Interview with Lisa Brunette, Creative Writer with unique ideas
I was thrilled and excited to get the opportunity to interview another successful author, Lisa Brunette. Although she has written several magnificent books that are a must-read, this article focuses on her mystery, Cat in the Flock. Her ideas for the book are unique, interesting and creative. Reading her books draws you into another world, and it feels as if you see everything up close and personal. She describes her story world and characters in a way that is so vivid and real. Please be forewarned; it may be impossible to put the book down. Lisa Brunette's book is one of the many mysteries that I've read featuring brave female protagonists. My interest in these books has piqued my interest in learning what thought process the authors use in creating this type of novel. If this is the type of book you like to read or write then this interview with Lisa will be motivating, inspirational, informative, interesting and a joy.
C. Kendall: Which author name do you use for your novels? Do you use your real name or a pseudonym?
Lisa Brunette: Lisa Brunette - it's my real name.
C. Kendall: What are the titles of your novels?
Cat in the Flock - the first in the McCormick Files mystery series
Out of the Blue, a series of short stories that show my work-in-progress novel about a family of military brats
C. Kendall: How did you choose your titles?
Lisa Brunette: Through brainstorming and discussing with others.
C. Kendall: Why did you choose a female sleuth for your main character?
Lisa Brunette: I wanted to write from the point-of-view of a strong woman character, as that's important to me.
C. Kendall: What are the characteristics of your female sleuth? What is her personality? How does she look? How old is she? What is her job or activities? Answer this for each of your novels.
Lisa Brunette: Cat is a young adult trying to find her way in the world. She has inherited the gift of "dream slipping," which allows her to slip into other people's dreams. But it's a gift with certain limitations - she must also be sleeping, and at first, at least, it seems she must be in physical proximity to the dreamer. She comes to Seattle to apprentice with her eccentric "Granny Grace," who shares the ability and uses it in her work as a PI. Cat follows in her footsteps, after a stint as a security guard.
C. Kendall: Why did you choose those particular characteristics for your main character?
Lisa Brunette: I've always been fascinated by dreams and how real they can be and wanted to explore them as a sort of limited psychic ability.
C. Kendall: How did you get the idea for your novels?
Lisa Brunette: Because of my fascination with dreams, I began to wonder what would happen if you could step into someone else's dream. I like to play with the idea of what dreams can reveal - and what they can't.
C. Kendall: What sub-genre is your mystery? For example, cozy, hard-boiled, police procedural, historical (list all of your mystery sub-genres with a female sleuth)
Lisa Brunette: It's a new adult paranormal suspense story with gay-friendly, romantic, and spiritual themes.
C. Kendall: Why did you choose the sub-genre?
Lisa Brunette: I love the idea of presenting psychic ability in as real-world a way as possible. The other topics - gay liberation, romance, and spirituality interest me and are important.
C. Kendall: What do you like about this sub-genre?
Lisa Brunette: It's fun to put your character in a situation where she has a gift that comes with responsibility and limitations.
C. Kendall: What is the easiest thing about writing this sub-genre?
Lisa Brunette: The easiest thing is writing about the dreams.
C. Kendall: What is the hardest thing about writing this sub-genre?
Lisa Brunette: The hardest thing for me is also the hardest thing for Cat and Granny Grace, and that's trying to figure out how to use the dreams to solve crimes.
C. Kendall: Do you have any plans to write any other sub-genres with a female character?
Lisa Brunette: Yes, I'm working on a novel in the mainstream literary category with a female protagonist.
C. Kendall: What is a description of your story?
Lisa Brunette: For most people, dreams are a way to escape reality. But for Cat McCormick, they're a way to get closer to the truth. Cat can 'slip' into other people's dreams. She moves to Seattle to apprentice with her Granny Grace, who shares the ability and uses dream slipping as a PI. Cat's first case leads her to a megachurch, where she finds redemption and goodwill amidst repression, hypocrisy, and murder. Features: spiritual themes, gay characters, mostly off-camera (but very hot) sex scenes, little to no violence.
C. Kendall: What is the theme of your novel?
Lisa Brunette: Redemption.
C. Kendall: How much research do you use for your novels?
Lisa Brunette: A lot - both primary and secondary. But for this first novel, I stayed pretty close to areas I knew well since I'm writing around an FT day job and don't have time or resources for research trips.
C. Kendall: How do you go about doing the research for your novels?
Lisa Brunette: Besides using the Almighty Google, I talk to people. For example, I met someone at a party who used to work for a rental car agency, so I quizzed him about it in order to get those details right.
C. Kendall: Do you prefer male or female sleuths? If you have a preference, explain why?
Lisa Brunette: No preference. I'm a huge fan of Jack Reacher. But I'm annoyed when women are only window dressing in a male sleuth's story line.
C. Kendall: Is your female sleuth a professional or amateur? Why did you make that choice?
Lisa Brunette: Amateur. I wanted to depict a training relationship between a grandmother and granddaughter, which is something you hardly ever see done in fiction.
