Interviews 2012

November 2012

I have the enormous pleasure today to interview Rowena Cory Daniells who is extremely talented and inspiring. Her website is full of useful information, professional with writing tips, awesome interviews with fascinating authors, and her Bio and details her work with graphic art studio R & D Studios. Clearly the covers of her books reflect these talents. (Note the artwork is mainly Daryl’s work)

Q:  When did you start writing?

I’ve always been a writer in that I’m fascinated by story in all its forms. I didn’t start putting down my own stories until I was in my early twenties, when I had my bookshop. I used to read a book in the morning, a book after lunch and a book after dinner. Eventually, I ran out of books that interested me and had to write my own.

Q:  What writing groups do you belong to?

I owe so much to writing groups and the wonderfully supportive people I’ve met. Recently I went to Genre Con, which was run by the QLD Writers Centre for writers across several genres. As someone who has been involved with Romance Writers of Australia, has had around thirty children’s books published, has been involved with the Spec Fic world for almost forty years, most recently Vision Writers, and has recently joined Sisters in Crime, as a prelude to my gritty crime-paranormal book’s publication, I felt very comfortable at Genre Con.

Q:   What are you currently reading? (Bearing in mind you can read three books a day as mentioned while you were at the Gold Coast Writers Festival.)

LOL. Well, the books were smaller back then. Nowadays, I’m reading on the train to and from work. I read across genres through to factual books for research. One of my favourite things to read is New Scientist and the Science Blogs. I find they trigger ideas for stories.

Q:     You study martial arts, do you find the physical activity stimulates your mind and springboards ideas for your books?

I don’t currently do martial arts. Having done Aikido, Tae Kwon Do and Iaido, the art of the Samurai sword, I can bring a certain practical knowledge to my fight scenes. Added to this, I have books on the great battles from antiquity through to the Middle Ages. This is useful when constructing battles for my books. Nowadays I do yoga, which is great for letting my subconscious bubble along and present me with solutions to plot hiccups.

Q:  Do you write with a visual image in mind?

I tend to be very visual so I collect resonance files on the books I write (See King Rolen’s Kin and The Outcast Chronicles), and will often set my desktop image to reflect the book I’m currently working on.

Q:  Do you draw from your own life experiences to write?

I think we all draw on our life experiences to give depth to what we write. At Genre Con I asked Joe Abercrombie how he, a young healthy man, could come up with the character of  Glokta, the crippled, embittered torturer. He explained that he’d suffered from a bad back and Glokta was a man who had suffered so much he had no empathy left.

Q:  Have you travelled widely?

I would love to travel more than I have. Most of my travelling is done in my head by reading books, reading National Geographics and reading history. People’s personal accounts of historic events, where available, are like time travelling.

Q:  How did you secure your Agent John Jarrold?

When my agent retired, leaving me ‘orphaned’, I applied to Arts QLD for a professional development grant to go to World SF Con in Glasgow in 2005. Knowing that John Jarrold would be there, I approached him with the first three chapters of King Rolen’s Kin. By the time I met him, I’d done more research and realized he had been the editor at Orbit. I fully expected him to turn me down. When he accepted me I was flabbergasted. John sold KRK to Solaris.

Q:  What is your association with Supanova?  

Supanova is a big multi-media event for geeks. It’s great to get amongst people who love the genre as much as I do. I’ve attended as a guest and as someone who pays to hire a table in Artist’s Alley. Here I am with Joe Abercrombie, Alison Goodman and Lindy Cameron.

Q:  Do you find supporting writers festivals such as the Gold Coast Writers Festival beneficial because of the people you meet, the promotion and the book sales?

It’s always lovely to meet fellow writers and readers who love the genre. From a promotional point of view it is probably more effective to do blog tours, as this way I can travel all over the world and the interview or article will be available for ever. (Plus I can write in my tracky daks).

Q:  On your website you have some truly fascinating interviews with some wonderful writers such as Karen Brooks, Anita Bell, and Marianne de Pierres, Tara Moss and Simon Higgins, to name a few. Your questions are also very compelling, do you find you enjoy this journalistic type of interview benefits yourself and the writer being interviewed?

I put a lot of work into the interviews, reading people’s interviews and researching them. It is always interesting because I find people and the creative process fascinating.

