Monday, August 27, 2012

  


It's an honor and privilege to welcome thriller writer Doug 

Dorow.
The Ninth District - A Thriller

1. When and why did you decide to become an Indie writer?
I'd been writing for some time and was just starting to work with my critique group on query letters to send to agents. This was two summers ago. Then I saw a notice on Amazon opening up directly to authors with the 70% royalty, and I decided then and there to forget the traditional route and to try the indie route. I was targeting to publish my first Thriller by Christmas that year, but my mom got sick, so I got a little delayed and published THE NINTH DISTRICT June 2011. I've never regretted my decision to be an Indie Writer and an Authorpreneur.

2. What genre do you write in and what genre do you prefer to read?
I write thrillers and that's what I prefer to read. They say to write what you know. I'm not an FBI agent or a huge adventurer, but I do like to read about these adventures, so that's what I'm writing. 

3. Where do you sell most books, USA or UK, Amazon or Barnes and Noble?
In the beginning, I tried all of the sellers. Amazon has been the king for me.  Before KDP Select, 95% of my sales were on Amazon, followed by Barnes and Noble and then iTunes.  I've participated in three rounds of KDP Select. I sell primarily in the US, but June and I had a pretty good month of sales in the UK followed by Germany. I'm pursuing translation into Spanish and German and the book is available as an Audiobook and in paper as well. 

4. During your childhood who was your biggest influence?
My parents, both taught by example. My dad loved to camp and travel and led us on summer vacations. My mother taught me to read early and supported my reading habit by taking me to the library to get new books. 

5. Are you fortunate enough to write full-time?
Not yet! :)  I'm an IT manager by day and a father, husband and chauffeur for my son by night.  I find time to write at coffee shops while my son is at practice for soccer or hockey. Or I stay up late and write after the family has gone to bed.   

6. If Hollywood came knocking who would you want to play your main character?
This is a great question. A reader and I were discussing this on Twitter a couple of months ago as she read the book.  The main character is a veteran FBI agent, confident, a little cocky, and personable. I'd want someone that's more of a character actor, I think. Age-wise and how I have him pictured in my head, I'm going with Aaron Eckhart, I think he'd do a great job. 

7. Name 6 people, dead or alive, you’d love to have as guests seated around your dinner-table.
Former President Bill Clinton - he's smart, laid back and can talk. Late night talk show host Craig Ferguson - so funny and great at improvisation. Michael Connelly - thriller author, a lot I could learn from him. My wife - she's smart, funny, but I wouldn't sit her by Clinton :). Bonnie Raitt - great voice and lots of stories to share, Oscar Pistorius aka the South African Olympian who ran with the prosthetic legs, seemed so humble and a great inspiration. I only get six?

I'm sure the list would change if you asked me again in 3 months, but if we're sending out invites today, these are the people I'd invite. 

8. What one piece of advice have you found the most important in your writing career?
Just write. Sit in the chair and write and finish the book. (I don't always follow that and then I have to tell myself to Just sit down and write!) If I get a second piece of advice, it's read, every writer needs to be a reader. 

9. What are your plans for the coming year?
I have one book out, THE NINTH DISTRICT. I'm trying to broaden/deepen its reach. It's in ebook, audio, paper and this year I'm hoping to have the Spanish version and maybe German done. I'm working on the the sequel(s).  The main sequel is in the works and I'm spinning off a novella series with a secondary character from the first book. These two should be out in the coming year. 

10. And finally, if you were stranded on a desert island what 3 books would you choose to have with you?
If my Kindle counts, I'm set. Give me that and a solar powered adapter!  If not, then then my three books are Shibumi, by Trevanian and A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving and The Stand by Stephen King. A little variety and books I can read more than once. 




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Monday, August 20, 2012

Interview with acclaimed thriller writer Russell Blake.






