As promised, we’re giving you all an exclusive sneak peak at the authors taking part in this summers Wattpad Block Party through mini interviews and insider features!
You can thank us later…
This round, meet @light-in-darkness, and learn all things paramoral
What is it about Wattpad that makes it such a wonderful forum for writers?
I view it as a casual writing workspace. You don’t have to use Wattpad one way. You can be a serious writer aiming to use Wattpad as a platform to spring you toward your dreams of becoming a published writer. You can use it to promote already published work. A lot of people casually write without any of those big dreams. I find there’s less pressure, but I’ve also met many talented writers who have since signed publishing contracts.
Most of all, it’s a place where you can set your work out to a vast audience. No one is being scared away from giving you a try because you’re an unknown. It is important to respect that the majority of your followers probably won’t be such die hard fans that they’ll jump to buying your book as soon as it’s available. A percentage might. Other authors you’ve networked with are more likely to be supportive in helping you get off the ground, and I still am under the impression that the community is more helpful in that than any other platform.
What is your genre? Why do you love it?
My novel, Devil’s Lake, is paranormal romance. I’ve also written a handful of short stories. Most fit into the paranormal genre, though more recently I’ve written a submission for the #OnceUponNow competition. The top 25 stories will compete for a chance to be published in an anthology. Honestly it’s likely the most upbeat, silly romantic story I’ve written, and there isn’t a single paranormal element in it. Once I figured out the story, I couldn’t seem to write it fast enough. It was complete in three days and I’ve only had to fix grammar and style here and there.
My next proposed big project is a paranormal story titled “Not Cosplay” about a socially isolated computer geek who remains pretty obvious to all the paranormal stuff going on around him.
What are some of your personal accolades and milestones you have reached with your writing?
Well, when I originally sent the email to ask Wattpad if they’d feature my novel, my email got lost in their system. So I had a completed story that wasn’t featured, and I wasn’t producing much new content. I expected Devil’s Lake to disappear off the radar. Instead, it actually started gaining more readers. It’s ranking went up rather than down. During the month I was featured on the Wattpad Block Party, my ranking got up to #17 in the genre. Wattpad finally featured the story a few days after the BlockParty ended. About a month later it hit number 3 in Paranormal. Then it won 3rd place in @TheNightShift’s Killer first scene contest.
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?
This is my second Block Party. I was aware of the first summer block party last summer. A lot of the authors I was following kept promoting it in their updates to their followers. I glanced over a few posts that got recommended, but I didn’t know who the majority of the writers were and felt out of the loop with it.
I will say that I got more sleep with the Block Party than I did with last year’s Story Fair. I got a little nervous about deadlines in both, but with the story fair, my original images got lost in someone’s inbox. I (and others) were asked to resubmit, but I didn’t see the notice until after the deadline. I ended up not knowing if I’d lost my place in the story fair. I worried about it all night long and just couldn’t sleep.
I did get more sleep with the Block Party. A few things that surprised me was that it didn’t really take the featured date to see a rise in my readership. As soon as I was listed as one of the featured writers, I started gaining more readers. That rose even more once the official start date of the Block Party began. I’d say the thing I learned the most from the Blockparty is how valuable it is to network and befriend other writers. It’s easy to dismiss the comments you get on your feature from other authors being featured, but it’s a great opportunity to meet and interact with other amazing authors.
I’d really encourage anyone who is knew to see this not merely as an opportunity to get their work featured, but as an opportunity to get to meet and befriend other authors.
Who are some of your favorite Wattpad authors and why?
RK Close and Juliet Lyons will always have a special place because we all joined around the same time. It’s been fun watching their following grow pretty much from the beginning all the way to the point where they’ve gotten signed with publishers. To be honest, it’s been mainly through paying attention to who they follow and recommend that I’ve found my way around the Wattpad community, especially when it comes to things like the Story Fair and the Block Party. I would have never followed the Wattpad 4 or any other group or even the Corner Booth.
What writing aspirations do you still hold?
I’m nearing the point where I’ll be self-publishing a paperback of Devil’s Lake. I don’t have high expectations for it. This seems to be my philosophy in life. If you keep your expectations low and still put yourself out there for the opportunity for success, you guarantee to have a few pleasant surprises. It’s not the best philosophy. It’s easy for me to get overly pessimistic. Am I being too negative or just realistic? I don’t know. I am afraid of dreaming big. Granted, I don’t think it’s a bad thing that all my decisions with writing are decisions I make with the attitude of “Do you think it’s worth doing this even if nothing else comes of it?” If the answer is yes, I’ll do it. I’m not willing to make a bet on my success unless I can accept failure. But yeah, I’m overly hard on myself. Just ask me about how frequently I think about my loved ones dying just to feel that sense of appreciation for them. “Oh my gosh, I’m crying. Oh I love you so much!” “Why are you being so morbid?” “So I don’t take you for granted.”