Thursday, August 5, 2010

Interview with indie author, Zoe Winters


H.P. Mallory: For our first indie author interview on, I want to welcome indie author sensation, Zoe Winters (sound applause and cheering). We are very excited to have Zoe as one of our resident indie authors and we wanted to talk to her about what it means to be indie among other things. So, without further ado, Zoe, what does it mean to be indie?

Zoe:Thanks for having me! To me, being indie means being a part of the DIY punk ethic. Music and even filmmaking has a long tradition of this kind of rabid independence. Being an indie author means being a part of that, but just in another form of creative expression. (The indie ethic is also very strong in comic books and graphic novels, so books aren’t all that different.) There is no real logical reason for indie authors to not gain the same support and respect. And with lowered barriers, as more talented indies show they are worthy, they will!

HP: So, I told Zoe I’d ask questions she hadn’t encountered before which sounded easy but now is proving a little more difficult than I’d imagined (guess I’m not as original as I thought). Here goes…and, Zoe, you’ll have to tell me if someone has asked you these questions before (we’ll keep a running tab on my interviewing skills)….If you were to compare yourself to one of your characters, which character are you most like and why?

Zoe:You get a point here, because I don’t think anyone has asked me this question.
Minus the awful history, probably Jane is most like me. And that’s for a few different reasons. I think I come off wildly different online than I really am. I think some people see me as really bitchy and others see me as really business-like. But what most people don’t see me as is really goofy and silly. One of my CP’s met me IRL and she was taken aback by how silly and giggly I am. Haha. Another thing that’s similar between me and Jane is the whole panic attack thing. People said Jane was really real, her fear/claustrophobia was so realistic. Well, guess why? LOL.

HP: Which of your male characters are you most attracted to and why?

Zoe: Cain. No question. Because he’s just so bad. I shouldn’t like him so much. But he’s just evil and funny and... he’s got layers. Really he does. He’s an incubus, and right now he sort of kills all his meals, but in Cain’s twisted little head, he’s not really “ending them” he’s just “inconveniencing them” cause they’ll just reincarnate in a new body. I know, he’s awful. But I can’t help myself. He’s Cain. If you knew him, you’d love him.

HP: Have you ever dreamt about your books or characters? Hopefully this isn’t a weird question. LOL

Zoe:It’s not a weird question. I can’t remember if I have or not though. If you knew how freaking weird my dreams were, you would understand why I can’t figure out how to answer this. There is this drug for quitting smoking that one of the major side effects is these really bizarre, messed up dreams. And someone was talking on a podcast about his dreams from this drug. And I was thinking, DUDE, those are like my dreams every night and I’m not on ANY drugs. LOL

HP: Do you have a favorite of your books?

Zoe: Conceptually, Save My Soul is my favorite so far, but it still has so much work to go (it’s the next book due out), that I can’t say it’s my overall favorite right now. My favorite of what’s out and available is Claimed. Which oddly is my worst-selling book. Go figure. Maybe people are tired of vampires. But I thought my vamp mythology was a little different at least.

HP: Who are some of your favorite indie authors?

Zoe: Kait Nolan, Moriah Jovan, RJ Keller, MT Murphy, Philip B. Persinger, Levi Montgomery, Edie Ramer (about to publish but I got to read her), Susan Bischoff (also about to publish), Claudia D. Christian (I know I’m leaving people out. )

HP: Have you ever seen a ghost?

Zoe: Once. Or else I was hallucinating. Or maybe it was an angel. Or something else. I don’t know. I was once standing in the bathroom and we had this long hallway and the bathroom mirror showed down the hall a bit (uber creepy), and I saw this hand coming toward me. I thought it was my brother trying to scare me. So I jumped out into the hallway to scare him, but no one was there.

HP: Okay, the ultimate question, what do you think is sexiest—vampires, werewolves, warlocks, angels, fairies, zombies (sounds ick but I’m trying to give lots of choices), or something else?

Zoe: Vampires out of those options. If we add the incubus into the mix (which is part of my paranormal world), I’d say it’s a very close tie, but maybe still vampires. That blood drinking thing shouldn’t be hot to me, but it is.

HP: For the record, I think I’m liking the vamps and warlocks.

HP: Zoe, I hope you’re enjoying your interview so far! Next question: How did you come to be an indie author? 