C. Kendall: What type of skills does your character use when solving a mystery? Is there a particular skill your character relies on the most?
Lisa Brunette: She uses her dreams, of course. But she also has a degree in criminal justice, and she's good at reading people and noticing details.
C. Kendall: Does your character work alone or with someone? Describe the characters who help your female sleuth.
Lisa Brunette: She apprentices with her grandmother but then sets off on her own.
C. Kendall: What are the types of dangers your character faces?
Lisa Brunette: She goes undercover in a Midwestern fundamentalist church, where she could be in great danger if they find out she's snooping.
C. Kendall: How does your character defend herself when faced with dangers?
Lisa Brunette: She's a fighter, but she also knows when to exit.
C. Kendall: Does your character have any fears?
Lisa Brunette: She fears a lack of intimacy due to her ability alienating her from others.
C. Kendall: What type of mystery does your character solve?
Lisa Brunette: It's a mystery that centers around the leader of a fundamentalist church and involves his family and close associates.
C. Kendall: What motivates your character to solve the mystery?
Lisa Brunette: She discovers a mother and daughter on the run.
C. Kendall: Does your character fit any stereotypes or outside stereotypes for women?
Lisa Brunette: No.
C. Kendall: Does your character have to clear her name or someone else?
Lisa Brunette: Yes.
C. Kendall: Does your character have to break any laws in order to solve the mystery or does she find a way of staying within the law?
Lisa Brunette: Good question. She teeters on the edge of the rules at times and learns the hard way how befriending someone for information and misrepresenting yourself can lead to feelings of betrayal.
C. Kendall: How do you get the ideas for your novels?
Lisa Brunette: They come to me as a strong compulsion to tell something, some truth about the world, and then I have to write.
C. Kendall: What do you like about books with a female sleuth as a main character?
Lisa Brunette: It's integral to our ability to see ourselves in roles as instigators and investigators. These books can be very empowering.
C. Kendall: Is there anything you dislike about books with a female sleuth as the main character?
Lisa Brunette: Not really.
C. Kendall: Did you run into difficulties when writing your novel with the female sleuth? How did you resolve them?
Lisa Brunette: There were no difficulties having to do with my sleuth being female.
C. Kendall: What is the easiest thing about writing a mystery with a female sleuth?
Lisa Brunette: There's no difference for me. I've written from the male point of view plenty, and both require me to get into character and hear that person's voice.
C. Kendall: Which Authors who write this type of novel inspire you?
Lisa Brunette: JA Jance, Jayne Ann Krentz, and Mary Daheim.
C. Kendall: Do you have any plans for writing additional novels with female sleuths?
Lisa Brunette: Yes. This is a series.
C. Kendall: What are your favorite books you read with a female sleuth?
Lisa Brunette: Nancy Drew, of course.
C. Kendall: Please explain the best way someone can purchase your books?
Lisa Brunette: Through Amazon or Smashwords.
Cat in the flock is available for purchase on the following websites:
It's available in paperback or Kindle e-book format.
Interviews of other amazing Mystery Novelist who have a Female Sleuth as the main character:
E. M. Kaplan
C. Hope Clark
All of these Authors and several others are an inspiration to me for my recently published Novel, Fatal Dose and my next novel, Dark and Dirty Secrets. Both novels have a female sleuth as the protagonist. For more information see the home or book page on my website, ciconkendall.com. It's available for purchase on my website, cichonkendall.com or amazon.com in paperback or Kindle e-book format.
Interview with Dominic Piper, a fabulous writer
I had the pleasure of interviewing an author who has written his first novel, Kiss me When I'm Dead. This novel has captured the attention of many readers who have given it rave reviews. I have now been added to the many other fans Dominic has gained. Kiss Me When I'm Dead grabbed my attention right from the beginning. He wrote in a way that allowed me to visualize the scenes as if I were there. He wrote the characters in a way that made them seem real, and I was eager to discover what their fate would be. My fascination with Dominic's writing piqued my interest about the author himself.
I soon discovered that although Dominic has written one novel he is not new to writing. He has experience in other areas of writing. He has done television writing, and he has done work as a script doctor. His experience as a writer was quite evident as I read his novel. It was a joy to read and held my attention the entire time.
C. Kendall: What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Dominic Piper: I don't really view writing as a career, and as such have no ambitions in the normal sense. I've spent most of my adult life trying to avoid having a career. Who needs it? Having a career is the easy option. I prefer to float around and see what happens. It's far more interesting.
C. Kendall: Which writers inspire you?
Dominic Piper: Hard to answer. I'm pretty widely read, fiction and non-fiction and I've never stuck with any one author long enough for them to inspire me. I suppose I'm more inspired by television and films. I'm a big fan of world cinema, for example, particularly French and Italian.
