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An Interview with Lewis Harrison

 

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Welcome to Author Talk. Today I have the wonderful pleasure of interviewing Lewis Harrison of “Ask Lewis” fame.

  1.  What are your ambitions for your writing career?
    To make a difference in the lives of others through motivation, inspiration and information.
  2. How long have you been writing?
    49 years
  3. Which writers inspire you?
    Lao Tzu, Suzuki Roshi, Alan Watts
  4. Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
    Bruce Willis
  5. What is the easiest thing about writing?
    Writing
  6.  How long on average does it take you to write a book?
    30 days
  7. Do you ever get writer’s Block?
    No
  8. Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors.
    Mostly Wikipedia and online research. I.B. Singer
  9. For your own reading, do you prefer e-books or traditional paper/hard back books?
    Traditional
  10. What & whose book/s are you reading at present?
    “Genius” about the physicist Richard Feynman By James Gleick
  11. Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
    Someone else
  12. Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?
    Sometimes
  13. When did you decide to become a writer? What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
    I knew at 10 years old that that was what I wanted to be. My mother gave me a copy of “Writers Market” and that was it.
  14. Why do you write?
    I can’t help myself.
  15. Do you write full-time or part-time? Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
    I write 12 hours a day
  16. Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day? How successful are you at achieving that goal?
    I work on 20 books at a time. ½ hour daily per book.
  17. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand? Do you use a special writing program, or just type away?
    Computer
  18. Where do the your ideas come from?
    In dreams, epiphanies, debates with friends about ideas.
  19. Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
    All flow in fiction. From an outline for non-fiction
  20. How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
    I have less faith in what people consider facts. And look for the contrarian view.
  21. What is the hardest thing about writing?
    For me…spelling and grammar
  22. What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? Always being drawn to think out of the box.
  23. How do you market your books? Why did you choose this route? Speaking and Social networking. Publishing is radically changing
  24. Would you or do you use a PR agency?
    I would
  25.  Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
    FB, Twitter, study how to market books through social networking
  26. What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?
    I post what I write as blogs so there is not much division
  27. How do you relax?
    Writing, watch a movie each night, cook, argue about politics and economic with my wife
  28. What is your favourite motivational phrase.
    “If you live in the material world the dark side is your agent and gets a 25% cut of everything.” This gets me through challenges
  29. What is your favourite positive saying?
    All you need is love
  30.  What is your favourite book and why?
    The Tao te Ching by Lao Tzu. Pure mystic and practical wisdom
  31. What is your favourite movie and why?
    House of Games. It is all Game Theory and I love game theory
  32. Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?
    Doing the same but wiser and richer
  33. What advice would you give to your younger self?
    Don’t change a thing.
  34. Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
    Buckminster Fuller. He understood what was really going on
  35. If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
    The Bible. Too many contradictions. Jesus got it right. The Apostle didn’t

Well, thank you About Your Books

  1. What genre are your books?
    Self Help, Personal Development, Human Potential, Alternative Medicine, Political Science, economics, World Affairs
  2. What draws you to this genre?
    My passion for ideas
  3.  How much research do you do?
    Large amounts
  4.  Have you written any other books in collaboration with other writers? If so, with whom?
    Yes. D. B Lawrence, Laura Jones
  5.  Why did you do decide to collaborate and did that affect your sales?
    One was my business partner, the other a student collaborator. No effect on sales
  6.  What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?
    Unless I get a large advance I can do what a publisher can do unless they have a strong private list of buyers
  7. What do you do to get book reviews? How successful has your quest for reviews been so far? I have people post reviews on Amazon
  8. Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers?
    Yes. I give free copies to those who will review the book
  9. What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
    They matter
  10.  Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you? I often do free life coaching. Some of my students begin study groups in library book clubs and use my books
  11. What’s your views on social media for marketing? Which social network worked best for you?
    The absolute future is in social media. I use it extensively
  12. Any tips on what to do and what not to do?
    Face, Google plus, twitter, You Tube, Instagram
  13. Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?
    No but I would
  14. Did you get interviewed by local press/radio for your book launch? Yes. I also have my own show on an NPR affiliated station WIOX 91.3 FM. It streams at WIOXRadio.org 4-6 on Thursdays (EST)
  15. Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures?
    Giving talks
  16. Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future?
    Giving away free copies to the wrong people
  17. What do you think of “trailers” for books?
    They are good
  18. Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book/s?
    I will create one
  19.  Do you think that giving books away free works and why? Sometimes
  20. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
    Read great writers and your own writing will naturally improve
  21. Where do you see publishing going in the future?
    On-line

Thank you Lewis. I have seen your inspiring posts on both Facebook and

Finally, we’d all like to hear mAbout Your Current Book

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
He is a Trickster who can see things going on physically that everyone seems to miss.

 What are you working on at the minute?
Filling out this questionnaire.

The Official Barter Book

There is Hope (About mental illness)

Extraordinary Days in an Ordinary Life: Biographical Short Stories

 Book of Power and Influence

Make Choices, Not Excuses: Tools, Techniques and Strategies for Solving Your Problem: Done

 Healing Depression Naturally  (an update)

 The Trickster Project: (Alternative Title – “The Noble Trickster Guru’s Guide to Creating a Functional Reality” Done

Connecting the Dots: Conspiracy Theories and 1984: Is Orwell’s Reality Here?

