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Luther Siler Author Interview- Book Covers

Luther Siler Author Interview

Authors, if you would like an interview, please leave a comment below. I am happy to coordinate the interview post to coincide with your book launch, giveaway or any other promotional event. – Regards, Shawn

Luther Siler Author Interview

Luther Siler Author Interview

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I live (and grew up) in northern Indiana with my wife and my son, who is going to be four in August.  My day job has been “teacher” for the last fourteen years, but that’s sort of in flux right now so who knows if it will still be true this fall.  I spend most of my free time typing something or another.  

What were you like at school?

I graduated… thirteenth?  in my class, I think?  Out of about 300 kids.  I probably could have been valedictorian if I had wanted to but I didn’t really learn how to work until I was in college.  I was definitely one of the geekier/nerdier kids but my school wasn’t really that cliquish.  I was much much much better at college; once my Hebrew professor taught me how to study I ended up triple majoring. 

Were you good at English?

I was one of the head editors of my school newspaper senior year.  I was good at English but entered college thinking I wanted to be a journalist; writing nonfiction was always my focus.  

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

Worldwide fame and fortune, obviously.  And a Hugo.  And a movie deal.  

Which writers inspire you?

Oh, man, that’s a long list.  The two biggest influences on my writing style are both journalists– Mike Royko and Hunter Thompson, although I can’t hold a candle to their talent.  Fiction writers?  John Scalzi and Warren Ellis are probably the two biggest.  

So, tell me about what have you written.

I have three books available right now.  My novel SKYLIGHTS is a near-future story set on Mars, and tells the story of the second human expedition to Mars.  They’re there to find out what happened to the first.  I’m working on the sequel now, which will be called STARLIGHT or STARLIGHTS and has changed between the two about six times.  My other series is called THE BENEVOLENCE ARCHIVES, which is more space opera-ish and is heavily influenced by Star Wars and Brian K. Vaughan.  The elevator pitch is D&D characters in space; my aliens are gnomes and ogres and elves and dwarves but they shoot lasers.  It’s fun.  

BENEVOLENCE ARCHIVES vol. 1 is a short story collection and the second book is a novel called THE SANCTUM OF THE SPHERE.  Both are available in an omnibus print edition.  

Luther Siler Author Interview - Sanctum of the SphereLuther Siler Author Interview - SkylightsLuther SIler Author Interview - The Benevolence Archives

Where can we buy or see them?

BENEVOLENCE ARCHIVES, VOL. 1 is free everywhere except for Amazon, where it’s 99 cents because I can’t make it free.  SKYLIGHTS and SANCTUM are both Amazon exclusives for the time being but that won’t last a lot longer.  They’re both $4.95 as ebooks and available in print as well.

Give us an insight into your main (or favorite) character . What does s/he do that is so special?

The main non-POV character of SKYLIGHTS is a mad scientist named Ezekiel ben Zahav.  He goes by “Zub,” which is a reference to Robert Zubrin, an actual scientist who has done a lot of work about human exploration of Mars.  He is a literal certified mad genius.  He has an actual certificate.  He’ll show it to you.  

Zub is the most fun to write of all of my characters because he is a genius and he is extraordinarily rich and so he has absolutely no filters of any kind on what he says and does.  In some ways it makes him childish and irresponsible (he brought a monkey with him to Mars and didn’t tell anyone he was doing it– after all, he owned the ship) and at the same time he’s brought all of these people on what should be an impossible rescue trip because he refuses to accept that there’s nothing he can do about losing his people on Mars.  

Writing someone smarter than me is always a fun challenge, too. 

What new projects do you have in the works?

I’m working on several right now.  I will be releasing a compilation of my writing about teaching this fall sometime; it will be called SEARCHING FOR MALUMBA.  I’ve already mentioned the SKYLIGHTS sequel, which will be out in early 2016 sometime.  After that is another BENEVOLENCE ARCHIVES short story collection, called TALES FROM THE BENEVOLENCE ARCHIVES.  That’s late 2016, although I’m gonna write one of the stories in the next couple of weeks and submit it to a magazine.  If it gets rejected I’ll just put it in the book.  

