IndieView with Kelleen Silveira, author of Starved

It was shocking when the very next day they were getting purchased! In the meantime she teams up with a doctor named Malek whose mission in life is to wipe out the vampires. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) About Publishing
Did you submit your work to Agents? When did you start writing the book? The cover of Starved I made myself using a photo my husband took. I sit down, write my two thousand words and don’t look anything over until I’ve gotten to the end. All her life she’s struggled with her weight and felt like an outsider in her own family. I had this first chapter and kept thinking about the story, but I had a hard time getting going. Of course, there are plenty of exceptions.   I still read a wide range of genres, even though I pretty much stick to writing fantasy. Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished? How long did it take you to write it? I feel like I’m learning something new every day. I never had to stop and think “How would they react?”. Tate went off to college but one day she gets a call from her mother asking her to come home and talk some sense into her wayward sister. She used to write history textbooks and did line editing. Do it! If so can you please describe it? I looked at her and realized that was never going to be me. I live in the Seattle area. The night she died her sister also went missing and she has to piece together what happen if she ever hopes to find her. What would you like readers to know about you? I just wanted my work to be read, I didn’t really care if I made much money at it. If yes, what gets the fingers tapping? What came easily? Were there any parts of the book where you struggled? My mother-in-law is my editor! I have kids. The characters just led away and the dialogue between them flowed really easily. People who want to read what I’ve written! I didn’t have the time, or the desire, to invest everything into just one book. My cat insists on coming and mauling me and I attempt to ignore him while he lays on top of my arms or head butts me in the face repeatedly. It makes my day every time. She recently created a new cover for a different book of mine and I’ve seen a big boost in sales. If I could make a fan page of my fans I would. I wouldn’t say I start writing with a certain type of reader in mind, but I know that the majority of my readers are in a similar demographic to me: women between 18 and 34. As Tate seeks answers about her deeply troubled sister, she must also struggle with a burgeoning eating disorder and her conflicted feelings for Malek. Do you have a target reader? The story follows Tate as she struggles to accept that she is now a vampire. I remember one agent asked to see my manuscript for a previous novel I wrote and after waiting anxiously for months for a response she finally got back to me with a short note saying “It just wasn’t as interesting as I’d thought it would be.”
What made you decide to go Indie, whether self-publishing or with an indie publisher? Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you? I’m really excited to get to finish the series. Tate isn’t based on anyone, but I did think about myself and how I’d react if I were in her situation. I impulsively decided to self-publish all the books I had written until then on Amazon. My father-in-law – a scientist in his sixties – is a huge fan of Urban Fantasy, especially stories with strong female leads. People were reading them, I was getting feedback, people wanted to know what happened next!   I also took a bit of a different approach to vampire lore. I think, even with all the evidence glaring me in the face, the last thing I would believe was that I was a vampire. Was it a particular event or a gradual process? For years, I halfheartedly tried going the standard route. I’m currently working on three separate series and I want to wrap up two of them this year and get the third well under way. The standard publishing route just isn’t for everyone. For me I think it was just getting started. I finally sat down and wrote the entire book two years ago, but didn’t decide to publish independently until last November. People were reading them, I was getting feedback, people wanted to know what happened next! About Writing
Do you have a writing process? I would also say that manga has had a big influence on my writing. Any advice that you would like to give to other newbies considering becoming Indie authors? Where did you get the idea from? It’s seemed to work well for that series, but I am currently redoing the covers to my other novels. Writing in a series is more difficult because I have to make sure what I’ve written doesn’t contradict past books. If I’m struggling to get to the next part I might sit down and write more detailed chapter outlines, but a lot of the time I figure out what I’m going to write the next morning while I’m drifting off to sleep the night before. That gives you a pretty action picture of my childhood. In books people always seem to easily accept that they are a vampire. Having readers was hugely motivating to me and I haven’t looked back. How much I appreciate them! About the book
What is the book about? When Tate’s mother calls, pleading for her to come home and deal with her sister’s latest rebellion, Tate worries that her future is in jeopardy. Did you get your book cover professionally done or did you do it yourself? They are the reason I write! I had written several novels, because I enjoyed writing far more than trying to market myself, but it was hard to be motivated without anyone reading my work. It was shocking when the very next day they were getting purchased! Having readers was hugely motivating to me and I haven’t looked back. Growing up I loved a pretty eclectic mix, Anne Rice, Dean Koontz, Jude Devereaux. Then I’ll read over the whole thing for consistency, grammatical errors, typos. I always listen to music when I’m writing, I need it to set the mood and drown out any outside distractions. Then I write two thousand words. Above all else I just want to share my stories and indie publishing has given me that chance. I