“I have always had a love for all things art–writing, photography, drawing, and dance.” is a quote you can find to describe Greta Stone on her website. This artist recently self-published her collection of poetry Livid and has won several awards for her poetry and photography.
You recently self-published your poetry book Livid. (January 28, 2010) How long was the road to get there? How excited were you to get the first print copy with your name on the cover?
I actually had no plans to publish my poetry until several members of a workshopping site begged for it. Since poetry is a dying art, I knew standard publishing would be impossible so I went with self-publishing. In a few weeks, I had the design ready and my proof copy ordered. I have to say I was definitely more excited than I expected to hold my book in my hands for the first time.
What kinds of things are you doing to market Livid? Do you see yourself self-publishing again in the future?
Any free marketing I can find, I utilize. Let’s just say I’m not in it for the money. If I sell a few copies, great! If not, no loss.
I’ve used social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to spread the word. I’ve shared the book on TheNextBigWriter.com and YourWritersWorkshop.com because fellow writers are also readers.
I’d consider self-publishing poetry again in the future. With my novel, though, I plan to go the standard publishing route.
Tell us a little about your current WIP? Where did the idea come from?
I’m in the editing stage of a novel called Losing Focus. Psychology has always intrigued me and I’ve been tossing around this story for years. It’s about the subtlety of abuse, how manipulative an abuser can be and how an otherwise intelligent person can easily fall into the trap.
Are you working on any other projects concurrently? Or is there a next project in mind?
While I edit Losing Focus, I have just begun an interactive blog series where the readers decide what happens next. The idea is based on the Choose Your Own Adventure books I used to read when I was a kid. I thought, why can’t adults have that too? So each week readers vote on Ana’s next decision. Then I write the following episode based on the winning choice. I’m having more fun with it than I expected. And I just recently drew up some images of my characters (with more to come.) Check it out: http://www.gretastone.blogspot.com
When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I was very young. I don’t remember what age exactly but I still have a poem I wrote when I was 6 years old. I wrote all the time when I was young. Then life got in the way. Now I’m back and loving it! 😀
What’s the first book you remember reading?
Oh. Tough question. I didn’t actually read much until about five years ago. Even in High School honors English, I somehow finagled my way out of the required reading because I hated it. Sure, there were stories I loved as a kid (The Sweet Pickles series lol) but my true appreciation for reading only developed recently. I loved The Other Boleyn Girl by Gregory and even more I loved Pillars of the Earth by Follett.
Have any specific authors inspired you?
Yes, Lauren Willig was the first author to catch my attention recently when I got into reading. She’s ‘everyday’ yet captivating. She inspired me to get back to that story that had been nagging me for so long. Follett and Gregory (mentioned earlier) have also inspired me. Both authors are masters in my opinion. To someday write like them would be an amazing accomplishment.
You’re also in love with the other forms of art. How has that constant exercise of the creative muscles benefited your writing? Your life?
I can’t say for sure how or if it has benefited my writing. And I can’t even express what it is about being creative that’s so satisfying. I just know I’m nothing without it.
List three fun facts about yourself.
1) I dance on pointe
2) I programmed a computer game when I was 13
3) I am equally left- and right-brained.
What’s one thing you wish you had known when you started writing?
How to spell big words. haha Like I said, I was pretty young. Even after progressing so far, there’s still nothing I could pinpoint. It was just a learning process. Learning to let go.
What’s one question that you wish I had asked? Answer?
Q: How many push-ups can you do?
A: 8 – real ones. None of this knee stuff.