Why do you write?

Actual biological compulsion.  I am simply happier when I write every day.  Granted, much more of my writing is on my blog than fiction writing– writing fiction is pure pain and yet I still have to do it.  I’m better at nonfiction/blog-style short pieces, and I update my blog every single day.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

I won a grant last year that basically paid for me to do nothing but write over the summer.  Normally I have a summer job that keeps me close to full-time and the grant let my full-time job be “writer.”  Oddly, applying for the grant motivated me enough to get BENEVOLENCE ARCHIVES Vol. 1 available even before I’d received the funds, and then I spent the summer writing SANCTUM and getting SKYLIGHTS, which was originally a NaNoWriMo project, ready for print.  And now I’m stuck with it.  Forever, hopefully.

Tell us about your writing habits, favorite tools, etc. Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?  Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

I blog every day, even if it’s only a few sentences.  When I’m working on a book I try to aim for 1500 words a day although frequently I don’t hit that goal, just because writing fiction is so much harder for me than posting.  I can write a functional 2000 word blog post in an hour; that sort of pace is completely impossible for fiction.

As far as the physical requirements?  Computer.  SANCTUM was written in FocusWriter.  I’m going to try and do MALUMBA and STARLIGHT in Scrivener.  I tend to have to have music on while I’m writing and if I’m really having trouble focusing I have this Jackass wristband that I’m very superstitious about.  

Where do your ideas come from?

SKYLIGHTS in particular is Warren Ellis’ fault.  The skylights themselves are actually real, and I found out about them when he mentioned them in a newsletter and said that it would be a neat story to find out what was in them.  I waited patiently for a year and he didn’t write it, so I did.  That said, I had the book half written before I figured out what was actually in there!

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

I am verrrry seat-of-my-pants, although I like the idea of an outline.  I’m just not disciplined enough.  It leads to a lot of false starts, unfortunately.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

Honestly, I don’t really know how to answer this yet.  BA 1 came out in May of 2014 so I’ve only really thought of myself as a fiction author for a bit over a year.  Ask me again in another year or so when I have a bit more perspective on my work. 🙂

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Starting.  Dear God, starting.  The first sentence of anything fictional will take sometimes up to several hours of staring.  The next 1499 words will take as long as the first sentence did.  

What is the easiest thing about writing?

Blogging– just talking about my life, current events, the news, teaching.  Fun and easy.  If I was as prolific at fiction as I was at blogging I’d be Stephen King by now.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

I have, so far, managed to keep up a two-books-a-year pace, and I’m planned out through May or so of 2016 right now.  We’ll see how long I can keep that up.  

Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors.

Constantly, as I can’t sleep without reading for a bit beforehand.  I have a long list of favorite authors, mostly but not exclusively in fantasy and science fiction:  John Scalzi, Warren Ellis, Saladin Ahmed, N.K. Jemisin, Mira Grant, Ken Liu, Stephen King, Nnedi Okorafor, Helene Wecker, John Irving, Salman Rushdie, Michael Martinez, Cherie Priest, Neal Stephenson, Brandon Sanderson.  And that’s just the ones off the top of my head.

What books are you reading at present?

Right now, Adam Dreece’s ALL THE KING’S-MEN:   http://www.amazon.com/dp/098810136X/  I just finished Ian Tregillis’ THE MECHANICAL, which was wonderful.  

Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?

Mostly me, although my wife gets a crack at everything before it goes out too.  She spent years working as a newspaper editor so she’s got better chops than I do in that regard.  

Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?

Yep.  Once my first drafts are done I refuse to look at the book again for a month before I do any editing.  Editing generally takes another four to six weeks after that regardless of how long it took to write the book.

Who edits your books and how did you select him/her?

My wife and I.  Sooner or later I probably ought to find an external editor who isn’t married to me but that hasn’t happened yet.  On the plus side, I haven’t seen any complaints about the editing of my books yet, although that may just be because people have been quietly setting them aside and mocking me from a distance.  You never know.

Tell us about the covers and how they came about.  Who designed your book covers?

