Cynthia Hodges, JD, LLM, MA
Auriga Books: http://www.cynthiahodges.com/auriga
Legal publications: http://www.cynthiahodges.com/law/pages/publications.html
A Zetacean's Guide to Life in This Universe
Available at Amazon Kindle, Scribd, and Lulu
Alien Invasion: Reptilians, Cetaceans, and Frequency Wars on Planet Earth
Available at Amazon, Third Place Books, Kindle, Lulu, Scribd
Editor of Forbidden Secrets of the Illuminati: The Luciferian Deception
by Michael Adair
Available at Amazon, Third Place Books, Kindle, Lulu, Scribd
Monsieur Baucher and His Art: a Serious Word with Germany's Riders
Available at Amazon, Kindle, Lulu, Scribd
Anatomy of Dressage (available through Half Halt Press)
1. Where are you currently living?
2. Where would you like to live?
Edmonds, WA (it is a great place)
3. Why did you start writing?
Although I always had an aptitude for writing, my education jumpstarted me on that path. While I was getting an MA in Germanic Studies at UT Austin, I learned how to write research papers. Intensive research skills continued to be developed in law school (JD, LLM). I worked for a couple of years writing legal research papers for Michigan State University - Animal Law Center. After I quit working for Michigan State, I started writing science fiction. Not only is it a wonderful creative outlet, but it is also nice to earn passive income from book sales.
4. What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience, so far?
I realized that the writing is only the beginning. The real work begins when the book has to be promoted and marketed.
5. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
I channel my science fiction books on a Ouija board.
6. Tell us your insights on self-publish or use a publisher?
I publish under Auriga Books. I started my own publishing company after a publisher sat on a translation for two years. I decided to publish it myself and it has sold well.
I like having complete creative control over my books. I also love doing the graphic art for the book designs and website. It is as much fun as the writing is for me.
7. Any insights eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?
I think people prefer one or the other. Even though I sell my books as eBooks, I prefer print. However, paperback copies can be expensive to produce, then you have to store them until they sell. It can also be a hassle to mail the books and find brick and mortar stores in which to sell them. They make better gifts than eBooks, though. Also, eBooks can be stolen and posted to websites where you do not earn any income.
8. Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published?
Start your own publishing company, get a block of ISBN numbers from Bowker, promote your books with a blog, videos, and interviews. This is not legal advice, but it may be worth setting up your publishing company as a corporation or LLC to protect your personal assets from any potential legal claims (consult with an attorney).
I prefer selling my print books on Amazon as a seller, rather than using their Associates service. I find that I keep more money per book for myself that way. However, some purchasers may be more comfortable buying directly from Amazon.
It may be a good idea to monetize your blog, web site, Youtube channel, etc, to earn some passive income through advertisements.
Learning as many skills as possible that are required in the publishing business would be a good investment in yourself. So far, I can do pretty much everything except the actual printing. Investing in a printing press may be cost effective at some point.
Be sure to keep track of all your expenses and mileage so that you can write them off your taxes.
9. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
When I sit down with the Ouija board to write science fiction, I allow the material to emerge. It literally appears at my fingertips. I just have to type it up.
10. Do you have any suggestions or help for new writers?
I think nonfiction is easier to sell. I would say to write about what inspires you the most. Try to offer new information or a new perspective on your subject.
I know artists can be sensitive, but brush off criticism, unless it is helpful constructive criticism. Some people will love your work, some will hate it. Haters are gonna hate. Do not let it deter you from writing.
If you go the self-publishing route, price several different printers. Carefully review the proof for any needed changes before accepting it. You do not want to get stuck with a bunch of books that do not look the way you wanted. Some people do judge a book by its cover.
11. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I am surprised about how books can bring people together. I met a friend because he picked up one of my books at a store and saw that we were neighbors. He contacted me and now we are good friends.
12. How many books have you written?
I have translated two horse-training (dressage) books from German to English. I have channeled two science fiction books and am currently working on a third.
13. Do you have any tricks or tips to help others become a better writer?
Write how you speak. Keep it natural. Develop your own style. Try not to copy others. What makes a writer interesting is his/her unique style. Sounding like everyone else is just more of the same old.
The most important thing, though, is to just write.
14. What makes your book stand out from the crowd?
The fact that my science fiction books are channeled makes them novel. I am not sure exactly what the mechanism is, whether using the Ouija board helps me clear mental blocks to creativity, or whether I really am channeling an entity (if you believe in that sort of thing). Either way, it is an unusual method of writing. It works for me, though.
15. What are some ways in which you promote your work?
I have a web site, Facebook pages, and I have done some radio interviews, which are available on Youtube.
16. What is the one thing you would do differently now (concerning writing) and why?
I would use a pen name for the science fiction books. I think I would be more comfortable being “out there” and exercising complete creative freedom without feeling inhibited. On the other hand, I met the lawyer friend I mentioned above, because he saw one of my science fiction books at Third Place Books. If my name had not been on the book with JD, LLM behind it, he probably would not have contacted me.
17. What would you like carved onto your tombstone? Or what saying or mantra do you live by?
Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.
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