Gatekeeper Press Author Q&A
Our inaugural author is Millie West, author of The Southern Redemption Series.
- When did you first know you wanted to be a writer? I majored in English at the University of South Carolina and enjoyed studying many wonderful stories. One afternoon after my Russian Literature class, I told my professor that I’d like to be a writer. He told me that to be a good writer you had to live a bit, experience life as he put it. I think he was right. Writing novels and screenplays is my third career, and I’m enjoying the mental challenge of composing the works!
- How long have you been writing? How many books have you written? I started writing around 2008. I had been working as the broker of my own real estate company and when we experienced the extreme turndown in the American economy in 2007, I had time to write. I haven’t been inclined to stop!
- What made you want to self-publish? I wanted to self-publish because I’m writing screenplay adaptations of my novels, and I wanted to retain the rights to my work.
- Would you recommend new authors self-publish, and would you recommend GKP? I think by going the self-publishing route you have control of your work and retain more of your royalties. The publishing world is in constant change and is very competitive. The author must promote their own work. Some organizations still close their doors to self-published authors, but I think that’s changing, too. Gatekeeper Press offered me the flexibility of retaining the rights to my work. When I write my next novel, I will seek their help. Kelly and I worked on my novels, until I was satisfied.
- What do you do marketing-wise to help announce and sell your books? I do my own marketing and use FaceBook for most of my announcements. Another source of book marketing is BookBub. At the beginning of 2020, I plan to work with a publicist to get the word out on my “Southern Redemption Series.” The last novel in the trilogy came out in November 2019. I hope to meet more new readers!
- What advice do you have for a new or fledgling author? I would tell anyone who aspires to write, to carve out the time to record their thoughts. Join a writers’ group and read your work out loud. The group can help you with your writing and you can assist others. Have your work professionally edited when you believe you’re ready to publish.
- What social media platforms are you on? I use FaceBook mainly because I’m comfortable with the platform. I decided to concentrate on just one social media organization due to time constraints.
- What is the one piece of advice you wish you had known when you first started out? The one piece of advice I wish I’d had when I first started publishing my work is to tell authors not to get discouraged if someone doesn’t like your work. You can’t make everyone happy.
- What do you feel is the biggest challenge authors are facing going into 2020 (and beyond)? I think fewer and fewer people are reading books. I plan to record my work on audio books to give consumers that extra option.
- Have you won any awards or contests that you would like to mention? I’ve written four feature screenplays that have all been awarded in film festivals including the Seattle International Film Festival (2 awards) and La Femme International Film Festival in Los Angeles. (2 awards)In 2019, I won best feature screenplay at the Northeast Mountain Film Festival for “Dr. Portia.” I also won best feature screenplay at the South Carolina Underground Film Festival for “Mary Jane’s Last Dance.” I’m almost finished with my fifth screenplay about the late Belle Baruch. I just need a producer or director who likes my work!
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