjoyment out of it.

Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?

The thing that I’ve become most surprised about is that independent publishing has opened the floodgates to stories from unexpected or even previously blocked sources.

While some self publishers release their books before they are ready, the overwhelmingly positive news about self publishing is that great stories can be delivered to the masses even if traditional publishing gate keepers have rejected them. Now, more than ever, the public is free to decide what will be worthy of popularity and trend setting than a small percentage of people who don’t represent actual readers.

Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?

The role of the author is so important, now more than ever. As modern humans we are inundated with choices, limited on time and money, and more equipped to write our own story than any generation that came before us. There is no room for wasting people’s time with mediocre stories. We must captivate; we must enthrall. What that really means is that we must keep them reading past page three— easier said than done.

By striving to satisfy readers’ hunger for powerful stories, I have discovered some things along the way. What I really want is for readers to reflect on their own personal character development in their life… to be free, even if just for a few sporadic moments, to deconstruct and reconstruct it. As a result of reading my stories, I want them to be an ounce more prepared for their own hero’s journey than they were before they read the story, just like I am when I read a great story.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

Ever since 3rd grade, I dreamed of becoming a published author. Still, with almost no time to dedicate toward writing and a competitive book industry that seems to be re-writing itself, I nearly gave up on my dream countless times. I’m glad to report that I stuck with it. Fortunately, I was inspired by a most unexpected source: the main character of my novel, a girl named Kenza Atlas who is learning to wish.

My advice to others? Whatever it is you embark on, whatever stops time for you and makes you happy—whether it be writing, healing people, innovating new and untried forms of technology, or whatever it is that lights a fire within you—follow in Kenza Atlas’ footsteps in I Wish and believe.

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