Harriet Gausman: Thank you so much for joining us at Virtual Writers, Inc. We are thrilled to have you with us.
Harriet Gausman: We’ll be publishing this on Virtual Writers, Inc. blog and our Milk Wood social site. It will get your name further out there in blogland and the netiverse in general, which can only be a good thing. If anyone would like their name or quotes removed from the transcript please IM and let me know. It will be tweaked a bit first before being published, to remove any unnecessary text.
Harriet Gausman: So, this is how it will work today. Arlene will do a reading from her new book The Fox. I will then ask Arlene some questions, after which time I will open the floor up to the audience. Please pass any questions you have to me in a notecard.
Harriet Gausman: Make sure you turn your mics up so you can hear.
Imarad Breen (Arlene Radasky) reads an extract from The Fox
Harriet Gausman: ..:::APPLAUSE:::..
Crap Mariner smiles
Harriet Gausman: That was wonderful, Arlene.
Piedra Lubitsch: Applause!
Parker Jacobus: ~*~Many Applause~*~
Parker Jacobus: Contractions are so overrated
Harriet Gausman: For the benefit of those reading this on our site, could you please provide us with the link to The Fox?
Imarad Breen: www.radasky.com
Harriet Gausman: Tell us about your inspiration for The Fox.
Imarad Breen: The story of a bog body was strong in my mind; I had to tell his story, the story of why and how he made the decisions he made.
Harriet Gausman: Is it based on a true story?
Imarad Breen: Yes, he is the Lindow Man.
Harriet Gausman: or your interpretation?
Imarad Breen: It is a close as anyone would be able to get it; I have had historians and archeologists tell me that.
Harriet Gausman: Why a fox?
Imarad Breen: He had a band of fox fur around his arm…his totem. And so his name.
The Celts would dream of the animal that would give them their adult name.
Harriet Gausman: Tell us a little about The Fox; where and when is set?
Imarad Breen: The ancient story is set in Scotland, near today’s Ft William in about 79 AD. The modern story is 2005.
Harriet Gausman: What are the main themes of The Fox?
Imarad Breen: Overcoming a hurdle (a bad marriage) and continuing with life and the strength of family. Bloodlines.
Harriet Gausman: It must have taken a considerable amount of time and energy to research for this novel. Where did you start? How much research did you actually do and how long did it take you to write?
Imarad Breen: It took me 4 years to write. I have an extensive library about the Celts now and all the science of archaeology.
Harriet Gausman: It’s fascinating; I would be hooked if I started looking into it.
Imarad Breen: Yes, ancient history is fascinating.
Harriet Gausman: Did you find the transition from Celtic times to modern times taxing?
Imarad Breen: No, Honestly, I did not except for being careful of time and more modern words.
Harriet Gausman: Would you like to read a little bit from the modern part of your story?
Imarad Breen reads a further extract from The Fox
Harriet Gausman: ..:::APPLAUSE:::..
Harriet Gausman: I feel hooked already.
Parker Jacobus: It’s such a wonderful story.
Harriet Gausman: Why did you choose to have two different story lines? What were the advantages?
Imarad Breen: I wanted to tell the modern side of his being found and connect the reader to that. Also, I used Aine to explain why Lovern made the decision he did to the modern world.
Harriet Gausman: You have been successful with podcasting your novel. Could you offer up some tips to would-be podcasters?
Imarad Breen: Yes, if you need to learn the basics download the Free Audacity program to record in and learn to love your voice. There are several places you can post your work, it is free. It builds a great audience of readers. I use GarageBand to record on a mac.
Crap Mariner lives and dies by Audacity templates
Imarad Breen: YES! You can do so much with Audacity.
Harriet Gausman: What’s next for Arlene Radasky?
Imarad Breen: I am writing Sea Hawk, 2400 BC.
Harriet Gausman: Ooh, tell us a little about it.
Imarad Breen: It’s about a woman from Scara Brea and a man from around Stonehenge. I am going to try to use it to create a start to a bit of the Celtic religion and beliefs.
Imarad Breen: The man is the Amesbury Archer. Bones found near Stonehenge. Fascinating man. He grew up in Switzerland and traveled to England in that time. The history fascinates me.
Harriet Gausman: I love that you are using history and your own interpretation to weave a tale.
Imarad Breen: Thank you
Harriet Gausman: It really makes you think of all the possibilities.
Imarad Breen: Sort of Ghost stories!
Harriet Gausman: Yes!
Imarad Breen: I want today’s people to understand they had emotions like ours then, too.
Harriet Gausman: Would anyone from the audience like to ask a question?
Ashley Lynch: Can you tell us about the process of self-publishing?