C. Kendall: So, what have you written?
Dominic Piper: So far, Kiss Me When I'm Dead is my sole literary contribution. I have, however, been a television writer for many years and also work as a script doctor for film and television when someone asks me. Being a script doctor means you tart up/sprinkle fairy dust on scripts that have that vital something missing. It's done anonymously. Often, the original writers of the piece don't even know it's been done to their work. They watch the finished article and are surprised that they're so talented!
C. Kendall: Where can we buy or see them?
Dominic Piper: Kiss Me When I'm Dead is only available on Amazon.com as far as I'm aware.
C. Kendall: Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
Dominic Piper: Daniel Beckett is certainly an interesting case. It's fairly clear that he hasn't been working as a PI for that long, maybe a few years, but has a pretty advanced skill-set that points to a background in intelligence work or deniable ops. Something happened in this previous life that caused him to flee the country and return a few years later as a different person. He's very cagey about himself and it's second nature to him to lie continuously. It's plain that he's unable to live a conventional life for some reason and this extends to his relationships with women. It may be that he doesn't involve himself in long-term relationships for the safety of the woman or women concerned. Whatever it is, he's certainly a major womaniser. He's certainly doing detective work for the money, has a strong moral core and does not consider himself to be restrained by the law. The casual acts of theft and violence right at the very end of the novel demonstrate that he exists outside normal moral codes and has little respect for them or interest in them.
C. Kendall: What is the theme of your story?
Dominic Piper: Without giving too much away, Kiss Me When I'm Dead is about men who are so powerful and wealthy that they think they can do what they like and get away with it. People who are so corrupt that they make no apologies for it and even brag about it. It's about how people can be bought and manipulated if confronted with enough payment, whether they are employees or relatives. But underneath all their bluster, they're rather pathetic individuals, and someone like Beckett sees through them instantly. He's the sort of person they never want to come across and is actually quite a scary individual in many ways.
C. Kendall: What are you working on at the minute?
Dominic Piper: I'm currently making notes for the next Daniel Beckett novel. I don't really know what it's about yet. I just write ideas and notes on an A1 sheet of paper and hope that something will eventually jump out.
C. Kendall: What genre are your books?
Dominic Piper: My books are a mixed genre. I'm not sure I've read anything quite like Kiss Me When I'm Dead. It has a snappy narrative that some people have compared to Raymond Chandler or Mickey Spillane and it's written in the first person, but as it's set in the present, it doesn't really deal with the issues that those authors had to juggle with. The way that Beckett patiently deals with those he interviews and quietly gleans information from them is almost like someone from a John le Carre novel, as befits Beckett's background in intelligence. But Beckett is also violent, even sadistic, so stands alongside more mainstream action heroes like Bond. Beckett's dishing out of violence is always self-defensive, but at the same time it's rather worrying. You feel that he is skilled enough to get fights over with quickly and efficiently, but chooses not to for his own gratification. Someone called Kiss Me When I'm Dead Neo-Noir, and it has some elements of that kind of darkness. Let's just say it's a detective novel that's pushing the envelope a bit.
C. Kendall: What draws you to this genre?
Dominic Piper: The detective novel is interesting as you can pull in so many threads of knowledge and weave the story around them. I like obscure detail. There are lots of rules for this genre, I'm sure, but I haven't bothered to check and see what they are.
C. Kendall: Are you interested in writing any other genres?
Dominic Piper: At the moment, I haven't really thought about other genres. Time will tell!
C. Kendall: How much research do you do?
Dominic Piper: A lot. Some writers don't like writing when connected to the internet as they say it distracts them, but I have it on all the time. It's useful for checking small points for accuracy without having to visit the local library. The very particular Call Girl world that Beckett finds himself in took an awful lot of research. It's complex and unusual and not something you'd have in your head as general knowledge. The sex industry is there; it exists and people work in it for many different reasons. I wanted to move away from the cliched depiction of those people and show them some respect, while illustrating the dangers they face every day and how they are exploited by a variety of scumbags.
C. Kendall: How do you go about doing research?
Dominic Piper: It's about 40% books 35% films and television and 25% internet. This can vary, of course. I don't make an accurate note of what I'm doing. Much of what I write is stuff I already know about. If that wasn't the case, the writing wouldn't flow and would seem stilted.
C. Kendall: Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers?
Dominic Piper: I rarely collaborate on anything I've done. I don't really have any interest in it. It would depend upon finding someone who was exactly like you, but with better ideas and more talent.
C. Kendall: When did you decide to become a writer?
Dominic Piper: I didn't make a decision to become a writer. I've always written stuff since I was in school. You just keep doing it until you're suddenly making money from it. It's a very gradual process and one I barely noticed.
C. Kendall: Why do you write?
Dominic Piper: I don't know. I see many writers (on Twitter, say) who write a little bio of themselves and then when you look at what their book's about, it's frequently some topic from their bio. I know they say to write about what you know, but too many people think their life experience is unique and worth writing a book about. It isn't. Most people have the same basic experiences and diseases. Self publishing has created a bog of self-indulgence.
