During this whole process, several people have asked me some interesting questions, and I thought I’d use this venue to answer them. Seeing as how this is my first official blog entry, I felt it might be a good place to start.
Q: What made you decide to self-publish?
Of the 37% of the agents and publishers that responded to my 400+ query letters, the answers followed a pattern; they all seemed to think my ideas were exciting, my writing was solid, but my subject matter was not on their current wish list, or they claimed they couldn’t afford to take on another client financially.
At the beginning of this year, I was diagnosed with something called an accoustic neuroma (a benign intra-cranial tumor), which literally had me laid up for nearly three months with vertigo. When you have that much time to yourself, with nothing more than your brain to keep you occupied, you think…and think…and think some more. Then one day, you wake up and declare to the world, “Screw you, I’m doing it myself!”
It’s amazing how a tumor, even a benign one, can make you so bold!
Q: Of all the great vanity press’ out there, why Kindle?
As much as I love holding a book in my hands, and the smell and feel of the crisp, freshly printed pages, I have to admit that the ebook format is the way the world is going. I don’t believe that books of any kind will ever completely disappear, but I do think that as fast as technology is moving, you either have to merge, or get run over.
In comparing the different ebook units available, the Kindle is my favorite.
Q: Who are your writing influences?
Proclaiming you have writing influences always led me to believe that your writing is supposed to be ‘like’ theirs, so in that sense, I have none. I do have authors that are my favorites; Jeffrey Deaver, Scott Smith, J.R.R. Tolkein, Sir Walter Scott, John Steinbeck, Dante Alighieri, Jane Austen, Ayn Rand…I could go on for days here…
Q: Why did you choose to write the novel from first-person POV, as opposed to narrative, or single character narrative?
Because of the subject matter and the fact that it is a family oriented scenario, I felt first-person gave it more of a sense of urgency, just as real-life issues with family do. I tried switching it to narrative, and the story slowed down and lost the edginess I wanted to convey. Having each chapter told from a different characters POV, allowed me to show their characteristics as well as the situation at hand and how they would see it and handle it. Not all characters have a say here, but there is a reason for that, which I’ll explain later.
Q: Is this the greatest novel ever written?
Oh, please!? Gimme a break here, folks! I don’t believe there is one to begin with, and mine is no exception. There are some really superbly written novels that I love, and read over, and over…but the greatest? It just doesn’t exist, no matter what the critics say.
Q: Why demons? Why not stick with the current trend of vampires and werewolves?
There are so many good books written about the subject already, by writers who really love writing about them, who am I to compete? Personally, I love reading about them, and watching movies and TV shows about them (“Spike” on Buffy the Vampire Slayer STILL gives me bats in my tummy!), but writing about them is hard. I find them rigid. There is only so much you can do with them that hasn’t already been done, and any variance leaves you too open to comparison.
In a sequel to The Kindred, tentatively called The Others, I will enter the world of Vamps and Were’s, but in my mythical world of the Dominion, things are not like they are here. I really can’t tell you much more than that, or else I’ll ruin the surprise.
Q: Being a former musician, does music influence you?
To a certain extent, yes. I can honestly say that each of my characters has a theme song. For example, while writing Sage Dante during his trials, I hear John Hiatt’s “Have a Little Faith in Me”, or Marco Conti’s unconditional friendship brings to mind the Rolling Stones’ “Wild Horses” and my villain, Corson…well, every time I hear Kings of Leon’s “Closer”, I feel him near, and get chills.
I don’t have a soundtrack or a track list that goes along with my book, but there are characteristics in songs that bring my cast to mind often.
Q: Are you working on anything else? Or is this all you’re writing?
Yes, I have sequels to The Kindred already in the works, comprised chiefly from the chapters I had to cut from it, and another completely different story based on Gypsy folklore. There are other short stories I have written that I am working on expanding, and could quite possibly have a few more in the works if I can just find the time!
This is all I can answer for now. If there are any questions you have for me, feel free to use the contact page and send them on. I’ll try and answer them as quickly as possible.