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Unapologetically Canadian
Unapologetically Canadian

Episode 46 · 1 year ago

Indie publishing success with Heather Grace Stewart

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Heather Grace Stewart, author of “The Ticket” is my guest this week. We discuss the challenges of indie publishing in Canada, her success with Self Publishing Formula and our shared belief that kindness is an essential quality of Canadians.

This has been an exciting week as an entrepreneur so it’s a good time to discuss independent publishing with my fantasy romance writer buddy. 

My name is Tracy Ael and I am unapologetically Canadian. So this is such an exciting week. There are so many things going on and it's a little bit frezzling actually. Even when good things happen, you sort of get the sense of overwhelmed and everything is too cool and you get you start going ahead ten years and how things at least right. This is what I do. We are with one of my businesses. Were applying for credit because we have a big opportunity to expand the operation next year, and so, on one hand we're really excited because this shows that people around us are in are believing that the company has a good future and they're investing in us. On the other hand, we have the extra pressure of feeling like we have to justify these events at these investments, and so then of all of that feeling of I'm not good enough and whatever, we can't do it, and all of those things come much more to the surface than they are normally are. So with I things are going really really well or really really bad, you still have to deal with your mindset and your compul computer capability of being resilient and and we're also waiting for a few approvals, and if those proofls don't come through, then the other things are going to be harder to do and it's all a turn and that's how any business goes, you'll know, today I'm presenting an interview from Heather Gray Stewart, and this is an author who is a good buddy of mine and she has just created a really fun series of they're really humorous fumus romances of all sorts. There's fantasy romances, there's his regular romances as well what she called second chance romances, and it's really really she has a series of books that are really fun, but she's been working on it for ten years now and things are only just starting to happen in terms of expansion for her career, and so we talked about basically how you have to be just keep going, and we also talk a little bit about balance and her belief that you don't necessarily have to write every day. If you're a writer, your projecting guilts can go can move forward as long as you're intentional about them, and so that's the other theme of this week. We've got flexibility and intention, because when you put an intention into something, you do more than you're not at least in my case, when I put intention in something, I do more than I would normally do because I've basically said I'm going to do it, and so it's a challenge. And that leaves to my known over I'm Oh, I'll just update you on how that's going. I'm at Nineteenzero words. I should be if I were right on track right now, I should be at about twenty four, twenty fivezero words and on my way to thirty. Instead, I'm on my still on my way to twenty five, but I'm really happy because I'm still moving forward. I got through last weekend. I had to take off four days because I had a really huge deadline to do instead, and but I got through that and now I'm on track again and the schedule is going well and I'm still confident they'll be able to do the fiftyzero words, but I guess we'll see next week. Hope everything's going well with you. And here's my interview ahead, and Heather and I've been buddies for a long time because we were members of the same writers association. Hi, Heather, hi, it's great to talk with you again. Yeah, I know it's been so long. Can you tell me about. I mean the reason I asked you because I saw all of the excitement about ticket. Can you talk a little bit about what you've been doing lately and why the things are getting exciting with the tickets?...

Yeah, that's just a writer's life thing. I mean, nothing happens, nothing happens from unths and then all at once, which is great, but I'm a little overwhelmed right now because I we just put out a French version of the ticket. The ticket is a contemporary romance novel that I self published in twenty sixteen and and then it went on kindle and paperback worldwide, and and then in the summer. You know, fast forward to the summer and people were having lots of time because of coronavirus. So this reader who really loved it, I didn't even know she was doing this, she read it, she loved it, she wanted a friend to read it and and the friend only spoke French, so she translated the home thing. Wow, isn't that sweet? Oh my gosh, that's fine. Now and then I've been on the Internet for a long time, so I've learned to not to that. You can make friends and it can be safe, but there's also some strange scams and stuff happening. So I she wrote me an email and said I've translated this, and it sounded from her broken English that she was going to publish it. So I went into author mode, like you can't do that, politely, of course, but you can't do that. You don't have the rights and you know. And then she goes no, no, I just thought I'd give it to you and you could publish. Wow. Yeah, so we that was the first excitement. Was it laid August. She's basically became a friend. Her name's Melody Portlete. She's adorable and so kind and so talented. She's a great translator and that just came out just last week. And at the same time last week I get notification from my agent that the tickets been optioned by a production company in La. Ha, ha ha. That's so exciting. Congratulations. It's really exciting. I mean, option doesn't mean produced yet, but still it's it means that people are looking at producing it, which is really yeah, well, I was easy. I know it's going to be talking with you and and also, you know, eventually my readers and my mailing list like to hear I kind of have people sign up to my mailing list to hear a lot of news, whereas on social media you keep it to a minimum, and that's kind of the bonus. On my mailing list they get sometimes they get pictures of my cat and stuff like that. So I thought, how am I going to phrase this, because not everybody knows that when like, specially people who are in the industry. They just don't know that when you get get optioned, it could fall apart and not happen. And then I decided what I've done as a self published the last four years is just always believes that every step gets you ahead and and you have to be positive and you have to just keep going. So so I'm just looking at this as like, what's another step, and it's way better than I was four years ago. Yeah, exactly. It's another step in where you want to go and mindset is so impositive mindset is so important because you just never you just can't count on so many things that you better these be able to count on yourself being positive all the time. Well, there's been a lot of setbacks. I've been trying. When I wrote it, I saw as a movie in my mind all the books that I've done, all the commercial fiction book. My poetry is different and I just do that knowing I probably won't make much of a living out of it, but I just do it for the passion. And with the ticket it was a based on a true new story that happened in Canada and I thought, okay, I'm going to fictualize it to make it, you know, more appealing for the greater public and also to be safe, because I couldn't reach the people involved. So I just completely made it grabbed from the headlines. But after that, after the headline, it's fictionalized. Right. And but when I saw the new story back in two thousand and sixteen and I told my daughter, who was then ten, I said, oh my gosh, that's my next novel, and she goes, will you better get cracking on that way laugh because she she's such a clever kid and...