 Lewis Harrison’s Applied Game Theory: Systematic Strategies for Prospering in a Chaotic World

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: 200 Visionaries, Heroes and Game Changers

The Visionary Project: Tools, Tips and Strategies for Thinking Like a Visionary

That was Zen, This is Tao: Teachings,  Stories, and Koans refitted for the 21st Century

Understanding the Middle East- DONE

Living the Good Life: How to Live Like the 1% When You Are Part of the 99% DONE

The Problem Solvers (A novel about anonymous eccentrics who belong to a secret society of problems solvers). Game Theory

 The Tao te Ching: A Micro Analysis on the Writings of Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu with additional

 Lucid Dreams: A Stream of Consciousness Novel 

Is this book part of a series? What are your thoughts on writing a book series.
Some are. I have a series of e-books called“Ask Lewis”

Did you format your own book? In what formats is your book available?
I use outside vendors

If formatted by someone else, how did you select them and what was your experience?
Fiverr. I try many grogs before i find my prince

Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about. Who designed your book cover/s?
Fiverr

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
Sometimes

How are you publishing this book and why?
Both

How can readers discover more about you and you work? www.asklewis.com, www.chihealer.com or just call me at 212-724-8782

Please list all of your published books here.

  • Massageworks – 1983 (Co-Authored with D. B. Lawrence (Putnam Books)
  • Helping Yourself with Natural Healing – 1987 (Prentice- Hall)
  • Making Fats and Oils Work for You -1990 (Avery Books)
  • 30-Day Body Purification – 1994 (Prentice-Hall)
  • The Complete Fats and Oils Book – 1996 (Avery Books)
  • Hands-on-Healing: Massage for Total Health the Shaman’s Way – 1998 (Kensington Books)
  • Master Your Metabolism – 2003 (Source Books)
  • Healing Depression Naturally – 2004 (Kensington Books)
  • Wealth Without Cash: Barter, Reciprocal Trade, and Alternative Economics – 2005 (Self Published Manual)
  • Live Like a Millionaire on $17,000 a Year – 2009 (Blooming Twig Books)
  • Harrison’s Massage Manual: A Book of Multicultural Approaches to Touch for Advanced Massage Practitioners and Mental Health Professionals – 2013 ((Self Published)
  • Spiritual, Not Religious: Sacred Tools for Modern Times (Self Published 2014)
  • Building Your Business in the New Digital Economy (Motivational Press 2014)
  • Gamification for Business (Motivational Press 2014)

Website: www.AskLewis.com
Blog:www.chihealer.com
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/realuguru/?ref=br_rs
https://www.facebook.com/askLewis
https://www.facebook.com/LewisHarrisonsNaturalHealingAcademy/?ref=br_rs
Twitter: Twitter@AskLewisH
Google: https://plus.google.com/100989044867743006979
Amazon Author Page:http://www.amazon.com/Lewis-Harrison/e/B001H6W6Y4/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1427990374&sr=8-2
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/lewisharrison1

Do you have a Video link you would like included in this published interview? Please paste it here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCY-dKQme7nZPDT2x-FMODsg

(* Any order you like and if I’ve missed anything, just type it in.)

The second photo is with 100 year old “professor” Irwin Cory one of the great comedians of the 20th century and a mentor of Lenny Bruce and George Carlin

The third photo is what is use for media

The fourth photo is with Spaulding Grey a pioneer in Perfromance Art

The forth photo is with the great Talmudic scholar – Rabbi Mintz

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An Interview with S M Spencer

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Welcome To Author Talk. Today I have the pleasure of interviewing author S. M. Spencer

Please tell us a little about yourself and your background
I’m originally from California, but now live in the outskirts of Melbourne with my husband, horses, cats and dogs.

I’ve always loved to write, and consider myself extremely fortunate to be in a position to dedicate the time needed to make it happen.

I’ve also always had a soft spot for all things paranormal. And while I certainly maintain a healthy scepticism about many aspects of the unknown, I also know there are lots of things that science can’t currently, and may never be able to, explain. 

Thank you S.M. You sound like my kind of person. Now let’s jump in and learn more About You as a Writer 