The cover for BENEVOLENCE ARCHIVES 1 was selected from stock covers at SelfPubBookCovers.com.  I literally wrote an entire story in that book after seeing the cover, but the cover image came before the story did.  I went back to the same artist, who goes by DiversePixel, for the cover to SANCTUM, and the cover for that book was her taking my basic idea and running with it.  

The cover for SKYLIGHTS was done by Casey Heying, who owns my local comic shop and is an actual professional comic book artist.  The same grant that paid for my summer of writing also paid for him to do the cover.  I would love to have him for the second book too but I’m not sure I can afford him again.  We’ll see. 

Diverse Pixel’s website: diversepixel.com

Casey Heying’s website: http://ozwonderland.deviantart.com

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process? 

Oh, hell yes.  I’ve been very fortunate to have gotten such striking covers for my books.  It’s the first thing anyone sees when they look for your book and it’s essential that it look professional and “real.”  If your cover looks half-assed, that’s as far as you’re going to get with a whole lot of people.

What are your thoughts on publishing? (*e.g. Indie, traditional or hybrid)

I’m an independent author because when I tried to sell SKYLIGHTS no one wanted it and I realized that I could sell it myself.  It’s a decision of necessity, not politics.  I support indie authors whenever I get a chance to (which is frequently) but if I were to get offered a traditional contract tomorrow I’d jump at it.  That said, that’s how it’s going to have to work at this point– someone’s going to have to find me.  I have no plans to search for an agent or a traditional publisher anytime soon.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors on any aspect of writing, publishing, marketing, etc.?

Watch people who seem to be Doing It Right and steal shamelessly from what they’re doing.  Remember to plan for the long game and don’t be surprised or frightened when your first book sells eight copies on the first day and then goes dormant for a month.  And I think there’s a lot of wisdom to having a free book out there to overcome the barrier of having to throw money at an independent– although I don’t think you need to have MORE than one.  

How do you relax?

What’s that?

(I read.  I have a PS4, although I don’t play when my son is awake and it’ll lie dormant for weeks at a time sometimes.  Honestly, blogging is my main form of relaxation, although I also enjoy cooking and I’m getting into astronomy.)

What is your favourite motivational phrase.

This is the only question I’m flat-out skipping because I don’t have an answer for it.  🙂

What is your favourite book and why?

I have the inscription on the One Ring tattooed around my left calf.  My uncle David gave me the Hobbit and the LOTR trilogy when I was in second grade and I’ve read them just about every year since then.  

Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?

In an ideal universe, THE MARTIAN has been fantastically successful, leading for Hollywood to scramble for more Mars-based science fiction books to turn into movies, and the SKYLIGHTS series has been optioned for film, leaving me fantastically wealthy and able to write full-time.  Hey, you never know.  It could happen.  

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Lay off the credit cards.  And the fried rice.  I have spent much of my thirties paying off the mistakes I made in my twenties.  🙂  

Where do you see publishing going in the future?

I actually think we’re entering a period of relative stability for a bit.  I don’t think bookstores are going away, and I think the balance between traditionally published authors and independent authors is going to stay about where it is for a while.  People who read on paper– and I’m one of them, despite deriving the bulk of my writing income from ebooks– are not going to stop anytime soon, and unlike digital music, most of the kids who are readers ALSO prefer to read on paper.  I’ve never seen a middle school student with an e-reader.  I’ve seen hundreds who are always carrying books around.  Paper books aren’t going away.  

I feel like it’s a good time to be a writer, honestly.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

The two best sources are my website, infinitefreetime.com , and my Twitter, @nfinitefreetime.  Twitter is by far my favorite of the social networks.  I also have a Facebook page where you can like me (and I accept all friend requests to my account) but honestly I don’t use Facebook much other than as a reblogger for posts.  I also write at a website called Sourcerer (sourcererblog.wordpress.com) that you may have heard of and FB is where we do a lot of our collaborating and planning.  

Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview. 

 

If you enjoyed this post, Luther Siler Author interview, please leave a comment below. And of course buy his books 🙂 (no I’m not an affiliate, just a fan.)