This week I'd like to welcome the acclaimed thriller writer Russell Blake. 
Russell Blake


1. When and why did you decide to become an Indie writer?
About two years ago I saw all the excitement being generated by the acceptance of the Kindle, as well as the (to me) unexplainable success of some of the sensation-generating indie authors of the time, and figured, hey, I’ve been writing for pleasure for years, why not throw my bandana into the ring? I bounced the idea off a couple of friends, who after realizing I was serious and at least somewhat sober at the time, encouraged me, mainly because I think they were wagering about how long it would take for me to quit. I committed to spending one year of my life doing nothing but writing every day as a full time job, and published my first book, Fatal Exchange, in June, 2011. That was followed by 14 more over the following 14 months. Which is, in and of itself, insane, I know. But folks seem to like the work, and I’ve maintained my excitement level over the craft, and am now doing this as my day job, such as it is. I’ve been told it beats flipping burgers, but have to take that on faith. I think per hour the burger gig may have this beat, at least in terms of wages and free uniforms.
 
2. What genre do you write in and what genre do you prefer to read?  
I’m a thriller fan. Always have been. Raised on Ludlum, Forsyth, Trevanian, then later Harris, Grisham, Le Carre, Baldacci, etc. With two exceptions – forays into non-fiction – I’ve written action/adventure thrillers, although within the genre there is a lot of variation. Some are police procedural thrillers, others are conspiracy thrillers, and still others are classic treasure hunt thrillers a la Cussler or Brown. My latest release, Silver Justice, is part police procedural and part political conspiracy thriller with a serial killer thrown into the mix, so it can be hard to describe my books sometimes. I tend to write whatever interests me at the moment, and it doesn’t always fit in a nice niche. As an author that keeps it interesting for me and keeps me stretching to reinvent myself with each book.

3. Where do you sell most books, USA or UK, Amazon or Barnes and Noble?
Amazon US is 80% of my sales, UK is 20%. Mainly because I’ve been exclusive to Amazon due to the Select requirements until of late, when I stopped putting my new titles into the program. I’ve sold a decent number on Barnes now, but nothing like my Amazon numbers.

4. During your childhood who was your biggest influence?
I’ve blocked out all childhood memories after the traumatic clown incident (which I refuse to discuss publicly, for good reason), so I have no memory of anything prior to high school other than that unspeakable event. The horror never fades.

5. Are you fortunate enough to write full-time?
I don’t know if I’d call it fortunate or not, but yes, it’s what I do, ten to twelve hours a day. I think my output is a function of my OCD nature as well as laziness. Once I’m sitting, it’s easier to write than to get up and do something else, so I’ll write a book to avoid chores or exercise.

6. If Hollywood came knocking who would you want to play your main character?
Wow. I’d say for my Assassin series, Benicio Del Toro for Captain Cruz, and either Depp or Di Caprio as El Rey – or whoever is the younger version of them now. I’d love to have Del Toro read King of Swords. Who am I kidding? I’d love to have anyone read it. But I digress. And seem really clingy and whiny. Which is why my ex left and took the dog. Never mind.

7. Name 6 people, dead or alive, you’d love to have as guests seated around your dinner-table. Probably Vaslav Nijinsky pre-crazy, Hemingway pre-shock treatment, Richard Feynman, Friedrich Nietzsche, David Foster Wallace and Albert Einstein. I think it would be fun to have them forced to listen to me read my work aloud in a trilling brogue while Hemingway and Nijinsky play the Indian knife game and Einstein and Feynman debate the odds of one of them losing a finger, while Wallace and Nietzsche argue moral philosophy in the original German. Everyone can remain clothed.

8. What one piece of advice have you found the most important in your writing career?
To write every day, whether you’re particularly inspired or not, and to attempt to best your best finest every time you put pen to paper – to view it as an opportunity to master your craft and improve. If you write constantly you create an engine of enthusiasm for the craft inside of yourself as well as push the boundaries of your imagination, and if you keep raising your own bar you’ll never become complacent with your art.

9. What are your plans for the coming year?
2013, or the next 12 months? If the next 12 months, I’m finishing up my WIP, JET, about an ex-Mossad operative who fakes her own death to get out of the game – but her past has come back to haunt her. That should release in Sept. Then I will be jumping into a Fatal Exchange sequel tentatively titled Fatal Deception, then another Assassin novel, then a JET sequel and a Silver Justice sequel. That takes me through the end of the year. I’ve been slacking on writing the next Delphi and Steven Cross sequels, so those are slated for next year, with another JET sequel and another Assassin sequel. Of course I reserve the right to increase or decrease my effort based on my boredom level.

