Six Questions with Raine Thomas
In honor of the release of her newest novel Shift, I'm pleased to present a close writing friend to my Six Question Saturday. Raine Thomas is everything I aspire to be as a published author.
1. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
As a matter of fact, I do! It all began the year I won an award in my fourth-grade literacy fair. I wrote a book titled The Dancing Spider, even going so far as to hand write it on paper cut out in the shape of a ballet slipper. I’ve been hooked ever since!
2. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Shift is a play on words. The female protagonist, Sophia, is a shapeshifter, so that meaning should be pretty clear. Another meaning behind the title, though, ties into the shifting of perspectives required to promote change. Sophia begins the novel believing that the male protagonist, Quincy, can’t stand her. She’ll have to “shift” her understanding of their relationship if they’re going to make progress. Similarly, events unfold in the novel that cause characters who otherwise wouldn't trust each other to now rely on each other to survive and achieve their goals. The message, then, is to not remain rooted in one perspective or you’ll likely suffer for it.
3. Which authors have influenced your writing the most?
I've read so many books in my lifetime that it’s fair to say I don’t even realize which authors have most influenced my writing. I will mention that I love reading romance and paranormal, so several romance writers (Nora Roberts, Julie Garwood, Diana Gabaldon) and a number of fantasy/paranormal writers (J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, Madeline L’Engle) have, at the very least, inspired me.
4. If you could go back and do it all over, what changes would you have made since publishing your first books?
There are many things I would do differently, particularly before the launch of my first books. I didn’t do a single thing to promote the release of the Daughters of Saraqael trilogy. I actually didn’t know how or what to do! My social media presence was nonexistent. I didn't know a single blogger or book reviewer. Investing in paid advertising was out of the question. I’m very fortunate that despite these egregious missteps on my part, I managed to sell books and make my stamp on the writing community. It just goes to show you: if I can do it, anyone can!
5. What is the most profound thing that has happened to you since you became a published author?
The most profound thing definitely has to be winning two awards at the UtopYA conference in Nashville this past July. My novel, Becoming, won an award for Best Sci-Fi or Fantasy Novel, and the trailer for my book Defy also won for Best Book Trailer. I was awed, humbled and blown away (and, yes, I cried!).
6. What is your take on e book pricing-- is 99c too cheap? Do you think "free" promotions work?
Now that I’m about to publish my fifth book, I’ve priced my first book in the Estilorian series, Becoming, at 99 cents. I intend to keep it that price. I also have a free Estilorian short story, The Prophecy, which is a prequel to Becoming. My other books are all $2.99. I’ve tried a number of strategies in pricing and there doesn’t seem to be a magic formula. My advice is to try a few different price points for your book (giving each one a little time to generate a response) and change it if needed.
Thank you so much, Raine. I'm excited to watch as your career progresses.