Q You have eleven books published to date, a Paranormal Crime book titled The Price of Fame and three Fantasy books, King-Maker, King-Breaker and three trilogies King Rolen’s Kin trilogy  ( 2010), The Outcast Chronicles (2012), and Fall of Fair Isle (1999-2002). Do you find creating worlds that are believable a challenge?  

Creating worlds comes naturally to me. Finding the time to write is the challenge. There’s my paid work, my family, attending and following up on events. Sometimes I wish I could just run away to write.

Q:   Are the worlds an integral part of the story or just a backdrop to the characters conflicts?  

The problems the people have are often created by the worlds in which they live, just as we are shaped by the society in which we live.

Q:  Do you have a set schedule to your day with a time set aside for writing? 

I steal every moment that I can to write. But I try to balance this with exercise, research and reading in genre, to keep my mind active. I have an office at the back of the house, but for most of last year I was writing on the kitchen table or my bed, as we were renovating. It’s nice to have my office back again.

Q:  What is your current project?   

Currently, I’m cleaning up my original trilogy to re-release it and working on King Rolen’s Kin 4 which will resolve the story.

Q:  Where do you see yourself in ten years time?  

It’s funny you should ask this because for once I don’t have a larger over-arching plan. I feel like the industry is changing so rapidly, I’m running on the spot just to keep up with all the developments. I guess, you could say I will always tell stories, but I don’t know how I will be reaching my audience in ten years.

I’m about to immerse myself in ‘The Chronicles of King Rolen’s Kin’. I look forward to sharing with my readers these wonderfully woven tales. Rowena, thank you for sharing your talent and insights with me, subscribers and readers of my blog, I’m sure they will have enjoyed reading about you. For more go to Rowena’s website http://www.rowena-cory-daniells.com/

Giveaway – For your chance to win a copy of one of Rowena’s books answer this question:  

Which author made you discover reading and your love of story?

………

May 2012 – 

Today my guest for her Blog Tour is Karen Tyrrell, with some more insights into her writing – Me & Her Memoir of Madness 

Q1. What writing groups do you belong to?

I’m the coordinator of Logan City Writers collective with over 120 members. I lead the Logan Crime/ Genre writers group and I’m a member of Sisters in Crime Brisbane, Vision Writers and an online children’s writer group.

Q2.. You instigated the Logan Writers Festival at one time. Did that help you with marketing your own book?

Indirectly through the contacts I made. I learned how to organize events, speak to large groups, interact with the media and most importantly build friendships via social networking.

Q3. Do you have a regular writing schedule?

YES! After my morning brisk walk, I scribble down ideas in a free-flow consciousness sort of way. Then I begin typing where I left off on yesterday’s story.

Q4. Do you have a special place you find it best to write in?

I love to type up my stories in my downstairs office. But I’ll write anywhere, even on planes, trains and at bus-stops. I write seven days a week.

Q5. What is your next project?

I’m working on a sequel to ME & HER, a companion book which I’ll share strategies for recovery and two bonus, never released chapters from ME & HER. The title will be either ME & HER: a Guide to Recovery or ME & HIM: a Guide to Recovery. What do you think?

I think that would be fantastic! I’ve really enjoyed being a guest host and hope readers of my blog will also enjoy the rest of your blog tour. Thank you so much Karen for the opportunity. Jill

and don’t forget…

ANNOUNCING … ME & HER eBook

ME & HER: a Memoir of Madness launches this week on Amazon Kindle as an eBook. To find out more about Karen Tyrrell and where to purchase ME & HER, please check out her website.

Please go to http://www.karentyrrell.com and click on BUY BOOK to purchase an eBook!

eBOOK GIVEAWAYS!

Please comment here or ask a question to be in the draw for a FREE eBook.

Two copies to be won!

As part of the DC Green Grat Siege Blog Blitz Tour! I welcome D C Green with Plotting and Planning as the theme.  

Q1      When did you start writing?

DC: That’s a four-part answer! I started writing home-made mini-comics when I was six years old. My first fiction story was published in Tracks magazine when I was in Year 12. My first non-fiction article was also published in Tracks. It was the first of my post-degree surfing sojourns through Indonesia. And I began writing children’s novels around seven years ago.

Q2      What were your first writing efforts?

DC: My first min-comic was called Casey the Cop. Casey was a furball with arms and legs who wore a police cap. The crimes he hated most were mouthing off and criminals doing poos in public. I hope my writing has become *slightly* more mature since then!