  1. What are your ambitions for your writing career?
    I enjoy reading many different genres and look forward to trying my hand at a variety of them.
  2. How long have you been writing?
    I’ve been writing off and on for many years, but have taken it much more seriously over the past five years.
  3. Which writers inspire you?
    There are many writers who have inspired me … Daphne du Maurier, Ray Bradbury, J R R Tolkien … the list goes on and on with examples from a wide variety of genres.
  4. Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
    I suspect if my trilogy were to be made into movies, the actors would be new actors. I would love to see the series picked up by a boutique Australian film company
  5. What is the easiest thing about writing?
    Letting my imagination run wild.
  6. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
    The first draft doesn’t take too long—perhaps three to six months—maybe less. But it is the editing and fine tuning that takes more time. Rereading the story to make sure every sentence says what it should and that all aspects of the story remain consistent throughout. Absent Shadows was my first serious book, and I’ve learned a great deal through the process so I suspect each new book will be a little bit easier.
  7. Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
    I don’t think I get writer’s block in the traditional sense of that expression. I sometimes lose interest in writing due to other things I’m interested in, but I don’t consider that writer’s block. When I’m in the mood to write, I write, and when I’m not I simply don’t beat myself up about it.
  8. Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors.
    I go through various genre moods. I devoured Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia (didn’t everyone?) but also enjoy finding an author with a continuing series, like Patricia Cornwell, John Lescroart and Janet Evanovich. I particularly enjoy a good mystery/thriller with a romantic element. At this very moment I’m reading fellow indie authors, from both the Rave Reviews Book Club (RRBC) and indieBRAG Medallion website. 
  9. For your own reading, do you prefer e-books or traditional paper/hard back books?
    Now that I’ve gotten used to them, I really do prefer e-books. Paperbacks would be next for me. I think hard backs look great on the book shelf, but I read in bed a lot and find them too heavy.
  10. What & whose book/s are you reading at present?
    Right now I’m reading a book called Dear Maude by a fellow indie author named Denise Liebig. I’m trying to mostly support other indie authors, from both the Rave Reviews Book Club (RRBC), and indieBRAG. 
  11. Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
    I have friends read them and that helps a great deal, but then I edit and re-edit them myself.
  12. Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?
    Definitely. Probably a bit longer than that in actual fact—the longer the better.
  13. When did you decide to become a writer? 
    I think the desire to be a writer started in my teens. I read a lot and would often get caught up in the characters, living their stories long after I’d finished the books. I had a great deal of respect for authors that could do that, and I wanted to be like them.
  14. Why do you write?
    Because I love doing it!
  15. Do you write full-time or part-time? Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
    I write when the mood strikes me—generally during the day, but sometimes I get inspiration at night and have to write for a time. There is certainly nothing structured or disciplined in the way I write.
  16. Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day? How successful are you at achieving that goal?
    No—I might write five thousand one day, then nothing for the next two or three or whatever.
  17. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand? Do you use a special writing program, or just type away?
    I write on my lap-top, but I also write on scraps of paper or a notebook if I just have a few ideas I want to jot down.
  18. Where do your ideas come from?
    For the Absent Shadows trilogy, I was working around the corner from Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Markets, up near the Flagstaff Gardens. Walking around at lunchtime, I started sensing that I was smack dab in the middle of the perfect setting for ghosts and vampires—and the story just developed from there. Of course, the late night ghost tour I’d done in the area, where I’d learned the history of the cemetery under the market’s carpark, really helped. And like many, I was caught up in the resurgence in popularity of vampires.
  19. Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
    I do a bit of both—I have a general plot in mind, but am not afraid to let the characters take me in other directions either.
  20. How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
    I have found that the more I write, the more I notice the subtle things happening around me. Ever since I decided to take my writing more seriously, I’ve  seen possible scenes in everyday happenings—the lady at the post office, the girl behind the counter at the chemist, the couple walking down the street—I just view things from a different perspective now.
  21. What is the hardest thing about writing?
    Nothing. I don’t find it hard, because I enjoy it so much.
  22. What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? Waiting to hear back from the agents/publishers that I’d contacted.
  23. How do you market your books? Why did you choose this route? So far, it has been through word of mouth, Facebook, book blogs like yours, Sandy, and taking advantage of the promotions that Amazon offers.
  24. Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
    I’m just learning myself so I guess the only advice is to be open to new ideas.
  25. How do you relax?
    I think riding my horse is my favourite way to relax—that’s when I feel in touch with nature. And of course, reading a good book is always a great way to relax.
  26. What is your favourite motivational phrase?
    Every cloud has a silver lining.
  27. What is your favourite book and why?
    One of my favourites is Peter Straub’s Floating Dragon. That book was so scary—I remember thinking I could see things moving just on the edge of my peripheral vision. Scary stuff! But there are many, many more that I would call favourites.
  28. What is your favourite quote?
    That is something up with which they will not put.” Unfortunately, I can’t recall who said it (and Google isn’t helping me), but I doubt I’ll ever forget that sentence!
  29. What is your favourite movie and why?
    There are lots that I would call favourites, like Avatar, Lord of the Rings, and anything with Sandra Bullock in it—but if I had to pick one it might be Gladiator. A lot of the reason Gladiator is up there is the music—it is a wonderful story, but Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack and the beautiful tones of Lisa Gerrard, really made the movie special for me.
  30. Where can you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
    Helping the aforementioned boutique Australian film company turn my books into movies. [Symbol]
  31. What advice would you give to your younger self?
    Trust your intuition.

Thank you S. M. I love your favourite quote. It rather sounds like a Churchill quote to me. he was a great lover of language as well as an author in his own right.

Now, to read About Your Books 

What genre are your books?
The Absent Shadows Trilogy is a paranormal romance. I call it YA because it has no overt sex or violence and the main character is only nineteen.