...she smarter than me now, and she knew that possibly someone else would take it and make it more of a like biography type or documentary about this guy who had a ticket to go around the world and his girlfriend broke up with him at the last minute and he had to find somewhere with the same name to go on the passport, to go and use a ticket because you don't want to waste it. Right. Yeah, I remember that. Sorry. So she, you know, in her wisdom's like, well, don't just, you know, kind of lolly gag and do a little bit, just go full on. So I've been going full on with this one since two thousand and sixteen. Wow. And what does full on mean to you? Because many this is me, this is a podcast about it. A Canadian. I did it to these so not everybody listens. It knows the industry either. So full on. Yeah, that's interesting. I said that because my personality is like that and I have to actually put myself in and take rests, and the summer was good for that because we were forced to be home, so I wasn't full on the summer. Isn't that interesting? I was going to say that to you too, that when you are I mean you're going to be asking what writers advice I give, and a lot of people say right every day, and I have learned in the last decade that that's not necessarily good for a writer, especially if they have lower back problems, like I do, or risk problems or just you know, just over being overwhelmed and needing to just kind of do the work life balance thing, that it's okay to just think about your project every day and just and just just thinking about it as something or just taking one step towards it, but it doesn't have to necessarily be writting three thousand words. So so full on for me, I guess I meant it's been the one project the top of my mind that could be a movie. Everything else, I've had some nibbles and people interested. Strangely, curbably good. Is actually my first novel and it's actually my agents shopping it around too, and there's been a few interests from produce producers asking to read it and stuff. Yuh, fabulous. Okay, so basically what we are now at the stage where you have the ticket and product action, you have someone who basically gave you a translation and now so. But what about your other books, because you have other books as well. What's happening with those? And tell me, give give our listeners a little bit of an idea of what books you have and the process of becoming because you're another you're a poet and you're a fiction author. But what made you decide to do what it what you cause second chance romances. I just fell into it. I think I had always been a poet and actually some people from the periodical Writers Association, which is how I met you, came to one of my poetry readings and signings for carry on dancing. My first published book with a publisher, because I'm a hybrid author. I'm published traditionally with a few books, about four books, and then I grab all the rights with a very kind publisher name Morning Rain Publishing, who published my first novel, who, after two years, decided that they were finding it a struggle for all of their authors and a lot of us asked for the rights back after two years and they became a service to help us authors. That's cool. Yeah, so we all work together after the fact with the rights and ended up doing design and putting the books out. So it was all very friendly and in fact one of the editors is now my editor for all my books and for Surebus. So that's a so so. So, basically, I asked why I went into that and it's just because they said you shoul write something longer and I was like, oh no, I just do poetry and I'm about the time I was just doing journalism and and then I went home I thought what I say? No, if they think I can do it, maybe I should write something longer. So I wrote strangely incredibly good and and that's a fantasy romance and I don't know why. That's...