Q3        What writing groups do you belong to?

DC: I love writing groups but my town is too small to sustain a number of children’s authors, so these days I do ‘swap critiques’ with other authors.

Q4       What are you currently reading?

DC: I’m reading the fantastic ‘Letters to Leonardo’ by Dee White, which I won as a prize in a writing contest run by Dee.

Q5        What are your favorite books?

DC: I have hundreds of favourite books in multiple genres. The books that influenced me the most in my formative years were The Lorax, The Lord of the Rings, the Earthsea trilogy, Catch-22 and Hell’s Angels. Yes, that’s quite a mixed bag!

Q6        Who are your favorite authors?

DC: I believe we live now in the golden age of children’s writing. Never before have there been so many amazing children’s authors all mingling and writing at the same moment in history. Just in Australia, and off the top of my head, remarkable authors include: Sandy Fussell, Sally Odgers, Sophie Masson, Sue Whiting, Cassandra Golds, Ian Irvine, Libby Gleeson, Bill Condon, Di Bates, Michael Gerald Bauer, Carole Wilkinson, Matt Porter, Garth Nix, Sonya Hartnett, Steven Herrick, Shaun Tan and Susie Gervay.

Q7        Do you draw from your own life experiences to write?

DC: Yes. Always. However, almost never will something from my life be identical to what I write in a story. For example, if I’m writing about Erasmus James facing the evil giant rat, Queen Dice, I’ll combine my memories of being a smart aleck 12-year old standing up to bullies, armed only with my wit. I’ll mix in the fear I experienced when I almost drowned surfing. I’ll add in the near-delirious exhaustion I felt when I had to walk all night through a Javanese jungle because I was afraid if I laid down and went to sleep I might be eaten by tigers! The only experiences we can ever truly understand are our own, so I believe it’s important that we writers experience as much as we possibly can!

Q8        Do you derive inspiration from your own family?

DC: I began writing children’s books because I wanted to combine my gonzo parenting with my passion for writing. Plus I had two excellent, in-house sources of feedback, so I didn’t want to waste that opportunity! Then when I actually started writing for grommets, I realised that this was what I should have been doing my whole life!

Q9        Have you travelled widely?

DC: I wrote for surfing magazines for many years so was fortunate enough to be able to swindle, I mean EARN, multiple free trips through every Australian state, not to mention through Morocco, Scotland, Hawaii, South Africa and many more fantastic countries. Woo-hoo!

Q10       I love the humour in your books. Do you write mainly for boys or girls?

DC: Thank you! I love making children (and adults) laugh. I believe even ‘serious’ books can still have humorous dialogue and funny moments. I always try to write stories that will appeal equally to both boys and girls. Erasmus James, for example, was originally a girl – until my first publisher (Ibis) made me change his/her sex! I enjoy writing strong female characters as well as characters that flip sexual or racial stereotypes on their head.

Q11        Having a background as surf journalist, do you find you visualise your characters and their settings?

DC: Yes, I’m a very visual person and most of my scenes play out like mini-movies in my head. I have to be very careful with my descriptions so that readers can visualise scenes the same way I do  without becoming ‘lost’. I also have to be mindful to integrate the non-visual senses into my stories. I’ll usually do an entire draft where I slowly move from paragraph to paragraph, adding descriptions of what things smell like, sound like, taste like and feel like when touched. This hopefully helps brings my writing to life a little more.

Q12        Do you gain a great deal of feedback and ideas for more books when you do you school shows?

DC: There are usually at least eighty students at each of my shows, so my focus is on being as entertaining and educational as I possibly can be. Therefore, ‘show mode’ is not the ideal state to receive ideas or detailed feedback. However, I do receive a lot of general feedback. When children ask me to sign their books or hands and tell me that Stinky Squad is their third favourite book of all time or that I am their seventh favourite author, I receive something even more useful than ideas (because I already have hundreds of those): INSPIRATION! The thought that my work can inspire children to want to read and/or write is in turn massively inspiring to me!

Q13         Do you find the promotion and marketing side of your work takes you away from writing?

DC: Yes. I often seem to spend more time promoting and organising than I do writing! Plus there are the countless hours I spend phoning and emailing schools, organising hire cars, accommodation and air fares, updating my website, doing interviews, filling in log-books and tax returns and more. However, I do not begrudge any of that time. All my related work is necessary and important. It also makes me appreciate my precious writing time all the more!