What draws you to this genre?
I grew up watching the eerie television shows of the 60’s: Dark Shadows, The Twilight Zone, The Invaders and Outer Limits being among those I remember best. What imaginations those writers had! So science fiction, fantasy and mystery stories have generally been my favourite. Throw in a romantic element, and you have the perfect story!

How much research do you do?
Enough to be sure anything purporting to be a fact is correct, but that’s the beauty of fiction—most of it comes from the imagination.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?
The major advantage of self-publishing is being in complete control, and the only deadlines are those that are self-imposed. But the disadvantage is you don’t have a publishing house’s marketing teams and expertise to help you make a big splash. Some self-published books have made it to the big time, but I have no doubt that there are many really great self-published books that will never go far simply because the authors don’t have the time, experience or inclination to push them along.

What do you do to get book reviews? How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?
I’m just getting started with this, so check back in twelve months and I’ll give you an answer.

What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
I’d rather have a bad review than no review, but of course all authors like the good ones!

Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future?
I didn’t do any sort of pre-launch and that seems to be something that works for others. This is something I might consider next time I’m ready to launch a new book.

Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
Yes, to some extent. Word of mouth can be a big tool, and no better way to get this than to have lots of readers talking about your book.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Firstly, ignore the negative commentary about there being too many books out there. If you have a story to tell, and you believe in it, tell it. There will be people who will be glad you did. But having said that, before you submit it anywhere, make sure your book is the best you can make it. Read books or articles about self-editing.  When you think your story is as good as you can get it, set it aside, then sometime later re-read it and edit it again.

Where do you see publishing going in the future?
I think there is a fantastic future for well-written self-published books, particularly with the help of organisations such as indieBRAG (which, if you’re not familiar with it stands for indie, or independent author, Book Readers Appreciation Group and can be found at www.bragmedallion.com ). These organisations rate self-published books to help give readers confidence that the books they are buying are well written, and worth purchasing.

Thank you S. M. I really appreciate your detailed answers. I am looking forward to hearing something About Your Current Book 

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
Lili is a typical nineteen year old girl who wants to make a difference with her life, but isn’t sure how she’s going to do it. When Lili is given a wonderful opportunity to visit her aunt in Australia, the land where her father was born, she discovers what she wants to do with her life. Sounds pretty simple, right? But then again, can anything to do with vampires and ghosts really be simple?

What are you working on at the minute?
Right now I’m in the midst of a rural romance

Is this book part of a series? What are your thoughts on writing a book series.
I’m hoping to make it a series, but given I haven’t finished the first book yet, I’m not entirely sure where the rest of the series will head. 

Did you format your own book? In what formats is your book available?
At this time, the Absent Shadows Trilogy is only available as Kindle books, on Amazon.  

How are you publishing this book and why?
I’m an indie author. I canvassed a number of agents and a couple of e-book publishers and got responses that varied from cold to lukewarm. The main message coming through was that the genre was very crowded, so I figured I was wasting my time trying to get a publisher to put their money into the series. But with encouragement from friends and family I decided to simply bite the bullet and do it myself.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Follow me on Facebook—and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you have any!

Please list all of your published books here.  
Book Title: Absent Shadows Trilogy:  Destiny—Book One, Sacrifice—Book Two  &  Deception—Book Three
Genre:  YA Paranormal Romance

Links:
Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/SMSpencer.writer
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/S-M-Spencer/e/B00PGE0G9U

Book Links: 

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com.au/Destiny-Absent-Shadows-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00O6WL9IA

http://www.amazon.com.au/Sacrifice-Absent-Shadows-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00Q2AVXUI

http://www.amazon.com.au/Deception-Absent-Shadows-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00QKRNJQ4

http://www.amazon.com/Destiny-Absent-Shadows-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00O6WL9IA

http://www.amazon.com/Sacrifice-Absent-Shadows-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00Q2AVXUI

http://www.amazon.com/Deception-Absent-Shadows-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00QKRNJQ4

IndieBrag  http://www.bragmedallion.com/medallion-honorees/2015-brag-medallion-books/destiny-absent-shadows-trilogy

 

Lastly, I would just like to thank you, Sandy, for this wonderful opportunity to share a little about me, and my books, with your readers.

 

 

 

You’re very welcome S.M. I look forward to following your books, and your Facebook Page. Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.

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An Interview with Steve Harrison

 

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Welcome to Author Talk. Today I have the wonderful privilege interviewing Steve Harrison.

Please tell us a little about yourself and your background Steve

My name is Steve Harrison and I live in Sydney with my wife and daughter, although I was born and grew up in England and spent a few years in New Zealand before arriving in Australia. I started writing some 25 years ago with the usual short stories and a few soccer articles, followed by a long running weekly newspaper humour column, Harriscope: a mix of ancient wisdom and modern nonsense. For the last 10 years I have been writing feature screenplays and although none were produced, I did have a couple of exciting Hollywood meetings and one of the scripts was nominated for an Australian Writers’ Guild (Awgie) Award. Through all those years I worked on various drafts of my novel, TimeStorm, and despite many, many rejections, decided it would one day be published. The final draft, which I completed nearly two years ago, received a High Commendation at the Fellowship of Australian Writers’ National Literary Awards in the same week the book was bought by Elsewhen Press, a UK publishing company. Who says persistence doesn’t pay off! Now the goal is to turn this success into a career…

