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1. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME AN AUTHOR?

I've wanted to be an author ever since I was eight years old. I've always loved to read and my entire family are born-writers, so it just came naturally to me. A big moment in my life was when I took part in a creative writing and poetry workshop in primary school, and there I met a real-life author, I was gobsmacked and so inspired. With stressful life complication, such as being taken into foster care, writing seemed to be the only thing that could keep me from feeling scared every day, it was my escape.

2. TELL ME MORE ABOUT YOUR UPCOMING BOOK RELEASE

I can't say too much as it's still in the publishing process with Austin Macauley Publishers but Caught Undercover is a young adult, adventure, crime fiction novel which revolves around a young, fifteen-year-old named Matt Carson, whose secret agent parents have gone missing and it's up to Matt to find them.

3. HOW DO YOU GET YOUR BOOK IDEAS?

I find inspiration from my surroundings, the news, books and films. There are so many ideas that float around in my head that I simply can't find the time to write them all down. I got the idea for Caught Undercover through wanting to join the police force, and eventually become an MI6 agent (big dreams for an, at the time, 12-year-old. At the time there was no Kingsman movie or Alex Rider TV series, and no books that I had stumbled across that revolved around a teenager secret agent, so I thought to myself that this was a story I'd like to read, better yet write myself, and decided to give it a shot. My main character, Matt Carson, holds a lot of characteristics that represent my thoughts and feelings at the time of writing, his parents are missing and I had always felt a sense of longing to be with my own family, seeing as I was taken into foster care at a young age. 

4. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF?

I would tell my younger self to not worry about what other people say. I was bullied briefly in school and it always made me doubt myself, becoming riddled with anxiety each day, and consumed me. I didn't want to talk about my books or about my writing because it wasn't the 'teenage' thing to do, at the time it was all about sports and looking your best for social media. Even now I struggle to post what I want, and I find myself having a constant battle over not deleting posts that don't get many likes for the sake of everyone else's approval. I've come to realise that the only approval I truly need is of my own, and I'm working on telling myself that every day. Be true to yourself and good things will follow.

5. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER AUTHORS?

My advice to other authors would be to make real connections in the community. I see a lot of authors in the writing community who follow everyone who follows them, yes, they have the followers, but their engagement is low. If you make real connections, encourage other authors and join in on discussions, other's will do the same to you.

6. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN MARKETING FOR?

I've been marketing as a career for five years and have found it to be one of the best career decisions I've ever made. I didn't go to University, instead, I took part in an apprenticeship for a marketing company who worked for top film studios such as Warner Bros., Walt Disney Pictures, etc. From there I've marketed in industries such as TV, Leisure, Retail and Property.

7. HOW CAN AUTHORS MARKET THEIR WORK EFFECTIVELY?

As a marketing professional, I've combined my marketing expertise and author knowledge to create a helpful blog with tips on how authors can market their work. From planning your book launch 12 months in advance to creating your author media kit, for marketing advice head over to my blog.

8. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CHILDHOOD BOOK?

My favourite childhood book would have to be The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. I had bought all three books after the first film came out and was so immersed in the story I must have re-read the entire series every three months.

9. WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 5 YEARS TIME?

I see myself as a published author with a few more books out. I'd like to think that, by then, I would have gained a little bit of a social media following and fan-base from these books and continue to work on compelling pieces of work.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

© 2020 MELISSA HAWKES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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