...the beginning of how I got into second chance romance, because she is a woman who's the lead cat, is overweight and frustrated with life and just going through the Rut after a divorce and she goes to try the wee machine to lose some weight and it's a very curved positive book, but she's just trying to get herself to feel better about life again and a genie comes out of the whee machine. And so don't ask me like that just happened. I had the idea of my in my mind when I was doing Wei and and he was real, like the the guy, the actual guy for me. He wasn't sinked up when he was telling me that I was shaky and I'm like no, like you're shaky and you're not even sinked up with your mouth, with what you're saying. And I heard myself talking to him right and I'm like, Oh my God, I've lost it. This is like six years ago and then I just stopped doing the exercise. I ran up to my computer. I'm like this would be funny, this would be a really funny like I would wasn't sure what I was doing. And then the end. Now I sell it as a mashup. Okay, it's fantasy, romance, humor and there's some tragic moments in it too. But you know that movie. What was that movie about the fish? That was a Mashup that did so well? I want an Oscar the fish called Wanda. No, it's just recently. I can't I don't know. It's a love story. It's yeah, so and I was like yes, it's a movie about a woman falls in love with a fish, and I'm like if a woman that won an Oscar, you know, strangely incovery good, maybe it's not so odd and it's gotten. It's got a great reviews. People really like the fact that she's just an ordinary woman trying to make a life for herself and and some magic kind of comes into play for her. Well, I mean edible woman by Margaret Atwood, was was about that, like an ordinary woman hunter daily life. So it's not the it's a definitely a subject matter that that can appeal to a lot of people. So, yeah, so, so how I fell into that? I guess that was the first one and then people wanted to see couel and then I decided to get away from the fantasy a little bit. Not that I will never go back, but I just thought, well, maybe back and just just think they'll appeal to eat an even wider audience, because not everybody wants fantasy and magic and genies in their books. Right. Yeah, I do. Well, yeah, there's nothing stuff for you from going back there. For sure, it's but so that. But you were saying that that that one as well. Is has been optioned, or is that true? It hasn't been optioned. My agent is shopping it and I've some a producer just asked to read it. So we're not there yet, but it's exciting when a producer reaches out and and asked to read it and you know there's so much competition and for me I just want to find the right home. It's not really about anything but more people, because a lot of people have written me, especially especially with that one. There's some she's abused in her first marriage and she gets out of that and she was bullied as a high schooler. So there's a lot of pain that she has to move away from in order to find her best self and at her best life. And a lot of people have written me saying what one girl left an abusive relationship and she actually asked about a year and a half to two years later she got remarried and she asked to have some of the poetry that I've written read at her wedding. Two points, and I'm sure I'm telling you now as I remember that. You know, this is the stuff I need to remember more in my journey, because there's days when you get a one star review and you want to cry and you try not take it personally because not everybody's going to like my work. I get that. Yeah, that's that's what life is like. I mean if everybody yeah the same and everybody liked everything, they wouldn't be we'd be in a really awful world. But that if it was a good fit for your work. But yeah, there was a scientific experiment where they saw that people remembered the negative about about their work, usually their work, the negative comments and...

...stuff, much more than the positive it's just kind of human nature. So it's nice to remember that. That girl did ask for that at the wedding. Yeah, and so did you do it? And how did you do it? Like, did you did you just give her the rights for that day, or what did you do? Oh, I just gave I just gave her rights to yeah, I just I just said sure her. Yeah, I take pictures. That's all. I love when that kind of stuff happens and that's and that's kind of what happened with Melody Portlett with the French book. But but I paid her in the end. Like she didn't want payment and I'm like, are you kidding me? You translated an entire book. We're going into business together and she's working on good nights now, which is the second in the series. Oh, she is. Oh my gosh, that's fabulous. Yeah. So, so there's this fantasy series that I've done. When you're asking what I've done in as far as fiction, and there's a fantasy series and that's two books because there's a sequel to cats life with the genie. He disappears for a while and she has to find him again in the second book and then and and then the four other books are again second chance romance and and what ties those together is just technology going awry. And it's how technology, because the four books are not necessarily you don't have to. You can read them in any order. But what links them? Is it it's a person who's getting a second chance romance and all. So technology goes awry or it bonds them together like in good night. Is it to our detriment or is it to our helping us when technology is in our life and our love lives? So I look at that and I actually I can't wait for, you know, more of my books to be discovered so that a book club can look at that. How I've done that and need to book because I was speaking to a few readers in instagram recently and they were like, Oh, I just noticed that, like they didn't really quite clue in that. It's always it's an APP and good nights an APP. An APP hasn't an error, and they end up being booked into the same bed and breakfast basically at the same time and they wanted their own free time, and so they're not very happy about it. For you do have a way of pulling the what happens in life and making it the center of the story. It's really fun. Thank you, and that's why I'm thinking we had a few little technical problems with this the beginning, and that's just probably because of me, because she doesn't work all the time, and that's and that's something that I I pick up on always and I find it and I find it a really interesting theme that we can either run with it or we can fight it, and sometimes technology does help us in our relationships, but sometimes it can, you know, it can make people distant from each other and like, like if you're always on your phone. And in fact, in remarkably great I had one of the characters, cat sister, is addicted to her phone, and it was interesting because I went I wrote that in two thousand and fifteen and it's even worse with all of us now right. Yeah, she threw it into the CIENE river in France because she finally realized and she just threw it. Wow, that was a that's a cool moment. So we've been talking about some of that. So which of those would you say is your highlight? Is the ticket the highlight, or is there? I think that's the highlight journalism at all. No, I had to kind of take a break. I mean, I'm open to opportunities and stuff, but I'm just so busy with the fiction writing and then it's more than half a day now with marketing it. I'm right in the morning, still about noon and then I'm usually marketing and doing businesses and podcast like this...

