Interview With Author Imogen Keeper

# Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!

Hi! I’m Imogen Keeper. I have nine Romance novels published, and recently won Writers’ Digests’ 2020 Best Indie Romance for my Talk Dirty to Me and was a finalist in RWA’s Carolyn Award for Fight Dirty with Me. I have three more books coming out this summer and fall, and should have a fourth coming out around the New Year. Readers can catch up with me and get a free book at my website www.ImogenKeeper.com. Thank you so much for interviewing me!

# Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?

I’m a big believer in finding your comps. Book buyers don’t buy in a void. They make decisions that are informed by what they see around them. Finding other books like yours and creating a cover that fits in with that is usually a smarter bet than creating one that’s different. You want your title and your cover to make it very clear what genre you’re writing and what a reader can expect if they pick up your book. 

There are times to be flashy and unique and special, in my opinion, title and book cover aren’t always that place.

I usually look at both the top traditional books and the top indie books in the subgenre I’m publishing in and try to find a way to make mine uniquely representative of me and my story while clearly still being a part of those subgenres. Same font styles, same color schemes, same overall message being sent, but still part of my brand and style.

# How has your creation process improved over time?

 When I first started writing everything was new. Crafting a sentence was as new as crafting a character arc or a side plot, so looking back, I can pinpoint places I used to get stuck in the weeds or lost in logic holes. It’s hard to see the big picture when you’re still struggling with sentence or paragraph level issues. The more you improve your prose, the easier it is to see scene structure, act structure, character journeys. I’ve noticed that I’m simply capable of seeing the story in ways I couldn’t before. That streamlines and opens up the creative well.

# What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book(s)?

Best: I can do it. That may seem small or trite, but there were multiple times during the first book I lost faith in myself. Finishing a book was a major personal victory that has given me so much confidence. Now, I know I can do it.

Worst: Commas copulate like bunnies. It’s a fact. Commas make baby commas overnight and they move around in the document while you sleep.

Most surprising: Research. Because of my writing, I now know how long it takes to die in space, what that shiny stuff in nocturnal animals’ eyes is called, the best place to stab someone and was a parsec is. Okay, I’ve forgotten what a parsec is, but it’s in my vocabulary and at one point I knew.

# How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?

I read all my reviews obsessively and I try to remind myself that the negative ones are rare. You can’t please everyone sadly and not everyone is going to like my books. It’s just a fact. And it’s okay. I do try to analyze the comments. Is it something I could fix? Do I want to fix it? If the answers are yes–then I go fix it. If the answer is no–then I move on with my life. Negative energy only causes wrinkles and sleepless nights.

# Do you have any creativity tricks?

I have two. 

1) Surround yourself with people. I’m fortunate enough to part of two active small online communities of women writers and we support each other with brainstorming, critiques, troubleshooting, general craft chat and it’s like plugging into a hive mind. I learn from them. I grow because of them. I improve. It’s much harder to create in a vacuum.

2) Turn off that inner critic. Nothing works so well for me as going for a walk with my earbuds and talking out whatever I need to brainstorm. That or driving. I frequently talk to myself like a crazy person while driving or walking, and I almost always solve my problems.