Are you guys getting excited for the WBPSEII? Are you loving these exclusive author interviews? Because we’ve got plenty more to come!
What is it about Wattpad that makes it such a wonderful forum for writers?
Breaking out of the “friends and family” goldfish bowl can be hard for aspiring, unpublished writers. Publishing ebooks is now very easy but it doesn’t necessarily guarantee readers. Wattpad is a way to publish which will almost certainly attract readers who will be all too happy to offer constructive criticism. That’s invaluable.
What is your genre? Why do you love it?
Although I have written in all sorts of genres, the one I always come back to is science fiction. I always loved optimistic SF as a teenager – especially anything by Asimov – and more recently classic works by the likes of Ballard, Haldeman and Bester. They’re all about the future but what they’re really doing is providing an alternate perspective on the present. That ability to examine current social and political themes from a slightly abstracted point of view I find endlessly fascinating, as a writer and reader.
What are some of your personal accolades and milestones you have reached with your writing?
I’ve always had fiction projects bubbling away in the background, all of which have eventually ended up languishing in an unfinished state. And in a lot of ways, if something is forever unfinished it may as well never have been started in the first place. Wattpad transformed my writing by introducing me to serialisation and the concept of publishing as you write. It’s made me more consistently productive and I’m now just a handful of chapters away from finishing my first Wattpad book, which I’ve been publishing on a weekly basis for over a year. It’s a commitment to writing that I’ve never managed previously.
Is this your first Wattpad Block Party? How does it feel to take part for the first time? If you’ve participated before, what has participating in past Block Parties been like?
I was fortunate to be part of the winter Block Party, which I joined thanks to being part of Rebecca Sky’s Story Fair event last summer. Wattpad is as much about community as it is about writing, and the Block Party gives that community a very specific form and life. The enthusiasm that pours into the comments on a Block Party book from thousands of readers around the world is really something. Wattpad is an interesting creative space in that it feels very collaborative, rather than competitive.
Who are some of your favorite Wattpad authors and why?
I wish I had more time to read, both on Wattpad and elsewhere! I find that likes of Vic James and Taran Matharu hugely inspiring, in that they’ve bridged the gap between traditional and self-publishing, without abandoning their roots, as well as writers like Rebecca Sky who have managed to turn their Wattpad success into a form of entrepreneurship. My day job is in digital marketing, so that intersection between writing and promotion is especially interesting.
What writing aspirations do you still hold?
I’ve been writing and publishing one chapter a week since last May, which has proved to me that I can stick with a project and commit to not only finishing it but also releasing it. The next step is the next project, which I might shift up a gear into writing two nights a week – for me, it’s all about finding the balance between my writing and family life. Making a financial success of my writing, either through self-pub or traditional, seems like an obvious goal for the next year. But even without that, writing tends to be enough reward in itself, especially when you see the read count ticking upwards on Wattpad.