...and stuff like that till separate time. So and you're, you said, you're a kindle unlimited writer, like all of your books are. They're all on kindle, a limited and now all of them have been published with another publisher so that I'm not self publishing the audiobooks, they've been picked up, which was another highlight. So I think when you ask me what the highlight is, and I think it's just that I persisted as a self published author because, because that, I could have walked away and give of an up and for a long time ago. And it's been five solid years since strangely credably good came out where I started to realize I wanted to kind of take it on as my own business, graceful publications and and look after each of my books on my own and and I did look for a publisher for a while, but I think it would have been a mistake because they're kind of I'm getting a lot more opportunities this way, right. And well, the thing about so publishing to I mean in many ways it's the new trendy, right. It's everybody knows that that you can first of all, you can make more and, second of all, you can actually lead your career in a different way and you know what the possibilities are for that story because you came up with it. So I think so, but I think there's still a bit of it's still a bit at a stigma attached to a certain extent, and but I'm okay with it now. It's taking me. It took me a while because I really tried in two thousand and fifteen, two thousand and sixteen, I tried to get the publisher and and in every case they said they loved how it was written, they love the story, but it wasn't what day we're going to be publishing that year, that kind of story it was. It's not a fit and I didn't want to waste any more time. Like life is short. Is basically why I just go ahead with stuff, and so I've been listening to Joanna Pen's podcast and also marked up since podcast. They're sort of famous self publishers and it's making me a lot more positive about the whole independent author journey. Yeah. Well, Mark Dawson was a highlight for me because they came to visit, not mark, so sadly not mark. It wasn't able to, but his crew, his his second hand guy who does the podcast, James Watt. Yeah, they came to my house in Twenty eight. Yeah, so so I mean, yes, you're right, the ticket, because they've realized the ticket was selling so well and it was a it became number one and in all the cut in on kindle in a category number one on Canada and the UK and the state's two thousand and seveneen. I think I lose track now. I mean I try not to look at those numbers and stuff anymore. Now it's just actually, like I said, reader mail and so they came and did an episode. So I need to go back and listen to that episode. Well, if you go on Youtube, they did a kind of a Promo for self publishing because I took the self publishing formula and then the ads for authors and this. I did that when I got the rights in two thousand and sixteen back from these kind okay, and I thought one I did a course, because I did okay for myself for a little bit in the summer of two thousand and sixteen and then by Christmas two thousand and sixteen I thought I want to take this course and by February or march of two thousand and seventeen the ticket was taking off in the charts. Wow, I'd only done like four weeks, for four to five weeks of the course, started implementing stuff. By Week six after implementing the stuff, I was seeing incredible changes. And basically you're like an advertising segment for them. That's I am and I still I still talked about them. We don't have any kind of range it at all. I just I love what mark has to teacher the whole community there. Yeah, it's really supportive community well, and it's love their podcast, I mean and and I love. I mean they do some great interviews. They really are inspiring. But I think, you know, it's been a...