C. Kendall: What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
Dominic Piper: I've been writing in one form or another for so long that it's just something I do now. I don't give it any thought.
C. Kendall: What motivates you to write?
Dominic Piper: To make things different. To attack things I dont like without making it self-indulgent or boring. To make a ripple in the pool. If you're just writing to entertain, I don't think there's much point. It's like art; there's the decorative stuff you see in department stores and then there's Picasso. I'm not saying I'm Picasso, but you have to strive.
C. Kendall: Why do you enjoy writing?
Dominic Piper: For me, it's quite satisfying when something interesting or unexpected pops up. Something you hadn't planned. In Kiss Me When I'm Dead, the main reason that Beckett's client hires him was changed half way through the story from the original motivation I had in mind when I was working the story out. It was a better idea, so I just followed it. Another, different thing, was how a theme of ancient Egypt kept popping up, with relevance to the story and some of the characters. I hadn't done it intentionally. It was almost as if someone else was doing it for me!
C. Kendall: Do you write full-time or part-time?
Dominic Piper: I write full-time.
C. Kendall: Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
Dominic Piper: I use to start late and work into the early hours, but as your circumstances change, your writing habits change. Now I start mid-morning and keep going until mid-afternoon. Sometimes I'll tweak things late at night, but that's getting rare.
C. Kendall: Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as needed and when?
Dominic Piper: I don't write every day. I do it in spurts when I feel in the mood. Sometimes I'll leave it for weeks and come back to it. I'm usually working on two or three projects at the same time. It's chaotic, basically. I know some writers who sit down at their desks at a certain time and just start working for X number of hours and then stop. I don't view writing as work so have never done that, even if I could.
C. Kendall: Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
Dominic Piper: No. I just keep going until I run out of steam. I always know when that point has arrived.
C. Kendall: Where do you write?
Dominic Piper: I write in my office. Nothing else is done in there. It's where the computer is. I use to write longhand on A4 sheets and then copy it onto the computer, but not any more.
C. Kendall: Are there certain places you feel more motivated when you write?
Dominic Piper: One place is much the same as another!
C. Kendall: Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
Dominic Piper: Now it's always done on the computer. In the past, I wasn't confident about typing stuff straight onto the computer. Some television work I would always do in longhand then type it up while simultaneously editing it. I had to force myself to always write on the computer. I had a block about doing it. I found I was able to write amusing emails to people without getting it down in longhand frst, so I transferred that ability to my proper writing. It took time.
C. Kendall: Where do the your ideas come from?
Dominic Piper: All sorts of places. Something I watched on television last night gave me a jolt for the next Daniel Beckett novel. I just thought 'Yes! That's what can happen!; I'm not going to tell you what the show was, though.
C. Kendall: Do your ideas come easily?
Dominic Piper: Once I know I'm going to do something, the ideas come thick and fast. I can barely get them down on paper fast enough and end up with lots of scraps covered in scribbles that I have to collate into something logical. I also use a small dictating thing, but not much nowadays.
C. Kendall: How do you determine which idea to use next?
Dominic Piper: I don't. I just let it flow, man.
C. Kendall: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
Dominic Piper: I work from a rough outline but usually move away from it once I start writing. It has to be fun or there's no point. For Kiss Me When I'm Dead, I had to do a complex flowchart regarding what Beckett's client was telling him and what had really happened. The differences were quite subtle at times, so it was easy to get them mixed up.
C. Kendall: What is the hardest thing about writing?
Dominic Piper: In novels, remembering what someone said seventy-three pages ago. While writing Kiss Me When I'm Dead I had a two week plus gap while working on something else and when I got back to it, found it quite hard to remember what the hell was going on. That 'find' facility on Word is really useful. I can't imagine how I'd manage without it.
C. Kendall: How do you overcome any roadblocks you have when writing? For instance if you can't work out a particular plot point or you have trouble with research?
Dominic Piper: I just stare into space until it works itself out, really. Your brain does it for you.
C. Kendall: What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Dominic Piper: Remembering who had said what to whom and when. And whether they were lying or not.
C. Kendall: What is the easiest thing about writing?
Dominic Piper: Dialogue. Having done mainly that for television work, it comes easily to me.
C. Kendall: How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Dominic Piper: My only reference is Kiss Me When I'm Dead. Apart from preparation, which took a month, the whole thing was written over a three and a half month period, with two read-throughs at the end which took a week each. Having said that, I didn't work consistently on it. Sometimes I'd take a few weeks away from it to do something else and sometimes I'd only work on it for one or two days a week due to other commitments. I'm only guessing, but if I'd had nothing else to do at all, I could probably have written it in six weeks, but it's hard to say if I could have done it in that way.
C. Kendall: Do you ever get writer’s Block?
Dominic Piper: Not really. It's hard to think of stuff sometimes, but something usually turns up.
