There is a quote often shared on social media about writing being a solitary endeavor, and while this may be true of the first draft, it certainly is not by the time you actually want to publish your work. Certainly more people are involved in publishing a novel the traditional way, but even indie authors like me often involve more than just themselves.

Although I still dream of having my own stories published the traditional way one day, I was always determined to start out as an indie author. Not only do I like this idea for myself, but I also love working with other indies! The first and most important indie who worked on “Vienna in Short Stories“ with me was Lara Ferrari, who is an independent editor and writing coach. I found Lara a year ago via Instagram, and I have been following her content ever since. She always has very practical and hands-on advice for writers on how to start, finish, or improve their work so when I was nearing the end of the first draft of my manuscript, I knew exactly who to turn to as my editor. I was lucky that she still had a free spot for me during the summer. Her editorial feedback to my manuscript was very detailed and thorough, and reading her words I felt respected and taken seriously as a writer. I was so happy to receive professional and objective words on my stories. Everything she wrote, the good, the bad and the improvement worthy, made sense and I jumped right into the editing stage with fresh ideas and motivation.

Of course my better half, Mr. Lit & Pie, has been another form of great support for my stories. He read them all and I have included his feedback into the revisions in many places as well. I discussed Lara‘s editorial feedback with him and have bounced ideas off of him. He and my mother are my biggest if not my only supporters in ‘real life’.

Last year‘s reading was also very heavy on short stories. I mostly read other authors‘ short story collections, and one collection that stood out was Jeanette Winterson‘s “Christmas Days“. The overarching theme was Christmas, not only in her stories, but after each story she would also have a recipe and a personal anecdote of her life related to it. It was so beautifully illustrated by the wonderful Katie Scott, that I started to dream of having my first short story collection illustrated too.

This is essentially the reason why I went on a quest to find an independent illustrator for my book, and found her eventually in Melanie Chadwick. I love her sketchy drawing style and we immediately got on when I told her of my ideas for the illustrations. It was a beautiful collaboration on my book cover and inside illustrations with a very beautiful outcome. Later on, I also interviewed Mel for issue 12 of the ‘Unread Magazine’.

Now that you know a little bit about the people behind my first book, what about you? Are you going it all alone, or do you have a trusted squad of indies?