...journey since two thousand and sixteen. That time four years of just kind of you know, push you pull me, like me fighting with myself. K Do I try to keep aiming to get a publisher because it's more money or you know, and it's not necessarily so, but usually you get a bigger if you get this huge advance. Usually with interditional publisher where a self publishing, you're basically paying for yourself with advertising and design and proofreading and all that, and you see the results, you know, let's hope, six to six months to a year later. Right. So you have to put out money up front. So I was always fighting with myself and I think I start to see a change in and everything more like two thousand and eighteen, when I was like, okay, I'm just going to do this on my own, keep doing on my own, but with a lot of help from people like Mark Dawson and and then I found tail flick online, which is a company that helped authors get their books produced. Okay, and so that and so you work with them now. I work with them. I was I was hesitated and with tech, tail flick, when I first saw them, I thought what is as I've ever heard of this. But, like I said, with everything with technology, I do jump in and and I love, you know, like I was one of the first people to put things on kindle and my e but my first ebook was actually ever was in two thousand, way back then, and it was a CD ROM cult and it was published by electric ebook publishing in two thousand. It was a children's book. Oh, it's that fun. That's so cool. What's the very story? So I have a lot of great stories, but I don't really like you have to kind of stand back like when you were making me, you know, come and talk about this. I'm like, Oh, yeah, it's kind of you see how all the puzzle pieces fit when you talk about it like that. You know, I haven't really delved into what happened to me, but I always, I've always been interested in my father is an engineer and maybe it's that and he kind of went into being an entrepreneur for himself too, and perhaps it's that that I just like to see what technology how it can work for us. Yeah. So, so I was one of the first two people to put things on kindle too, and and electric Ebook, and so when I saw tail Flik, I was like, well, it hasn't filmed me yet. I try these things, I have a few little failures and then and then I figure them out. So tail flick as a Creation Service where you upload your book pay US small fee. I mean it's less than the cost of my annual fee for my website, much less. And and it's just for them to have it on the site so that producers can kind of flip through like a like a library, like a digital library. Oh, very cool, okay. And then, and so then that's how these producers have maybe have caught. I mean, in addition to your agents work. Well, this one for the ticket, the tail flick was the one who a producer came and found it. So fja productions went through tail flick and found the ticket. So my agent is my cheerleader and looks through all the contracts and she's also working on right now on on some work for strange increbably good so very good. Oh my gosh. We've talked about the positive side, which is and some of those stories that you hadn't even remembered, which I think is so yeah, firing. But what about the the downsides? I mean, is there a what's what's your biggest failure? What, when you think about like, what have you recovered from through righte. Oh, I make mistakes every day, but I just try to look hope you don't call them all biggest failures. No, I don't. Mistakes like now I've started looking at them the stepping stones to my next success, because you have to fall down and then get yourself back up and figure out what what went wrong, and you learn from it and so you come back stronger. But again, I did look at that that way until I start working for myself, because you can. I mean I work for myself, so I'm my own boss. That I can really I can...

...fire myself every day I have. I stop, I'm not doing this again, and then next morning I'm like, go, okay, I'll go back to work. So so I had I had to shift to like's this the four years of things. All publisher is a whole growth period, I think for me, of looking at myself and you know what I'm capable of, and and so so I do. I do mess up, but I look at every time I mess up as okay, it's a learning experience. Can so one example? Yeah, yeah, I and I have nothing against them. A lot of people loving room sparks for printing their books, but it didn't work out for me at all. I had caged, which is my anthology of poetry, and I really wanted to do a hardcover in two thousand and sixteen with my foot with photographs, so and and Ingram sparks was the only way to do a hardcover at that time. Now I think on Amazon you can do it through KDP, condule direct publishing right color photos. So I put it out and it was a pretty expensive book, thirty six bucks because it's hard cover. But a lot of people really wanted to have it as a Treasury of twenty five years of my work as a poet and and I really just saw it as something for family and friends. But what happened is it was sold three room sparks and I didn't I didn't know, and I know now because my friend at morning rain publishing was helping me and said after the fact, Oh God, like you've clicked on returns, allowing returns, allowing returns, because I I thought that's not very nice that the person can't return the book. Look me, me being we're talking about Canadians right this we are. I was being polite, I was being polly. I was like let them return if they're not happy with it, they'll be happy with it. But somebody, one of my big fans in the UK. I still don't I'm not sure, but I'm pretty sure because it happened in the UK because, like I sourcet, like wait, like I figured out where this store or forty books, and I'm not in the UK, Tracy, so how can I fly over there and I've sold like fifty books in a day at a bookstore by being there and shaking hands and talking about the book? But if I'm over here in Panc or, Quebec and and and the book was over was shipped that book store, they allowed a reader to order forty books. I guess this is what I figured out. My husband and I tried to piece it together, because what happened with the company in Graham wouldn't even talk to me, hardly at all, and they build one hundred US dollars. They wouldn't talk to you. No, Oh, no, I mean I tried and tried and tried, and I guess I could have. I could see them. Maybe I'll suit them when I'm a big movie producer. I no, I mean I just let it go. It was one of those things. I just let it go. It was but it was about six months of trying to figure out what happened and tell them this is now and they just yeah, they charge me. Wow, that's very sad. They I talked them on the phone several times and they said, well, you just should have clicked. You know, I knew that they would be destroyed too. I didn't want books being destroyed and I'm really happy with I mean, I know Amazon has a big reputation for right now, especially there was a documentary for not being environmentally friendly, but I think they are trying, because I traced one of my books that I've returned on purpose and managed to order it again and it can't because I thought, well, maybe they'll build this. I know that the manufacturer is right here, and sure enough, like it was a little tiny mark in the back. So they just sent it back to me like from the returns department when I wants a good one right. So they lose something, at least something works. That's good. They do were, they do returns and and I'm not charged. That's that's the beauty of that. So so those returns, when they came back, they were all destroyed. I think the worst part of the story is they're floating around now because there's copies of that book being sold...