C. Kendall: Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
Dominic Piper: Keep writing! It might be crap, but only you will see it. Unless you show it to someone else. Never show your work to friends or relatives. Waste of time.
C. Kendall: If this book is part of a series, tell us a little about it?
Dominic Piper: It isn't part of a series.
C. Kendall: What are your thoughts on writing a book series.
Dominic Piper: I don't know. As I said, I'm thinking about another Daniel Beckett novel right now, but each one would be self-contained.
C. Kendall: Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
Dominic Piper: I read all the time but don't have favourite authors. I know there are some people who devour everything that some author or other writes, but I'm not one of those.
C. Kendall: For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
Dominic Piper: I don't have a Kindle or similar, so am still in the dark ages or reading ordinary books.
C. Kendall: Which publishers have you used?
Dominic Piper: At present, only Endeavour Press.
C. Kendall: What book/s are you reading at present?
Dominic Piper: I'm reading a biography of Yayoi Kusama, the Japanese abstract artist, and The Lost Estate by Alain-Fournier.
C. Kendall: What are your favorite genres to read?
Dominic Piper: I'm reading a lot of art books and artist biographies at the moment. Anything that interests me, really. Poetry, too.
C. Kendall: Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
Dominic Piper: Someone at the publisher does the proofreading, though Kiss Me When I'm Dead had to be proofread again recently after various fans, reviewers etc pointed out lots of errors of one type or another. It's irritating, beause one small mistake can change the meaning of a sentence, which can change the meaning of a paragraph.
C. Kendall: Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?
Dominic Piper: No. I'm in too much of a hurry. I finish it, check it through twice and then send it to the publisher.
C. Kendall: Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?
Dominic Piper: This sounds strange, but I'm not sure that it was edited. I have no say over who does what at the publisher, including proofreading, cover design etc.
C. Kendall: Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about?
Dominic Piper: As I just mentioned, the cover was a fait accompli by the publisher. I had a few ideas and even did a few mock-ups, but I think they just wanted to go with a stock photograph, probably for money reasons.
C. Kendall: Who designed your book cover/s?
Dominic Piper: I've no idea who designed the covers. The original font used looked bad, so I got them to change it, so presumably there was a designer involved somewhere along the line who did that. I don't know who it was, though. There's no credit on the cover.
C. Kendall: Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
Dominic Piper: I'm sure it does. I think the publisher decides upon the cover depending on what the genre is and what has done well before with other publications, though how they can get figures on which types of covers do well, I have no idea.
C. Kendall: How are you publishing this book and why? (*e.g. Indie, traditional or both)
Dominic Piper: This is being published by Endeavour Press, who are the UK's leading independant digital publisher. Why? They asked me to write this book for them!
C. Kendall: What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?
Dominic Piper: I've never self-published, so can't comment. I would say that self-publishing makes it harder to choose what to read because there's so much choice now.
C. Kendall: How do you market your books?
Dominic Piper: I do a bit of promo through Twitter and keep a page going on Facebook. That's it. I assume the publisher is doing something, but I don't know what.
C. Kendall: Why did you choose this route?
Dominic Piper: Twitter was suggested to me by another writer. The publisher uses it and will ask your to rt their promo tweets.
C. Kendall: Would you or do you use a PR agency?
Dominic Piper: Not personally. Whether the publisher does or would, I have no idea. I don't think that sort of thing is down to me, really.
C. Kendall: Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
Dominic Piper: I can't really comment. Twitter seems good, but I have no idea how much it really affects sales. People buy books because of all sorts of recommendations or whims.
C. Kendall: What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?
Dominic Piper: Perhaps half an hour's tweeting a day. I'm a fast typist so can get a lot done in that thirty minutes.
C. Kendall: What do you do to get book reviews?
Dominic Piper: I don't actively pursue reviews.
C. Kendall: Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers?
Dominic Piper: I just let whoever wants to review it review it. I'm not in marketing. I think that side of things should be left to the publisher.
C. Kendall: What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
Dominic Piper: I don't look at Amazon reviews, but the Goodreads ones are interesting as they're generally writers themselves. It's nice if someone notices something smart I've put in the book.
C. Kendall: What’s your views on social media for marketing?
Dominic Piper: I'm sure there's research into how effective it is for selling your book, but I've never seen any and am not that interested.
C. Kendall: Which social network worked best for you?
Dominic Piper: I've only ever used Twitter, but I can't tell you how effective it is.
C. Kendall: Any tips on what to do and what not to do?
Dominic Piper: Do random RTs on Twitter. Some may RT you back, some may not. I use a scattergun approach. You see a pattern emerge eventually regarding who's useful and who's not.
C. Kendall: Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?
Dominic Piper: The publisher would handle all of that. I assume there was a press release, but if there was, I haven't seen it. Maybe there wasn't.
C. Kendall: Did you get interviewed by local press/radio for your book launch?
Dominic Piper: No. Nothing like that. This is my first interview!
