Andrea Johnson Beck has managed to make a career leap—from contributing writer for several online publications all the way to successful independently published author of her first novel, Deadly Deception.
Naturally, I jumped at the chance to chat with her about her journey…
SF: Okay, let’s get started! What made you decide to take the self-publishing route?
AB: Well, when I finished writing my first book, Deadly Deception, I had a couple of contracts come in, but basically I was giving up all my rights. I didn’t have any control over anything, and I’m a control freak, so I just wasn’t okay with that. I just wanted to do it on my own. And it’s been an incredible journey.
SF: Amazing! How did you learn the whole process? Did you have any idea what you were going to be doing?
AB: I’m one of those people that just jump in feet first. I read a couple of books that explained a little step by step, including what you should and shouldn’t do. But everyone has a different opinion. I guess Deadly Deception was sort of my guinea-pig-book, and I’ve made changes along the way, different formatting and wrapping the cover and doing all that good stuff. So I’ve kind of just been learning as I go.
SF: Speaking of Deadly Deception, what inspired you to write it?
AB: Back in high school, I had these morbid thoughts about a friend of mine who’d passed away. I thought, wouldn’t it be crazy if it was just a setup—if it never really happened? It just kind of spiraled from there, and as time went on it webbed into this crazy white collar crime book.
SF: Wow. Okay, which authors and books have influenced and taught you the most?
AB: Well, I started reading V.C. Andrews back in middle school. I loved her books and I bought them all. Each one was just this crazy family, dysfunction and murder and lies and mystery, and sometimes you’d be reading it and be like, “Oh my gosh! That’s insane!” And I love Anne Rice too, even though we write in different genres.
SF: Great stuff! On that note, is there anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
AB: Yes—I adore them! I have the most amazing readers and I love them to pieces! Their support is so awesome. I love it when they ask me, “When’s the next one coming out?” And when they talk about cliffhangers, like, “I can’t believe you did that! What the heck!” They’re just fantastic.
SF: Awesome! Now for my final question: do you have any advice for somebody who wants to write their first book?
AB: Just be patient, and don’t ever give up! It’s hard, it’s scary, because you’re putting your work out there, you’re putting yourself out there and not everyone’s going to love it. But in your heart of hearts, if you know it’s a good story then you need to put it out there.
Wow, great advice! Anyone thinking about entering the self-publishing arena will undoubtedly gain knowledge and inspiration from the experiences of this self-made indie author.