Writing Questions

How awesome! There are so many helpful resources out there (see my “Resources” page for an ever-growing list of things I’ve found useful). One thing to keep in mind: what works for one person won’t necessarily work for you, even if they’re super-successful or one of your favorite authors. Experiment, try different techniques and pieces of advice to see what works for you. And good luck! You’ve got this!

Honestly? Everywhere. A line from a song, a picture on social media, a snippet of a dream…I have an entire notebook of story ideas (which is great because that means I’ll never run out of stories to tell). My brain, she doesn’t stop thinking.

Books in Rogue Justice, my scifi series, are coming in around 100k. Stories in my Rowanwid Library series, my cozy fantasy romances, are hovering in the 60k range.

So far, I’ve got scifi adventure romance and cozy fantasy romance. I’ve got a spin-off of Rogue Justice planned (hello, Dai and the Old Lady Danger Squad! They definitely need to get into more trouble) as well as a bare-bones outline for a cozy mystery series with a touch of magic (seriously, my brain keeps going…I just need to learn how to type faster and longer so I can get these stories out of my head and into the world).

My ebooks are exclusively on Amazon at the moment in Kindle Unlimited. I’ll probably pull them out and go wide at some point but, since I’m just starting out, I figured this was a good way to dip my toe in the publishing pond. However, you can get my books in paperback everywhere. And if you want, you can request your local library purchase my books (seriously, that would be so cool!).

Publishing Questions

It’s up to you! I know that’s probably not what you wanted to hear but you do have so many more options than even just 10 years ago. I chose indie publishing because I’m a bit of a control freak and like having the ability to publish what I want, when I want.

I did a ton of research, listened to a ton of author podcasts, read a bunch of self-publishing focused books and, via social media (thanks, TikTok), listened to the advice of authors who published within the last year.

Ooh, I haven’t added that up yet. Under $2500 but over $1000. I did a developmental editorial overview (less intense and in-depth than a full developmental edit) for $800, which was my biggest outlay. My cover package was $230 for ebook & paperback formatting plus title page and some promotional stuff. I’ll have to go back and total it up for sure.

The business setup took almost as long as it took me to write a book (not really but it felt that way). I decided that I needed to approach the whole self-publishing, being an indie author like a business because that’s my goal: to make this into a business that will both grow and last a good, long time. So, I set up an LLC and opened both a bank account and credit card under it. Then I set up a newsletter through MailerLite and a website, designed some logos and other promo things via Canva, and set up a variety of accounts including KDP, IngramSpark, BookBub, Facebook Author Page and Group, a TikTok and an Instagram. I learned how to do a lot of this from the free resources the amazing David Gaughran offers on his website, including his free How To Self Publish a Book guide. Since I’m still relatively new to all this, I’m sure I’m missing some business elements (like advertising…I’m not ready for that yet!) but I figure what I have so far is a good start (or so I hope!).

Business Questions

Check out my contact page or you can email me at admin@maryashe.com

I would love to but it does depend on where you are located. I’m in South Carolina but don’t mind driving a few hours to reach you.

Not at the moment. But I will have signed book plates available soon and if you join my newsletter, you’ll be among the first to know when I do have signed books available. 🙂

I can’t. I’m sorry. I don’t have the time – and it takes quite a lot of time to read a book for review purposes. I wish you luck in your endeavors, though.

Personal Questions

I’m originally from Chicagoland, but am currently living in South Carolina (from frigid & snowy to hot & steamy…thank goodness for air conditioning).

Right now, writing takes up the majority of my time but I also love to read (I mean, of course I do. Books are life) and take walks with my dog. I’m getting into gardening though I’m pretty lazy and often forget to water the poor things. Poor plants. I adore traveling – my last big trip was to Ireland (I’d move there in a heartbeat…so gorgeous) and I hope to hop on a plane again soon.

Fiona is a Cavalier King Charles mix (maybe mixed with a Chihuahua? I really should do a doggy DNA test to find out). She just turned fourteen, so she’s a geriatric pup but she’s still doing her doggy thing & loves her walks and treats.

I ingest a lot of Barry’s Irish Breakfast with milk and sugar. I love a good Chai, and Trader Joe’s has a rooibos that I really like. My friends have bought me fancy tea but I like my cheap stuff. lol

I blame my parents. They read to my brother and I when we were little, hauled us to the library for weekly storytime and to stock up on books, and were always reading. The first book I really remember falling in love with was One Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith (the original book, not the Disney version) and The Boxcar Children series. After that, it was all over.

Better question: why not romance? An amazing story where a couple (or thruple or whatever) fall in love and have their happily ever after (or happily for now)? Yes, please. At the tender age of 12, a friend (a delightfully terrible influence) introduced me to romance, handing me her a book from her grandmother’s stash (for the life of me, I can’t remember what it was called but it was most definitely a bodice ripper from the lat 70’s/early 80’s). After that, I was trading bags of romances with the lady down the street, completely obsessed. So, yeah. Of course my stories have romance in them. It’s ingrained in my soul.