IndieView with Melanie Moyer, author of The Rules of Me

My market plan is to wing it. Harper Lee has been a huge aspiration of a writer for me and one day I hope I’ll write something good enough that I can effectively claim her as an inspiration. If we don’t count the few months back in 2013 when I was toying with it as a short story, I took about 4-5 months to write the first draft. If so can you please describe it? Melanie Moyer – 11 May 2018
About the book
What is the book about? Distance is the key to perspective with editing. Do you have a target reader? When did you start writing the book? The playlists are made up of music that spoke to me about the stories or characters so there’s never a set type of music that goes into them. During the year it took me to get it picked up by a publisher I was pretty regularly editing it. I’ve got a book launch in the works and another signing event. Being young and forced to work a day job is rough when all you want to do is write, but hang onto to that freedom as long as possible. The short story version was just a snippet, basically a little window of emotion on the idea of an imaginary friend being left behind. Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you? Before I do anything else I make coffee and write or edit something. I’ve got my eye on some other brick and mortar places to try and get into hands. I banged out this story in about two hours and, ironically, I think today it’s far more personal than that other story ever was. About Writing
Do you have a writing process? Beyond that, I’m influenced in various other genres by Stephen King, Jane Espensen, and Margaret Atwood. We’ve got some reviews coming in (hopefully positive) and some magazine ads we’re running as well as an audio ad. I chased agents for about a year, got some great feedback, but ultimately it was taking too long. Dialogue has always come easy to me. I ended up having two indie publishers contact me with offers but I, obviously, went with Waterton for a variety of reasons. What are you working on now? Were there any parts of the book where you struggled? I understand they’re the first level of filter between audiences and the slush pile, but it’s frustrating to have the future of your work hinging on the opinion of a few. After that it was another 4 months of editing and workshopping before I started shopping it. After that I usually just write until the end and then give it a few months or so before I got back and start really editing. But many were not and a lot of the interviews I was reading while doing research on agents had me frustrated with how very business-first it seemed. If so, do you do so extensively or just chapter headings and a couple of sentences? But we’ve all been teenagers. I didn’t really touch it after that until 2015 when I decided to sit down and make something of it. I try to outline vaguely, using the monomyth structure or even Dan Harmon’s story circle. For many of the reasons above. What made you decide to go Indie, whether self-publishing or with an indie publisher? It’s a YA book so tweens and teens are the ones who might find the most immediately in common with this book. We’ve all had little bouts of existential crises. Everyone’s characters have a bit of their life in them. We all know how important it is for writers to read. Do you outline? While inheriting a huge platform certainly makes the job easier on authors going through a Big 5 publisher, I’m having fun with the ideas we’re tossing around to try and get the word out. Any advice that you would like to give to other newbies considering becoming Indie authors? Was it a particular event or a gradual process? About Publishing
Did you submit your work to Agents? I was standing in my dorm elevator panicking because I needed a story for my fiction workshop the next day and the one I slaved over for a week felt way too personal to share with a group of mostly strangers. Kind of. What came easily? If you can be passionate enough to write an entire book, then you’re passionate enough to see it through on the marketing side of things. It’s a pre-day ritual basically. It’s about a teenager going through a formative time in her life and how the figments in our brains might feel about the things we do. I am for 1,000 words a day at least. Do you listen to music while you write? What would you like readers to know about you? I’ve lived in Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Orlando, and Toronto. It’s also a good timing mechanism since I’ll try to write until the playlist runs out. I decided to try for indie publishers that accepted submissions without a middle man. Sometimes I outline chapter by chapter if I’m stuck. People can keep up with it on my Twitter (@MelMoy)   my Instagram (MelMoy) and my website (www.melaniemoyer.squarespace.com). The only thing I really contributed to that design was the starry background you see. One or two events they go through come from real life experiences and maybe an inside joke or two. Some short stories, one of which was recently published in Ghost Parachute’s March 2018 issue. You may find the indie writing scene isn’t for you and you want that traditional route, but you need to give yourself the chance to explore all options. I make playlists for everything I write. If yes, what gets the fingers tapping? I’d like to have an agent in the future, but the process of it seems to favor the agent and the publisher, over the author, in my opinion. I also scribble ideas throughout the day when I’m away from computer and keep a running document of stuff I want to include so I don’t forget. Where did you get the idea from? Do you have a marketing plan for the book or are you just winging it? Did you get your book cover professionally done or did you do it yourself? Where do you live now? How long did it take you to write it? So, I think anyone can get something out of this if they’re open to it. Philadelphia. That’s one of the biggest things you get back with indie, the freedom. I was standing in my dorm elevator panicking because I needed a story for my fiction workshop the next day and the one I slaved over for a week felt way too personal to share with a group of mostly strangers. A few places. Did you hire a professional editor? The characters are characters, but they’ve also all got aspects of me in them. Everything else was all from the designer and the publisher. We’ve all lost someone. Hopefully it’s all in the things I write. The cover was commissioned by the publisher, done professionally. End of Interview:
Get your copy of   The Rules of Me from Amazon US or Amazon UK. 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 You
Where did you grow up? I banged out this story in about two hours and, ironically, I think today it’s far more personal than that other story ever was. I shamelessly exploit my friends for editing. We’ve all had moments of panic while trying to figure ourselves out. The very first version of this book existed back in 2013 when I wrote a short story in my Intermediate Fiction Workshop in college. Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know? Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished? Most of my writing happens in the morning. Don’t gun for dollar signs. I struggled with an actual story beyond the concept. There are some agents out there I talked to who were great and truly cared about the story and the works of their clients. I’m editing a 77k sci-fi new adult novel that I’ve got next in the pipeline and brainstorming a future modern fantasy middle grade series. In order to make it an entire book, I needed an actual story and that took a few years to really think about. I did. But that can be an issue when I don’t know when to stop the dialogue and get back to the story. In short, it’s a coming-of-age story told from the point of view of an imaginary friend. I get a good chunk of it done, maybe about 20k words, and then go back and edit that just to give myself some breathing and thinking room and to make sure I’m not overly married to an ending that isn’t working in practice.