Today I had the honour and privilege of having the superb thriller writer Claude Bouchard as my guest.
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 Bélanger, 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 Bélanger, 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 Amazon author page.
Buy Vigilante on Amazon