C. Kendall: Why do you think that other well written books just don’t sell?
Dominic Piper: I don't know. There are just so many books! People's comsumption of books is greater if they have a Kindle or whatever, but I still think they go for favourites. People I know with a Kindle just read the authors they've always read, as far as I can make out. They don't experiment with indie authors, no more than you would do in a bookshop. It depends on how much time you have to browse on Amazon and read reviews.
C. Kendall: What do you think of “trailers” for books?
Dominic Piper: Do you mean video trailers? I never look at them. If I'm browsing something and one of them starts, I just turn it off. I don't want adverts in my face, whatever they're for.
C. Kendall: Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book/s?
(* please provide a link to trailer if you have one)
Dominic Piper: No. No trailers so far.
C. Kendall: Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
Dominic Piper: I have no idea. Kiss Me When I'm Dead was free, then it was 99p, then it was full price. I assume the cheaper something is, the more people will buy it, but as soon as it becomes full price, people seem to lose interest. If you get a kick out of seeing your book in the Amazon free chart, then it's fine, but at the end of the day, free and reduced price stuff don't make authors any money. But with so many eBooks available, something has to be done to get your book on people's Kindles. The price you pay is that you're virtually giving your book away all the time.
C. Kendall: In what formats is your book available?
Dominic Piper: Just as an eBook.
C. Kendall: If formatted by someone else, how did you select them and what was your experience?
Dominic Piper: I didn't select them. I assume it was someone who worked in the publishers. This makes the relationship between me and the publisher sound a bit vague, doesn't it!
C. Kendall: How do you relax?
Dominic Piper: I visit an opium den in London's Soho whenever there's a full moon.
C. Kendall: What is your favourite motivational phrase.
Dominic Piper: If you're so fuckin' clever, you should be able to do this!
C. Kendall: What is your favourite book and why?
Dominic Piper: Zen and The Martial Arts by Joe Hyams. It fits in your pocket.
C. Kendall: What is your favourite quote?
Dominic Piper: Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.' - Denis Diderot.
C. Kendall: What is your favourite film and why?
Dominic Piper: Withnail & I. Funny after repeat viewings.
C. Kendall: Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?
Dominic Piper: Venice
C. Kendall: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Dominic Piper: Keep at it. It'll happen.
C. Kendall: Where do you see publishing going in the future?
Dominic Piper: Maybe eBooks. Maybe not. Book shops are disappearing, but in some cases it's their own fault.
C. Kendall: Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
Dominic Piper: Yes. On Twitter, so many writers describe themselves as 'Coffee addict' or 'chocolate freak' or similar. This annoys the hell out of me. It's as if they're trying to anoint themselves with notoriety, using terms like 'addict' or 'freak' which are usually associated with more dangerous comsumer goods/activities like heroin or sadomasochism or whatever. Just for once, I'd like to see someone describe themselves as a 'Heroin addict' or 'Porn freak'. Chocolate? Coffee? Nutella? I mean - come on!
C. Kendall: How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Dominic Piper: Join me on Facebook and Goodreads. And Twitter. My tweets for Kiss Me When I'm Dead are probably the best thing on there.
Kiss Me When I' m Dead is available as an e-bookon on www.amazon.com and Goodreads.com.
Contact information for Dominic Piper:Twitter: @DominicPiper1e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgFacebook: Dominic PiperLondon, United Kingdom
Interview with Jason E. Foss, An Amazing Author
I had the opportunity to interview a new author, Jason E. Foss. He is the author of a Novel called The Hourglass. He considers himself to be new to the writing game, but I feel he has already made great strides. He writes with finesse. His words capture the reader, pulling the reader into another world that appears to be so real.
The characteristics I found amazing about this young man is his positive attitude, passion for writing, determination, motivation and his desire to please and entertain the reader. In addition to those things, he was quick to give credit to others who helped to make his dream come alive. He is unselfish when he writes. He writes with a style that allows his passion and interest to be felt by the reader.The Interview: C. Kendall: What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Jason E. Foss: I love writing. I have been writing my whole life. I started by writing songs in the beginning. A song is limited to verses and choruses. I was drawn to writing novels because they don't have the same limitations as writing songs. Since then I have been sucked into writing books because I can write as many pages or chapters as I like. My ambition is to be a well-known author one day. My plan is to stick with writing novels. The thing about writing a book is the story takes on a life of its own which is what occurred when I wrote the novel, The Hourglass.
C. Kendall: How would you describe the Hourglass?
Jason E. Foss: The main character is Jake Trust. He was popular in college. After college, he had a regular job like everybody else. He decides to try his luck at gambling. He asks his friend to join him without realizing his friend has a gambling problem. The story doesn't fit one category. It focuses on many things such as friendships and how we deal with our everyday struggles.
