April 27, 2012

Interview with Sci-fi Author, Cara Michaels!

Welcome back to Week 5 of Getting Published! Today we have sci-fi author Cara Michaels, author of Gaea’s Chosen: The Mayday Directive and Gaea’s Chosen: Event Horizon.

Thanks for having me, Nicole. It’s a pleasure to chime in on a subject near and dear to me.

1. Tell us what inspired you to write the Gaea’s Chosen series.

Gaea’s Chosen was born during an afternoon at the day job. Once a month, my day is overtaken by the mind-numbing chore of folding and stuffing billing statements. It’s not exactly the most stimulating job, and so I have a tendency to daydream to pass the time. One such day gave birth to the idea for a gore-fest horror story (the no-one-gets-out-alive type) that morphed into Gaea’s Chosen as I wrote.

2. Now that you’ve self-published, are you interested in seeking representation for future works?

Absolutely. I opted for self-publishing due to the short length of these stories. I didn’t want them lost in some magazine or anthology somewhere. But self-publishing is serious work and you’re really on your own out in these shark-infested waters. I’m happy to build a readership for these stories, though. They’ve been really well received so far, and I hope that counts in my favor when I consider representation for my longer works.

3. How do you prioritize which projects you’ll work on next?

Ahhh… well… I’m a bit (okay a lot) of a pantser when it comes to what I’m working on and when I’m working on it. I have three projects actively claiming my attention at least once or twice a week right now, and then I have several more projects in various stages.

4. What can you tell us about your upcoming projects?

I’m definitely working hard on Gaea’s Chosen: Heavenly Bodies. I also have an ancestor story for one of the main Gaea characters in the works. Outside of that, I am part of a dystopic, end of the world, flash fiction anthology. I’m getting my final draft to my beta readers this week on that one.

5. What advice would you give authors looking into self-publishing?

• Make sure your book is well edited and COPYedited (even if you have to save up to have a pro look it over) – one of the biggest complaints I see for indie and self-pub regards typos. You’re already having to work extra hard to get noticed in the sea of mainstream publishing. Don’t get people noticing you for the wrong reasons.

• Take the time to design a nice cover – A poor cover can immediately announce to the world that you don’t have the backing of a house. There are a number of inexpensive services to help if you don’t have any graphic design skills yourself.

• Set aside a small budget for promotion – And I do mean small. I’m a full-time office drone, I have a kid in Tae Kwon Do, I spend $200/paycheck on my commute… I don’t have a lot to spend. But you can launch a Facebook ad for a couple bucks a day. Take advantage of offers from your host, if you have one. Mine throws $50 and $100 Google Adwords gift cards my way all the time. Just remember you’re making an investment in yourself. You have a lot more control over your output than you do any stock. Any little bit you can spend increases your exposure and builds your name and your sales in return.

Don’t expect to get rich quick. DO expect to lose a lot of sleep. If you’re like me and you’re doing this on the side while still holding a day job, raising kids, etc, you’re going to be fondly remembering those days of spending QT with your family and sleeping. Promotion is all on you, but it’s worth it to see your first reviews coming in and watch your sales numbers go up, even if it’s only by one or two a week.

Thank you for visiting with us, Cara, and congratulations on your newest release, Gaea’s Chosen: Event Horizon.

Thanks for stopping by the blog today. You can find Cara and her works through these links:
Google Plus


  1. Great post! Cara, thank you for giving us an unfiltered and thoughtful look at self-publishing. Wishing you all the best!

  2. Great interview, ladies. And great advice. There's nothing more annoying than badly written copy. :)

  3. I wish you the best Cara. The Gaea's Chosen stories are great!I look forward to your future writing endeavors. :-)


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