...by Third Seller parties. That I can't get paid for it all. I don't get any kind of realty. Wow, and I've seen them for a hundred and eighty five pounds. Hold Huh, it like they're really expensive. Yeah, I'm just so when you I mean I don't like all because it's too because with returns, with book stories, you can just take off the cover and send it back. You don't send the whole thing back right. Oh Man. So that was a huge mistake and I just basically learned, you know, be careful with this fine print. I guess, and I think I think also like it's not any anyone mistake, it's more like an attitude. I've had to work on my attitude because I'm hard of myself and I think every artist is. Yeah, that's the creative side of of our business. I guess it's like when you're a creative entrepreneur, the entrepreneur side is is really really good or really really bad sometimes. Yeah, and I'm just I lightened up on myself lately. I think Yoga's helped a lot. You'll go just give me a lot of grounding. I took that up a year ago and I've been doing it like three to four times a week for a year. Wow. Yeah, and that always do a full hour. Sometimes I just do twenty minutes, right, but it something about that has made me just kind of see, well, I'm in the moment right when I do that, I'm just living in the moment and and and I think as an artist with a lot of ideas for creative projects, you can be costly planning future work and forget to just live in the now and like, like you were saying, it's your greatest success. Well, or or highlight, and I often forget to pay attention to the current highlight, if that makes any sense. Yeah, so you don't celebrate enough, or so that with yeah, with these kinds of successes. Yeah, it's my husband's like that too. We're two pieces in a pod that way. It's good to remember to celebrate, you know, because it I've been doing a gratitude journal and writing down three things, basically started the day with three things you're grateful for, and it's amazing how it improves your mindset. Yeah, I try to. I try to also say to myself, like just you don't have to do a thousand things today, like just one thing that you that either you're scared of or that's new to you or that you might be proud of, and you know, it doesn't what I had find. You know, that could be that could be windexing the bathroom mirror properly so I doesn't have to spit all over it, because I often like, I often don't get to that because I go right down to my desk to write and I was discussed it for a year. I was like God, I never get the bathroom cleaned and my family helps out. They're good helpers, but I'm the one who's home all the time. So you know, it's stairs. I look at it and it's there in front of me, the mess, and I could spend the whole day cleaning, but I don't want to. I want our do creative stuff, right, right. Yeah, so, so that that one thing I try to like, I try to try to practice small habits now to that's a good idea too, in terms of mindset. One of my other questions was if you had advice for people who are trying to create this kind of a career for independent writers. I mean, I know it. There is an independence of writers association that's very popular in Britain and in and in the US, but there isn't, as far as I know, except in Ottawa one in Canada. Independent writing does not is not celebrated as much here yet. No, my my my friends and colleagues are mostly from the marked US boust and self publishing formula as far as like careerwise goes. And and and then people I've met online. A lot of people on instagram. There's a lot of writers there, and twitter who. So we all support each other and my my agency now, because a lot of...

