Today I’m pleased to welcome fellow Wattpadre author (Wattpadres is a group of 12 Wattpad authors) Debbie Goelz to the blog. I hope you enjoy getting to meet Debbie and don’t forget to check out her book!
1. How did you find Wattpad?
I had been writing seriously for about six years, but I never thought anything was good enough to publish. Then I read about a SciFi Magazine called “Lightspeed.” They were doing a contest called “Women Wreck Science Fiction.” I decided to enter. I worked really hard to make it as good as I could. I had about 30 friends read it and make comments. I went to upload it to the contest, and found I’d misread and missed the due date. I was pretty disappointed. That night I was reading on my iPad. I thought I should look at the NY Times. I never looked at the NY Times, and I have no idea why I did that night, but there was a headline that said: “The Future of Publishing.” There was an article about this website called Wattpad. I checked it out. I liked the idea that the work didn’t have to be perfect. In fact, no one expects the work to be. I decided to write something for Wattpad.
2. What made you decide to start writing and sharing your stories on Wattpad?
(see answer above)
3. What is your favorite part about being a member of the Wattpadres?
My favorite part about being a Wattpadre is the friendships I’ve made with the people in the group. They are kind and supportive and funny and intelligent. I’ve even met two of the members, Nicole in New York and Vic, in London when she invited me to her birthday party, 6,000 miles from where I live. She was so thrilled that I turned out to be exactly who I was online. And I am going to meet the others someday. Perhaps at a NY convention in October. Vic is coming over and a bunch of the Wattpadres are planning to come. Her book, Gilded Cage, comes out January 2017, and I plan to go to London for that.
4. What is the best advice you would give to writers looking to start on Wattpad?
I would suggest being a good Wattpad citizen. This means read other people’s stories, comment on them. Vote. Make friends. Don’t ask people to just read your story. The relationship should come first. What will happen if you make brilliant comments on someone else’s story? Other readers will see them and check out what you are doing.
Don’t ever diss your own work. If people click on your story and you start out telling them about how terrible it is, why should they keep reading? Believe in what you’re writing.
Try to be as grammatically accurate as possible. Ask a friend who is good in English to look at your chapters before you post. If you can write on a word processing program like Word, you will have the benefit of spell check and some punctuation checking as well.
Write a really good story summary. It’s not a description of your plot. It’s a sales tool. Make it exciting and intriguing.
Have an awesome cover. There are lots of people on Wattpad who do covers for others for free and there’s a Media club.
Take a look at the stories on the site that are successful. Ask yourself why they are and try to do whatever that is.
5. Do you have any weird writing habits?
Not really. Though I do find that there is a period of self-flagellation that happens at the beginning of every project. Finally, I recognize that my feelings of doubt, my procrastination, my endless research, are all part of my process. It made me go much easier on myself when I finally realized these were critical steps for me.
6. As a “refugee from Hollywood” do you find your time working for companies like Universal Pictures has inspired your writing?
I was a finance person … so spreadsheets … I still use them, but instead of using them for business reports, I use them to plot. And yes, my current novel, Alien Invasion: A Love Story, definitely draws on my experience working for several movie companies in Hollywood. My main character, Andie Bank, is even a Hollywood accountant.
7. Where do you find inspiration for your stories now?
I came up with the idea for Mermaids and the Vampires Who Love Them as sort of a challenge to myself. I knew I wanted something different, so I asked myself what would be the two most different supernatural beings I could throw together? I came up with mermaids and vampire out of the blue. At first, I thought it was ridiculous, but then I thought it could be very cool.
As far as how I come up with plot ideas, I pay attention to what makes me emotional. Sometimes it’s something on the news, sometimes an event or experience that happened to me or to a friend.
8. What are your favorite genres to write in? Are they the same you read in?
My favorite genres are science fiction and fantasy with some romance thrown into the mix. I think they are the most interesting genres for a couple of reasons.
- It’s different from the world I live in every day. It gives me the opportunity to escape from real life.
- You never know where the narrative will take you. In fantasy, the sky is the limit. Literally!
- Love – you just can’t beat it! It is universal. It’s in our genetic code. We can all relate. Sometimes it’s heart-wrenching, but for me, there is always going to be a happily ever after.
And yes, I read and write in the same genre. I think this is really important because an author should know what is going on in her genre from an artistic and business standpoint. When I first started writing, I thought I had to write something literary or it wouldn’t count. But I hated writing every word. When I finally realized I could write in the genres I loved, it was like a light bulb exploding in my brain. That being said, it’s good to read out of your genre too, for inspiration. There’s nothing like reading good poetry or the classics to get the creative juices flowing.
9. If you could only take three things with you to a deserted island, which three things would you take?
A satellite phone, a sunhat, and Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Jesus’ Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore.
10. What stories can we look forward to from you next?
As I said, I’m working on a humorous, romantic, science fiction novel. Here’s what it’s about: Accountant Andie Bank gets a job at a notorious tabloid. She falls in love with her boss, who, as it turns out, is a member of an insecure alien race planning to abduct her best friend—movie star, Sterling Champagne. The aliens, who want to be idolized, have been relocating celebrities to a far-off moon to participate in the biggest reality show in the galaxy. Back on earth, the aliens assume the identities of the abducted human celebrities and bask in the veneration. At its essence, the novel is about humanity’s obsession with celebrity culture … how we love to idolize and put people on a pedestal. And how we love to see them fall.
About the Author:
Debbie Goelz is a refugee from Hollywood. She served for ten years as a financial executive for such companies as Universal Pictures, Dino de Laurentiis and Jim Henson Productions. Her performing career began and ended with her puppeteering a chicken during the closing scene in Muppet Treasure Island. She was thrilled to write the Zayn Malik story “Redirection” in “Imagines: Celebrity Encounters Starring You.” She also wrote a YA humorous fantasy on Wattpad under the pseudonym Brittanie Charmintine called “Mermaids and the Vampires Who Love Them.” It won a Watty award in 2014. She lives in a redwood forest in rural Marin County with her husband and dog. Her two children have abandoned her to seek a college education in New York.
About the Book:
Anna Todd (#1 internationally bestselling author of the After series) headlines this unique anthology titled: Imagines: Celebrity Encounters Starring You. This is the first book of its kind—stories from Wattpad writers that immerse you in a fantasy world of fame, adventure, and flirtation with your favorite celebrities.
Imagine running around the city, dodging paparazzi with Jennifer Lawrence…
Imagine Justin Bieber setting up a romantic scavenger hunt for your anniversary, retelling the story of your love…
Imagine selfies have been outlawed, making Kim Kardashian a freedom fighter who needs your help in bringing justice and good lighting to the people…
Let your fantasies take over! That’s what the top Wattpad authors have done in this special collection of fictional scenarios that bring you up close and personal with the real celebrities you love—star alongside Zayn Malik, Cameron Dallas, Kanye West, Selena Gomez, Dylan O’Brien, Tom Hardy, Jamie Dornan, Benedict Cumberbatch, and many more!
My Imagines story, is called Redirection. It’s about a girl who writes Zayn Malik fanfiction. Her Wattpad story has gone viral, because what she writes about him ends up happening to him in real life! What will happen when Zayn meets the girl who seems to write his life before it happens?