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Welcome the beautiful DemelzaCarlton

Question 1. Can you tell us about Ocean’s Gift?

Ocean's Gift is…the product of a sleep deprived mind, an Evanescence song and research that was running in circles. A book that took three weeks to write and three months to edit. A story about lobsters, fishing, beer and boobs; or a tale about a century-old siren whose heart was broken by tragic loss when she was a child. It's both, as I have two main narrators telling it. And one's a bloke.

Somehow, I arrived at the idea of a purely female siren population who come ashore to breed with humans. The logistics involved in this were quite involved and I won't go into it here – but I did write a little R-rated version of it on my page, if you really want to know.

Now, sending a mermaid back to the islands where she lost someone she loved as a child is quite cruel, so I thought I'd send her with some companions and add a young trainee fisherman for some comic relief. I figured it was bound to be funny – the Abrolhos is a site like nowhere else I've ever been. What I didn't expect was that the fisherman was more than just a joke…as he starts to notice his beautiful next door neighbour more and more. And the romance? It's from his perspective, so forgive me if I don't use some of the more classic romantic language. Joe's not the sort to talk about how lovely a girl's lips look when she's wearing a low-cut top. He'll be looking lower.

It's a modern, Australian mermaid tale. They drink beer, eat fish and you don't touch them without their permission, or you'll find yourself food for sharks.

Very cool! Awesome combination of everything here. Sleepless nights are great for writing. 


Question 2. How did the idea come about to make videos for your stories?


Some marketing ebooks suggested I had to make a video trailer, so I watched a few on Wattpad.

"I can do that!" I told myself, so I tried it, with text over photographs and my (very nervous) voice in the background. I almost choked when I realised I'd chosen to read a chapter with a sex scene in it for the trailer, but somehow I managed to do it.

The rest of the background videos just seemed to flow from there – I wanted to tell people about the place where the Ocean's Gift series is set, with photographs and occasional excerpts of my books. Sometimes it's about the animals, trees or even drinks in the book – I did one on cars, too. Video seemed the perfect medium – though I'm still working to perfect my videos!

Multi talented.  

Question 3. How can someone go about marketing their first story?

Honestly, there's so many books on marketing it's hard to sort the wheat from the chaff. And do you mean on Wattpad or in the wider self-publishing marketplace?

Here, I would say it's about being seen. Joining conversations and generally being helpful. I've been involved in several Pub SmackDowns, as both a contestant and a judge, though I did get in a virtual fight with one of the judges. No, not an argument – a fight. I hope I broke his virtual foot…*cough* I mean, I hope it healed okay.

Offering to assist in editing other people's work is definitely on the list of "being helpful." I met a fair few people on here and read some really good books as a result.

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