It is my pleasure to put author, and man of many other talents, Daniel Riding, under the microscope to answer a few questions about self-publishing his work, and his new release. Daniel's debut children's book, A Secret Diary of a Naughty Cat has just been released on Amazon. Links are provided below. My review of A Secret Diary of a Naughty Cat will be posted later this week!
So Daniel, tell us about Naughty Cat, and where you found your inspiration.
Naughty Cat is exactly what it says on the tin, a story about a very Naughty Cat. My inspiration came from my own two cats who have given me an endless source of inspiration. Some of it very funny, and some of it only funny after the fact that they have been naughty. Not so funny at the time. Ha ha!
What age group is the book written for?
To be honest I find it difficult to put a definite age range on the story because as a book seller in my day job, I come across children of all ages who’s reading ages vary widely. For now I have put it at 6 and up but really, anyone can read it.
How difficult was it to write for that age group?
Not particularly, in all honesty I am a big kid myself and am pretty sure I always will be. This book was a lot of fun to write and I can guarantee there will be a few more Naughty Cat books in the future.
What is your writing routine?
I don’t really have a writing routine yet to be honest. I suffer from anxiety, depression and PTSD so these make having a solid writing routine a bit difficult. I just write when I can. Some days I can’t write at all, and some days I can write all day. It just depends. I do hope to have a bit more structure one day though.
I love your cover design! Who did it for you?
I did it myself. I have always been arty (I’m hoping that doesn’t sound pretentious lol), even as a kid I loved being creative. I have experience with Photoshop as well and thought that seeing as I love playing with it I may as well do my covers myself and save myself some pennies in the process. I love doing my covers and for now I will be doing them myself.
How did you find the whole self-publishing experience?
At first extremely daunting, there is so much information out there it is really easy to get overwhelmed. But once I took my time to do my research and work out what was best for me as an individual, the self-publishing process is actually a lot of fun. From formatting your eBook to look amazing and then uploading it to Amazon. It is amazing to see your book go live on Amazon for everyone to buy as well.
Why did you go down the self-publishing route?
For a long time I believed that the only way for me was to be published traditionally. I saw so many people self-publishing and have always been impressed with how these authors do everything themselves and I never thought myself capable of that same level of skill and ability. The idea of self-publishing actually scared me because I always thought I would mess things up, at least if I eventually could get myself traditionally published I would have help.
But somewhere along the line I watched a lot of YouTube videos and listened to a lot of podcasts and eventually I taught myself the process and thought that it would be the best way for me. Not only does it feel good to do things all on my own, it is actually helping my issues with self-confidence as well.
If you fancy it, you can head to my website www.danielriding.com to see my most recent posts about it all.
NB: Daniel's most recent post about his choice to go down the self-publishing route is useful and enlightening. I recommend it!
How important would you say marketing yourself as a selfpublished author is? Do you have any tips?
I think marketing is so important, whether you are traditionally or self-published. In today’s world of social media, we need to stay on top of things and make sure our work is visible for people to see.
In terms of tips, I think I am far too new at this to offer advice. If anyone else has any tips then feel free to send me a message or tweet. Any and all help is always appreciated.
Actually there is a tip I can offer. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
What other genres have you written?
As well as the children’s books, I do also write Self-Help books. I find that with my many years of mental health issues etc I know what it is like to struggle. I think it is a good thing to use my experience to maybe help people through writing this kind of book. I have just released my first self-help book which is called How to build Confidence and Overcome Fear.
In the future I do want to write romance, paranormal romance and fantasy novels. I can see many pen names in my future.
What’s one mistake that you’ve made in your writing career so far?
This may sound corny, but not believing in myself. Guaranteed this is something I am still struggling with, but by publishing my first book it allowed me to realise that despite my issues with mental health I can take control of my life and achieve some pretty cool things.
If you were to pick something what you would like others to absolutely know about you?
Not too sure how to answer this one really, lol. I’m a many of simple pleasures. I have a husband, two cats, and the extent of my rock and roll lifestyle includes being tucked under a blanket with a book and a rather large cup of tea. I know I know, I really should calm down. I don’t know how I keep up with myself.
Do you have any strange writing habits?
Hmm, I don’t know if this is strange or not but I can’t write in silence. I need cheesy music on or a TV show on in the background. I find that if I try to work in silence the crippling self-doubt comes down on my hard, at least if I have a distraction when I stop writing momentarily, I can pick up where I left off pretty easily.
Did you suffer from writer’s block at any stage? How did you overcome it?
Not while I was writing The Secret Diary of a Naughty Cat, it came quite easily to be honest. But the two children’s books I’m in the process of writing now have left me trying to shift the occasional writer’s block. I find it best to step away from whatever you’re writing when you get stuck, go for a walk, read, or watch a TV show. It allows your mind to relax and focus on something fun and entertaining. This in turn will relax the writer and you should be able to carry on.
Finally, if you could pass on a single piece of advice to authors out there reading this interview, what would it be?
The once piece of advice that I always offer is not of my own creation. It comes from the author Nora Roberts and she said that ‘You can edit a bad page, but you can’t edit a blank page’. Simple, true and effective.
The Secret Diary of a Naughty Cat
Ever wonder why cats can be so naughty?
Well why not check out The Secret Diary of a Naughty Cat from debut children's author Daniel Riding.
Naughty Cat will take you through the many ways a cat can be naughty and how they get away with it all (mostly).
From sleeping to eating, and playing and even pooping, you will find tons of laughs and giggles in this wonderful book about a very naughty cat.
Reviewers have said:
Charming, funny and so well observed! (5 Stars)
Spot on and written with humour and love. (5 Stars)
Funny, charming and sweet! (5 Stars)
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B072JD2C83
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072JD2C83