Q14         Do you have your own writing place, office, backyard shed or somewhere special?

DC: My writing place is a computer desk that tends to become buried in coffee cups, paperwork and cat hair. I also have note-books and a laptop computer so I can work when I’m away from home and a mini-tape recorder so I can record ideas when I’m on long road trips or when I wake up in the middle of the night bursting with ideas. I once planned an entire novel series while driving to the Riverina!

Q15        Do you have a regular schedule to your writing day?

DC: I wish I did! Sometimes I do. However, I’m also a surfer and a dad, so my writing often has to fit in between all the other bits and pieces that make up my life. I find setting weekly and monthly writing goals to be helpful. I’m not allowed to turn on the TV or vegetate with facebook until I’ve completed my daily hours (well, that’s the theory!).


Q16     As a Sci-Fi writer I enjoy creating worlds that are believable but not quite real. Your inner world is just like this. Do you do research for your books or simply go where the characters lead you?

DC: I generally dislike researching and would much rather happily follow wherever my characters lead. The best bit about making up my own worlds is the amount of research I’m able to avoid. In the Erasmus books, I invented multiple planets – and that’s a lot of fun! I’m the boss of history, politics, culture, economics, sociology, geography and even gravity! However, even imaginary worlds still must exist within the laws of science. I believe it is always best to research and be accurate than to make something up that will seem absurd to a physicist or biologist. For example, in the second Erasmus James book, Raz wants to fill a hot air balloon to escape the giant rats – firstly, using a fire, and secondly, using a volcano. Raz and the inventor kids are all brilliant scientists, so I knew I had to have my facts right – both for the sake of their characters – and for their balloon to actually work! So I researched what sort of ‘hot fiery air’ would fill a giant balloon and lift people into the air and also which gases are created by volcanoes. This research in turn gave me a few ideas that I used to make the story even better. And for readers, what resulted is educational as well as exciting!

Q17      Do you plot and plan your books?

DC: Like a super-villain, I’m always plotting and planning! Though I love nothing better than when my story forces me to ignore my plan for awhile, I definitely believe plans are essential. Otherwise it’s all too easy to write weeks of material that is unusable because it just doesn’t fit into the story. If there are to be revelations, the author needs to know about these in advance so that hints and clues can be dropped. It’s also important for the reader to feel confident that the writer knows what they are doing and that everything will make sense in the end.

For my latest (still unpublished) novel, City of Monsters, I wrote over 200 pages of background information before I even started the story! Monstro City has four million monsters crammed into a single overcrowded island city – every monster type in the history of the world! So I had to work out the answers to many, many questions. Where do all the different monster types live? Which monsters are abundant and which are endangered and why? Which monsters are rich or poor and why? Which monsters are the politicians and which ones collect the garbage? Is there magic in this world, and if so, what are the rules? Where does the food come from? Why do zombies hate vampires? What are the religious beliefs of giant spiders? Why do mummies have super-strength? I even made up a detailed monster ‘census’!

Q18      How long do you take to write your books? The latest was a while after the first two, I believe.

DC: Yes, my books do come out in random order. But that is mostly due to publishing companies moving at random speeds and manuscripts often taking years to find a home. The Erasmus series, for example, was broken up by the publication of Three Little Surfer Pigs and Stinky Squad. Generally speaking, it takes me six months of full-time work to complete a novel. Factoring in other jobs, if I can complete one novel per year, I’m a happy author and must have been working hard!

Q19       Your books are published by Barrel Books. How did you find a publisher?

DC: My first Erasmus book was published by Ibis Publishing in Melbourne. Alas, they went out of business a few years ago. Since then, Barrel Books has been a fantastic and supportive publisher. However, they are also a small publisher and do not have far-reaching distribution, so I continue to hunt for the perfect publisher to match with each of my manuscripts.

Even published authors have to work hard to find publishers for their work. There are no short cuts. Stories must be polished until they sparkle and are absolutely mistake-free. Authors need to research the market and provide publishers with manuscripts in exactly the format specified. Then comes the finger crossing!

Q20      Do you have an agent?

DC: After I wrote Erasmus James and the Galactic Zapp Machine, I approached every agent in Australia. They all said no. Sniffle. Since then, I think I’ve done a reasonable job on my own. But… hello? Agents? Hollywood? I’m officially open to all offers!