10. And finally, if you were stranded on a desert island what 3 books would you choose to have with you?
Infinite Jest, The Magic Mountain and The Holographic Paradigm. If the Holographic Paradigm’s view of reality is correct and every particle contains all information about all other particles (albeit at a less detailed level), as in a holograph, then all books are contained in my thumbnail, as is everything else. But just in case it’s wrong, IJ and Thomas Mann are long enough to take the edge off.

Silver Justice



His thoughts, such as they are, can be found at his blog: http://RussellBlake.com
Follow Russell on Twitter: @Blakebooks

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Special guest author: Micheal Rivers


 Verliege


Today I'd like to introduce thriller writer Micheal Rivers. Take it away, Micheal.




Thank you very much for having me with you today. It is always a pleasure to talk with you.


 1. When and why did you decide to become an Indie writer?

A: I am a hybrid. I am an Indie author, but I also publish with Schiffer Publishing Ltd. As far as Indie publishing is concerned the profit margin for royalties are higher than brick and mortar. Both sides have their advantages. With Indie publishing I can choose my subjects; looking at the other side of the coin I have to write what they need or want. I like going where my mind takes me although that is seriously dangerous at times. It is a freedom you cannot always indulge in when satisfying a brick and mortar publisher.
I became an Indie with my first published novel in 1994. That book was a disaster because I had almost no knowledge of the business and the publisher went for that like a trout on a worm.

2. What genre do you write in and what genre do you prefer to read?

A: I love all the genres, some more than others. At this time I write paranormal suspense thriller. In the last year close friends and a few others that know me well have been trying to get me to write in another genre and the idea is tempting at times. I may surprise them with a little something in the future. I read everything except newspapers.
My favorite genre I am not so sure about. If the writer holds my interest I will read his work, if not they go into the “maybe later, maybe never file.”

3. Where do you sell most books, USA or UK, Amazon or Barnes and Noble?

A: The vast majority of my books are sold by Amazon here in the United States. I would like to break in to the UK market and am working on that.


4. During your childhood, who was your biggest influence?

A: Good question. I was influenced so many times I could hardly sit down. With my heritage the community is your influence in all phases of life. It is like having one huge family everywhere you go. I can’t give all the credit to just one person fairly. I will say the wisdom came from my father’s side and the strength and endurance to go forward regardless of the obstacles you meet came from both sides. I never quit. I may fall back and regroup, but be wary of my return. LOL
As far as writing is concerned I was greatly influenced by Alexander Dumas and Edgar Allen Poe.

5. Are you fortunate enough to write full-time?

A: Yes, but there are times when I wonder if you can call it fortunate. LOL I also have a day job that is full time. When do I find time for my writing; every possible second of the day? The economy changed and so sales went south like the vast majority of other writers. Unfortunately the battles of the big six and Indies has been less than a boon for everyone.

6. If Hollywood came knocking who would you want to play your main character?

A: First things first; if Hollywood came knocking I would have to regain consciousness from the shock. For Verliege I would have to say Liam Neeson for Dr. Pellitere and for Adrian Bolt I would choose Edward Norton hands down.

7. Name 6 people, dead or alive, you’d love to have as guests seated around your dinner-table.

A: Ronald Reagan, Attila the Hun, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Rodney Dangerfield, and Father Guido Sarducci. Keep in mind it is a buffet so the menu would be very interesting.

8. What one piece of advice have you found the most important in your writing career?

A: EDIT! EDIT! EDIT! and ignore the troll in the corner he’s just waiting to write something vicious about something written over his head.

9. What are your plans for the coming year?

A: It all depends on the time I am allotted. One of the books is already being prepped and being released in November by Schiffer Publishing. All things considered I would like to finish the sequel for the Black Witch among a few other things.
If all goes well I may surprise everyone with a new title out of my genre in mid 2013.