...the writers from there. You know, we all cheer each other on advice. I mean there's so much I could offer and I try to do that and I every day. I mentioned stuff at my IGTV one, not every day, but I was for a while for writers and I had a a youtube channel. I have the channel still but I haven't really been uploading lately, but I did it a series at once a week called the wealthy writer, which isn't just about wealth, it's about like living a rich life so that I find the balance and and ways too, and it was all about self publishing and ways to stay healthy, to healthy and wealthy. And Yeah, well, I mean wealth is multi decided. It's not just money it's not just but to be fair, when you're a creator, actually concentrating on making a good living is important, because if you can't make a good living with your work, you can't keep doing it exactly. So I think I gave a lot of advice in those are in those two forums, so people can actually, if you're listening to this and want to go look, a lot of my tips are there. But I think the one of the most popular ones was just people ask like how do I how do I kind of do this every day? How do you get the books written? A lot of people ask, how do you set us up the time if you have a job? A lot of people who want to self publisher or even find a publisher later on. It doesn't matter. They just have to get that book written. But how do they find the time? And and I think if you it's just monumental if you look at it like how much you have to do in a sixtyzero words, if you look at like that. But if you break it down into pieces and you just stay well, even if I just start doing five hundred words a day, you know, and find that window for that. And for me with my first time I worked something longer than poetry. Was the screenplay that I wrote called the friends I've ever met, which I ended up putting in my series because it's a love against story. Also. And Yeah, Oh, so, so, because you hear that sort of but not very much. If, okay, if you end up hearing that, that was my email singing and it's one of the reminders that I I have for my daughter singing. She's singing as a toddler. Wonderful. So I got I'm distracted now because it distracted me. It was in my ears, but it's she's singing. You are on my sunshine, and it's was one of the things I set up a long time ago. She could kill me right now because she's fifteen and she die that. Everybody heard that. But it's a reminder to to not always be at my desk at seven thirty eight pm because I've got a family and they're really important to me. So when I hear that, because my email goes off every you know, fifteen minutes, it just colorwids me. Okay, you don't have to check that tonight. You can go back to back tomorrow. So and that's that's good advice. And then, yeah, it's important because it's you need to actually have. Life is full of more than just work. All exactly, and and I wish my phone had something like that. I try not to have a lot notifications popping up, you know, so I can have a good conversation with somebody and it isn't pinging at me. I'm I often trying to sound off and then somebody says, you didn't hear me phoning. So I'm haven't found the balance for that yet, because I don't want to miss important calls. But nothing's more important than having lunch with my daughter and and we're really, you know, at the crux of a conversation. That's an important conversation, and then you get a ping or yeah, I don't like that, died. Yeah, I hate it. Yeah, I want to be in the moment with the person, you know, and that's one of my tips for you know. Okay, well, how are you going to write? How are you going to get that writing done if all those things matter to you too as a person and it's just setting setting up a window just for you and you're writing. For me, it's every...

...morning and I with friends I've never met. Like I said, I got up at thirty in the morning. My daughter was much younger than and she was she would be up by thirty. So right, so that would give you two hours. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm still actually, my kids now are older, they're always sleeping in, but I still get up really like. I'm up. I'm at my desk between six and nine. Is My writing time. Well, that's awesome because it's it's guarantee. And then, because I don't need to eat breakfast yet. Like, I can eat breakfast at nine and I'm quite comfortable that way. So I've done that here and there lately with my sixth novel I'm working on and but there's been all this other excitement that we just talked about and I've been so distracted. So I've needed sleep and I've just haven't and I've needed the mornings to work on negotiations and stuff like that. Oh my God, you poor dear. You're working on negotiations. That fun, you know, but that's a season, right. How long is that gonna last? Yet? No, it's fun, it's just I'm not getting writing done. But but it's all so important anyways that when I was saying to writers like you don't have to write every day. Well, it also kind of like what's happening right now is making me not rethink what I'm writing, but kind of go, okay, my audience could actually be Netflix now, like maybe for this book. So this one I'm doing right now, who knows, like some the opportunities have opened up. So I'm just it's not shifting too much because I've always have the same style and I love in this one too, there's a technology issue. Perfect, so that's your thing. Yeah, but yeah, it just it just kind of informs the writting a little bit differently. Isn't that fun? That's really fun. I love that tip and and, but I mean it's funny when you're talking about not writing now, but you're celebrating and you were just saying earlier that you wanted to celebrate more. I need to call you every day to remind me all this stuff. Therapy with Tracy. This is rapey. We do have to talk more off and we haven't talked often enough, it's for sure. But now you know we're heading towards our you did hint a little bit about Canadian in the fact that we are Canadian. Yeah, of entrepreneurs and can you talk about do you consider yourself a Canadian, and what do? What does that mean to you? How do you define it? For sure, I am a Canadian. Am for even as I said, for sure, I'm like, Oh gosh, that sounds Canadian. I am. I'm really proud Canadian. I have a timportant celebrating hundred fifty years Mug that I drink my coffee from every morning and I tried to take Canadian pictures for my readers on my instagram to give them a feel for what the seasons are. And I have pictures of me my Canadian hat from Canaday that are still on the Internet. And again to my daughter, just make because she's like giving the peace sign behind me. I think Google, Google chooses what's in your page for your finding you and and like what for searching finding you will same thing. But, and I said to Kila, oh my gosh, they've got like you, and you were like, I don't know, seven years old. That flows on the Internet forever, doesn't it? It does, it does, but that's so yeah, funny. She won't care as much later. I mean fifteen is hard. Yeah, idea, it is fun and it and I am and I've I've always wished that I could do a bit more with my books here. I always put a lot of Canadian content in them. But what I mean is like they're taking off in the states. Mean I think when I look at my numbers, ninety percent of my readers are from the states and it's an interesting yeah, well, I did advertising there and I wasn't able to advertise as much through through Amazon in Canada. But they are opening up advertising in Amazon Canada...