About You as a Writer

  1. What are your ambitions for your writing career?
    To support myself and my family solely through writing.
  2. How long have you been writing?
    For about 25 years. Initially, I wrote short stories and a few articles. Then a newspaper column and the first draft of my novel.
  3. Which writers inspire you?
    I’m a big fan of Bernard Cornwell for his historical works; Stephen King, character development, Lee Child, action and David Mitchell for his all-round brilliance. Many others, too.
  4. Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
    TimeStorm has been written over a long time and I initially thought Hugh Jackman would have made a terrific Kit Blaney, but now, years later, I’m thinking Henry Cavill (Superman) or Kit Harington (Game of Thrones) who has the right first name!
  5. What is the easiest thing about writing?
    I don’t find anything easy about writing. I can’t even think about the least hard thing…
  6. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
    It took 25 years to write TimeStorm, with a new draft every four or five years, but the latest should be done within a year.
  7. Do you ever get writer’s Block? If so, Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
    I have constant writers’ block interspersed with occasional bouts of writing. I have to force myself to write, which is very odd as I love writing.
  8. Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors.
    I read all the time. In addition to those above, my favorites are CJ Sansom, CS Forrester, George Macdonald Fraser, JP Smith and many others.
  9. For your own reading, do you prefer e-books or traditional paper/hard back books?
    I’m hooked on my Kobo eReader, despite fighting it for a long time.
  10. What & whose book/s are you reading at present?
    I just finished The Swerve, a terrific non fiction work about the founding on the Renaissance by Stephen Greenblatt, and I’m now very much enjoying Lamentation, the latest Matthew Shardlake Tudor mystery by CJ Sansom.
  11. Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
    I try to proofread, then my wife has a go and then my publisher does the final polish, thank goodness! The publisher told me it is very difficult for the writer to proof read and edit, because he or she sees what was meant and not what was written. I couldn’t agree more!
  12. Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?
    No, I edit as a I go along. I start a session by editing the previous session. I print it all out at the end and go through with a pen to make notes.
  13. When did you decide to become a writer? What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
    I felt an urge to write suddenly in my early thirties and told a former friend I was going to write a book. He told me I never would, which gave me the drive to do it.
  14. Why do you write?
    Because I am incapable of not writing.
  15. Do you write full-time or part-time? Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
    Part time. With work, I find it difficult to write regularly during the week, so I try to have at least one four hour session on the weekend
  16. Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day? How successful are you at achieving that goal?
    I don’t set goals. It’s about the content for me and I can be equally happy with one page or ten in a session.
  17. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand? Do you use a special writing program, or just type away?
    Computer. Word.
  18. Where do your ideas come from?
    I believe there is an invisible entity feeding me the words when I get into the ‘zone’ and I am just taking dictation. It’s a very odd feeling.
  19. Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
    I outline in my head, as I’m a slave to any notes I write down and find it very hard to change anything. I find my writing is much more fluid if I have a general direction in mind.
  20. How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
    I don’t think my creativity has changed at all, only my ability to express it, which I think has improved dramatically.
  21. What is the hardest thing about writing?
    Writing is by far the hardest thing about writing.
  22. What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
    Finding enough time to write.
  23. How do you market your books? Why did you choose this route?
    My publisher is a very small company in the UK, so I do a lot of online marketing via Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus etc. It took a while to realise I was marketing to other writers, but since I joined and interacted with readers groups in the genres covered by my novel, I have seen sales increase and also made a lot of new friends.
  24. Would you or do you use a PR agency?
    No.
  25. Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
    Be creative and look for opportunities. It’s very hard to poke your head above such a huge crowd of people competing for the same readers, so apply the same creativity to selling as you do to writing. It’s a lot of fun.
  26. What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?
    I market more than I write, I’m sad to admit.
  27. How do you relax?
    Long walks with my wife. Reading. Watching TV.
  28. What is your favourite motivational phrase.
    “Be scared and do it anyway.”
  29. What is your favourite positive saying?
    See above!
  30. What is your favourite book and why?
    That’s a cruel question. One book only? I’ll have to say The Stand by Stephen King. The perfect epic!
  31. What is your favourite movie and why?
    Blues Brothers. The perfect comedy!
  32. Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?
    Working as a professional writer.
  33. What advice would you give to your younger self?
    None. Let him suffer like I did!
  34. If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
    The Stand. What an accomplishment!

Thanks Steve, an author with a great sense of humour! I also love your answer to “Where do you get your ideas from?” I think it is called Channelling. I know exactly what you mean, about it being an odd feeling. I do that all the time.