 

 

Seumas Gallacher Author

Seumas Gallacher – Author Interview

Seumas Gallacher – Author, Blogger, All Around Great Guy

My fellow scribbler, one of the many ways he refers to himself, Seumas Gallacher has gratefully consented to give me an interview. Without further ado, here it is:

Seumas, tell us a little about yourself and your background?

SG: I started my banking career at 15, and used that as a global travelling passport for the next 5 decades, with employers in the Scottish Hebrides (the Far North); London, (the Far South); the Far East (Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippines); and now in the Middle East, (the Far Middle), shuttling ‘twixt Abu Dhabi and Bahrain, running my own corporate trouble-shooting business.

What were you like at school?

SG : Hardly precocious, but prob’ly a bt of a ‘Smarty Pants’ ‘coz it turns out I possess a stupidly exaggerated IQ. (Which does not point to intelligence, but does accord me the ability to think logically, very fast, so I’m told.) Won tons of academic awards including a free scholarship to an excellent college in Glasgow, quite unusual for a lad from the Docklands Govan area of the city. It presented one or two issues, such as walking home through the slums in a posh uniform with a viola case under my arm.

Were you good at English?

SG : Ah, noo ye’re beltin’ me wi’ trick questions, Shawn!… gie’s a break, eh? I was good at the wee bits of it I needed to be understood, particularly in London.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

SG : No limits. Wherever this marvelous scribbling gig takes me, I’m aboard. LUVVIN IT!

Which writers inspire you?

SG : Dickens, Steinbeck, O’Hara, Winston Churchill, and emb’dy who writes my name on cheques.

So, what have you written?

SG : For my novels, I’ve almost completed writing KILLER CITY, the fourth Jack Calder crime thriller … should be disseminated  by Crooked Cat Publishing in the next 6 weeks… the first three, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY; VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK; and SAVAGE PAYBACK have already blessed me with 80,000+ downloads.

Where can we buy or see them?

SG : Whack ‘Seumas Gallacher’ on Amazon Kindle, and they’re all there. [editor: See below for links to all of Seumas’s books]

Give us an insight into your favorite (or main) Character. What does s/he do that is so special?

SG : Quite simple really… three ex-SAS (Britain’s Special Air Services) commando officers retire and form their own specialized security services firm… in the course of protecting their clients personally and corporately, they rub up against all manner of international crime lords, drug barons, people-traffickers, cash launderers.. and other nice people like that… being ‘EX’ the forces, there’s no constraints on how they use their black ops skills to combat threats. The principal character, Jack Calder, is a child of the Docklands Govan area of my youth… six-feet two, blue-eyed, fair-haired lad… three guesses on who he’s styled after? A-hem…

What new projects do you have in the works?

SG : The fifth book in the series is already formulating in my head.

Why do you write?

SG : Having fallen into it more by accident than by design, I’ve discovered how much pleasure I derive from being creative with the whole nine yards of the writing business, including the social networks platforms…all part and parcel of doing it 100%.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

SG : Seriously, it just occurred to me one fine day, that it was ‘time’ to write ’that book’ we all supposedly have in us… and that was it… a few evenings thinking of what to write, and off it went.

Tell us about your writing habits, favorite tools, etc. Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day? Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

SG : I write every day, with no set word targets… I don’t believe in ‘forcing’ production… I’d rather take the time to ‘sculpt’ what I’m writing… contrary to accepted convention, I prefer to edit daily as I go along… I write on the laptop I bought 6 years ago, one finger from each hand… it was the fist computer ‘thing-y’ I’d ever owned, as a self-professed Jurassic re gadgets and computers, I’m ceaselessly amazed at how much I’ve managed to learn in that short space of time after a lifetime of computer ignorance.

Where do your ideas come from?

SG : Everywhere. The cable news channels are a constant daily source of ideas… just change the names to protect the guilty. Background stuff is culled from that lifetime of globetrotting, characters I’ve bumped into… and some real close-to-the–wire experiences of bad guys, and the good guys who put them out of business… I could tell you more… but then I’d have to kill you… you know how that works.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

SG : I like to have the ending before I start, then it’s a combination of ‘pantser’ work and plotting in stages as the narrative develops… although, as most quill-scrapers will tell you, most of the time the characters themselves take over and dictate where the plot goes.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

SG : Still learning… the renowned cellist, Pablo Casals, was asked once why he still practiced at the age of 90 and he replied, ‘I think I’m improving’… that’ll do me nicely.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

SG : The beginnings, the middles and the ends.