Q21      What is your current project?

DC: I’m currently rewriting a few manuscripts, including a chapter book called Guard Cats (about my three guard cats!) and the above-mentioned City of Monsters, my epic fantasy series, which has already won two awards!

Q22   Where do you see yourself being in five years?

DC: My limousine has just dropped me at the opening night of ‘Erasmus James: the Musical’ starring Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Shirley Bassey, Mick Jagger, and Justin Beiber as Franklin the horse’s backside. Already the three movies of the series have smashed world-wide box office records. I am so rich, I just bought the entire Brazilian rainforest with my spare change. It is now a protected national park, thus saving the lungs of the planet!

Ha, ha.

Seriously, mega-fame would be nice, but if that doesn’t happen, I won’t complain. I have a wonderful life right now. I have supportive friends and family. I surf whenever the waves are head-high or bigger. I get to do what I love for a living. If I’m still doing the same thing in five years – not to mention, in fifty years – then YEEE-HAAA!

PS. Please like my facebook page, DC GREEN AUTHOR! I only need three zillion more likes to catch JK Rowling!

I will, and I hope all readers and followers of my blog will do the same. Thank you for letting me participate in your blog tour. Hope your GRAT army of grommits by your book in the zillions! Jill

It’s March 2012, and my next interview is with Elaine Ouston author of several great books for young adults and children including The Mystery of Nida Valley. She is also Managing Editor at Morris Publishing http://www.morrispublishingaustralia.com/index.html

Q 1 When did you start writing?

At school, I loved writing short stories in English class, and would send hours dreaming up interesting plots for them – much to my teacher’s delight – or horror sometimes.

Q 2 What were your first writing efforts?

I first serious effort happened in the 80s when I travelled to England, the country of my mother’s birth, to spend some time. While I was waiting for my work permit, I went to the library to research the native animals of the British Isles. I was fascinated to learn that while many of these animals were very different in appearance, they lived in a similar manner. I thought my grandchildren at home would be interested to learn about these animals so I wrote and illustrated a short story for them.

Q3 What writing groups do you belong to?

We have several local writing groups in the area and I interact with all of them on some level. I participate in writing workshops with Capricorn Writers, and this year I will be helping them with an anthology project as their supervising editor. I run a weekly writers group from my home. But I belong to many on-line group as well – such as SCBWI, The Queensland Writers Centre, Children’s Book Council and many others.

Q4 Last year, as part of the Indie Writers Festival, you showcased your book. Do you think this type of event is a great outlet for writers?

Any exposure is good for a writer. We begin as totally unknown authors so anytime you can put your books or your name out where new people can discover them is good marketing.

Q5 You also are providing Editing and Graphic Art services through your website. What qualifications do you have to provide this service?

I have a Diploma of Graphic Art and worked in that field for over 20 years. A couple of years ago, I went back to University and completed a Master of Letters in creative writing.

Q6 You’ve written several children’s and young adults books including ‘The Mystery of Nida Valley’. How long did it take you to write Nida Valley?

How long it takes to write a book is a question often asked, but the answer is never simple. I started The Mystery of Nida Valley about 8 years ago when I was still working full time. I fitted writing in a couple of hours a day. So I could say 7 years, but in actual time, it would of course be much less.

Q7 You also have a great range of collector cards on the web that show the details of the prehistoric animals you’ve researched. How did you start researching this fascinating topic?

I came across them when I was researching another book. They fascinated me, as I had never learnt about them at school. I did some investigation and discovered the children in my circle of family and friends had no knowledge of these amazing creatures either. I decided to write a book for children that would be entertaining as well educational.

Q8 What are you currently reading?

Competition entries mostly, but when that is finished at the end of this month, I have Paul Collins book Mole Hunt waiting for me.

Q9 What are your favorite books?

As a beginning reader, I loved the fantasy of Enid Blyton’s books like The Magic Faraway Tree, but by about ten, I had switched to her adventure stories. I read most of the series of The Famous Five, The Secret Seven, and anything I could get my hands on in the same ilk. From my teens on my taste changed and I started to read fantasy. The Lord of The Rings is my all-time favourite.

Q10 Who are your favorite authors?

