This is a fantastic interview (not because of me) by James Moushon of HBS Author’s Spotlight. He clearly put a lot of time and effort into his questions, and I enjoyed taking the time to delve deeper into my own process. Take a look.
SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author:
First things first. Let’s start with what’s next. Rumor has it that you have another book on the horizon called Event Horizon. Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?
Yes! I just wrapped up Event Horizon, the second book in The Perseid Collapse Series. It’s available now for preorder on Amazon, and will be released on March 20, 2014. The Perseid Collapse Series is a gritty, post-apocalyptic story set in New England that chronicles the collapse of society from an “event.” The “event” is a devastating combination of a natural phenomenon with a sinister, manmade attack. The first several chapters of the novel focus on the big picture conspiracy and mechanics behind the “event,” but the reader is quickly put in regular shoes, to experience the disaster on a personal level.
You have a good following on twitter. How important have your social media relationships been? How did you build your following in your niche? Did you use forums, newsletters and methods like that?
My Twitter following can be a little deceptive. While I do engage with readers on Twitter, most of the impact there comes from retweets by other authors or followers interested in my genres of writing (Post-apocalyptic and political/espionage thrillers).
It’s an easy way for readers to reach out to me, without a ton of expectation. 140 characters makes for short conversation. Twitter also draws people to my blog. I keep a Twitter feed rolling with book reviews (for other authors’ books) and articles that I have posted to my blog. I see these retweeted quite often. The bulk of my regular social media presence comes from Facebook, both my personal page and thriller-writing page. It’s probably the best place to catch what I’m doing, besides my blog.
All of my news filters through Facebook. Blog posts, new release updates, exclusive content releases, contests, genre related news pieces. Beyond that, I do keep a mailing list, which I regularly (2x per month) update with new release information, exclusive content (sneak peek chapters), and upcoming book deals. I converse regularly via email with many readers on this list.
Finally, I’ll talk about finding a niche and expanding it— on my blog at http://wp.me/p1knlr-8h. Sorry to do that to everyone, but I can’t possible do justice to this important topic without sending this interview’s word count through the stratosphere.
Do you do book signings, interviews, speaking and personal appearances? If so, when and where is the next place where your readers can see you? Where can they keep up with your personal contacts online?
I have to admit that this is one part of the writer’s world in which I am conspicuously absent. Prior to quitting my day job in September of 2013, my time was divided between day job, family and writing, which left little time for anything else. The prospect of giving up weekend time or evenings to sign books didn’t appeal to me.
I have started to do radio interviews, which typically occur later at night and do not interfere with home life. Last week I spent an hour talking to a radio host and listeners in Fairbanks, Alaska. Reaching out and expanding my public exposure is one of my 2014 goals.
You have great covers. They carry a theme and your brand with them. How does your book cover creation process work? Do you hand over the basic theme or do you have more of a hands-on approach? Do you get your readers involved in its development?
Jeroen ten Berge is a gifted artist. I truly wish I could say that I had a direct hand in creating these amazing covers, but I don’t. I send Jeroen an early draft, sometimes just half of the book, and he starts to conceptualize the cover. He’s a big post-apocalyptic fan, so we talked back and forth quite a bit about the story, but I never dictate what I want to see. I leave that to him, and the results are incredible.
What writer support groups do you belong to? Do they help with the writing, marketing and the publishing process? – CATCH THE REST AT HBS AUTHOR’S SPOTLIGHT!