It’s great to chat to Inge Saunders once more. She’s been very busy exploring different writing universes within romance writing. In fact, she’s gone back to her first love, much like myself – the paranormal. But unlike me, she’s been very busy opening greater vistas for African romance writers by hosting the first Africa Online Book Fair with Kathy Bosman.
I was really curious about Inge’s experience in setting her story in another writer’s universe, and, of course, why she decided the Africa Online Book Fair was going to happen. Here’s how it went.
You’ve been quite busy recently with the two ‘C’s: choices and collaborations. Your book The Wolf’s Choice part of the Black Hills Wolves series is now out. It’s also your first paranormal romance, isn’t it? Tell us a bit more.
Hi Leenna, thank you for having me today.
Yes and no. My first paranormal romance was a cross genre YA that relied on both the paranormal and science fiction. The Wolf’s Choice, however, is the first straight up grownup paranormal romance I wrote. And I have to say it felt good ‘coming home’ to my paranormal roots.
What’s it like writing for an existing series? I imagine it’s quite different from creating your own world.
I got strangely excited actually. You would think, as a writer creating your own worlds that writing in someone else’s would be extremely difficult. But for some reason writing in the Black Hills universe wasn’t. I knew immediately what story I wanted to write after I read the brief Decadent Publishing sent me when I queried them about the line.
One thing I did realize early on though, and it was something the acquisitions editor of the series Laura Garland conveyed from the first, was that I’m writing in a shared world which meant there was going to have to be a level of consistency. Some things of my story will most likely change. With The Wolf’s Choice it was technical things, like how the heroine (Rebecca) got use of the property in which to open the town’s new library.
In a multi-author universe you have to be flexible.
How did you manage to make Wolf’s Choice your own – a story only Inge Saunders could write?
Well…it is a story that came from me. The whole plot, the characters, where it started to where it ended. My interpretation of young lovers, being separated by a Shakespearean villain and then years later brought back together again. A recent reviewer started off their review saying, and I’m paraphrasing, “in this second-chance-romance”. And I hadn’t even realized that I’d done that. Written a second-chance-romance. Which seems to be a recurring theme in my writing life *smile*
The only way I can answer that question, without rambling in a bid to explain getting my ‘voice’ on ‘paper’, I’ll tell you what one of my loyal readers (male if you can believe that, because men don’t enjoy romance novels *rolls eyes*) messaged me on Facebook the day after they bought the book. They’ve read both my contemporary romances. I’d been a bit apprehensive as to how my readers would respond to me writing in the paranormal genre. They said they didn’t want to finish the book because that would mean it would end, and they weren’t ready for it to end yet. I knew then that Inge Saunders doesn’t just have a ‘voice’ but also one that her readers will recognise in any type of story she writes. They will go on the journey with her.
I don’t know if that answers your question. A story only I can write is a story that can only be written in my voice.
I’m really excited about The Wolf’s Choice for you. The reviews have been excellent so far. Which review surprised you the most?
The one above *laughs* Though I have to add, a reviewer on the blog tour for The Wolf’s Choice did get me excited when she marked me on one as ‘an author to look out for’. That was a first for me.
You haven’t just confined your collaborations with other writers to writing, you’re also organising the very first Africa Online Book Fair on Facebook. I know this because I’m one of your stall-holders! I’ve been dying to ask: what inspired you to take on such a large undertaking (it’s such a lot of work), and where did the idea come from?
I’d been noticing a lot of authors creating or attending virtual book fairs. One of those authors was part of a promotional group I belong to on Facebook, and on the site was where most of the virtual book fairs took place. It sparked an idea I couldn’t let go off. I decided an online book fair would be vital for authors from the continent and set about getting everything together.
I would love for it to become a place for not only romance authors, but literary agents, publishers, editors, etc. to talk about the industry, a place where aspiring romance authors can find information and readers can meet their next favourite romance author.
I do realize how big something like this is and how big it can get. There’s so much potential. And yet that ‘vastness’ excites me, instead of crippling me. I bet that’s what Columbus or Jan van Riebeeck felt when they discovered ‘new worlds’.
You have an idea of what’s waiting for you, but until you get there you can’t fully grasp the magnitude. Now if I kept letting the ‘can’t fully grasp the magnitude’ become my constant reality than I would accomplish nothing. I would go nowhere. I would see and experience nothing. In a country (like SA) where so many restrictions were put on the physical and creative life of people, it’s a grace to be able to do something like the Africa Online Book Fair. And I’m just dreaming big in that grace.
How will the online book fair work?
I’m glad you asked *smile*
The online book fair is a weekend event, featuring 12 authors and 1 interview with an aspiring romance author. Each day will have an amount of authors that will showcase their books and who they are. They’ll get 4 posts in which to do this and enough time to engage with potential readers. The event takes place on our Facebook Event page.
Readers can come and go as they please since they don’t have to pay a ticket to enter or register. We’ll have a Scavenger Hunt that readers can enter and stand a chance to win a prize. They’ll have to go to every author’s “stall” (“booth”)/post on the event Timeline and hunt for the number each author has ‘hidden’in one of their 4 posts. At the end of the weekend they can add up the amount, inbox co-host Kathy Bosman their answer and she’ll draw a winner.
We are also running a sign up for our Newsletters competition that will start running with the Africa Online Book Fair blog tour from 17 to 31 May. Readers stand a chance to win a 20$ Amazon Gift Card.
Attending the fair and how it works is straightforward, especially for readers who’ve attended Facebook book parties. But also for readers who use the social network site daily. It’s one of the reasons I chose Facebook for the event.
What can book-fair visitors expect to find over that weekend: 2-4 June 2017?
Their next favourite author! *winks*
And discounted and free books, play games, win Amazon Gift Cards, get a little bit closer to authors they want to chat with in real time and generally see what Africa’s got on offer for their romance taste buds.
You’re gotten a whole lot of organising done and have a great lead up to the weekend planned. How can readers and other interested parties get involved or find out more about it?
If you want more information about the fair you can contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Because the event is so new we need a lot of news spread about it. So if you can share across social media that would be great and of course follow us on Twitter: @AfricaOnBookFr and Instragram: @africaonlinebookafair . And of course come join the Africa Online Book Fair group on Facebook that can also be shared.
As I mentioned before we have a blog tour on through Wickedly Innocent Promotions, where we spotlight the online book fair and have scheduled interviews with each of the participating authors. You’ll be able to find out more about what to look forward to from each of them. The tour starts on the 17 May and ends 31 May.
If you can support each author during the tour that will be much appreciated.
Thank you, Inge! Can’t wait to meet everyone at the fair, and to find out more about The Wolf’s Choice. 😀
About Inge Saunders
Inge Saunders fell in love with books when she started reading romance novels with her grandmother. Intrigued by the worlds books unlocked, it was inevitable she would take pen to paper. When she’s not writing about that ‘inexplicable attraction’ she’s reading almost every sub-genre in romance out there, spending time with friends and family and taking hikes in her hometown’s National Karoo Park. She currently has three books out with Decadent Publishing; Falling for Mr. Unexpected, Dance of Love and a paranormal romance, The Wolf’s Choice.
Find Inge online
Blog Twitter: @saunders_inge Instragram: @ingesaunders