10. And finally, if you were stranded on a desert island what 3 books would you choose to have
with you?

A: Photo album with lots of pictures of the love of my life. (Get your mind out of the gutter) The survivalist bible and the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne would be on the wish list.  



Amazon Author page    http://www.amazon.com/Micheal-Rivers/e/B004JRJYWK      
Micheal Rivers Facebook Fan page     http://www.facebook.com/MichealRivers.Author                                                                 
Michealrivers.com          http://michealrivers.com/          

Monday, August 6, 2012

Billie Sue Mosiman




This week I have Billie Sue Mosiman answering my personal questions. 

MOURNING MANSION


1. When and why did you decide to become an Indie writer? 

After a seven year writer's block where my elderly parents lived with me and I cared for them, I finished my novel BANISHED. At that point the world of publishing had changed. I could either try to sell the novel as a traditionally published book as I had always done my other works, or I could jump right into the Indie scene and do it myself. I had a great cover artist who did a superb cover. I had a proofreader who could proof it. I had a beta reader. I already had some of my backlist titles up on Kindle and decided why not, let me try this my way. I was hooked. The novel has already earned what it might have from a traditional publishing contract and continues going strong.

 2. What genre do you write in and what genre do you prefer to read?
 I write suspense and horror. My novels have tended to be suspense thrillers and my short works in the weird, strange, horror fiction field. I prefer to read both genres.

 3. Where do you sell most books, USA or UK, Amazon or Barnes and Noble?
 I sell most in the US and on Amazon. 

 4. During your childhood who was your biggest influence? 
There were a couple. My mother was a voracious reader so we always had books lying around all over the house, stacked on tables and the floor. She encouraged her children to read and bought us books. It was her love of reading that opened that world to me and made me admire the written word and those who wrote it. The other influence was my grandmother, who thought the sun rose and set in me. She believed I could do or be anything I wanted and that helped me believe the same.

 5. Are you fortunate enough to write full-time?
 Yes. Most of my career has been as a full-time writer. My husband supported me in those early struggling years. He's a saint. Every writer needs a spouse willing to let the writer do her work full-time and I know not everyone gets one, but I've been fortunate.

 6. If Hollywood came knocking who would you want to play your main character?
 I have a novel called BAD TRIP SOUTH and I just saw an actress in a movie called HIDE who would be perfect for my character Heddy. Other than that I don't think I'd have any preferences.

 7. Name 6 people, dead or alive, you’d love to have as guests seated around your dinner-table. 
F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Steinbeck, Jim Thompson, Patricia Highsmith, Flannery O'Connor, and Sherwood Anderson.

 8. What one piece of advice have you found the most important in your writing career?
 "Don't buy into the romantic notion of the writer as boozer living a wild, erratic life. Live a quiet life and do the work."

 9. What are your plans for the coming year?
 I hope to decide on my next novel and begin it. As always I'll be writing new stories and novellas because I love the form. 

 10. And finally, if you were stranded on a desert island what 3 books would you choose to have with you? Steinbeck's THE GRAPES OF WRATH and EAST OF EDEN, the Bible. There are so many stories in the Bible it would last a long time. 

Check out Billie Sue's blog:  http://www.peculiarwriter.blogspot.com

MOURNING-MANSION Amazon US

MOURNING-MANSION Amazon UK 

Billie Sue's Kindle Store

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Top thriller writer Claude Bouchard drops by.



 Today I had the honour and privilege of having the superb thriller writer Claude Bouchard as my guest. 




Vigilante (Barry/McCall Series) 1. When and why did you decide to become an Indie writer?

 Though I wrote my first three novels in the mid to late 90s and did some agent querying at the time, I ended up putting the writing and related activities aside for a number of years as I concentrated on my management career, university studies and oil painting. It was only in 2009 when I brought my manuscripts to light again, my intention at the time being simply to see them in actual book format for personal satisfaction. Following another round of revision and editing, I published all three with Lulu, ordered copies for myself and family; and then a complete stranger bought Vigilante and loved it. I’d already started working on my fourth novel by then and started looking into how to push my wares to the world. An Indie writer was born.