As I have already mentioned, J. R. R. Tolkien is my all-time favourite author. Enid Blyton, C S Lewis and The Bronte sisters follows him closely but so many current novelists also inspire me. I am fortunate enough to have most of them as my Facebook friends. The few I haven’t yet met are Maria V Snyder, Stephen King, and Tim Winton.

Q11 Do you write with a visual image in mind?

As an artist, I am a very visual person. The image of my scenes plays out in my mind as I write.

Q13 Do you draw from your own life experiences to write?

I guess we all do that subconsciously, after all, the life and person we know most about is our own.

Q14 Do you derive inspiration from your own family?

All of my book’s characters are based on the personalities of my children (now adults) and my grandchildren. I even use their names.

Q15 Have you travelled widely?

Not as extensively as I would like. I spent a year in England in the 80s and recently went on a tour of Europe. I have travelled to New Zealand several times.

Q16 Last year you were appointed Managing Editor of Morris Publishing Australia. Has this position given you more insight into other writers and the whole publishing process?

My first reaction to that question was “God yes!” I now understand the frustration of a publisher’s editor. There are countless stories submitted that have great merit but some need a bit of work to get them to publishing standard. As a publisher, you have to choose the ones that are closest to ready as possible. Of course, you also have to look at commercial appeal – but that is a subjective thing and, right or wrong, you can only rely on your own judgment and that of your chosen readers.

Morris Publishing Australia: The competition has just closed, so from that we will have 5 books to publish this year, as well as the ones for which we have already committed. As evaluating, editing, cover design and setting up is time consuming and costly, and we are a small team, we will not be able to offer publication to any more books this year. But we are open to submissions for ebooks and printed books for next year.

Q17 Do you find the availability of self publishing through such outlets as Morris Publishing and the likes of Publicious have given writers more opportunities to become published?

Firstly, Morris Publishing Australia is not a self-publishing option. It does not charge for any part of the publishing process, so it is in the same category as the other many other small publishing firms – like Ford Street Publishers and Interactive Publications. But, yes, I believe there are limitless possibilities out there.

Q18 Do you find the quality of these self published books is of a high standard?

Some are exceptional, but others have not been sufficiently edited before printing, so they fall short of the mark.

Q19 What is your current project?

The publishing firm is taking most of my time now with the wind-up of our competition, but I am trying to make time to finish my edit on Captured, the next book in The Mystery of Nida Valley series. I hope to release it in May.

Q20 Where do you see yourself in five years time, as a writer?

I hope to have several books published by then and a higher profile as an author.

Thank you Elaine, you are an inspiration to aspiring writers and one I am glad to know. I appreciate you taking time to answer my questions and trust my readers will enjoy sharing your journey.

Feb 2012…

This is my first blog interview for 2012, Andy McDermott, author of The Tiger Chase, The Last Tiger, former President of Gold Coast Writers and founder of Publicious, as well as being a good friend. Thank you for sharing your writing journey with my readers Andy.

Q 1 When did you start writing?

I started writing seriously in 1999 when I wrote my first novel The Tiger Chase.

Q 2 What were your first writing efforts?

I used to write poetry at school and even got one published in the school magazine. In the 80’s I used to play in a band and wrote around a hundred songs which I still have somewhere in an old textbook.

Q3 What writing groups do you belong to, other than Gold Coast Writers?

None. I’m a bit of a hermit when I’m working on a project and have to focus on it.

Q4 When did you join Gold Coast Writers?

2001

Q5 You served two years as President of Gold Coast Writers, what benefits did you gain through the role?

Confidence above all else. When I was asked to take it on I remember saying ‘don’t be daft I could never do that!’ But I did, and although it was hard work I enjoyed every minute, especially the challenge of taking over when the club was dwindling and building it up to what was probably it’s highest level.

Q6 What do you benefit most by; networking with fellow writers through Gold Coast Writers meetings, sub groups, or, the media social networking sites?

I like chatting with members of the GCWA about the projects they are working on and I’m always amazed at how much un-tapped talent there is out there. I use the social networks for marketing my books and my business.

Q7 How long did it take you to write The Tiger Chase?

The original version (150000 words) Six months, then a six month self-edit before showing it to anyone.

Q8 You write mainly for adults, what prompted you to write The Last Tiger for children?

It was just a story I had in my head, which I knew I was going to have to get out sooner or later. I was reluctant to publish it fearing that I might be labelled as a children’s writer, which I’m not.

Q9 When you had The Tiger Chase published in America did you find the whole process an education?

