Recommendations, recommendations, recommendations. I first heard of RAE through Writer’s Café at Kboards and after my first edit I never looked back.
You’ve worked with Karen, Laura, and Kelly. What did you enjoy most about working with them?
I’ve worked with several editors. My first edit was with Karen Allen. Most recently, I worked with Laura Koons and Kelly Reed. Both have unique styles that proved equally effective with my manuscript copy. I like the personal touch, but also the no-holds-barred approach each takes. You can’t mince words when it comes to what you need to chop from your book. If something in the story doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.
What drew you to writing thrillers?
I always liked how “thriller” can be a description as well as a genre in and of itself. You can write a medical thriller or a sci-fi thriller or an action/adventure thriller. The only requirement is that you thrill the reader—make some jaws drop—which, in the end, is what I think is the essence of a good book.
You’ve written the Vanished Series and the Tournament series. You seem to be a series kind of writer. Do you plan each story as a series before you start?
I do plan out my series. When I started writing, I was more interested in the epic story told in parts. That’s what my Tournament series is, and I had a lot of fun writing that. But once I’d finished it, I changed tracks. Now, my goal is to write a series of standalone novels, where readers get to follow the characters for a long time, but each book reads as its own installment.
Do you think you’ll add to the series you already have out? Or do you have plans to start something new next?
I’ve set aside the Tournament for the time being. I’m happy with what I’ve written there. The Vanished series is ongoing, with at least one more planned, and I’ve just published The Sleepwalkers, the first in a new series called The Gordon Pope Novels. It was edited by Kelly Reed and chosen as an official Kindle Scout selection, published by the Kindle Press imprint just this past May. The Sleepwalkers follows the exploits of Gordon Pope, a gifted child psychiatrist who takes on the toughest cases out there.
What part of self-publishing do you enjoy the most?
I suppose at the most basic level, I enjoy self-pub because without it, my books most likely wouldn’t be read. A lot of very good books never see the light of day under the traditional model simply because there are far too many manuscripts for the manpower available to vet and market them. But if you take that task upon yourself, the only thing holding you back is you.
I enjoy that self-publishing removes excuses. If you have a story, you can get it out there. You can get it read. You can promote it and get eyes on it. It may be slow at first, but it’ll happen. Whether or not people like your stuff is something entirely different, but you can learn from that and grow as a writer.
I like how self-publishing allows me to work on my own terms, use my own editors, commission my own cover art, and promote my own way. Fast writer? Great. Self-publishing has a place for you. Slow writer? That’s fine too. The platform is there for you whenever you have a polished product.
Your covers are very eye-catching. Who does your cover work?
The first three Tournament novels were done by a great cover artist named Miguel Coimbra: http://www.miguelcoimbra.com/myblog/folio.php
Summer Crush and The Vanished series art was done by the awesome people at Damonza: https://damonza.com/
The Gordon Pope artwork is the product of the very talented James T. Egan of Bookfly Design: http://www.bookflydesign.com/
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I have a day job as a copywriter that I really enjoy, so I write all day, and I write all night. I love it. Other than that, I hang out with my awesome wife. These days, we’re usually found sitting on the porch, reading or chatting, often sipping cocktails.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Patience. This is a long game. I know that sometimes it may seem like you’ll never make it unless you sweat out ten novels a year and always try to play the sales algorithms, but if you just keep writing and if your stories are compelling enough, you’ll find your audience eventually. Self-publishing rewards the persistent. The only way you lose is if you quit.
Where can readers find you?