Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Meet Sue Viders

For the past month I have been interviewing and showcasing various authors here in My Writing Corner. Today I am turning to one of my non-fiction co-authors (Ten Steps to Creating Memorable Characters) who has a new look at an old, but very popular, writing how-to book.

The book is Heroes and Heroines, Sixteen Master Archetypes and my guest is Sue Viders who is one of the co-authors. She has exciting news about a new look for the book after she and her fellow authors got the rights back from Random House. Sue, tell us about your new publishing journey for Heroes and Heroines.

Yes, this was a good thing as it allowed us to take control of the publishing and distribution of the book  because the old one was looking... well... old.  So I found a new image, jazzed it up with new lettering and came up with a more modern looking cover. Then, because we wanted it as an e-book, we had to retrieve the files from Random House.  Next we had to find a formatter who knew how to put the 450 side bars into the flowing text, since there are no side bars in an e-book.  Luckily we found just the right person and now the book is “out there.”  It only took several months, but it was worth it. It is now available at and
You have also been working on another ebook project for writers. Can you tell us about that?

I have been working on a series of guides for fiction and non-fiction writers. Each guide is aimed at helping the aspiring writer. While the guides were easy to write, it was the 101-page workbook that goes with each guide that took time. We had to come up with three original exercise that would help the writer develop his or her own project. It was tough and took months to do each exercise book.  But the guides are almost finished and just need to be formatted.
You chose to independently publish your latest work as opposed to going with a New York publisher again. What do you see as the benefits of self-publishing?

My decision to self-publish was determined when I discovered that Random House wasn’t interested in the guides even though the Heroes and Heroines book continues to sell very well. As the idea took shape I knew with a firm and unshakable belief that I was on to a great concept and that somehow I needed to get my guides out aspiring writers. Being an artist as well as a writer I knew the concept was also a visual product that could help writers.
Self-publishing was a great option because it allowed me to have total control of the entire project. When Random House published the Heroes and Heroines book, they laid it out much differently than I wanted.   I had worked hard so that each page was visually contained because I knew readers liked all their information on one page. And what did they do? They changed it all because of their size requirements and the information ended up on different pages. I was so pissed, but what could I do? By self publishing I get to do things the way I want-from font size to cover, it is all my decision. I also will make more money than with a New York house. 

You’ve told me that writing this series called The Weekend Writer is like writing a fiction series. Why?
Working on a huge project is both frustrating and exhilarating. It requires a lot of discipline to keep going, day after day, week after week, working out all the little details of where to put this, or how to move forward. But it’s also rewarding to think you might have several books developing at the same time.

Even while you are working on the non-fiction books I understand you have also been working on writing a mystery. How do you come up with ideas for your fiction stories?
I am not really sure where I get them. They can come from any place for me. As I see it, ideas come and go. Some people are more creative than others and ideas may come easier for them. However we all have this potential and the objective is to learn how to nurture it. There are many ways to do this and one of my favorite techniques is to be consciously aware of my surroundings. At the beginning it can be a difficult task, but the idea is very simple. Every time you interact with your surroundings, may that be talking with someone or commuting to work, analyze what is being presented to you and think how you can make it better.

Bottom line: I don’t think you can really “define” how an idea is born. They just seem to happen. Ideas can come from anywhere, at any time for any reason and sometimes for no reason. They just appear.

 Thank you, Sue, and good luck with your latest books. 




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