Absolutely. The whole process was a steep learning curve, from working with professional editors for the first time to having to prepare myself for the book launch and tour in America. Public speaking is a big part of being a writer and something you have to do.

Q10 Was the experience of writing, editing, and post-production a stepping stone to starting Publicious?

Yes, that and self-publishing a revised edition of The Tiger Chase while learning the ins and outs of self-publishing the hard way. My time as president of GCWA was also a factor after meeting lots of authors with really good unpublished manuscripts.

Q11 How did you go about doing the research for The Tiger Chase?

Because there was very little information about the South China tiger in 1999 I had to rely heavily on the internet. I managed to track down the experts around the world and contacted them for feedback and information, which was invaluable.

Q13 Is being a publisher for authors a rewarding experience?

Very much so. My clients are the most important thing about my business and we all remain close friends. I also get a lot of satisfaction out of creating original quality books, and receiving positive feedback. Q14 When did you start Publicious? http://www.publicious.com.au/

2010. Publicious was started from scratch. I built the website and published some books at cost for friends so I had some samples. Then I took the samples along with me to the Brisbane Writers’ Festival. The response was very positive and the company has been growing steadily ever since. We currently have around thirty titles in our bookstore in both print and ebook with more to come. And we are listed on the Lightning Source website as one of their preferred publishing service providers.

Q15 What are the benefits for an author of getting their work published as self published through Publicious and similar organizations, opposed to going to Amazon or the like and having a book published?

This is where you have to be very careful, and this is where my experience as a self-published author comes into play. There are a lot of companies out there who will make wild claims about what they can do for your book. Equally they’ll charge you a fortune but won’t deliver on their promises. This is why I realised there was a niche where we could offer good old-fashioned service, quality and affordability. In the early days I sourced the best printers this is why Publicious books don’t look like normal self-published books, they are all bookstore quality and at a very affordable price. Our layouts and covers are all custom designed. Unfortunately a lot of companies use templates to create quick cheap books that all look the same.

Q16 How do you see the future of publishing? ebooks or books?

Realistically I think it will eventually go the way of ebooks, purely because of affordability. Print and material costs will rise and as we’re starting to witness now with the demise of the high street bookstores, there will be a time when selling physical books will no longer be a viable option as compared to the quick cheap ebook downloads.

Q17 What are your favorite books?

I’m an eclectic reader I can get lost in the classics such as Dickens, Thomas Hardy, and D.H.Lawrence. I love a good mystery so I also like Agatha Christie and Conan Doyle, but my favourite books of all time are: To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee, and Saturday Night Sunday Morning by Alan Silitoe. And usually whatever I’m reading at the moment.

Q18 Who is your favorite author or authors?

After myself (ha ha) I like Stephen King, Nora Roberts, Dean Koontz…

Q19 What are you currently reading?

I’ve just finished 22,11,63 by Stephen King and started Deception Point by Dan Brown.

Q20 Do you write with a visual image in mind?

Yes I totally travel to where ever my characters might be and witness their surroundings with them in my mind.

Q21 Do you draw from your own life experiences to write?

Yes, all of my characters share certain characteristics with me or someone I know.

Q22 Do you derive inspiration from your own family?

My wife Jane is usually my first editor and the person who quickly deflates any signs of an ego I might be nurturing.

Q23 Have you travelled widely?

I love to travel and look forward to a time when I can do more. Although I could probably never live in one for too long I love to stroll around big cities like New York, Paris, London and even Sydney.

Q24 What is your current project?

Due to my workload with Publicious I’ve stalled somewhat on the third novel in a series of speculative fiction novels. I’m enjoying writing screenplays at the moment because I can write a full-length movie script in only a few weeks. The titles I’m currently polishing are an adaptation of The Tiger Chase, a screenplay set in my hometown of Nottingham UK, and a story about an LA detective who travels to Australia in search of a serial killer.

I hope my readers enjoy Andy’s experiences and will look up http://www.publicious.com.au to see more about this wonderful writer.

2 thoughts on “Interviews 2012

  1. Hi, Jill… I was having a bit of trouble understanding what exactly ‘blog’ meant. By reading your site here, I’ve learned a lot and I thank you. It is good to learn about other authors, too. There’s no doubt that the Tenpenners are a very active and achieving group, and I’d like to wish them continued success. Warm Regards, Mary

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