2. When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
I didn’t start to seriously think of being an author until 2001 or 2002. This was after I lost my job and had difficulty finding work. I decided to tackle a pet project that had considered doing for a while. I had a lengthy time of unemployment and working part-time jobs here and there, so I figured with so much extra time on my hands I followed through and wrote the 488-page behemoth that is Pursuit of a Dream. I self-published my debut novel in 2004 through a vanity press (rookie mistake, I know). Having a printed copy of a novel I spent three years writing felt like a huge accomplishment. I started a short career in the newspaper industry shortly after publishing that novel.
Marketing by far. Writing is the fun part. Finding readers is the hardest thing to do, especially for a new undiscovered author swimming in a sea of hundreds of thousands of other hatchlings hoping to find readers. It takes a lot of hard work, belief in yourself, patience, and perseverance. Some people think you can write a novel, hit the publish button, and then just sick back and collect the royalties. After writing three novels, one of which has been moderately successful on Amazon, I know that writing is just a small part of the publishing game. The rest has to do with running a business. There’s a lot of trial and error involved, learning from your mistakes (and boy I’ve made plenty), and building a platform. Social media is where I’ve connected with a good percentage of my readership. It is also where I have met other authors, both traditionally and independently published. Finding the right balance between marketing and can be a tricky thing. Finding the right balance between social media and marketing is the tricky part. I’ve discovered that you can get away with self-promotion if you spend more time being yourself and engaging you’re your followers on social media than only saying, “Buy my book.” Nobody likes a spammer.
After banging my head against the wall, I typically step away from my current project and work on something else. I may also read a book in the same genre.
Aaron isn’t based on anyone specific, but he does carry some of my traits (both good and bad) . . . and of course, he’s also a classic car enthusiast like me. I’ve actually been criticized for this, which I find amusing.
All the characters in Devil’s Nightmare are entirely fictional, but there are a few characters in my debut novel Pursuit of a Dream that were inspired by real people. There are also a few people that have inspired some ideas for a few future characters, but that’s only natural, right?
I decided to try writing horror after reading On Writing by Stephen King. I love to read and watch horror, so it only made sense for me to write in my favorite genre. I had a lot of fun writing the first two Devil’s Nightmare novels, so I think I have found my niche genre.
First you need to decide why you want to write. Are you considering this as a potential career or are you doing this as a hobby. Making this distinction is very important because if you are seriously considering writing as a profession, be prepared for a long and difficult road where you are required to make sacrifices. Most importantly, don’t give up, because it is very easy to get discouraged. Focus on your love of the craft instead of sales or whether or not people like your work and you’ll have a lot less headaches. It’s easier said than done, but you need to enjoy writing or else what’s the point, right? If your decision to write is revolved around making money, then you are writing for the wrong reason. Can you make money in this profession? Absolutely! However, I think the most important thing to focus on as a writer is improving your craft and enjoying the process. If you make money doing it, then that’s just an added bonus.
The list is long, but here is what I’ve come up with off the top of my head . . .
I would have to say Jonas Taylor from Steve Alten’s Meg. Jonas Taylor is the lead character of this novel about a giant prehistoric shark (the megalodon) that is supposed to be extinct. Jonas Taylor is the only survivor during a top-secret dive in the Mariana Trench where Taylor discovers the giant relative of the great white shark. Nobody believes Jonas, of course. It was a very fun novel for me to read, since I have a fascination of sharks, especially the megalodon. So, living the life of Jonas Taylor would be exciting.
Devil's Nightmare Devil's Nightmare Premonitions