1.What got you into writing / what made you sit down and actually start something? I love to tell stories and make people laugh. I am afforded the opportunity to work in many different places and meet hundreds of people each year. Wherever I work or whoever I meet has a story behind or in front of it. I use my experiences to create bigger stories. I just decided one morning to write a story of my day and then did it again and again. It became my first novel.
2.What is a usual writing day like for you, how is it structured?
I usually don’t write every day. Most writing days come from something tugging in my mind or a scene I envision and I just have to write it all out. Usually I make notes day in and day out, then just binge write
3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it?
Absolutely. For my second novel I was stuck 50,000 words into it and didn’t know where to go. I stewed for nearly a month. I finally broke down and gave the pages to a person I knew and trusted and asked him for advice on where to go next.He had some ideas but what happened was I deleted about 10,000 words and took the story into a whole new vein. It was great because it gave me new life and I like the way it all turned out.
4.Are you a plotter or pantser when it comes to writing a story?
I have to know how the story will end, the big finish, before I can seriously get into writing. I am a general contractor by trade and before I start a renovation, kitchen or addition, I have to know what it will all look like at the end before I can dig a hole or demolish a wall. It’s like that with writing for me: if I can see the end, I can make the beginning and middle work
5.Are you traditionally or self-published?Self-published. I like the freedom of no restraints.
6. What was the publishing process like for you? Any advice to aspiring authors?
It was good to a degree. I like the outcome but editing and re-editing sucks.I know editors have the best intentions but when I have to sit and stare at an editor’s comment for fifteen minutes just to grasp how to make the changes? I have my moments when I think, “What’s the point?” Then I just push through it. That’s what I always do. This is what I love to do and I have to remember that, even when I hate doing it.
7.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author?
Listening to all the feedback from readers. I love to talk about my work, and when people ask me questions about it, it’s just fun for me. I love to hear how it’s interpreted. Plus I get to ask questions too, find out if what I meant, really came through on the page.
8.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us, including genre and targeted audience?The Blood Led Her is my second novel. It’s a sequel, but it also serves as a standalone book. It was a very emotional book for me to write. I included real people I’ve known into the story, all of whom are deceased except for one friend, who I received permission from first. The story is about Al Campo and a 10-year-old girl, Eva, who form a father-daughter bond in a short amount of time. I have two daughters and it was easy to relate. He has to protect her and try to find her family before sinister forces try to take her away. She holds a secret power within her blood. Al slowly discovers her secret and does everything he can to help her. But he doesn’t know how, or if he can save her from her destiny. I had a difficult time in writing some scenes; they were close to my heart and at times brutal and unforgiving. It took me three weeks to write the final climax.Mostly the book is a suspense/thriller, but it has a religious undertone and a historical fiction backdrop.Most anyone would enjoy it, although I’ve been told it has some serious violence and adult language. So maybe not young readers.
9.What tip would you give to new authors when trying to build a fan-base / get followers and market their books? (What to do and what not to do.)There is everything to do and nothing not to do. Social media is amazing these days. Building a fan base is only restricted by what you don’t do. Reach out to everyone you know and ask them the same. The most difficult part for me is finding actual readers. I have about a thousand contacts and meet hundreds of people. I ask every new person if they like to read, mostly the answer is ‘no’ or ‘sometimes.’ I am constantly increasing my network online and in person, but again, finding readers is more difficult than finding friends on Facebook. I have a good fan base locally and it is expanding, but I never stop talking about it.I have also used publicists with limited feedback.The best thing to do is promote everywhere and anywhere you can
10.How long on average does it take you to write a book?Usually a year but refining it into something I am happy with probably another year. Then I send it to some test readers before I rewrite once more and that could take a month or so.
11.Tell us about the book cover/s, how the designing came about, whether you had much input etc. I usually have design in my head. Since I’m not talented in graphic design, I try to convey my thoughts to the right people and they send me two covers and we work from one of them.
12.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? I am a general contractor and have a family so writing, is what I do in any spare time I have. But I do like to travel and people watch. It is one way I get ideas for my writing. I’m a good observer and like to create situations in my head when I’m lying on a beach or in a pub or out to dinner.
The Blood Led Her is now available on Amazon.