C. Kendall: Which authors inspire you?
Jason E. Foss: My Favorite book is by Donald Trump, and Bill Zanker called Think Big and Kick Ass. I was at Starbuck's with a friend when it caught my attention. I noticed Donald Trump on the book cover pointing at me. Since Donald Trump is a very successful person, I knew it would be a great read. I'm into books that make me feel motivated and help me to become a better person. Growing up, I enjoyed the book When Life Throws You a Curve Ball, Hit it, written by Dr. Criswell Freeman. Those are the main two that mean something to me.
C. Kendall: Are you interested in writing fiction primarily, non-fiction or both?
Jason E. Foss: So far I like fiction because there are so many places you can go with it. I want the reader to have fun instead of only getting facts all the time. I want the reader to believe something is going to happen and then get a surprise where something entirely different happens. It’s not about how bright we think we are but connecting to the reader is what's really important. If the reader doesn’t feel, understand and connect to the story he probably won’t even make it past page three.
C. Kendall: What other things are you writing?
Jason E. Foss: I have an idea for a novel that I'm working on, but it's not developed enough for me to elaborate. I am currently editing a book for E. A. Hemingway, an up and coming author. The book. is called 'The Eternals: Realm of the Hybrids' and it’s a paranormal adventure. It should be coming out by the end of September 2014.
C. Kendall: How do you get your ideas for what you write?
Jason E. Foss: My ideas develop from whatever I go through in everyday life. I feel like my characters have a life of their own. I almost know what the character is going to do next. I get a sense of how the character will behave. It might sound weird, but it's almost as if the characters are alive. When the characters talk to each other, I have a feeling of what they would say if they were real.
C. Kendall: What is the genre of your book?
Jason E. Foss: It is Realistic Fiction. When I was writing it, I tried to figure where it fits. It’s about the effects of gambling. It's not a typical book regarding gambling that shows a person losing everything they have. In this book, there are two sides of the coin. In one case there is a very smart, calculating guy who can figure out which teams will win. His friend, on the other hand, is all about the money. It’s also about friendship and the effects one person can have on a lot of people.
C. Kendall: Do you know what your next writing project will be?
Jason E. Foss: My wheels are still turning. I'm still in the process of forming the ideas.
C. Kendall: What is your approach for developing a story?
Jason E. Foss: I go with the flow. For instance, the beginning sentences of my novel The Hourglass are 'There it is again. It's on my wall. Its either too fast or I'm just too slow. Time. I can't catch up to it. So many mistakes. So much to fix.' The sentences are deep. It makes people wonder who is this guy and what is he going through. Occasionally if I'm not able to figure out what the character does next I work on figuring it out before proceeding with the story. I have to make sure what happens next makes sense.
C. Kendall: Do you have any plans of making your novel into a movie?
Jason E. Foss: Absolutely! Although the book is fiction, I made sure the scores match up to true scores. If it's made into a movie, it will be accurate. I even got clips from the games.
C. Kendall: Have you thought of an actor or actresses who will play the parts if your novel is made into a movie?
Jason E. Foss: No. I don’t want to get ahead of myself. If it happens, I will brainstorm at that point.
C. Kendall: How did you do the research for your novel?
Jason E. Foss: I gambled plenty of times before, and I understand the way it works. I was able to learn the lingo and the different terminologies. I also describe in the book gambling terms for betting on sports such as parlay bet and single bets. Hopefully, to get readers a quick 101 about sports gambling so that they can enjoy the book better. I feel that it's very important to have experienced or studied whatever your book is about in order for it to be realistic.
C. Kendall: When did you first get interested in writing?
Jason E. Foss: I was in elementary school. My friends and I started by writing songs to break up the monotony of school. It kept things interesting.
C. Kendall: What do you enjoy about writing?
Jason E. Foss: I like how writing helps to empower people. For example, when I read the saying, 'Even running a thousand miles starts with one step.' I felt that it was so deep. It made me believe I can do anything. It encourages me and helps me to realize I have already accomplished so much by completing my first novel. It makes me feel good by what I have accomplished.
C. Kendall: Do you write full or part time?
Jason E. Foss: I write full time because it’s my passion. I’m dedicated to it and hope it continues. It's fun when someone likes what I have written. When I write a book, it's not about what I want to write. I have to connect with the reader. I write for entertainment too. I want someone to read something and get lost into it which means I can’t just write about what I want all the time. I don't want to be selfish because we can all be selfish sometimes.
C. Kendall: Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
Jason E. Foss: I write at all times. It doesn’t matter. My problem is I need to sleep more. I have all these ideas going through my head all the time making it hard for me to sleep.
C. Kendall: Do you write on a computer, dictate, or longhand?
Jason E. Foss: I prefer to write longhand in a notebook and then I type it later. There is something about the new notebook that gets me ready, motivated and in the mood to write.
C. Kendall: Do your ideas come easily?
Jason E. Foss: When I have a good idea it’s great and alive in my head. I can see it from the beginning to the end. When I have an idea, I'm eager to write it down. However, sometimes I can go a long time without getting an idea.
