Friday, October 14, 2011

Indie October Author Interview and Giveaway: J. Gunnar Grey

Today I'd like to welcome J. Gunnar Grey to A Bookish Affair! Oh and you all have a chance to win an ebook copy of Deal With The Devil! Welcome, Gunnar!

1. Out of the two parts of Deal With the Devil, which is your favorite? Why?

That’s a hard one to answer. Deal was written as one looooong book, not as two parts, and that’s how I think of it. The idea for splitting it in two originated with the publisher, Astraea Press’s Stephanie Taylor. Longer books of course cost more to produce, because it takes the editors longer to work through that pile of pixels, and if Deal had been published as one title the cost would have been really high by indie ebook standards. (Or so they tell me.)

But you know, while it was fun getting Faust into trouble, it was a blast watching him get out of it, and there were chapters toward the end that wrote themselves. So while I’d say part two is my favorite, you really need to read both halves to get the complete story.

2. Do you have any more books planned for the future?

More than I could describe without boring everyone! The current work in progress is a World War II mystery-adventure that I’m calling Fledgling Dragon, starring a twelve-year-old mastermind with a bad attitude who’s been kidnapped by the Waffen SS during the last convulsions of World War II. If you’re curious, feel free to stop by my blog, Mysteries and Histories, on Saturdays or Sundays. 

There’s a sort of weekly blog hop, called Sweet Saturday Samples, and as a participant I’m posting a brief excerpt each weekend. (Pssst, writers—feel free to join us.)

On the back burner I’ve got a paranormal romance, a soft science fiction trilogy, a historical adventure-romance, and sequels for both Deal with the Devil and my self-published contemporary mystery, Trophies. Yes, I find sticking to a single genre boring.

3. What's the best thing about being a self-published author? What's the hardest?

The best is undoubtedly being my own boss. With my self-pubbed mystery Trophies, I can experiment with pricing, marketing techniques and venues, the blurb, keywords, everything. There’s an enormous, relaxing freedom to working in your pajamas, watching sparrows and blue jays squabbling over the bird feeders and sunlight flashing on a hummingbird’s wings. Of course, these distractions also call for self-discipline and I don’t think that’s my strongest characteristic.

With one novel self-pubbed and another published by a small, growing press, I think I’ve got the best of both worlds. There’s a lot of support and fun among a publishing company’s writers, with long email discussions on kids, writing, advertising, writing, hobbies, writing, interesting links, and did I mention writing? We help, comfort, and tease each other (Monique, have you fed Clyde recently?), so even though there may be no one else at home, I’m never alone. And yes, sometimes I have to disconnect from the internet to write!

4. What advice do you have for aspiring writers, especially self-published writers?

Keep the stories coming. The more books you have published and in front of the reading public, the greater your chances of striking a responsive nerve and attracting attention. As well, book sales don’t happen in a vacuum; if a reader likes one book, she’ll be back for more if they’re available.

There are various estimates floating around as to how many titles a writer must publish to earn more than a few dollars, with estimates usually ranging between five and ten titles. While I think the actual number varies by genre (romance books tend to sell better online than mysteries, for example, and therefore may require fewer titles), I think that number is closer to ten and may even be higher. 

So continuing to produce stories not only pleases your readers, it also improves the royalty paychecks.

Some writers are boosting their title count by shortening their word counts—by publishing novellas rather than novels. This is fine and readers don’t mind, so long as they know they’re purchasing a shorter work in advance. If the reader doesn’t know (and don’t expect her to judge the story’s length by the size of the download file) then you’re risking a poor review on Amazon and Goodreads from a disappointed reader.

5. What three books would you take with you on a deserted island?

Does my Kindle count as one? It’s loaded with classics—Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Edgar Allan Poe, Rudyard Kipling, Arthur Conan Doyle—and I’ve also found some lesser-known books on the Gutenberg website, such as Albert Payson Terhune’s Sunnybank collie stories. Honestly, how did I ever live without an e-reader? It’s like having a library at your fingertips. (And does the deserted island have a hotspot and coffee shop?)

I’d also be lost without The Norton Anthology of English Literature (fifth edition, volume 1), left over from my undergraduate years. This is where I turn for Faust’s poetry snippets and it’s one of the tools that helped shape his character. The bachelor’s degree may be long completed, but I still spend hours poring through those 2,616 delightful pages.

To round it off, I’d really need an adventure story of some sort: Alistair MacLean, or Jack Higgins, or Hans Hellmut Kirst, or Patrick O’Brian—something old-fashioned, dashing, and in desperate need of buckling its swash. Whichever one I grab as the waters rush in and the ship begins to sink will see me through just fine. (Especially with that hotspot and coffee shop.)


One lucky reader of A Bookish Affair has a chance to win an ebook copy of A Soul Less Broken. 
- You must be 13 and over
-  Open internationally
- You must be a follower of A Bookish Affair
- Giveaway ends October 20!
Just fill out this simple form and you're entered!

Can't Wait to Win The Giveaway? Buy Deal With The Devil Parts One and Two now along with Grey's other book, Trophies!:

Deal with the Devil part 1

Deal part 2



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As of 6/6/2011, this book is now an awards free zone. While I appreciate the awards, I would rather stick to reviewing more great books for you than trying to fill the requirements.

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