Imarad Breen: Okay, started with no knowledge at all and no connections of how to do it – so I went to BookSurge. It is a Publish on Demand company. They walked me through it all. Now I have friends and more insight and can do it myself. It is a big decision to self publish, but I found that I loved doing it.
Ashley Lynch: What’s the biggest thing about it that you wished you knew then?
Imarad Breen: How much time [and money] marketing takes.
Parker Jacobus: Did you design the cover of The Fox yourself?
Imarad Breen: I had a pic that I used for the first book and it was done similar to that.
Jilly Kidd: There’s a great place for free photos if you want to design good covers on dreamstime.com
Imarad Breen: I have a free book and the paperback book.
Jilly Kidd: publishers use it. You can find just about anything on there!
Imarad Breen: At first I used a pic of a fox in our hills.
Harriet Gausman: Do you have the ink to that, Jilly?
Jilly Kidd: http://www.dreamstime.com and if you don’t have Photoshop you can download Gimp for free.
Imarad Breen: The most important thing I want to tell everyone is that I give my book away in many forms now. I made that decision very early. I am not trying to support myself with my writing as many are. I am a story teller and want my story to be read and heard. It has about 15,000 readers and listeners now and is translated in Iran.
Jilly Kidd: Wow that’s a great following Imarad and translated even.
Imarad Breen: Yes, I have no idea how many are distributed there.
Harriet Gausman: Did you have to work hard to get that following? What ways did you publicize?
Imarad Breen: Some, Twitter, Facebook
Jilly Kidd: It’s great how you can get a following on podiobooks.com too
Imarad Breen: and the sites I have my book on are very good.
Jilly Kidd: It helps that it’s a great story!
Imarad Breen: I read my book and included music at the ends of the chapters.
Imarad Breen: I was given permission to use Steve McDonald’s music; a great Scottish folk singer.
Harriet Gausman: Well, we all have the same goal, don’t we? To write and be heard.
Imarad Breen: Yes
Jilly Kidd: There’s a site where you can find music you can use, isn’t there?
Imarad Breen: http://www.stevemcdonaldfanclub.com
Harriet Gausman: Helping one another brings many rewards in return.
Imarad Breen: Yes, I believe that.
Imarad Breen: Firmly.
Imarad Breen: I am a volunteer with Hospice.
Ashley Lynch: It would be nice to be able to support yourself with it though.
Imarad Breen: Yes, it would but I have to tell you Neal Harriat told us that he had a conversation with an author, GeorgeRRMartin, who said you needed to be married to a person who has a job to do well in writing. It is a very difficult arena now.
Jilly Kidd: You do need to be able to finance it
Jilly Kidd: I have to do a load of freelance website writing to finance it
Parker Jacobus: When you are stressed about where your next meal will come from it makes it difficult to write your best.
Imarad Breen: Yes, that is true.
Jilly Kidd: Most published authors don’t make a living from their books.
Harriet Gausman: However, look at JK Rowling.
Jilly Kidd: Even if they’re very good – even Booker Prizewinners.
Jilly Kidd: The number of authors who make a good living are very few.
Imarad Breen: Marketing takes too much $$.
Jilly Kidd: I don’t know the figures but it’s few who can even make a living at all.
Imarad Breen: And it comes out of the authors pockets.
Parker Jacobus: Big named writers and celebrities can do well.
Harriet Gausman: Yes; the celebs are hogging the book limelight,
Ashley Lynch: I think it’s clear then, I need to murder someone to sell my book.
Harriet Gausman: and few write their own books.
Jilly Kidd: John Banville won the Booker Prize but only sells about 800 novels per year on average.
Imarad Breen: It is a huge world of books out there.
Jilly Kidd: If you think you only get about a pound a book in royalties you can see that even known writers don’t make a living.
Imarad Breen: That is why I don’t sell.
Jilly Kidd: He has to work as a journalist.
Harriet Gausman: I think you have to be driven by something other than money.
Parker Jacobus: I just want to tell my story and then sell the dickens out of my non-fictions since all my royalties will go to research.
Imarad Breen: There are some writers who gave work away and have gotten contracts from publishers. Several of the first podcasters at Podiobooks.com.
Jilly Kidd: Yes – if you were driven by money you’d use your intelligence to make money in an easier and more certain way. It’s really hard to balance paid work with being an author.
3D virtual world in which the programme was held: Second Life®
Programme venue: The Milk Loft
Host group: Virtual Writers, Inc
Host’s website: Virtual Writers, Inc.
Host’s location in Second Life®: Milk Wood
Second Life® user name and profile of interviewer and moderator: Harriet Gausman
Author’s website: http://www.radasky.com
Second Life® user name and profile of Arlene Radasky: Imarad Breen
Interested in a Virtual Book Tour to help promote your book?
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