When I decided to pursue a career in writing, I was fortunate to come under the wing of a friend who was already a bestselling author. Among other things, she stressed the need to find a competent and reliable editor. As I conducted my search on the Internet, I came across a thread on Kboards in which a number of authors praised the work of Red Adept. I heeded their advice, and four books later, I’m so glad I did!
You’ve worked with several Red Adept editors. What did you enjoy most about the process?
Due to issues of timing, I’ve worked with a different line editor on each of my books: Sarah Carleton edited my first novel, The Signal; Laura Koons edited my second novel, The Portal; Karen Allen edited my third novel, The Hades Conspiracy; and Angela McRae edited my most recent work, a novella titled Betrayal.
The Red Adept editors communicate well and make you feel at ease throughout the editing process, which is particularly important for new authors. But they don’t just communicate well; they’re excellent at what they do. When Sarah Carleton worked on my first novel, I remember her telling me a key female character from Italy didn’t seem Italian to her, and after some careful consideration, I realized she was right. The changes she recommended deepened my character and made her more colorful.
Let me also say that Karen Allen and Angela McRae are line editors extraordinaire. Both have a great depth of experience in fields related to writing, and I shudder to think what my last two works would have looked like without their help.
Do you have a favorite place or time of day to write?
Since distractions tend to build as the day goes on, I find the morning is the best time to write. My mind is fresher in those early hours, particularly after two cups of my beloved Caribou coffee. I’m an independent author, so I usually switch over to marketing or bookkeeping tasks in the afternoon.
Are there any places in your novels that you’ve never visited but would like to? Or places that you have visited and inspired you?
There is truly something special about visiting the places where your novels play out. I’ve traveled to London twice and to Paris three times, and both are featured prominently in my books. In the opening scene of The Signal, a man is murdered outside a pub in London. That fictional pub was modeled after a gorgeous pub we visited in 2012.
In terms of the places I’d like to visit but haven’t, there are three locations from my books that stand out: Switzerland, Israel, and Brazil. I’m a nature lover, so my research of the Amazon rainforest for The Portal gave me a strong desire to travel there one day. If I do, I just hope I don’t encounter anything like the dangerous flora and fauna I portrayed in my novel!
What part of self-publishing do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy having the final say over the details of my plot. I also have a good grasp of what needs to be on my covers, so I enjoy working with my designer to create an image that’s appropriate for my work.
As someone who previously worked in the business world, I’m also well-equipped to meet the challenge of marketing my books. The downside is that the business tasks do require a lot of time and effort.
Damonza designs my covers. Their work is amazing, and the company is recognized as one of the best in the industry. Interestingly, I discovered them on Kboards, the same way I discovered Red Adept.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I’m someone who has a lot of hobbies and interests. If I’m honest, I probably have too many! I enjoy reading (Daniel Silva, Brad Thor, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and James Rollins are a few of my favorite authors), traveling (Europe is my favorite destination), dining out, and following NHL hockey. I’m also active in my local church.
What advice would you give to a new author?
My number one piece of advice to new authors is this: find people who are successful in the field, then absorb everything they produce. In short, surround yourself with the best. Read authors in your genre who use excellent prose. Find a good editor (I recommend Red Adept!) and read any books or articles that editor has published. For example, I own most of the books in Red Adept’s excellent Beyond the Style Manual series. I’ve read each one twice and took copious notes, which I refer back to when I edit one of my own books.
Where can readers find you?
Amazon profile page: amazon.com/author/johnsneeden