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Writer Spotlight: L. Salt

It's time for another writer to shine down upon my blog.

Today we're going to get to know about L. Salt, a multi-genre author from the United Kingdom!

She studied History of World Culture and earned her Master’s Degree in Art Expertise at the St. Petersburg University of Culture and Arts.

However, I think it's better that she tells you more.

Take it away, L!

1. Tell me about yourself

I’m a multi-genre author from the United Kingdom. My real name is Valeriya, but I write under a pen name L. Salt.

I was born in Belarus and lived for many years in Ukraine and Russia. In 2013, I moved to the North of England where I currently live with my husband and my fury baby, Rocky. Apart from writing, my greatest passions are travels, history, art, and foreign languages.

So far, I’ve written three novellas. The third one will be released in December. I’ve also written two full-length novels (Off The Ways Duology) and numerous short stories in different genres.

2. When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I think I realised it quite early when I started to write myself. I started it at school, at the age of 12-13. I wrote a sci-fi series about time travel and another dimensions. I always liked to tell stories, creating fancy worlds.

3. Do you think an education in writing is necessary?

I think it depends on what exactly you want to write. I think it’s necessary for non-fiction writing and journalism. However, I don’t think it can help much with genre writing. Writing courses can help you to improve your languge, get more feedback from your teachers and peers, it’s also great for networking, but I believe in talent and ability to create without a fancy degree. If you don’t have an idea or/and a plot in your head then nobody can teach you that. Creative writing courses or a degree in writing can assist a writer to develop his/her ideas, but not to create them.

4. Are you a full-time author? If so/not, how do you balance work, life & writing?

At the moment, I’m between jobs, so I’m lucky to have time for writing. When I worked full-time and required to commute to work to another city, it was a real challenge. I could do it only during some weekends or on holidays.

5. Are you a plotter, pantser or plantser?

Most likely, I’m a plantser. A general idea comes first, then I start my research of a subject. I try to write a sequence of scenes and then write my manuscript scene by scene. Sometimes it doesn’t work, though. My characters decide to do what they want, and I need to adjust the plot to these changes.

6. Who or what influences your writing?

There're so many author who influenced and inspired my writing, starting from classics to modern days’ thrillers and sci-fi authors. I put here just a few who influenced my taste and my writing the most.

Albert Camus, Hermann Hesse, Jack London, Jules Verne, Carlos Casteneda, Dan Brown, Philippa Gregory, Mikhail Bulgakov, Henryk Senkevich, Alexandre Dumas, Philip K Dick.

7. Do you have any writing habits?

I wouldn’t say I have any particular habits. I prefer to write in the afternoon from 12:00 till about 16:00, as I feel more productive and focused. I can write only at home or, at least, in complete silence when I’m alone in my room. Otherwise, I simply can’t focus and make a lot of typos and mistakes.

And of course…coffee, coffee, and more coffee…

8. What do you feel is the hardest thing about the writing process?

I’d say editing and proofreading. I don’t like to repeat myself and come back to the same story and characters again and again. Marketing and promotion take lots of time and efforts as well.

9. What are your solutions for writer's block?

I wouldn’t say I have it very often, but when I do, I try to put my writing aside and focus on other activities. Hiking, reading, gym—all that helps me to clear my mind and to gain inspiration. Travelling is the best solution for that. Unfortunately, it’s also the most expensive one which I can’t afford as often as I’d like to.

10. Are you self-published or trad? What made you choose that route?

For all my works, I use traditional indie-publishing companies. Now, I write exclusively for an American publisher, Crazy Ink Publishing. I preferred traditional publisher, because for such an inexperience author like me, it was a better option.

My publishers do the “hard” job for me, such us editing, proofreading, formatting, promotion, graphics/trailers, etc. I feel more comfortable, working with the professionals who’re always ready to give an advice, share experience, guide through the process, whereas I can focus on more creative things like writing itself.

11. How long does it normally take you to finish a book/story?

I believe it depends on the story itself, whether it’s a novel, novella or a short story.

For example, The Ways We Follow, the first book of my Off The Ways duology, took me almost four years to finish it. I’ve been writing it for three years, including some long breaks. It took me about a year to edit the manuscript. The second book of the series, Angels of Zion, has been written much quicker. It took me about six months to write it.

12. Do you have any marketing strategies?

I’m still in the process of finding the best strategy which would suit my genre, the process of learning different promo methods and trying different blogs, sites, social media, etc.

13. Any favourite genre you like to write in? What draws you to write in that genre?

I’m a multi-genre author, but I focus primarily on thrillers, dramas, historical fiction, mysteries, and sci-fi. I believe I write the same genres I enjoy to read.

14. What do you think readers will find appealing in your book/books?

The Seeds of Stars will release in December!

In my works, I like to blend historical facts and fiction. Most of my books are a mix of several genres—from historical to romantic suspense, from thriller and mystery to sci-fi. I think this mix together with unique locations (from Iceland to Montenegro, from Argentina to the Scottish Highlands) will attract readers to my works.

15. Any advice for aspiring writers?

Never give up just because somebody provided you with negative feedback. Leave it, if you feel you don’t want to do it anymore or if writing doesn’t bring you joy and satisfaction.

Lots of people will criticise your works (maybe even you personally), but this is just one of the components of success. Learn constantly. Learn from professionals, from fellow writers, from lovers and haters, from your own and somebody else’s mistakes. Never stop learning something new.

You can find Salt's books HERE

Follow L. Salt on these social media platforms:

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