2. What genre do you write in and what genre do you prefer to read?

 I mostly write crime thrillers with six out to date and a seventh in the works, all part of a series. I’ve also written ASYLUM, a stand-alone psych-thriller which deals with family life and has proven to be my ‘love it’ or ‘hate it’ work to date. My reading genres run wider than crime thrillers and include espionage, legal, action/adventure, to name a few.

3. Where do you sell most books, USA or UK, Amazon or Barnes and Noble?

 The bulk of my sales are in the U.S. or via Amazon.com to be more precise though I’ve been selling sufficiently through Amazon U.K. over the last several months to receive a monthly paycheque. All six installments of my Barry/McCall crime series are currently exclusively available in ebook format at Amazon due to enrollment in their KDP Select programme. ASYLUM is available at a variety of ebook retailers and all seven novels are available world-wide in print.

4. During your childhood who was your biggest influence?

 An easy question to answer and I do so with pride; my parents. We (which includes my brother and two sisters) were instilled with strong values such as honesty, respect for others and professional ethics. We were all encouraged to do whatever we wanted in life but urged to strive to be the best we could in our chosen field. ‘Several’ years later, we’re all still doing that and remain inspired by our parents.

5. Are you fortunate enough to write full-time?

Thanks to a successful corporate career in a previous life, accumulated equity and investments, a small remaining mortgage balance and a spouse with full-time employment, I am fortunate enough to write full-time. Now to define what full-time writing means… A true pantser, I’ve never written on a plan or with a deadline and there are days when I don’t write, at least not in terms of novel writing. However, there are all the sub-components of writing such as website updates, blogging, developing rapport with current and future readers and, of course, interviews.

6. If Hollywood came knocking who would you want to play your main character?

 Cool! This is where I get to cheat again and copy/paste my response from a past interview. I say ‘cheat again’ as the question has been asked twice in the past.

 Warning – The following text has been copied and pasted: The question was asked to me about Chris Barry several years ago and the almost immediate answer was Matthew McConaughey at the time. Since then, I’ve always had difficulty picturing someone else though Thomas Jane and Paul Walker are plausible candidates. Denzel Washington would be great in McCall’s role though age becomes a factor so possibly Isaiah Washington or Terrence Howard instead. Christian Bale would also be a consideration.

7. Name 6 people, dead or alive, you’d love to have as guests seated around your dinner-table.

Bruce Springsteen, Melissa Etheridge, David Gilmour, Dave Matthews, Sheryl Crow and Guy B√©langer, not so much for the dinner thing but more so for an after dinner jam session. I love live music and guitars and seeing this crew mess around together would be a riot. For those who don’t know Guy B√©langer, he’s from Quebec and is a true wizard with a harmonica.

8. What one piece of advice have you found the most important in your writing career?

Sometimes, something is obvious and staring you in the face yet someone has to tell you about it. This was the case with me back in February of this year when I wrote a blog post entitled, “What Makes a Book Sell?” The aim of my post wasn’t to explain what actually makes a book sell… I was asking the question. Bestselling author, Robert Bidinotto, who I’m privileged to call a friend, took the time to email me and lay out a plan which consisted of sprucing up my book description for Vigilante on Amazon (he did the spruce job for me), enrolling it in KDP Select, scheduling a giveaway promo and making a hell of a lot of noise about it. In my case, it worked. I’ve since sold thousands of copies, not only of Vigilante but of the other five thrillers currently in my series as well. Great advice.

9. What are your plans for the coming year?

 I’m currently working on Femme Fatale, the seventh installment of my Barry/McCall crime series, which features Leslie Robb, a minor character introduced in my fifth novel, who decided minor just wasn’t good enough for her. In fact, a little more than halfway into the book, Leslie started taking much more room than I had expected and then went on to regularly jump into the spotlight throughout the sixth novel.

 I also have s stand-alone entitled The Last Party in progress but presently simmering while I tend to Leslie’s needs.

10. And finally, if you were stranded on a desert island what 3 books would you choose to have with you?

Ah, an easy question. The three books would definitely be My Kindle, The Kobo and Sony Reader. *Note to self: Load up readers before traveling.*







Claude's Website


Claude's Amazon author page.


Buy Vigilante on Amazon