Now, let’s move on to learn About Your Books

  1. What genre are your books?
    My only published book is TimeStorm, a thriller, action adventure, time travel, science fiction, historical romance novel.
  2. What draws you to this genre?
    I figured at one book every 25 years, I should include as many genres as possible. But seriously, I don’t have a genre preference. I wrote nine unproduced feature screenplays, each in a different genre dictated by the story idea.
  3. How much research do you do?
    For TimeStorm I did a great deal of research into Australia’s convict history. My current WIP, a YA science fiction story, is entirely made up, although it draws on my knowledge of and interest in history and alien conspiracy theories.
  4. Have you written any other books in collaboration with other writers? If so, with whom?
    No books, though I do work with a writer/director partner on short films.
  5. What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?
    Self-publishing looks too much like hard work, so I certainly prefer having a traditional publisher to take care of all the publishing details.
  6. What do you do to get book reviews? How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?
    My publisher sends out press releases and has organised a number of reviews and I have been fortunate to receive many unprompted reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.
  7. What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
    Fortunately, all my reviews have been good – so far – so I like them! I’ll let you know how I feel when a bad one comes along…
  8. What’s your views on social media for marketing? Which social network worked best for you?
    Facebook has been the best, by far. And Goodreads is very good too, if you take the time to interact with readers.
  9. Any tips on what to do and what not to do?
    Participate in discussions and not just about your own book. Promoting others is always well received. All my fellow authors at Elsehwne are very supportive and we promote each others’ books. Don’t just drop an ad for your book on readers’ boards and disappear. It will get ignored and annoy potential readers.
  10. Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?
    The publisher’s initial press release prompted a lot of sales and they publicise any reviews or other news, which always provides a sales spike. I’ve done two Goodreads giveaways, which raised the profile of the book, but didn’t do much in terms of direct sales. They were great fun, though, and I got a few nice reviews.
  11. Did you get interviewed by local press/radio for your book launch?
    I couldn’t get much interest from the press and as I’m the UK publisher’s only Australian author, they don’t have the contacts here. It was a great pub launch, though, and I sold a bunch of copies.
  12. What do you think of “trailers” for books?
    I’m not a fan of book trailers, mainly because they are books, not films.
  13. Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
    I can’t see the point of giving away books. Sure, a lot of people will obtain your book, but how many because it’s free and how many because they have to read it? There’s an incentive to download it because it’s free, but no incentive to read it. I prefer readers who have enough interest to actually buy the book.
  14. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
    Don’t listen to advice. Or rather, never forget advice is opinion and always question it. (you can question that, too).
  15. Where do you see publishing going in the future?
    There will always be a place for books and reading, though the delivery methods will vary. Despite all the visual entertainment available, nothing can compare with the pictures conjured up by your imagination when you peruse the written word.

Oh yes, I hear you loud and clear Steve! Your last answer is so my opinion too. Our mind is the best visual creator we have!

Now to move on to hear About Your Current Book TimeStorm.

  1. Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
    My main character of TimeStorm is Kit Blaney, an officer on the 1795 convict transport ship, HMS Marlin. Transported through time to the present day, he must deal with the modern world, assist an ailing captain, command his panicked crew, fight rebelling convicts, evade police and the navy, battle an unscrupulous media baron and fall for a woman reporter. Believe me, he has his hands full!
  2. What are you working on at the minute?
    A YA science fiction novel.
  3. What’s it about? (*if relevant)
    It’s about an Earth girl who swaps places with an alien girl. What could possibly go wrong?
  4. Is this book part of a series? What are your thoughts on writing a book series.
    It the first of a proposed series.
  5. Did you format your own book? In what formats is your book available?
    TimeStorm is available in paperback and all eBook formats. Thanks to the publisher, Elsewhen Press!
  6. If formatted by someone else, how did you select them and what was your experience?
    I was fortunate that Elsewhen bought the book and they did a fabulous job in every aspect of the process.
  7. Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about. Who designed your book cover/s?
    Elsewhen invited my input on the cover and I had a vague idea in mind. I sent them a couple of images I found on the internet, particularly some seventeenth century sailing ship paintings. The final cover was designed by Alison Buck of Elsewhen Press and it is a stunning image that really captures the flavour of the novel.
  8. Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
    Absolutely. It should attract the potential buyer and interest them enough to check what the book is about.
  9. How are you publishing this book and why? (*e.g. Indie, traditional or both)
    TimeStorm is traditionally published. I never considered self-publishing and kept rewriting until I found a publisher.
  10. How can readers discover more about you and you work?
    The best place is my website. It has information of the book, buying links and several blog pieces related to TimeStorm and my writing process http://stormingtime.wordpress.com/

Published Books

Book Title: TimeStorm
Genre: Action adventure, time slip, thriller, history, romance
ISBN: Paperback: 978-1-908168-44-3 – Ebook: 978-1-908168-54-2
Publisher: Elsewhen Press, UK
Author: Steve Harrison
Paperback / Hardback: Both!
Distributor/Seller: Paperback available in bookshops in the UK & US and Amazon, online in Australia via Gleebooks http://www.gleebooks.com.au/CatalogueRetrieve.aspx?ProductID=9519001 or via the publisher at http://elsewhen.alnpetepress.co.uk/index.php/catalogue/title/timestorm/
Ebook available from Amazon UK, AUS, CAN, US & elsewhere, Kobo, Nook, Apple iBooks, Google etc
Book Cover: Artwork by Alison Buck, based on photograph by http://shutterstock.com
Website/Blog: http://stormingtime.wordpress.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/StormingTime
Google: https://plus.google.com/102729375351451335150/posts?hl=en
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Steve-Harrison/e/B00MXY9BKQ/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
Booklinks: Paperback https://stormingtime.wordpress.com/buy-paperback/
Ebook https://stormingtime.wordpress.com/buy-ebook/ Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/418568.Steve_Harrison

Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview. I look forward to reading your Time Storm and hearing more about your current book. It sounds very intriguing.