...now. Will probably help. So yeah, that'll probably help. But I think, I think maybe there's more of a market. Plus a lot of readers just use amazoncom as their base, not dot ca a. So so maybe I have Canadian readers and it's logging them in Acom. You know, I maybe you don't even know that you have Canadian readers. It's true. Yeah, through my mailing less I can tell, and I do and I and I I'm on social media. They'll say hey, I'm in Canada, and so it's great and I there's that real connection when you meet another Canadian, isn't there? Yeah, well, it's interesting because it depends on like you said, you know, Canadian for you is seasons. That's one of the things. Yes, are there other aspects to being Canadian for you. Do we get into politics? It's nothing there. I just said it. Yeah, I think. I think right now, let's face it, right now we're happier with the country. We're not divided as much. There are there's lots to improve in Canada, but we're not as divided and and I think I speak to that. I speak to some of the problems that do exist. I actually, and I'm very smaller, theme of Lauren from last night, which is my most recent novel. It's set in in a fictional Kingston, Ontario, where I went to queens and I called it Ewen Cove. I like to fictionalize the town so that it's not it's because it's not going to be exact right, and then you can get reviewer saying all this is exactly what I remember and one saying, well, it's a fictional town and I have different cultures living there in Canada. So their Cuban there her his parents are Cuban, but he's been he was born and raised there and she's actually a Brit who comes as a exchange student to Kingston. I just love playing with different cultures. I always make sure that I'm using my own voice, but for for lesser not main characters, it's like the subcharacters to just have flavored in spite, like it's just adds more interest for me. And that's something about being Canadian, because I grew up. I grew up in a pretty white town, but then, as I grew older and got to go places in Kingston, Toronto then here in Montreal, my social circle became so multicultural and I loved it and I learned so much, although actually I have to defend Queens, because it did, I did happen with some international students. I met a lot of them and I remember meeting some people from Africa and and learning so much from them, and I one of them. His name was Christmas, which is why I named that town Christmas, because his name was Christmas. Noel was Noel, Oh yeah, and so pete. You know, multiculturalism is really a big part of my life. I have Chinese neighbors here. One of my good friends who's always cheered me on as a writer is actually from Trinidad and Tobogo and she lived in the states for a while and then she moved here. So wonderful. So I think when I think about in Canadian. I do think about how where I diverse station. Yeah, and well, and it's it's fascinating the opportunities that you can make for cross count cult cross country cross cultural learning, as you were talking about. Oh yeah, well, that's that's what's happened is that I'm really proud of living here, but yet logging on every day, I'm I'm meeting people around the world, and that's what's happened. That the producer...

...that's optioned the ticket is from Brazil. He lives in la now but originally from Brazil, so he's Brazilian American. And My my, my translator is from Gosh, I want to go there. She's from the south of France. I have to go meet her. I A vacation there when this is all over. And what else I mean? I work with Americans because my agency is metamorphosis littery agency in the states. Right, and then, and then you're part of Mark Dawson's community, so you have the right, the UK connection, to so, but that's also very Canadian, to work with others. Well, right, yeah, yeah, well, that's you sort of covered all the bases, like season, multicultural collaboration. It's like we've got all the tickets. Is there anything that I didn't ask you that you are hoping to talk about now? You've caught me off guard some stuff that, like I said, I hadn't thought about before. It's great, which is fun and I'm so happy to catch up with you, and congratulations again on your success with the ticket and with your entire fiction career. It's really fun to see you succeed well. Thank you so much for all of the support and for asking me here. It's been lots of fun. Thank you. Okay, see se I. Thank you for listening to an apologetically Canadian. Please consider supporting our podcast for hundred and ninety nine a month. Joint select listeners and get additional episodes every month.

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