Welcome to another author interview. This week: Camille Picott, indie author of a middle grade fantasy story inspired by her heritage and her passion… Enjoy!
1. What got you into writing this book in the first place? Tell us a little about the book as you answer the question.
My book, Raggedy Chan: A Chinese Heritage Tale, was inspired by two things: 1) the stories of my grandparents and their not-always-easy-lives as Chinese Americans, and 2) a passion to share some of the wonders of Chinese myth with children.
Raggedy Chan is a fantasy adventure for middle grade readers, though I have discovered that many adults enjoy the tale as well. To young readers, it’s a story about a Chinese princess who travels to America to rescue her stolen dragon. To adults, it’s a story about the immigrant experience.
2. What was the most fun thing to do during the writing, producing or marketing of your book?
My book is an illustrated novella with forty full-color illustrations. Hands down, the most exciting part was working with artist Joey Manfre on the pictures for the book. We met once a week to brainstorm. I loved sitting at his desk and watching him bring the characters and creatures of my book to life.
3. What are readers saying about your book?
The reviews have been very positive. Here’s an excerpt from C. Keaton at Abnormally Paranormal Reviews: “This is a great story for kids and adults alike, as it not dumbed down in anyway. Nor is it written in a complex way, but it has an incredible depth to it that more analytical readers will love to plunge into, especially those interested in fictional analogies of discrimination.”
4. Why did you decide to Indie publish?
I don’t recall ever having a particular epiphany moment where I thought to myself, I am going to self-publish this! My decision happened more organically, arising out of a passion to produce a book that didn’t neatly fit any of the New York publishing molds.
For my day job, I work as a professional purchasing agent. This gave me a good foundation when it came time for me to source a printer for my book. I also decided to produce a limited edition Raggedy Chan doll, which I also sourced using professional contacts.
5. What advice do you have to authors just starting out?
Join IBPA (Independent Book Publishers Association). Read their monthly trade magazine from cover to cover. If you can afford it, attend IBPA’s annual Publishing University. I’ve never been able to attend myself, although I did purchase all of the Publishing University seminars on audio, which I listen to in the car as I commute.
The sequel to Raggedy Chan is entitled Nine-Tail Fox. It was just released in September 2011 as both a print book and e-book. It’s only $7.99 and makes a great stocking stuffer for young readers! While Raggedy Chan explored the immigrant experience, Nine-Tail Fox explores themes of bullying and racism.
You can follow Camille Picot’s indie publishing adventures at www.pixiupress.com.
Thank you, Camille!
** If you’ve written a fantasy tale with a strong female heroine, and would like to be featured on my blog, please contact me! **