Drae Box is an author success mentor and fantasy author. From 2006, she has studied book marketing and awareness building strategies for fiction authors. Trained in email list building and product launches, she regularly observes and analyses the launches of successful books in the independent and traditional publishing sectors.
Along with her growing connections with successful independent authors, Drae is often on social media, chatting with other creative writers and observing the way in which big name, successful authors use them. She continues to run her own experiments on a monthly (sometimes daily) basis by using herself and her books as guinea pigs. When not studying the author industry or writing her own fiction, Drae is guiding other fiction authors with personalised and actionable steps they can take to grow their success.
Her experiments, training and research have served her and others well; her debut fantasy, The Royal Gift, shifted 10,038 in eight months and eleven days. More than once it has held second and third place in its Amazon rankings.
Grab YOUR twenty minute chat with Drae and grow the author success YOU want, by heading here: http://draebox.com/lets-chat
Tell us about your book
I’ll tell you about Threat, which is book two in The Common Kingdoms Series and is coming out soon.
In the previous book, teenager Aldora Leoma and young law enforcer, Royal Official Raneth Bayre, teamed up to locate and return the Dagger of Protection to Aldora’s village (one of six magic artefacts, this one being her village’s). Aldora was your average villager in the Giften Kingdom – she hadn’t much world experience, and she had no enemies. Meeting Raneth soon changed that – she ended up involved in the Bayre-Frey Feud, travelled some of the kingdom, saved her village and became a bit of a celebrity in the Giften Kingdom.
Threat picks up a year later. On a nightly patrol of her village, Aldora encounters the head of the Rivermud family, a murderous criminal family known for smuggling in Giften. She’s stabbed and left for dead. When she comes round in the village hospital the next day, Raneth is one of her visitors. They end up working together to arrest Rivermud, who is hiding in her village. As Raneth also goes on to misplace the king, they work together to find King Cray too.
Can you tell us about your life after you first took up the pen and your journey as a writer?
I started writing at the age of fourteen, though I started recording stories verbally on a cassette when I was eight, so I’ve been creating stories for years (nineteen if you include the verbal ones). In that time I’ve passed GCSEs, ASs, had six jobs, gained certification in motorcycle mechanics and continued to self-teach myself with the aid of books, courses or just pulling up my sleeves and getting stuck in (which is how I learned web design). I’ve had four gerbils, became adored by five cats (four of which aren’t even mine, haha), trained my brother’s dog, and had a rabbit nemesis. I started podcasting, published two books and have planned fifty-eight fantasy books so far, with eight fully finished and the others partially written by scenes. I’ve also learned the true value of loyalty and support from friends and family, and have learned a lot about myself, including how determined an individual I can be.
Which was the first book that absolutely blew you away and why?
I had reading and writing difficulties as a kid, and because of those, a bit of a speech problem too. I had to read every night to one of my sisters to practise, so for some years I hated reading. It was only when someone introduced me to K.A. Applegate’s Animorphs that I discovered my love for reading for pleasure, so this question is a little hard to answer – none really stand out as blowing me away. I overcame my difficulties through determination and practise, and during my last middle school year read the Lord of the Rings, and before that, Jungle Book.
Now, if you want a book that really got me fired up, it would have to be Sabriel, by Garth Nix. I first found out about it in my upper school’s library, when they used to do postcards designed around new upcoming releases. I grabbed the one for Sabriel because it caught my eye, so when it came out a few weeks later, I had my mitts on a copy.
Do you have daily word goals? Do you self edit everyday or after you have reached the end of a story or novel?
I have an unofficial goal to beat my previous year’s total, and to finish fourteen first drafts I started in my teens for the Common Kingdoms Series. As a rule of thumb though, I try to write one thousand words a day for my fiction books. A lot tends to stay uncounted though; everyday I also end up working on fun pieces I do set between the books, non-fiction writing I do to help those in Writers’ Club, or my author clients who are getting the one-on-one mentoring and help with their author goals.
If I’m writing the fiction scenes in sequence, I will sometimes read the last three pages of the day before, so I can pick up where I left off, and keep my writing style consistent (as it tends to be a little different per series except for short stories). Otherwise at the moment I don’t edit until the end. I then edit using Kobo by converting the unedited version as an epub and uploading it onto my tablet, and a printed copy. My editor gets it next for structural edits.
You have an amazing blog that is also very popular. How has your blog helped you to promote yourself? How did you set it up in the first place and get your first readers and blog subscribers?
My author website, Drae Box Books, is the platform I used to continue building my following – it didn’t start there but it is where it grew. I combined it with an exhaustive list of personal methods and experiments and grew it to what it is today. A quick tip I will give your readers: if they want to grow a following, they must bring value and be visible online.
Do you have a mailing list? If so, how do you interact with your list subscribers and how frequently?
Yep, two! Writers’ Club and Readers’ Club. I’m in regular contact with both, and I interact with them sometimes one-on-one. No matter what I’m doing, I make sure to be personal, and to be me. Subscribers to my email list and I are in fairly constant contact, as they email me back quite often and have a good natter with me.
Where do the majority of your subscribers come from?
My hard work. I don’t wait around to be discovered. I go out of my way to be.
Any fantasy film (except LOTR and Harry Potter) that you found great?
Solomon Kane and Season of the Witch. I like these for the sense of other world feel they have.
How do you go about the process of preparing a book for publication?
This is a really big question, because there’s a lot that goes into it. I’d say the number one piece of advice I can give here is don’t rush it. Stay calm; don’t let excitement make you press publish before you’re ready.
Can you describe your favourite character in fiction in ten words?
Hmm. Nope. I would gush more than ten words.
What are you currently working on? When is it releasing?
Keeping in mind I wrote this in June 2016… Right now I’m working on my podcast, book eleven in The Common Kingdoms Series, the launch of book two and I’m rewriting book three in the same series. Tomorrow I may be working on different books – I jump around which writing project I’m working on. Every day I’m doing something to build awareness though – that’s the one constant project other than helping clients.
Anything you would like to add?
Yeah sure. I love helping other fiction authors, and that’s why I share my knowledge and training with my clients. Anyone serious about being a successful fiction author is welcome to book a twenty minute chat with me for free at http://draebox.com/lets-chat
A. J. Chaudhury is a young author from India writing mostly in the fantasy genre. His historical low fantasy short “A Song of Blood” has released and is being acclaimed by reviewers (grab it here!)
To download his fantasy novella “The Drabird” for free CLICK HERE!