What is the easiest thing about writing?

SG : The beginnings, the middles and the ends.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

SG : It varies between 6 to 24 months, depending on how much that other silly little thing called ‘Life’ gets in the way. The requirement to earn a living with the day job can be peculiarly distracting.

Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors.

SG : I read constantly. I download about one book per week on my Kindle. These days, it’s other newbie authors and self-publishers. I try to leave honest reviews for them as I proceed, as I know how valuable these are for any writer, and it’s part of my ‘paying it forward’/’paying it back’ philosophy.

What books are you reading at present?

SG : I have Yasmin Selena Butt’s ‘Gunshot Glitter’ on the go now, to be followed by a couple of offerings from Tony McManus— ‘The Bangkok SAS’, and ‘Down And Out In The Big Mango’ … they’re among many pals I’ve garnered in the great big wunnerful diaspora that is the internet’s global authors’ family.

Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?

SG : I proofread and edit extensively my own books before they go to the  publisher, where a superb editor, Maureen Vincent-Northam, knocks them into presentable reading shape.

Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?

SG : No. My editing is constant, as is the writing process… I’m happy when I type ‘the end’ that that’s it finished from my side.

Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?

SG : Maureen Vincent-Northam, mentioned above, is my allocated editor with Crooked Cat Publishing, and is an absolute pleasure to work with.

Tell us about the covers and how they came about.  Who designed your book cover/s?

SG : An artist friend in the Philippines, Edward Tan Lu, did the original three novels’ covers, which were then modified by Laurence Patterson at Crooked Cat Publishing. I like to have input in the creation of the covers… I prefer strong colours with sinister features… that way, there’s no mistaking what you’re buying… the contents are what’s written on the tin.

What are your thoughts on publishing? 

SG : Each to his or her own… de facto, my initial route was self-publishing, ‘coz, despite the successful sales figures, no traditional publisher accepted my work at the start… I’ve been more than fortunate that the series (as it became) caught on, and the use of the social networking helped enormously in getting my name ‘out there’… along came Crooked Cat Publishing, and I like their hybrid approach… it allows me still to remain hands-on involved in the promotional and marketing side. And get access hopefully to wider readership bases.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors on any aspect of writing, publishing, marketing, etc.?

SG : If you are in it, be in it 100%, Accept the modern author’s lot includes social networking, being your own production editor, proof-reader, cover–creator, social networking person…oh, and write a bit as well.

How do you relax?

SG : Believe it or not, by writing.

What is your favourite motivational phrase.

SG : My lifelong hero, Sir Winston Churchill’s idiom, ‘…never, never, never give up…’

What is your favourite book and why?

SG : Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield… glorious characters, great atmosphere, and wordsmithing at its finest… and with an opening chapter heading, ‘I am born.’… how could it miss?

Where can you see Seumas Gallacher in 5 years time?

SG: I’ll tell you that in five years time plus one day

What advice would you give to your younger self?

SG : Hang in there kid… it does get better.

Where do you see publishing going in the future?

SG : Predominantly eChannels, not only for books, but magazines, newspapers, pamphlets… it’s already pointing that way. Print will still demand a significant place, and I don’t believe as some do that print will die.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.

SG : Thanks a bundle for having me aboard, that man.

Seumas Gallacher Bio

Seumas Gallacher was born in Clydeside, Govan in Glasgow and spent his formative teens in the idyllic Scottish Hebridean island of Mull. His career as a banker took him from Scotland to London for ten years and thence on a further  twenty-five year global odyssey through Hong Kong, Singapore and the Philippines in Asia. Along the way he metamorphosed into a corporate troubleshooter and problem solver. He came to the United Arab Emirates for a month in 2004 and has remained in the Middle East ever since.

A late discoverer of the joys of writing, his crime thriller novels, The Violin Man’s Legacy, Vengeance Wears Black and Savage Payback have sold more than 80,000 copies.

