“If it's not fun for you, something's wrong.”

Author Patricia Loofbourrow, from Moore Oklahoma, United States, has been writing all of her life. Her interest in novel writing started in 2005 when she took part in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). She joined Forward Motion for Writers and has been writing extensively ever sense.

Even though Loofbourrow has been freelance editing since 2000, she does work with other editors and proofreaders. Individuals who are able to meet the little things that she might have missed. Collaboration and trust are two key elements when working with editors or other authors. “Join a writing group, preferably online. You'll learn the types of people who you work best with and who you can trust. be active. You must learn to take constructive criticism, which means getting your work read and critiqued.,” says Loofbourrow. You want to make sure that you are getting honest, unbiased feedback.

Loofbourrow published under the name Red Dog Press. Given that she doesn’t take submissions, she likes to think of it more as an imprint company. Createspace and IngramSpark are her go to printing companies. For digital copies she uses Smashwords and Kindle Direct. According to Loofbourrow the pros of self-publishing are the same as those of most other indie authors. “You have control over everything: your cover, when and where you publish, the prices you set, when you do promotions and which you do, etc.” However she goes on to add that you are also in the position of hiring agents and editors rather than waiting, or in most instances begging, them to accept you.

Anyone interested in self-publishing needs to be prepared to do all the work (editing, formatting, printing, marketing, finding reviewers) and put up all of the cash (printing, marketing, maybe cover design and editing). You will also need to get past the stigma of self-publishing, which thankfully is starting to slowly go away. Think of yourself as a writer, believe you are an author, but don’t stop learning. Loofbourrow offers the following points to consider before publishing:

  • If you don't LOVE writing, it's okay not to publish, or even not to write. If you're forcing yourself to write, you're not ready. It's okay not to be ready.
  • Don't begin the publication process unless you are sure you're ready and that you have a story which you can't help but write, because it's MUCH harder than it looks. But you'll learn so much by publishing. It'll take your writing to a whole new level.
  • Save up your money before you begin, unless you have great credit and are willing to max your cards. There is a gap between when you spend money and when you get book sales and you need to be ready for it.
  • Research any place you give money to before you pay them, because there are a LOT of scammers out there preying on desperate authors. That being said, I've found a lot of generous and talented people who will help if you ask.

It is fitting that Lofbourrow describes steampunk as “Victorian-inspired fiction and aesthetics.” Her book series, The Red Dog Conspiracy “follows the story of a female private eye in a far future neo-Victorian city in the midwestern US which used to be beautiful but is now split between four crime families. As Victorian-inspired science fiction, complete with mad scientists (the Inventors), giant airships, corsets, horse-drawn carriages, and goggles. My series is a neo-noir, and the themes of film noir heavily influence this story. It's a dark, gritty steampunk tale, not a bright, shiny one. And I'm a huge fan of political intrigue stories, so you see a good bit of that here as well.”

Book Titles

  • The Jacq of Spades
  • The Queen of Diamonds (Prepared to be launched October 1, 2016)