May 25, 2018
Bio: Tiana Warner is the
author of the multi-award winning Mermaids of Eriana Kwai trilogy.
She has a Computer Science degree and is a professional nerd
working in the high-tech industry. She lives by the beach in
Vancouver, Canada, and spends her free time riding her horse,
- Do you have an ‘elevator
pitch’ for Ice Massacre, to summarize it for our audience members
who maybe haven’t read it before? The series is based on
the legend that mermaids are supernatural creatures that lure men
to their deaths. It’s set on an island in the Pacific NW.
- Did you ever consider
going traditional? (Would you in the future?)
Self-publishing is harder to get noticed. Hard to get into
bookstores. Most of the books are e-books. It’s choosing to run
your publishing like a business. A good plan is to be hybrid. She
wants to try to publish the next one traditionally. It’s hard to
get an agent and publishing deal. Shows that she has a
- You’re self-published:
what pushed you to choose that route? There are pros and
cons: self-publishing is great bc you have total control. Set her
own price, makes it affordable for readers. You can price your book
lower and still get more money from it. Can also run promos
whenever you want. Timeline was appealing too: you can publish when
- What advice might you have
for other self-published authors out there: what’s the most
effective marketing strategy you’ve used to date? (Or perhaps the
top three?) Book marketing is very hard. The #1 way to
sell books: word of mouth. But that’s outside of your control.
Advice: get as many reviews as you possibly can. Ask readers to
leave a review at the end of the book. If you reach out to book
bloggers and offer them a free copy, that helps too. Run a lot of
promos where you give your book away for free. Do KDP select or
InstaFreebie. Donate to libraries. For Ice Massacre, she was on KDP
select for the first 90 days and she got higher royalties. But for
the next two in the series, she didn’t do it bc it meant she was
- Who are some of your
favorite authors/books that you would consider to be your
inspirations? JK Rowling is her favorite author forever.
She’s a Ravenclaw. Also Maggie Stiefvater: Scorpio Races (water
demon horses). In terms of general writing advice and inspiration:
Save the Cat by Blake Snyder: great for plot structure and K.M.
Weiland: Helping Writers Become Authors
- Tell me a little about
your journey writing “Ice Massacre.” I’ve never seen anybody do a
mermaid story before where the mermaids are not the main
characters—and in fact, they seem like the villains for about half
the book (sort of anyway). Where did you get the idea
from? She came up with the idea in Disneyland in 2012. She
wanted to write about something supernatural but that hadn’t been
done in awhile — especially the real legend where they are vicious
sea demons who try to lure men to their deaths. When she got home,
she wrote the first scene from the middle and then jumped around.
Usually she starts with a scene that excites her the
- Along those lines: is
there a long-standing mermaid obsession? :) Or was it just
something that worked for the story? No long-standing
mermaid obsession but she’s always loved fantasy creatures
- Were your
characters—especially Meela, Lysi, and Dani—modeled after anyone
you know? Or were they all from your imagination? These
were imagination. Dani’s character arc had a few sources of
inspiration. When she pictures her, she pictures a purring,
sneering personality. Her arc was inspired by Black Swan, the film.
Someone obsessed to achieve her goal.
- What are you working on
now? The series is finished. She’s now working on her next
book: a sci fi about a woman who gets an internship at a space tech
company and discovers that her boss is a supervillain. And Ice
Massacre is being adapted into a graphic novel. Working with a
comic artist who approached her about it. They’ll pitch that to
publishers. She did promotional art.
- Anything I haven’t asked
you that you want to make sure you communicate to our
audience? On the topic of self-publishing: she has a blog
post about this. Search for Tiana Warner Step by Step Guide. It
outlines the steps involved, not as scary as it seems!