Bethany Nicholls, author of Waning

Are you a full-time or part-time writer and how does that affect your writing?

As of now, I’m a part-time writer, though I hold out hope that this could change sometime in the future.

One of the things I really struggle with is time. Between work, housework, family commitments, and personal wellness, there isn’t a lot of time left over for writing – this means that I’m usually drafting the odd paragraph whenever I can catch a few spare minutes like during the morning train commute.

What are some day jobs you have held?

Since completing my NVQ Level 2 in Business Administration, most of my jobs have been admin-based though some of the roles have expanded to include app development and system management.

At the moment, I’m a business analyst which means I get to indulge in my love of Excel.

What have you written so far?

Up until now, I’ve only ever written fan fiction, short stories, and poetry, though those were more for myself than anyone else. Waning is the first full-length novel that I’ve completed with the intention of other people seeing it.

Do you work with an outline or plot sketch, or do you prefer to let a general idea guide your writing?

I’d say that I’m the textbook definition of a Pantser, or at least I was when I first began writing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s exhilarating to write without plot constraints or pre-determined timelines to remember, but the momentum eventually dwindles away, and the block feels ten times harder to break through.

At the beginning, I’d treat my drafts like an evening soap opera.

I would get comfortable at my laptop and just write whatever came to mind, eager to see what would happen, until I realized that most of my manuscript was just me rambling on. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great way to learn about your characters, but a pain when it comes to creating a coherent story.

For example, I finished the original draft of Waning within six weeks, and it was re-written and changed at least thirty times before I even considered getting it critiqued.

As I’ve gotten older, I tend to lean more towards the ‘signpost’ idea – I have a rough idea of certain points I want to hit in the narrative, but I don’t put too much thought into how or when I get there.

How did you decide how to publish your books?

It took me a decade to finally come around to the idea of self-publishing, after many conversations with friends, family, and my other half.

I was five when I first decided that I wanted to be a writer and back then, self-publishing wasn’t really that heard of. Now I can see it was my ignorance, but for years, I held this belief that self-publishing was an acknowledgment that you weren’t skilled enough to be represented by a traditional publisher.

As far as I was concerned, it was either an act of defeat or vanity.

However, it all changed when E. L. James became one of the best-selling authors of all time.

Despite my feelings towards her series, it showed me that with hard work and determination, it was possible to be just as successful as traditionally published authors.

It was when Fifty Shades Freed came out in the cinema that I decided maybe doing it myself wasn’t such a bad idea.

Tell us more about your main character. What inspired you to develop this character?

My protagonist is Luna Trinity Goodwin, and she’s been a big part of my life since I was given some creative writing homework when I was eight.

At the beginning, she was just a name and collection of features but, as the years have passed, she’s grown along with me. Each time I write with Luna, regardless of the genre or concept, I learn something new about her.

Do you listen or talk to your characters?

I don’t want to sound crazy, but they live in my head 24/7, and it’s fantastic for character development. I’ve also found it helps me a lot when I’m trying to hash out conversations, especially when the subject matter is particularly dark or emotional.

There have been many occasions in the past five years that I’ve had to just sit back and listen, and even more when I’ve had to talk things over with them.

If your book was made into a movie, who would you cast?

I’ve always been adamant that if I managed to make a successful career as a writer, I’d love the opportunity to pay it forward.

So, if I were ever lucky enough to be in the position where Waning was going to be made into a movie, I’d hold open auditions across the country in order to find my main characters.

However, if I’m being perfectly honest, I may keep a few smaller, insignificant parts aside for a couple of better-known actors.

Want to learn more about the book and follow Bethany?

Follow Bethany on Goodreads!

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