Tina Piney, author
What is your professional background?
I’m a college graduate with a marketing/ human resources background. B.C. (that’s before children) my area of focus was recruiting. A.C. I’ve been working retail for the flexibility to spend as much time as possible with my children.
What sparked your interest in writing?
I am a lifelong lover of the written word. I read everything I can get my hands on. In high school I wrote stories and poems but past high school I only wrote poetry. I was still always making and telling stories, just not writing them. Then I confided to my friend Dave Gammon (also a writer) that I wanted to see if I could write a story, one well received enough to get published. We found an open submission and my first story (as an adult) “Chuckles” was selected and published.
How do you, “get in the zone,” when you are writing? To start I have six-year-old twins so the zone must work with them. I try to get my writing done when they are at school or asleep and I am not at work. Then, if nothing else (like I am not feeling inspired or in the “zone”) I do an “x” amount of words (like 500) so at least I’m moving forward. If I get caught up while writing (it happens often) I do much more.
Who or what did you look to for advice on revising your manuscript?
My lovely and talented friend Tara Woodfull does my editing for me. I would be lost without her.
As a new author, describe the process of having your book published.
I personally look for open submissions and either write a short story with the theme in mind or submit something I have written previously if the theme is more open. I read the submission guidelines carefully (regarding font, spacing, word count and so on) and make sure they get what they are asking for. So far, I’ve only submitted short stories for anthologies but I’ve had rather good luck.
Which do you prefer, self-publishing or, working with a publisher? I have never self-published so definitely working with publishers.
How are you leveraging social media to promote your books? I have started an author page on Facebook to promote my amazon author page. I am on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest as well but I don’t do much there, it’s mainly Facebook.
What advice would you give to someone looking to publish the first book?
Just keep trying and keep writing. Commit to it, tell people, spread the word, GO FOR IT!