We’re thrilled to introduce you to Winnifred Tataw, a talented Amazon best-selling author who crafts mesmerizing fantasy realms, as well as an artist and entrepreneur. Also known as Winnie, her writing journey commenced in childhood and took a professional turn in 2019. 

Her work is marked by intricate character development, immersive world-building, and riveting, thought-provoking plotlines. She derives joy from conjuring and sharing magical worlds from her boundless imagination, as evident in her ongoing The Gods’ Scion series, with its fifth installment set to captivate readers soon.

In this exclusive interview, Winnie provides valuable insights into her writing journey, transformative writing advice, the delight of engaging with fans, camaraderie with authors, intriguing teases about her upcoming projects, and much more. Join us as we delve into the enchanting world of Winnie’s imagination and her indie author journey!

Meeting the Author

Hey Winnie! It’s awesome to have you here. How are you doing?

I’m doing great. I’m so happy to be interviewing with you today!

Could you introduce yourself to our readers? Please share a bit about your background as an author and your work!

Hello everyone, my name is Winnifred or Winnie Tataw. I’m an author and artist. I’ve been writing for many years, but I’ve been professionally writing and publishing since 2019. Most of my stories are character-driven with interesting world-building and invigorating storylines.

When did you start writing? What inspired you to begin?

I’d say since elementary school, so when I was about 9 years old. What really inspired me was reading other books. My family has always been great storytellers which runs a lot in our culture as Cameroonians. So I grew up listening to my parents tell stories and then telling the stories on my own by writing them.

Which genre do you mostly write in? What draws you to it, and why does it resonate with you?

I mostly write fantasy. I love reading and watching fantasy. I just love how you can create anything you want just from your imagination, and that every fantasy writer has their own uniqueness for storytelling, visions, and imagination.

As a person who’s always been a fan of animation and storytelling, I think fantasy is a genre in which you can do the most extensive storytelling. You can create things that haven’t even been created yet, or take existing things and turn them into new fun, and invigorating concepts.

Writing Journey

Every moment I have as a writer is unforgettable for me. […] All of these moments, big and small, accumulate into a greater story.” — Winnifred Tataw


Throughout your journey as an author, what’s the most unforgettable moment for you? Why’s it so special?

I’ve had so many great moments as an author, such as becoming a best-selling author on Amazon, selling out my books at conventions, being invited to multiple different book fairs, and meeting many different people.

Every moment I have as a writer is unforgettable for me, because it solidifies my legacy as an author. All of these moments, big and small, accumulate into a greater story. So I can’t really say I have a very big unforgettable moment because I think I have so many of them that it would be just for me to talk about only one.

Do you recall the first story you ever wrote? What was it about? How do you look back on it now?

Not really. I’d just write short stories all the time. As aforementioned, I’m also an artist. So I’d write stories based on a lot of my artwork. Sometimes, I just drew characters and then I’d write a paragraph about them, or I’d create a fantasy character and make a whole story about them. So I can’t say that I remember what was exactly the first story I ever wrote.

But if I were to look back at all the little stories I wrote as a child, I can see that I had a big imagination and love for fantasy and romance and that I loved delving into characters and their motivations.

Your shift from focusing solely on your books to creating a platform for fellow writers with Win’s Books is inspiring. Can you tell us why you decided to branch out? What’s your vision for Win’s Books in the upcoming years?

At first, I started Win’s Books as a little place on the internet where I’d write blogs about my writing and publishing journey. And then the pandemic happened and everyone was stuck at home. That’s when as an indie author, I started seeing issues with the indie authors being able to get the word out about their books and connect with other authors to ask for help.

I know when I started, I didn’t know what I was doing and I didn’t have any authors to talk to, because I didn’t really use social media before I started publishing my books. When I started leveraging social media and trying to get my name out there, I wanted to do interviews. But there weren’t any places that did good interviews for the indie authors that were free, affordable, or not generic.

So I wanted to provide a service where I could spotlight the authors and their books for free, just helping fellow indie authors get their name out there on the internet. Since 2020, Win’s Books has really exploded. Now we do workshops and marketing services, and we even have a free membership program for new budding authors and writers to join.

My hope for Win’s Books’s future is for it to continue growing. Maybe one day, it can have a storefront where people can come physically to connect with other authors, do meet-and-greets, and sell their books. I want Win’s Books to be a hub for people to connect, learn, and grow in their author journey, and be a place that’s affordable and accessible for all types of authors.

