Over the past year, there’s been a self-publishing experiment taking place in the Calgary branch of the Romance Writers of America. (CARWA, members of which are known under the apt moniker “Carwackians.”) I’ve been an interested observer. Now that the Bandit Creek Series has matured, and can provide lessons and data, CaRWA’s third-time president joins me for a candid conversation.
Tawny Stokes, aka Vivi Anna, has been writing since 2002. She began by publishing short stories for men’s magazines before moving on to write novels. In 2005, within a period of one week, she landed her first agent and New York publisher. Since then, she’s published close to 17 books and novellas for Harlequin, Kensington and Avon in a variety of genres: paranormal romance, urban fantasy, sci-fi, and young adult.
She’s self-published 9 projects, only 3 of which were formerly through epublishers.
Tempted to call her a slacker? Then you should know Tawny has deep interests in TV-script-writing. She has a TV pilot in development with Bogner Entertainment, and among other awards, she finaled in both the Austin Film Festival and Slamdance Film Festival with her adapted TV pilot, Occult Crime Unit. You might know her as one of the co-founders of the popular #TVwriterchat on Twitter.
Jan: Set the stage for us, Tawny. Can you describe the scene and catalyst which led to the cooperative’s formation?
Tawny: It was after our chapter general meeting. Jade Buchanan and I were giving a talk on the different ways to publish, discussing epublishing and self-publishing. When I’m passionate about something, I get a wee bit animated and that day was no exception. I was explaining about one of the cool things about self-publishing – that an author could write a book with a friend, another author, or even a huge group of authors. I pointed to someone in the crowd and said, “I could write a book with you.” Then I looked at everyone and said, “I could write a book with all of you.” That’s when I saw the spark in those 20 sets of eyes. The mood was instantly electric.
Then I said, “Let’s do it. Let’s write a connected book series together.”
When the brainstorming started, it was amazing. I’d never felt creative energy like that before. It made me even more excited. But I remember the next day I emailed DL Snow and said, “What the hell did we just do?”
Can you give us an idea of the baseline level of expertise within the “Banditos?” [Read more…]