Zoe: I went on this quest. And there were forests, and hoards of evil minions. And there was a cave, and a troll. And a riddle. When I answered the riddle, this weird wizard came out and started telling me his favorite words: “Shire” and “glen” were among them. Then I had to slay a dragon. Then they gave me a certificate. So I’m an indie now.
Seriously though, I’ve always been very entrepreneurial and wanted to do my own thing. I wanted to self-publish four years before I actually got up the nerve to do it. So many people think it’s a last resort, but for some indies, it really is what we want to do.

HP : Hey, Zoe, how am I doing on original questions so far? What’s the score?

Zoe: Five original so far.

HP: What book are you currently reading? And are you enjoying it?

Zoe: Right now I’m relistening to the first three books in the J. R. Ward Black Dagger Brotherhood series before I get the fourth book from Audible. I wanted to re-experience Z’s character arc. I LOVE that vampire. He’s such a well-written character. I’m also reading “Sex and the Single Vampire” by Katie MacAlister which is very entertaining. And I’m reading Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay which is even better than the show, AND I’m reading “Do the Math” by Philip B. Persinger (I’ve been reading this one for months. It’s really well-written and smart, but it’s almost TOO smart. Like I have to actually think to read it, and so I just read maybe a chapter at a time.)

HP: Z was definitely my favorite from the Black Dagger Brotherhood series also! Love the bad guys!

HP: In order to maintain air-speed velocity, how many times does a swallow need to beat its wings?

Zoe: 42.

HP: Totally Kidding!

HP: What advice would you give other indie authors trying to make a name for themselves and sometimes feel like tearing their hair out because they aren’t sure how to go about doing it?

Zoe: Join the club. LOL. We’re all building our wings on the way down. Just experiment and keep trying. Keep your eyes on your own paper and try not to compare yourself to others. Your success won’t necessarily look like someone else’s.

HP: If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?

Zoe: A housecat, owned by some very rich person so I would have my own chef and wouldn’t have to eat kitty kibble. Laying around all day sunning myself and getting petted sounds like a nice life. Probably in my next incarnation I’m going to be a cat, because I’m just working too hard in this one.

HP: We love your book covers! Which is your fav?

Zoe: If we’re talking overall, then Blood Lust, designed by Robin Ludwig of Robin Ludwig Design Inc. (http://www. She’s fabulous. If we’re talking the ones I designed (Kept, Claimed, and Mated), then Kept because I like the way the cat looks like it’s laying on the cover bar and about to pop out of the cover.

HP: So, I saw this super funny video you made on you tube. I think you have a series of videos now, right? Can you tell us about those? (To check out video 1, click here:

Zoe: Yes, there are three videos out now. This is sort of a mockumentary of my publishing journey. It’s a blend of truth and fiction, but on some level it’s all “true” because indies will recognize a lot of these conversations as some they’ve found themselves locked into. LOL. Basically it pokes fun at the publishing industry. But will also poke fun of me, romance, writing culture, etc. There is endless material here. Once you get to episode 3 you see a plot is developing here and there is a story.

HP: Thank you so much for stopping by and talking to us! We wish you continued uber success in all your adventures. So, how did I do on the final original question tally?

Zoe: Nine. Be honest... the swallow and ghost questions were just to pad your number. :P

HP: What are you talking about? Those were legitimate questions! LOL

HP: This is H.P. Mallory signing out until next time and reminding everyone to Support Your Indie!!!

To learn more about Zoe Winters, visit her websites:

You can purchase Zoe's books on both Amazon and Smashwords. Visit her author page to learn more:

 No swallows were injured during this interview.


Lori Brighton said...

You both crack me up :)

I have a couple questions.

One, I know you promote online a lot, leaving comments on blogs and forums, which is great, because its free (unlike print publishing in which people often spend 500-1000 on ads for websites and certain magazines). Is there a board/forum, where you go that you think you get the most promo out of?

Two, do you think certain books do better as Indie books? Paranormal seems to do well, but I've never really heard of any historical romance.

Kimber said...

This was a great interview!I gave the site and interview,as well as your personal sites some link-love on my blog today. I love the idea of a site exclusively for indie writers. Well Done!

hpmalloryauthor said...

Thank you so much, Kimber! We really appreciate it and glad you enjoyed the interview!

zoewinters said...

Lori, I just try to be out there and visible. I think it's a cumulative effect. I'm not sure there is one place or one online activity that is making it all happen. I'm sure I get better responses from some places than others, but it's nearly impossible to track that. If I knew what worked the most, I'd save myself a lot of time!

I don't see why historical romance couldn't do well in indie. I think any genre that does well in general, or in ebooks, can do well in indie.

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