Can you tell us a little about yourself and your books?
Hello! My name is Majanka Verstraete, I’m twenty-five years old, I studied law and criminology at university, and I’ve written more than ten books so far. I write speculative fiction for kids and young adults. I’ve written two YA paranormal series so far, The Angel of Death Series and Mirrorland. When I’m not writing, I’m probably spending time with my friends and family, playing World of Warcraft or binge-watching TV shows on Netflix.
It looks like you have had an interesting and varied publishing career so far. Can you tell us a bit about your journey?
My first book accepted by a publisher was “Fractured”, a YA paranormal and the first book in the Mirrorland series. After that, my children’s picture book “Valentina and the Haunted Mansion” was accepted by another publisher. This book was published before “Fractured” though, making it my first published book. My journey hasn’t gone without some hiccups, but I’ve enjoyed every step of the way. When Booktrope accepted The Angel of Death Series for publication, I was thrilled.
How do you decide which projects to work on and when?
This year, I’ve set myself a goal to write a book a month. Well, draft a book a month. It’s crazy but so far, it’s working. This month, I finished a book I’d been working on for the past two years, tentatively named “Ghostslayer”. I finally finished drafting it and edited it. While working on new books, I’m also rewriting some of the old books I’ve written. I basically do what I’m in the mood for – if I want to draft something new, I start with that. If I want to edit something old, I start with that. Usually just getting started gives me enough motivation to finish drafting/editing and then moving forward to my next task.
What is your favorite part of the publishing industry?
Getting to know so many amazing people. Authors and readers, publishers and editors, I’ve met so many wonderful people ever since I published my first book.
What advice would you give to new writers just starting out, facing more options than ever when it comes to publishing their books?
I would recommend to not go for the first publisher that gives you the time of day. At least not without proper research. Also, I wouldn’t put all my eggs in one basket – nowadays, more and more authors are hybrid authors, self-publishing some titles and having other titles with traditional presses. I think that’s a sound choice for authors starting out. If you put all your books with one publisher and that publisher calls it a day, then you’re in serious trouble and it will be a battle to get your rights back. Also, all publishers have strengths and weaknesses, and it’s only by working with different ones that you learn more about this.
What are your favorite books of all time? The ones you think everyone should read.
A Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. That series is amazing. Also, Harry Potter, of course, and Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin.
What’s next for you?
Well, with the publication of “Demonic Pact”, I’ll spend a large portion of my time promoting that book. I’m also working on a kids book that I hope to release soon, on “Angel Assassin”, the third book in The Angel of Death Series which will release later this year, and on some novellas set in the Angel of Death Series universe.
Majanka Verstraete studies law and criminology by day and writes speculative fiction by night. All her books include monsters of some kind: the good, the bad, and just about every species in between. She’s written several children’s picture books in the Valentina’s Spooky Adventure series, and six chapter books in the Weirdville series. She’s the author of the young adult horror series, Mirrorland, and of young adult paranormal series, The Angel of Death Series. When she’s not writing, she’s probably playing World of Warcraft or catching up with the dozens of TV series she’s addicted to.