Authors come in many varieties, from the thoroughly literary type to the more enthusiast inclined. R.A. Akerlund is the rocker kind, formerly in a band. It’s evident in the guitar pick on her site. It’s noticeable in her 1960’s-reminiscent book cover for I Am Ed.
After selling her “soul out to MTV” for a little while, she took to writing her book. This is what she had to tell us about her work, journey, and IRDA winning novel.
The Early Days
Born in Stockholm, you moved to London, and eventually played “dingy dives in Camden.” That’s a long journey. Do you think you’d ever write about it?
No, I mean, Ed’s story is complete fiction but I used my time in Camden as inspiration. The people I met, the places we played and the feeling that you have when you are a young musician and is driven by your passion for music.
You sold your soul out to MTV for a little while before becoming a writer. Think there are any relatable skills between the two career paths (being in a band vs. being an author)?
I know it sounds odd, but I needed to pay the rent and MTV offered me a job. I reckoned it was better then working at a restaurant. There were some fun moments, but I didn’t feel inspired. I have always written. Poetry, short stories and a novel was an ambition of mine. I love stories and the worlds of my characters can occupy my brain for hours on end. I can wake up in the night and think of a new plot.
Your very first book, I Am Ed, was released this year! Congratulations. Was it everything you thought it would be?
Yes, and more. I am just so grateful to the people that have taken the time and read my first novel. It is so humbling when someone asks me about the characters and the story. My sole ambition with I am Ed was to get it finished. It has gone well and beyond my expectations.
One of the top questions we get here on Literative is how to market your book. How would you answer that question? How have you marketed I Am Ed?
You have to be good at social media. It is not my strongest side as I spent far to much time in front of a screen with my writing. The last thing I want to do after a day’s writing is trailing twitter or Facebook. I am trying though. I really am.
Your book won an award! Did you submit it, or did they contact you?
I submitted to Indie reader. In the Indie publishing world you have to submit to reviews and competition as part of the promotion process. I was delighted with my Discovery award, it has open doors and sold many books from the exposure.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years? Will music and writing be united at any point?
I love playing the guitar, piano and singing and do so when I have spare time. At the moment I have no plans of starting up again. Who knows, perhaps I will join a blues band if they’ll have me.
Are you currently working on anything new?
Yes, I am working on my second novel. I am being mentored by Jill Dawson and feeling extremely inspired. The book is pouring out of me. It’s a completely different story from I am Ed, but I guess there are parallels taken from my own life. I am hoping to have first draft done in March.
Parting Words From R.A. Akerlund
What advice would you give to any aspiring writers reading this today?
Just start and don’t stop until it’s done. Don’t put it in the drawer, persevere.
We’d like to thank R.A. Akerlund for taking the time to interview with Literative. Writing is a time-consuming process, and she still made the effort. Clearly, she’s the perfect author to read, since she has the power to inspire us with the simplest of advice:
“Just start and don’t stop until it’s done. Don’t put it in the drawer, persevere.”
Frankly, aspiring authors hear a lot of advice in the publishing industry, but this is the most valuable. Nothing will get you writing more than just doing it.
Best of luck goes out to R.A. Akerlund on her next novel, but she won’t need it.