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An Interview with Andrew Jonathan Fine

 

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Welcome to Author Talk

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Andrew Jonathon Fine.

Please tell us a little about yourself and your background

My name is Andrew Jonathan Fine. I am 52 years old, and I am a stay at home father disabled with autism and other inherited conditions. I don’t really consider the autism all that disabling. I even skipped grade to start high school at twelve, finishing with a master’s degree in computer science by my early twenties. Unfortunately, my career had been greatly limited due to discrimination. When I lost my final job in 2005 I was never able to recover my career. I have a beautiful wife and a brilliant eleven year old girl who loves me regardless, and they are what give me purpose in life these days. I became an author mostly by accident. Desperate for a sense of purpose I had even hospitalized myself for depression a couple years ago and found myself required to reveal my life in painstaking detail on page after page of forms. This made me realize that were I to transfer this experience into fictional characters I could express my experiences without fear of putting my family on display. There’s a little bit of my life and experience in all four of the main characters I re-imagined from the Depression-Era story I read at age 11, a copy which lapsed into the public domain and therefore I could use.

Wow Andrew, that is quite a summary of your life before you started writing. I am so glad that you decided to put your experiences into a novel. There is a great deal more awareness these days of depression. I can’t wait to read the answers to this interview and find out more about you.

About You as a Writer

  1. What are your ambitions for your writing career?
    Just to be read, maybe to be popular. Money is not my primary focus. I simply want to leave a legacy for the live I have lived.
  2. How long have you been writing?
    Maybe about two years, but not full-time. This is a hobby for me.
  3. Which writers inspire you?
    C. S. Lewis, Piers Anthony, Catherine Asaro. But there are entire anime series not ascribable to any single author which also inspire me, and there are even cartoons such as My Little Pony and Adventure Time which are serious dramatic fantasy fiction.
  4. Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
    I’d rather see unknowns play my lead characters. That way, a new generation of actors could have their own chance. I’m writing serious and heart-wrenching coming-of-age and first-love stuff which would nauseate me to see the likes of Disney sanitize and bowdlerized into a made-for-TV drama or comedy. This would make a poor movie outside of an art house.
  5. What is the easiest thing about writing?
    Having the time.
  6. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
    I’ve so far taken about two or three years to write this one, about half time. My primary duty these days is being a full-time homemaker.
  7. Do you ever get writer’s Block? If so, Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
    To me writer’s block means not having enough ideas to get my character from one point to another, so what I do instead is starting writing a different section of the book. Sometimes a different idea from a future section of the plot will justify the past part of a plot I want to complete.
  8. What & whose book/s are you reading at present?
    People with whom I am trading free reviews. I can’t afford to buy books anymore.
  9. When did you decide to become a writer? What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
    That actually happened by accident. I was laid off by Honeywell Aerospace in 2005 and never was able to find a job since due to discrimination against my autism. Over a process of years I became slowly suicidal due to feelings of being useless. A couple of years ago I hospitalized myself for clinical depression. I was required to write reams of notes about my personal life in the course of therapy. When I was released I realized I had common themes in my notes which might make a good story in the right framework.
  10. Do you write full-time or part-time? Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
    Usually in the morning I take care of correspondence, in the afternoon I do my chores, in the evening I prepare dinner for my family, and at night when everyone else is asleep I try to write for a couple of hours before I turn in.
  11. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand? Do you use a special writing program, or just type away?
    I like the LibreOffice suite as it can produce any output format needed by a publisher. For cover design I like using GIMP. Both are open source tools. It’s a lie that you need commercial ones to make good manuscripts or covers.
  12. What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
    Finding a way to find a credible manner in which to advance the plot. Sometimes you wind up painting yourself into a corner.
  13. How do you market your books? Why did you choose this route?
    I self-publish. I am 52 years old. I would be dead of old age by the time any brick-and-mortar publisher would accept my submissions. I also feel said people would discriminate against me for having autism. I’d rather trust the public to tell me why work sucks rather than keep getting rejected by editors who would give nothing but a standard form letter. I’ve been rejected by too many business owners when looking for software work to want to trust any of them any more for any other reason.
  14. Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
    Don’t look at me for advice. I don’t know the first thing. All I can do is advertise on Facebook and Twitter because those are free.
  15. How do you relax?
    My favorite way is to just spend some quality time with my wife.
  16. What is your favourite movie and why?
    It’s an anime known as ‘Yamato 2199.’ A predecessor of it back in the 70’s gave me the courage to stand up to my parents and create my own life for myself. My mother, knowing I had autism, felt I was better off staying a child by her side forever. The themes in these movies help me defy her.
  17. Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?
    In 5 years I plan to be 57 years old.

Here is a video made of Alouette’s Song.


