Questions for Authors:
- Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?
Whether in my music or in my writing, I like to center around the topic of perseverance and overcoming odds despite extreme obstacles. As a legally blind artsy fartsy, every rung on the ladder of life has been great, but it’s definitely been a struggle, hence, my affinity for sharing stories of grit. While writing the novel, I spent several months in Europe and visited Africa a couple of times. These trips helped set the feudalistic Arab-African scene setting of the tale mixed in with some culture and folklore. The topic of the struggling class standing up to the regal class is an ageless one; however, in The Ivory Staff, it is tackled in the fashion of an engaging whimseyed fairy-tale.
- How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?
Sometimes I do write down topics, so yes, I do have a virtual scratch pad of notes. Nonetheless, more often than not some stories (especially short stories) just come to you and flow out in the moment.
- How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?
Being that this book is based on an age-old maxim set in Fantasy, the research I conducted revolved around Feudal culture and African culture and folklore. Most of that research was conducted during my stay in both places as I wrote.
- How helpful do you find authority figures such as the police when you say you want to write about them? Is there a good way to approach them in your experience?
In this next book I’m writing, I have been approaching authority figures and experts in fields I love but know little about. I’ve learned that dependant on who and how you approach and ask, experts are highly inclined to share their generally knowledge for the sake of a good novel or non-fiction.
- How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted or before this book was accepted?
I spent a year trying to find a literary agent to no avail. I then went directly to traditional publishers and was picked up after a couple of months.
- Did you need to self-publish on e-books before a publisher took you up?
No. Many of the trade publishers I’d spoken with preferred that I hadn’t.
- Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist?
I believe that Hybrid publishing may be a good solution for a serial novelist if they’re having trouble landing an agent or publisher. It encompasses the best of both worlds, does not have the self-published stigma, yet also allows the writer a healthy amount of control.
- Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take before this happened?
Currently I don’t only write novels, but also song write, compose, score and design. I’d love to make /rake in a higher income with my writing; however, even if I did, I don’t believe I would stop composing and song writing.
- What is the funniest thing that happened to you on a book tour?
A couple purchased a book and told me to sign the book to both of them. Later during the event, I found they’d just met at the event!