How has connecting with the writing and indie community impacted your growth as an author and your writing journey?

It has impacted my growth exponentially. I think it’s one of the reasons why I push so hard to continue writing, as well as continue being a big part of this community. I love the indie community. It’s so vast and creative, and we look out for each other. There isn’t a sense of competition in it.

I also think that we indie authors tend to be a bit harder on ourselves, and we’re honest about our writing with other authors. Because we know that we’re scrutinized and looked down upon by some people because we chose to publish our work. But I also think that you can find so many writers who are willing to help, encourage, and push you. I’m in so many different groups and communities in which we write together, log our writing progress together, and share resources. 

Overall, I think the community is collectively creative, kind, and willing to share opportunities and help each other.

Inspiration and Creative Process

It’s always so great to meet [the fans] in person and take pictures with them. They’re so sweet and excited to read and learn more about the world I’ve created. I’m so happy to share it with them.” — Winnifred Tataw


Could you share some insights into how you approach your writing process? Do you plan meticulously or let the story unfold naturally?

I’m very meticulous! I love a good spreadsheet and PowerPoint. All of my books have dedicated PowerPoints. Typically, there are about 31 for the setting, one for the characters, and one for the plot. Each of them is usually over 80 pages long. I know, it might sound crazy, right? But I enjoy planning, plotting, and outlining. It helps me better focus on writing the book because I know where it’s supposed to go.

Even though I put these things down, I still go off them sometimes, whether it’s the ending or how characters interact. It still feels very fluid to me when I start writing. When I have a solid base of what it’s supposed to look like, I can feel free to let my creativity flow and write the way I’m meant to.

Are there any fan reactions or interactions that have left a lasting impact on you? And does reader feedback influence your writing in any way?

I love my fans talk to me about the villains of my stories because they’re always so funny. Usually, they hate the villains which’s funny because they’re always my favorite part to write about. 

It’s fun when they connect with me about which characters are their favorites or their love for mythology and world-building. One of the biggest parts of the stories is the world-building, and a lot of my fans love how creative the world-building of my fantasy series is.

It’s always so great to meet them in person and take pictures with them. They’re so sweet and excited to read and learn more about the world I’ve created. I’m so happy to share it with them.

Who are the authors that have inspired you the most? Why have they left a strong impression on you?

I love Lois Lowry, the author of The Giver. She impacted the way I thought about how you can create a story and add plot twists in fantasy. Anytime I read a new book from a new author, I get inspired by what they’ve created, such as how they write their dialogue, how they describe characters, or how they create plot twists and conflicts. All of it ties into my inspiration going forward with my writing.

Writing Routine and Habits

Do you have any unique writing habits that help you get into the creative flow?

I’ve to write in the evenings. I used to be able to write during the day, but now I struggle so much to write before 3 PM. I’ve noticed that if I write at night time, the ideas flow through me. I also need to have complete silence. I can’t write with noise, or I get too distracted and sometimes it even gives me writer’s block. So I definitely need dead silence when I’m writing to get my creative juices flowing!

How do you make sure to include breaks and relaxation in your writing routine to avoid burnout?

Basically, I plan times to write and rest. I’m also running a business, so I always try to plan out when I can rest. Because I know that if I don’t rest enough, then I won’t be able to produce better quality products, which are my books, artworks, and services. I’d hate to give out something lackluster to the world because I didn’t take proper care of myself.

So I always try to make sure that I have at least 2 to 5 hours of rest time per day to just do nothing, besides, eating, taking a nap, or scrolling on my phone even though it’s not productive. I think it’s good to not always be productive throughout the day and just let your mind relax.

Challenges and Overcoming Obstacles

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve encountered on your journey as an author? Why was it challenging for you? How did you overcome it?

I think the biggest challenge I face when editing and publishing books is the constant need to double and triple-check everything. All of my book launches have had some errors occurring in them, which always frustrates me. However, it’s fun to look back on it afterward and how it impacted me. It helps me become more conscious and prepared for any mishaps that might happen in the future.

If it’s not one thing, it’s another, so I’ve learned to take it with a grain of salt, knowing that mistakes and setbacks are a part of the process. These incidents make each book launch more memorable and help me truly understand and appreciate the journey, as each one has its own unique quirks during the editing and publishing process.

Maintaining consistency can be tough in series. How do you manage the details of your world and ensure everything stays coherent from book to book?