wrote a prologue and the first chapter and then it sort of sat there. I’m not sure if I could say there is any particular author I am aspiring to write like, but I know that all the authors I read have had a huge influence on my life. She has little time to adjust to her new existence when it becomes clear that powerful forces are determined to hunt her down for doing the unspeakable: stealing immortality from a group that does not bestow it lightly. If so, do you do so extensively or just chapter headings and a couple of sentences? I really liked the idea of this non-standard heroine waking in her own grave, unsure of what was going on. What a depressing, soul crushing process that is! Up to now I’ve just been winging it, but I’m learning a lot. It’s made the news twice in the past year, once for a deer running over a guy and a second time for a moose wandering into Safeway and eating a bunch of produce. I have no regrets. End of Interview:
For more from Kelleen, follow her on Twitter or like her Facebook page. On top of everything Tate develops an eating disorder which makes her thirst for blood nearly impossible to control. I knew someone who had just gotten an agent after spending several years working full time on rewriting the same book over and over, having it professionally edited and doing all the “right” steps. When the truth finally comes to light Tate is faced with horrifying secrets decades in the making and an even more pressing question: how far will she go to save her sister? Do you listen to music while you write? I had no clue what I was doing when I published the first one. It had a horrible cover, I didn’t advertise. Start to finish, editing included, the whole process took me about three months. Sending out query letters, frequently getting no responses. Tate’s interest in Sci-Fi conventions and cosplay comes from my own limited experiences, but her personality is wholly her own. I put my headphones on and play music really loudly to tune out any distractions. I get up in the morning, before my kids wake up, make some coffee and settle in at the kitchen table with my laptop. I’m definitely not looking into this being a quick process. Do you have a marketing plan for the book or are you just winging it? Do you outline? A week later she wakes in her own grave, no memory of how she got there. Her younger sister, Katie, is beautiful and vivacious and doted on by their parents. Usually I’ll pick a song that fits the mood and play it on youtube and just let whatever comes up play after that. Currently I am working on the sequel to a book I wrote years ago. I grew up in a small town in northern British Columbia, Canada. I had this idea in my head for several years before I really started working on the book. Then I’ll have my father-in-law go over my books too since he actually reads the genre so he can give me valuable feedback about content. In all my writing, I borrow from my own experiences and those of people I know to flesh a character out. Once I get started I’m a pretty quick writer. My sister was actually interested in getting into book cover design. Dialogue! Together we’re redoing the covers to all my other books, but I’m going to stick with the same one for Starved, and the sequel Maimed, because they seem to be working well. I love it, can’t imagine living anywhere else. Get your copy of   Starved from Amazon US or Amazon UK. The next thing she remembers is waking up in her own grave. Starved is the story of a young girl named Tate. Once I’ve got a more extensive library of books I want to really start investing in marketing next year. What are you working on now? Where do you live now? Always an outsider in her own family due to her weight, Tate finally feels she’s found her place now that she is in college. I think if I wrote more detailed outlines I might be a more efficient writer, but I usually just write down the major plot points. I do this every morning with very few exceptions. (My cat is purring like crazy in my lap as I write this). Did you hire a professional editor? I imagined that a lot of women who had struggled with their weight – if suddenly in a situation where food repulsed them – would develop an eating disorder. Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know? We all know how important it is for writers to read. I was more than happy to go revisit those old characters and story, there was so much more of the story I had to tell! With nowhere else to turn, Tate forms an uneasy alliance with Malek, a doctor who has dedicated his life to the destruction of vampires. When their father died, Katie started acting out and getting into trouble. My goal for this year is to just write as much as possible.  
Kelleen Silveira – 17 June 2017
The Back Flap
All her life Tate Vasilievich has felt overshadowed by her younger, vivacious sister Katie. My parents had a library and I was told that some books were too mature for me and I wasn’t allowed to read them, so of course I stole them constantly and read them all. I’m pretty lucky in this regard. I decided my vampires would need to eat food to maintain muscle mass, but food would suddenly be repulsive to them. Once I finally decided I needed to write the book and made myself sit down and write it the whole thing flowed pretty easily. Honestly, I get so giddy when people contact me telling me they enjoy my work. I’m the member of several indie author groups and they’ve been invaluable. Now Tate finds herself with an incredible ability to heal and a nearly overwhelming craving for blood, and no answers as to what happened the night she died and her sister disappeared. Demora and Malek have such clear, developed personalities in my head that it really drives a lot of the story. About You
Where did you grow up? I impulsively decided to self-publish all the books I had written until then on Amazon. I think with each new book I’m gaining more marketing know-how. When I recently published my other books I had people go back and read that long ago book and began to get demands for a sequel. I love the way it isn’t afraid to be absurd, funny, heart wrenching   and brutal, all in the same chapter.