C. Kendall: When you plot, do you work to an outline or do you prefer just to see where an idea takes you?
Jason E. Foss: Currently, I go with the flow. I may outline for my plots in the future so I won’t have the same mindset. I don’t want to have a one track mind. I want to change it up each time. It will keep me interested in writing for people, and it will keep the reader interested in what I decide to write.
C. Kendall: How do you think you've evolved creatively.
Jason E. Foss: I have been going through a transition. In the beginning, I wrote songs where I was limited to verses and choruses. Now that I write books, it’s like a new world. I’m not limited, and there are no boundaries.
C. Kendall: What is the hardest thing about writing for you?
Jason E. Foss: You have to know everything. For instance, for a character who's a lawyer you have to know how lawyers talk and know the lingo used. Otherwise, it will not be realistic. If I don't take the time to do my research and depict a lawyer correctly the lawyers and others will read the book and realize, it's inaccurate. In order for people to believe in me, I have to be rational.
C. Kendall: How do you overcome any roadblocks you have when writing?
Jason E. Foss: I relax by playing basketball or hanging with my friends. I try not to think about it too much and then I go back to it and work it out. I try to figure out what works. Sometimes I sleep long hours until I feel energized again. Not sleeping can cause mental fatigue and bloodshot eyes. Getting enough rest is necessary, so my friends don't wonder what's wrong with me. (laughs)
C. Kendall: What is the easiest thing about writing?
Jason E. Foss: The easiest thing is I believe in what I’m writing. If I don’t believe in it I won’t have fun writing it. When people read The Hourglass, it will be so realistic so people will believe it’s happening.
C. Kendall: What other things do you do when you're not writing?
Jason E. Foss: I play basketball, watch movies, try to workout, but part of me is lazy. I also have fun with my friends.
C. Kendall: Have you ever experienced writer's block?
Jason E. Foss: I have not experienced it too much. I know I will get it. I don’t let it get the best of me. If I'm stuck I just give myself more time to figure it out.
C. Kendall: Would you consider making the Hourglass a series?
Jason E. Foss: I might make it a series. When some books end, people wonder what would happen next. If the readers liked the book and want to read more about it, I would consider making it a series.
C. Kendall: Do you read a lot?
Jason E. Foss: Now that I’m done with my book I want to read more. I have started connecting with other authors and want to read their work just like people have read mine.
C. Kendall: How did you publish your book?
Jason E. Foss: I self-published using Book Baby. They were very professional. I liked having 100% creativity. They make sure the novel is available to the readers in various ways. I liked going this route because I prefer self-publishing vs. traditional because it gives me 100% creative control.
C. Kendall: Do you proofread/edit all your books or do you get someone to do that for you?
Jason E. Foss: I feel like if I try to do everything myself I will fall short. E. A. Hemingway did the editing for my novel.
C. Kendall: Who designed your book cover?
Jason E. Foss: Kareem Thompson did the cover. Another photographer that works with Kareem by the name of Rontazia Stackhouse helped out as well. I had an idea. While we were discussing the book, it all came together. Everything in the cover has something to do with the story. The finished product was even better than I imagined! He made my vision come to life. I feel you have to be smart enough to get people who are better than you to help. For example, Kareem used his expertise as a photographer and graphic designer to design the cover.
C. Kendall: Who took your Author photo?
Jason E. Foss: E. A. Hemingway took the photo so I knew it would be professional.
C. Kendall: How do you get reviews for your book?
Jason E. Foss: I ask people who read the novel to review it. It's a good feeling to get good feedback from people who don't know me personally. I am confident I did my best work, and I did not rush it. Before it was published, I had people read it first. I wanted to hear constructive criticism so I can figure out what worked and what didn't work. After that process, I was able to write a stronger novel than if I rushed getting it published.
C. Kendall: How do you handle marketing for your novel?
Jason E. Foss: I use Twitter and FaceBook to represent myself. The first chapter is available to read for free on bookdaily.com. I'm a first time Author, so I'm still trying to figure out what the best marketing options are.
C. Kendall: What do you think of social media and which one do you like the best
Jason E. Foss: I like Twitter and FaceBook for different reasons. I chatted with other authors via social media. I realize they have stories to tell which are helpful. We are separate but together. I don't consider other authors as my competition. I feel each author has something different to offer.
C. Kendall: Where can you see yourself five years from now?
Jason E. Foss: I will be writing more novels. Most great movies came through a book; The authors created something so deep that it became a movie.
C. Kendall: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Jason E. Foss: I have a Twitter account and FaceBook account as Jason E. Foss. I can also be contacted at my e-mail address, email@example.com
The HourGlass Novel by Jason E. Foss is available for download in e-book format on the following sites:
Barnes and Noble (Nook)
iBooks (For Apple Products)
* A sample chapter can be read on BooksDaily.com