Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Guest Post by Author Miss Jack Lewis Balliot

Today I have an interview by my friend Miss Jack from However Improbable. She has published her first book, Haphazardly Implausible {found HERE} and I had some questions for her. Enjoy!!!

What genre is your book in?

Steampunk, which is now my favourite genre to write. I've also done a form of fantasy, historical fiction – which I'm not much good at – and adventure.

How many “main” characters do you have?
Three, I suppose. A couple others like to think they are main characters, and apparently a lot of readers agree with them, but I usually just ignore said characters. When they get too pushy I'm always forced to bring out my sword.

What are their personalities?
Hm...I shall try to sum this up in as few words as possible.
Peter Jones: Daring, clueless
Singur: Somewhat of a coward, intelligent
Isidore Thaddeus Reichmann: A snob, mysterious

There is more to it then that, but you'll just have to read the books.

Where is your book set in?
Time period or place? The time period would be the mid 1800's, the Victorian Era in an Alternate history. The place differs. In book one it is mostly England, Scotland, and on the ocean. After that...well...

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I’ve heard rumors it’s the first in a series. Is this true? How many books will there end up being?
Aye, you've heard right! When it is all said and done, there will be four books. I've all four written, I just have to re-do some things because my wonderful characters thought it would be great fun to leave some plot holes till the very end.

Why did you decide to self-publish?
I do not like how traditional publishers are doing things. Were I to go that way I would have to give up all my rights over the book, I would have to do all the marketing myself pretty much. I would make very little off of it. They could have me change things in the story (and I know changing things is good sometimes, but I like it better when they are suggested, not someone telling me it HAS to go.)
Also, if the publisher didn't think my book was doing as well as they thought they had the right to pull it from the shelves for a later date.
After going over both options I decided self-publishing fit me better.

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Were there any problems you ran into?

Oh, you know, just the cover, editing, formatting, marketing...
I knew I'd end up having to do all this on my own, but when the time came to actually do it I realized just how much work has to go into it. One cannot just make a cover. I had to research covers, study them to find out which covers drew readers in. (Books ARE judged by their covers after all.)
I had to study marketing and come up with something new to make my name stand out. (Three guesses as to what I did.)
I had to tackle an editor.
I had to figure out formatting. It isn't as easy as it looks. It all took a lot of time. The end result was worth it, I just went into it with no clue as to the time frame I would need and ended up doing a lot of it last minute.

How did you rise above them?
Well...I came to the realization that if I wanted this I had to do it. I couldn't sit about waiting for someone to come along and help me, because it wasn't going to happen. (I mean, I did get help, but this was my project, no one was ever going to care for it as much as I did. It would always be last on their list and first on mine.)
Finally I just sat down and found a way to do what had to be done. I learned how to format, how to put together a cover, and how to come up with a marketing plan. I also haunted authors to see what they did, and what worked or didn't work for them.


Why did you decide to write? Or when did you decide to write?

I decided to write because I've an insanely wild imagination and it was either write or get myself into a ton of trouble looking for adventures. (Not that I ever stopped looking.)

I decided to write when I was thirteen. One night I sat down and wrote my first story, which my dad thought was homework. (After all, why would a kid write when she didn't have to?) I've never been able to stop since.

What can people look forward to in your writing?

Hm...I suppose it would be the characters. My readers don't talk about my plots much, but they all seem to love my characters.

Also, look for swords. Aye...there is usually always at least one sword.

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How long did it take you to write this book?

Less then a year. It took a year for me to write all four books.

How many drafts did you go through?

About five, or six. Not as bad as some of my other work. I have one that is on its...11thor 12thdraft. I keep silently hoping this will be the last. Also, The Broken Blade is on it's 6thor so draft and it has never yet been through a complete writing. (Those two are exceptions though. Usually I can write the first draft much faster.)

What are some things you’d like to pass on to other writers who are hoping to publish their books {self-published or not}?
Be prepared for a lot of opposition. Becoming published, in most people's minds, is for J.K Rowling and almost dead men with long beards. Prepare yourself now to meet with a lot of people who will tell you how impossible it is to publish, and how you cannot make a living at it.
Yet, also remember if you really want to publish you can over come any of the problems. I'm kind of proof of that. It is hard, but it is also worth it.

(If anyone has any direct questions on publishing I would be more then happy to give advice or offer any help I can. You can email me atjacklewisbaillot@gmail.com)

Jack Lewis Baillot is not impossible, just a bit unlikely. She is the author of Haphazardly Implausible, owns a pet hedgehog named John, and blogs over at However Improbable.

{For those of you who are wanting to do the linkup tomorrow, the prompt is going to be: what if? Have fun and I can't wait to see what you com up with!!!}



  1. Fantastic post! Jack, your book sounds awesome and I may or may not have to pilfer it. I can has some links to purchase please??

    1. The link is at the top. It wasn't working earlier today cause I hadn't gotten it from Jack yet, but it's up and running now!!! ;)

    2. I'm all for pilfering! (I'm half a pirate by trade.) As for the link...Aye, what Grace said. 8-D

  2. Great interview Jack! Very interesting. I must say, I was VERY relieved to find out how many drafts you go through. I feel like I write 187 rewrites (I might be exaggerating a touch there) before I even have something worth looking at. I'm encouraged!

    1. I know what you mean. I felt like I'd never get the final draft of a book done, and like I must be going through too many. Then I read something an author wrote and saw how many they went through. I felt better after that.

  3. ~Steampunk!! My favourite genre ^^ And set during the Victorian era! Bonus! Does this book sell in book shops? My mum doesn`t allow me to purchase anything online =(

    1. HUZZAH! A fellow Steampunk...liker. I was starting to think there weren't many more.
      Sadly, the book is not in book shoppes. (I could work out to mail you a copy if you are interested or if this is possible. You can email me, if you like, for more information on it.) I've been mailing quite a few lately, actually. *Smirk*

  4. Sadly, Grace, I broke the button and now I cannot get it back up. When I am able to do so I shall let you know...for now it is smarter then I.

    1. Awww...that is too bad. Ok, that sounds good! Thanks!