Dale is a long-time writing partner, one of six in our group. I couldn’t be more proud of what she’s accomplished with her writing and publications. We were all “newbies” when we started our critique group, and the quality and professionalism of Dale’s writing—not to mention her talent and ability to tell a good story—show how far she’s come since those early days.
Dale’s Writing Process
Linda Covella: Dale, I’m very excited to have you on my blog. Let’s get started! How long have you been a writer?
Dale Ibitz: All my life. But in the traditional sense, for about 16 years, part-time.
LC: Do you write in one particular genre, or explore a variety of stories?
DI: I wrote mostly in the YA fantasy and paranormal genres, though I have written a middle-grade contemporary with a kind of dark theme. My next book will be in the new adult category, and I have plans to dabble in the adult market as well. I like dark, and creepy. I have learned through trial and error that most readers prefer happy endings to dark ones.
LC: I have to say, even though you like dark and creepy, you also have a great sense of humor. You’ve had me ROTFL many times over the years!
From where do you get your inspiration for your stories?
DI: Several places. Okay, this is going to sound really weird, but I like to watch soap operas, because they are the masters at evil plots and twists. That’s my dirty little secret. But there are other things that inspire me. My Last Moon Rising series was inspired by global climate change. I’m often inspired by nature. And music. Totally. I can hear one line in a song and develop a whole story behind it.
LC: Ok, your secret is out about the soap operas. Maybe I’ll have to start tuning in.
What is your writing process? How much/often do you write?
DI: My process is a shambles, if I’m to be honest. Because I work full-time, and have a couple of rug-rats, I grab snippets of writing time when I can. My most productive time is on the bus to and from work, early mornings, or on the weekends. I find it difficult to write at night, because I’m usually physically and mentally exhausted. I’m at my best in the morning.
LC: Do you have writing partners who critique your work before submission? Why do or why don’t you think this is important?
DI: Absolutely. I’ve been in a critique group almost as long as I’ve been writing. It’s important because you can’t always judge your own work…you’re too close to it. I happened upon a mix of people who all have different strengths, whether it be grammar, or plotting, or characterization; they each see something different in my work and help zero in on all those flaws.
Dale’s Road to Publication:
LC: How long have you actively been pursuing publication?
DI: Almost as long as I’ve been writing. It took me a couple of years to finish my first book, so I’d say about 12-13 years.
LC: Do you have an agent? If yes, how did you go about finding him/her and what have the benefits been to having an agent?
If not, do you think an agent would be helpful to your writing career/do you plan to seek an agent?
DI: Hmmm. Tough one. I don’t have an agent. I do think agents are helpful if you want to break into the Big 6 (or is it 4 now?) They can bring their savvy expertise to not only get you through the door, but to pull up a chair at the negotiating table. I don’t believe an agent is necessary for the smaller boutique publishers; their doors are open, and there isn’t a whole lot of room to negotiate.
LC: Have you self-published your books, or gone through a traditional publisher?
If self-published, why did you go that route? Or, why a traditional publisher?
In your view, what are the pros and cons of each?
DI: I have self-published. While it’s true you have all the creative control when you self-publish, it helps to hire an editor and a cover designer, so you shoulder the up-front costs. Also, the marketing end of it is exhausting. You have to trade your creative hat for a business hat, something many authors (including myself) are not entirely comfortable with.
My next book will be through a publisher. While they do a lot of the heavy lifting, the writer is still required to do some marketing on their own. For me the feeling is that I’m not in this alone; I have people who will edit my book, and design the cover, and help me market. It’s kind of nice not having to do everything on my own!
LC: What’s up next for Author Dale Ibitz?
DI: Lots of exciting things! My third book in the Last Moon Rising series (YA fantasy), Water Over Blood, will be released this year with plans to release the final book in spring of 2014. I’ve also signed a deal with Soul Mate Publishing who will be publishing my new adult paranormal romance, Kiss Me Dead. I’m totally tweaked about that!
LC: Anything you’d like to add or that we should know about you?
DI: I like chocolate. And coffee. Preferably together! I also have links if you want to stalk me.