Seumas has become a strong proponent of the use of the social networking channels to reach and engage with a global readership market in the new age of self-publishing and eBooks. Seumas is a sought-after speaker and lecturer on how to develop productive online relationships. He was voted Blogger of the Year 2013.

Books by Seumas Gallacher

Seumas Gallacher book covers

Seumas Gallacher book covers

THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY

VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK

SAVAGE PAYBACK

 

Author Scott Pratt

Author Interview: Scott Pratt, author of Joe Dillard series

Author Interview with Scott Pratt

Conflict of Interest, the latest Joe Dillard novel from Scott Pratt

Conflict of Interest, the latest Joe Dillard novel from Scott Pratt

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Scott Pratt author of the Joe Dillard series of legal thrillers. Scott also authored some children’s books and few other works that he mentions during our chat.

Hi Scott, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I was born in South Haven, Michigan, a small town on the shores of Lake Michigan, in 1956. My family lived there until my father got a job in Tennessee in 1969. I have one older sister and three younger brothers. Both of my parents are gone now. I’ve had lots of jobs, including practicing law for a time, and I spent some time in the U.S. Air Force, where they taught me to speak Korean.

What were you like at school?

I was bright and athletic, a bit precocious at times. I always got Straight-As and always tested in the top percentiles of the national intelligence tests. I also wouldn’t go back to class on time when the bell rang because I was playing basketball on the playground and I got kicked off of the safety patrol in the fifth grade (I was the captain – top dawg) for taking a puff off a cigarette on the bus.

Were you good at English?

I was. I had a knack for it.

What are your ambitions for your writing career and being an author?

To write the best stories I can write and sell as many of them as possible.

Which authors inspire you?

Different people – Samuel Clemens inspired me, as did Harper Lee. I love Paulo Coelho and J.D. Salinger. John Steinbeck’s voice touches me, but so does Mike Royko’s.

So, what have you written?

7 Books in the Joe Dillard Series: An Innocent Client, In Good Faith, Injustice for All, Reasonable Fear, Conflict of Interest, Blood Money and A Crime of Passion.

I also wrote a literary fiction novel set in the late 1960s called “River on Fire.” I just finished a standalone thriller called “Justice Served.”

I’ve written two childrens books: “An Elephant’s Standing in There” and “A Ride on a Cloud,” both of which my daughter, Kody Storm Rowe, illustrated.

Where can we buy or see them?

You can buy everything on my website or Amazon.com, including the foreign translations.

Scott’s order page on his website

Scott’s author page on Amazon

Give us an insight into Joe Dillard. What does he do that is so special?

I think Joe’s appeal is his humanity. He genuinely tries to do the right thing in a world where even knowing what the right thing to do is difficult. He’s a devoted father and husband and he’s generally a selfless man in a world where selfishness has become commonplace.

What new projects do you have in the works?

The new book I wrote for Thomas & Mercer Publishing is called “Justice Served.” It’ll be released in January of 2016. As soon as I finish the final draft, I’m going to write the eighth Dillard.

Why do you write?

Hard to say. Why does anyone do what they do? Something inside me drives me to do it, and something else drives me to try to do it well.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

My wife and I both read “The Lincoln Lawyer” and she looked at me and said, “You can write as good as he can. Why don’t you try it?” So I did.

Tell us about your writing habits, favorite tools, etc. Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day? Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

When I’m in a good phase, I write from 7:00 a.m. to noon six days a week. I write on a PC and I try to get at least three thousand words done. Doesn’t always happen, but that’s the goal every day.

Where do your ideas come from?

The world around me. Newspapers, magazines, books, television, people watching. I get ideas from everywhere. I’m a professional thief.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

I don’t like to outline. I think it makes the writing stale. I take a small idea and just let it happen.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

I’m not really sure how to answer that one, either. I’ve evolved as far as being disciplined. I’ve become a better craftsman. I tend to appreciate the work I do and the work done by others more than I used to. I take it more seriously than I used to, although I try not to take it too seriously.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Opening up a vein each time I sit down to write.

What is the easiest thing about writing?

There isn’t anything easy about writing. Nothing.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

About eight hundred hours, give or take.

Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I’m well-read but I don’t read a lot when I’m writing, and I try to keep writing. I find myself mimicking writers if I read while I’m working. I mentioned my favorites above.

What book/s are you reading at present?

I’m reading collections of H.L. Mencken’s essays and columns, along with a collection of Mike Royko’s columns right now. Just finished Bob Dugoni’s “My Sister’s Grave,” which was excellent.

Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?

Both. I go through them and then I start paying people.

Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?

I do. I really think it helps to let it sit awhile and let the flavors meld.

Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?

When I was doing traditional stuff, the house picked the editor. I contracted others. It was pretty much hit or miss.

Tell us about the covers and how they came about.

With the big houses like Penguin, the writers have no input into cover design. When I went to Indie publishing, I designed them myself, along with the help of one of my friends. Now I let Createspace handle it, and they do an excellent job.

Who designed your book covers?

Createspace designed the Dillard series. Nathan Wampler designed “River on Fire.” Thomas & Mercer will design “Justice Served.”

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?

It plays an important part in the getting noticed process, but covers don’t sell books. Good stories sell books.

What are your thoughts on publishing? (*e.g. Indie, traditional or hybrid)

I could write a book about this topic alone. Too much material to cover in one question.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors on any aspect of writing, publishing, marketing, etc.?

First off all, be painfully honest when you ask yourself whether you’re really any good at this. If you are, then don’t quit. Talent and persistence are the keys to becoming successful.

How do you relax?

I drink vodka while juggling chainsaws.

What is your favourite motivational phrase.

It came from my grandfather. He said, “The sun don’t shine up the same dog’s ass every day. If it did, it’d warp his ribs.”

What is your favourite book and why?

I think “Green and Eggs and Ham” is my favorite of all time, followed closely by “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?

I think I’ll probably have a little more money and a little more prestige, but other than that, I don’t see much changing.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Don’t drink so much.

Where do you see publishing going in the future?

That’s another topic I could write about for a long time. It depends upon which part of publishing you’re asking about. Publishing will change a great deal, but it will also stay the same.

 

Author Scott Pratt

Author Scott Pratt

How can readers discover more about you and your work?

Scott’s Website
Blog
Facebook
Twitter 
Amazon Author Page
Goodreads

 

Scott, thank you so much for taking time away from your writing to do this interview. I wish you the best of luck and maybe we’ll see a book or two on Indie publishing from you, along with the next adventure of Joe Dillard.

#weekendcoffeeshare Got Coffee

Coffee near me – Weekend Coffee Share

Howdy and Happenings

Ok, it has been an amazing week. Let’s chat over coffee. It’s going to be cool and rainy in the mornings, so I will want coffee near me. Pull up a chair and your favorite coffee beverage. How was your week? Was it great or did you have any crises? Mine was good. I got some good research done on book marketing. Got the new front page activated on the blog along with some cool sharing tools. I would love to hear what you have say about the redesign. Both the good and the bad are welcome.

Upcoming blog activity and mentions

Author Scott Pratt

Scott Pratt

I have an author interview with Scott Pratt, author of the Joe Dillard legal thriller series, coming out next week. I am guest blogging on Writeonsisters.com on May 31st. I got a nice mention from Janice at My Current News and in the comments of Joe Writes This Blog comments by Infinitely Remote. I’m sure there are other, but it’s been a crazy week and I’m heading out the door any minute. I hope your blogs continue to grow do well. I would love to hear how you are doing.

Weekend Blog and Coffee Break

How’s your coffee? Need a re-fill? I’m going to take a bit of break this weekend and visit my dad. I do love being able to write and schedule posts in advance. Have you had a chance to take my short survey on what’s important to you? I will be collecting data up until June 15th. Please take the survey and share it with all your friends, family, neighbors, acquaintances, church groups, book clubs, inmates, etc. The more data I can get, the better. I still need to write this weekend. I have a goal of 1000 words per day. Some days I make, some days not, but I need the goal. It helps keep me focused and the coffee keeps me awake.  Have a great weekend.

Don’t forget to write your own #WeekendCoffeeShare and sign up on the Linky over at Parttime Monster.