You have a great sense of humour Andrew, we’re moving right along to hear more About Your Books

  1. What genre are your books?
    I prefer to have them called “cross-genre speculative fiction”
  2. How much research do you do?
    Fairly thorough. Online sources and some friends in the right places.
  3. What do you do to get book reviews? How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?
    Usually I either apply for them through review sites, or offer trades. Trades are actually more likely to happen. It’s slow, but sure.
  4. Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers?
    I usually have to be fairly persistent in finding review blogs. It’d say if you’re accepted by one out of every hundred you are doing good.
  5. What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
    My three through five stars are pretty fair. Occasionally I get the troll who just like to anonymously provide a one or two star with a gratuitous reason, just to ruin my potential for getting shown on amazon. I just can’t understand people like that.
  6. What’s your views on social media for marketing? Which social network worked best for you?
    It’s not really a matter of best more than like only. Facebook is the only way I can communicate with potential readers at no cost. Twitter is hit or miss.
  7. Did you get interviewed by local press/radio for your book launch?
    Local newspaper, a couple years ago, for my first author signing. The sheer novelty of a first release in a small town of less than 2000 people made my book sell out. Sweet. But the bad news is you can easily saturate your local market that way.
  8. Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future?
    I’m still learning and making plenty of mistakes daily 🙂
  9. Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
    My current strategy is to give books away to a known affinity group, other people with autism like my self, in the hopes they will tell their own circle of friends and generate some word of mouth. It’s a great way to get immediate feedback. Only time will tell if that actually generates more sales.
  10. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
    There’s no such thing as aspiring. There’s only perspiring (grin). You have to be crazy to write a book because there really is no profit in it for the average person. Tell the story you have your all-consuming passion to tell, then move on with your life and do something else with it.
  11. Where do you see publishing going in the future?
    Brick and mortar book-stores will be extinct in 20 years or less. As the cost of paper books increases to be priced out of reach to those who can’t find jobs that can sustain them and their families, the pages will be cut off their spines, scanned, and pirated by outraged anarchists. All novels will become free. No one will have the incentive to create quality text-books for schools, and you already see this happening from books being designed by committee to fit Common Core curriculum standards and religiously fundamentalist school boards. I pretty much see our future as being one where no one can earn a living of any kind being a writer. This will only accelerate the USA’s downward slide into economic neo-feudalism already being triggered by the off-shoring of high-paying professional jobs and the extinction of entire categories of high-paying occupations altogether.

Here is another video Andrew made of the background to Alouette’s Song.

Well Andrew, that certainly ended with a depth of feeling. I certainly hope you’re not right about all of that. For one thing, there is definitely an increase in people writing novels and being self published. Anyway, we will move on to read more About Your Current Book

  1. Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
  2. The ‘main character’ is actually a team. I partially follow the sentai formula where each member of the teenaged team is special in some way, such as faith, ingenuity, valor, or compassion.
  3. What are you working on at the minute? 31. What’s it about? (*if relevant)
    The sequel. It’s set a generation later. The new heroes are the teen sons and daughters of the older ones. The latter serve as mentors, teachers, and supporters for the new, who form the next sentai team.
  4. Is this book part of a series? What are your thoughts on writing a book series.
    I’m thinking that Alouette’s Song, and it’s sequel, Alouette’s Dream, will be dovetailed bookends. Dream answers a lot of questions which Song asks.
  5. Did you format your own book? In what formats is your book available?
    Kindle and paperback. I use Sigil to format the precursor EPUB for the Kindle. I use LibreOffice and GIMP to create the proofs for the paperback.
  6. Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about. Who designed your book cover/s?
    I created an abstract cover myself using Corel Draw and GIMP, of a logo, since I don’t know how to draw free-hand art. Nobody liked that cover because it didn’t tell enough about the story. A dear friend of mine drew a cover for a pivotal scene, and I used it for a while, but the trolls slammed that one as looking infantile. I now have a professional illustrator to donated a week of her time to create a truly creditable cover, and it contains all the important elements of the story.
  7. Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
    It seems people are incredibly fickle these days. What with the outrageous competition between self-published authors it seems that covers are now like resumes… if the resume can’t catch attention in under five seconds then forget it.
  8. How are you publishing this book and why?
    Print-on-Demand through Ingram Spark. I hope to have my book on bookstores someday, and that means I have to follow the rules the booksellers set.
  9. How can readers discover more about you and your work?
    Search Amazon and Barnes&Noble. I also have a Facebook novel page www.facebook.com/alouettesong

Please list all of your published books here. Book Title: Alouette’s Song Genre: Romantic Action/Adventure

ISBN: 9781942574125
(ISBN) B00V0YQPWC (ASIN)
Author: Andrew Jonathan Fine
Distributor/Seller: Ingram-Spark, Amazon

Website: http://wix.com/andrew-jonathan-fine
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alouettesong?fref=ts
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/eternalsquire
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/iamextremelyuse
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/ANDREW-FINE/e/B00JIBHFLO
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8123913.Andrew_Jonathan_Fine

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/alouettes-song-andrew-jonathan-fine/1119344642?ean=9781942574125

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