I suggest keeping a personal copy of your book, in which you highlight every part where you mention the important events or world-building components. When you’re writing the next book, you can go through that personal copy to remind yourself of what you’ve already established.

I also do that during the editing phase so that when I get back my edited copies and manuscripts, I can make a note of significant points where I talk about a certain character, area, place, or even a spell. Then I look at my other books in the series to see how it fits and if it causes any plot holes or inconsistencies.

How do you tackle writer’s block when it strikes?

I just take a break to let it pass through. I read other books both within and outside my genre to help stimulate ideas.

When it comes to staying productive in your writing, what’s your go-to strategy?

My go-to strategy is always setting a deadline. I hate missing deadlines, so I give myself both hard and soft deadlines. A soft deadline might look like writing 1,000 words by Friday. A hard deadline can be having a book finished and sent to the editor within four months.

Current Projects and Future Plans

I definitely know people are going to be really excited for what’s going to come out in the fifth book, with what’s been laid out in the fourth book [of The Gods’ Scion series.]” — Winnifred Tataw


Tell us about your Gods’ Scion series! What’s its premise?

It’s a fantasy world set in modern times and it depicts modern-day problems. The series focuses on the journey of the main character’s life, Prince Rodrick Purcill, and how he deals with the consequences of the horrors of the world he’s born into. It also shows how different characters deal with the same issues throughout the story.

What initially sparked the idea for this series? Were there specific events or concepts that ignited your creativity? Why did you decide to embark on this journey?

It’s kind of funny. Originally, it was supposed to be a standalone book. When I wrote the ending, I realized that I left it on a cliffhanger and that I had to write a second book and make it a duology. Then I wrote the third book, thinking it’d be a trilogy. But after I got to the third book, I was like, “Oh crap, I’m going to have to make it into a full-fledged series!”

And now I’m on the fifth book. Hopefully, I’ll end it with the sixth book and move on to the four other series under progress which I’ve spawned over the years of working on this one. But I decided to embark on this journey because I love the story of these characters.

I really wanted to let it be my first mark in the world of writing because I had spent so many years crafting these characters and falling in love with them. I couldn’t just let them go after only one book.

Fantasy world-building is a tough endeavor. How did you approach it for your series? Were there any particularly challenging or exciting aspects of developing the world, and why?

The hardest part is staying consistent with the rules you’ve established in the story. Sometimes, you just want something to happen in the plot, but you can’t because you’ve already established something else, such as the magic rules or other aspects of the storyline that happened previously.

But it also gives the challenge to invest time into being creative and seeing how you can overcome the boundaries you set in the story. I also think the series allows you to be more flexible with those types of things.

We’ve heard that the fifth installment is in the works! How’s the progress coming along?

It’s going great! It’s finally in the editing phase, so it’s been shipped off to the editors. I’m so excited!

Can you give readers a tantalizing little teaser about what they can expect in this upcoming installment?

Some people will be shocked at what happens to certain characters, while some will be happy about what happens to others. Whether it’s a good or bad thing, it’s up to you to decide. Either way, I definitely know people are going to be really excited for what’s going to come out in the fifth book, with what’s been laid out in the fourth book.

Final Thoughts and Closing Remarks

What advice or insight would you like to share with fellow writers, especially indie authors?

Always take your time and don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are so many resources you can utilize. There are also so many authors and writers who’d love to help you and give you advice. Even if you’re a published author, don’t be afraid to seek help as there’s always something you can learn from others and find things that can help you out in the future. So always be open to gaining and giving guidance!

Is there a message you’d like to convey to your readers?

My biggest message is always about connection, finding your place in the world, and experiencing life the way you choose to. This is my most important message: make sure that you’re accepting of people around you, those who want to see the best for you and love you; and always love yourself as well. It’s all about choosing yourself first to have a better life and become a better person in your own magical realm.

Conclusion

We’re thankful to Winnie for sharing her incredible journey as an author, artist, and entrepreneur! Her meticulous dedication to writing and her commitment to building a space accessible for all authors to connect and inspire each other is truly commendable. Her message of connection, self-acceptance, and embracing one’s unique journey resonates deeply.

We’re sure her readers will eagerly anticipate the surprises and developments she’s hinted at in the next installment. We wish her continued success in her future writing projects and in the growth of Win’s Books!

Stay tuned to Winnie’s amazing journey on her website, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!