On November 28, 2012, I appeared on the KCTV5 television show Better Kansas City (airing from 9:00am to 10:00am CST). I was interviewed about my book, Otter and Arthur and the Sword in the Stone and discussed the writing and publishing process.
Here's a detailed version of the interview with links included:
How did the book come about?
I’ve been a fan of King Arthur since I was a teenager. I wanted to share the stories with my kids, who are 10 and 7. However, books about King Arthur tend to be the equivalent of R-rated movies so I decided to write my own age-appropriate version. I focused on the young Arthur and how he is befriend by a mouse nicknamed Otter. This mouse is responsible for Arthur fulfilling the legend of pulling the sword from the stone and becoming king.
Where can people find the book?
The book is available through OtterandArthur.com and at Shawnee Books & Toys.
Write, write, write. Don’t worry about whether it is good. Don’t worry about how many words you write each day. Don’t worry about whether you have your idea fleshed out. Don’t worry about editing. Just write. Get your ideas down on paper. The rest will come later.
So how you stick it out and finish a book?
I recommend finding a writers’ group. I joined one I found through Meetup.com (The Kansas City Writers Meetup Group) by just searching for writers’ groups in the Kansas City area. The advantage of such a group is having a support system. They keep you focused and give valuable feedback to help you fine-tune and finish.
Your book is self-published. Why did you go that route instead of a traditional publisher?
The traditional route is a long and hard journey. One must write query letters to try to get agents, expect to get rejected many times over, and – even in the best case scenario, be prepared for a couple years to go by before the book is published. Even then, there’s no guarantee how much marketing power a publishing company will put behind the book.
What are the advantages of self-publishing?
I can get the book out there as fast as I want and I make all the decisions. For this book, I hired professionals to edit it and do the book design, but someone could even do that themselves.
So how does one get self-published?
I use CreateSpace.com. It costs nothing, is easy to use, and is affiliated with Amazon. You upload a jpeg cover and a pdf file of the book’s content. The book lists on Amazon as a print-on-demand title which means the author can order one copy or a hundred. You can also create an ebook version for Kindle.
Click on any of the above icons (CreateSpace, Amazon, Kindle) to go to those sites and purchase Otter and Arthur and the Sword in the Stone. You can also click on the "Buy the Book" tab on this site.
Follow Writ by Whit or Otter and Arthur on Facebook for more about writing and this book in particular.