Meet Australian Novelist & Television Host - Sylvia Massara!
Massara: I kind of “stumbled” into digital publishing, Jennifer. My initial aim was to get my first two novels published through a traditional publisher, but this was taking such a long time—not to mention the number of publishers and agents who didn’t even reply to my letters of enquiry or submissions! Anyway, for a while I did nothing and as I was working a fulltime job, I pretty much shelved everything. And then I got sick. I developed a lower back/pelvic problem that made it impossible for me to continue working for about a year, and it was during this time that I took solace in the social media.
This is how I discovered the world of digital publishing. You know how it is, one thing led to another, and suddenly I was engrossed in formatting my novels into e-books. So my intent was to self-publish in e-book format, and later bring the novels out in paperback.
So far, The Other Boyfriend is out in paperback as well as e-book format. I wanted to test the waters and see what sold best. To date, my e-book sales far outweigh my paperback sales, so now I’m thinking that I will stay with the e-book formats; at least until Hollywood discovers one of my books and makes it to a movie, and then I’m sure that a traditional publisher or two will approach me for the book rights. LOL.
Perry: While reading The Other Boyfriend I truly enjoyed that I could ‘see’ the characters because they were so well drawn. Their dialogue, mannerisms, and settings were vividly described so I felt that I was in the scene live and in person! How much time is spent developing the characters for each book?
Massara: Yes, I do. This is courtesy of that illness I had. During the time I was ill, not only did I learn to publish digitally, but I also learned a lot about social media, blogging, making and editing videos and promoting my novels through book trailers.
I love being creative; whether it’s writing, filming videos or making trailers. I’ve always been a creative person and I guess always will be. So now you see why I walk around with all these characters inside my head. LOL. I am always engaged in some creative pursuit.
Perry: You are the creator and host of The Lit Chick Show. Entertaining, funny and sharp, TLCS is a virtual television show where you interview authors. Is this your first foray into the broadcasting milieu?
Massara: I’ve never had a talk show, if that’s what you mean—not even a virtual one. But from age 5, I always wanted to be an actress. This was my primary dream, but unfortunately I didn’t follow it. Acting is always seen as an insecure career, and out of all the actors in the world, I’ve been told that only around 2% can make a fulltime living out of it. Mind you, it seems the same thing applies to authors!
Having said this, I polished off some ambitions when I was younger. During my late 20s and early 30s I was involved in writing screenplays, and a few of them received recognition from some well known Hollywood names, but I guess it was not my destiny that the screenplays would make it to film. Lots of screenplays end up on the shelf. Hollywood proved to be rather fickle and I was disappointed, to say the least.
The one thing I did, which I thoroughly enjoyed during this time, was acting. At the late age of 33 years, I finally decided to get some acting gigs and I was lucky to land a few TV commercials, documentaries and bit parts in a few TV series. One of them, which I’m not sure if it’s known in the US, was called “Home and Away”. This is a soapy, and the springboard into Hollywood for Aussie actresses Melissa George (Amityville Horror) and Isla Fisher (Confessions of a Shopaholic).
I was lucky to be in a scene with Melissa George in “Home and Away”, where I played the part of a sales assistant in a maternity-wear store, and where I helped her pick out a dress. And regarding Isla Fisher, I didn’t work directly with her, but I shared the same make-up trailer with her and we had a really nice chat. The other evening I watched “Confessions of a Shopaholic” and I sat there thinking about the time I met her and how nice she was to me at the time.
But back to your question, The Lit Chick Show is my first foray into broadcasting on my own, and something I enjoy doing in order to support fellow authors promote their work. I love doing the introductions and better still, interviewing face to face if the author happens to be on my side of the world. I was very lucky to catch Mark Coker, CEO of Smashwords, when he was out in Sydney as part of his mini-world tour and he very kindly agreed to feature as a special guest on my show. I was so excited that I made him an honorary Aussie on camera!
|Jennifer 'Mme' Perry|
Perry: An invitation I am thrilled to accept. Thank you.
You can buy Sylvia's books in print, download them, watch The Lit Chick Show, plus follow her on twitter, facebook, and LinkedIn.