Friday, 4 January 2013

Author Interview - Andy Holloman


My publishing journey ….my publishing journey began much like it does for many folks in that I submitted my novel to agents and publishers around 2005 after spending about two years writing it.  I didn’t get any interest so I shelved it and hung up my writers quill.  Everything restarted quite unexpectedly in Jan. 2011 when I received an offer from a small publisher completely out of the blue.  I was very fortunate to have had this happen and it is solely due to a wonderful friend who was in a writing group that I was a member of.  She had read my early draft and recommended it to the publisher.  So she is one of the folks that I dedicated my novel to.
Practical Advice for Beginning Fiction (or other genre) Writer My very practical advice for beginning writers is to throw it all out there on paper.  Don’t spend time worrying about the perfect word/sentence/action sequence, etc.  The important part is to get it down on paper.  (Now, please re-read parevious sentence two more times)  Too many people start a writing project with a GREAT idea for the next bestseller but they NEVER get it on the paper.  Why??  Because it is HARD WORK.  So cough it up, spit it out,  but get it on the page.  Whatever format, wording, or just plain CRAP you throw down on paper is the first step.  Get the first step done 
Tips for First Time Published Authors One of the MOST important things that I’ve learned as a newly published author is that there truly is NO magic potion for selling books, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t being trying what I call the THREE basics. 1)  Quality Work-  You must polish, rewrite, and repeat.  Make your work sparkly.  Then have at LEAST two PAID editors review your work.  You can sell books if you don’t deliver quality to readers (and they can tell)  2)  Social Media is the ONLY way you can build a platform -  Selling/Marketing your book(s) is a marathon.  Think in terms of years, not weeks (as I did).  Consistently spend time building a blog, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads following.  These things take TIME.  Be patient.  3)   Write your next book – The best way to sell more of you current new release is to get another title out there.  Or a short story, novella,  anything.  Get more quality product out there.
What Inspired me to write my first novel – My inspiration for my novel came from a real world experience.  I was a travel agency owner for 12 years in the 1990’s and one day a staff person relayed a story to me of one of her clients that purchased First Class airline tickets in a strange (but legal) way.  None of us thought much about it until that same staff person showed my a news story where this client had been murdered and the discovered inside the burned out remains of her home.   Our theories about this client seemed to be confirmed – she was a drug dealer.  As my company declined rapidly due to 9/11 (and some major changes in the industry) my thoughts kept being drawn back to this client and the theme of -  How far would someone go in order to try to save their business from failing.  That was the birth of   Shades of Gray.
Why Blogging Rocks! Blogging is the most important component of building your social media platform.  Go to WordPress and get a blog set up FIRST.  Make your blog the central location for most of your efforts to provide readers with ways to learn more about you and your work.  Make a consistent effort to write about things that you feel would add value to readers of your blog.  Drive traffic to you blog by including a link to in in your Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, etc. postings.  Be patient with this process.  Think of your blogging as a year long process of learning.  You will make mistakes and it will take MONTHS to learn the most effective methods for making your blog work.  But it will, if you stick with it.
Radio Interviews are Important A strange thing happened to me on the road to be published.  I got a few requests to do radio interviews and of course I was thrilled.  However the  surprising and strange thing that occurred was this  – -  the radio interviews turned out to be a GREAT promotional tools !!
Make sure that you take advantage of these types of interviews because you will get a copy of the audio file and it becomes a permanent record and a promotional item that you can post for others to enjoy.  This fact never crossed my mind but now I have two radio interviews posted on my blog and I gotten several nice compliments on these items MONTHS after they occurred.
Get Your Readers to Take Photos with your Book !! As a part of my “pre-launch”  I sold paperback copies directly to readers and all of them received a note from me asking them to take photos of themselves with my novel near a landmark or site that was important to them.  Well these early readers really came through with fantastic photos of my book, some of these photos even came from exotic foreign locations.  Using this tactic gets you two important promotional features -  1 – you get to engage with readers and readers get to engage with you.  2 -  you get to put these photos up on your blog site to promote you work AND this encourages other readers to do the same.
Is there a character from SHADES OF GRAY that you feel like you could explore further and may like to go back to at another time and write about them again? Undoubtedly that character would be Travis.   In the novel, Travis is presented as a young boy and then the story skips to him in his late 30’s but I know that his development through his teen and young adult years would be terrific fodder for more writing.
What inspires you as a writer? ……..    I feel inspired by the craft of storytelling.  I truly enjoy the process of laying down the “tracks” of the story.  I’m inspired by throwing my characters into difficult situations and  then finding creative solutions to their problems.  My inspiration comes from the “perspiration” that my characters feel in the story.  (smile)
When did you have that ah ha moment when you knew you were a writer? …..I found it easy to consider myself a writer when I joined a writers group around 2004 in the Cary NC area.  I would STRONGLY recommend that anyone that wants to publish a novel to join a local writers group.
Do you have any advice for new writers and something that a seasoned vet can learn? ….Patience.  Re-write.  Then re-write some more.  Then add in a little more patience.  Plan on getting published to be at least a 5 year process from the start of your writing process until you can hold your book in your hand.  Join a writers group when you finish your draft.  For a veteran writer – check out Twitter.  I’ve been blown away at what a great place is Twitter is for connecting with prospective readers and other writers.
What is your idea of perfect happiness? …  Perfect happiness for me would be living in Montana during the summer (near Yellowstone) and in Costa Rica during the winter. I would want just enough money to live on (without a day job)  and time to write.  (and someone else to drive my kids everywhere.)
What turns you on creatively? ..  I’m  turned on by difficult situations that folks (characters) have to work their way out of.  I’m very evil in that way!  Coming up with creative problems and likewise, creative solutions, is very fun (and turns me on, you know, in a creative kinda way)
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? .. My first and only novel overused the word “sweetie” when the main characters addressed the child, who was one of the important supporting characters.  Have been reminded of this by more reviewers than I would care to mention.   No more “sweeties” for me, ever !
What is your greatest regret? … I love to travel and did a good deal of it when I was a travel agency owner in the 1990’s (plus I didn’t have any kids.) but wish that I would have taken time after college to move to Europe and live in England or France or Switzerland for a year or so.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? …  I wish that my follow through on tasks was more consistent.  I get distracted by new ideas, stories, business ventures, etc. too easily.  I do just okay at the new things I try, but I have an issue with staying with something for the long-term (more than 3 or so years).  Remember the dog in the wonderful Pixar movie “Up”, that’s me (on a slightly longer time scale) -  SQUIRREL!
What is your greatest fear? … That I won’t be so lucky as I age in regards to how healthy I’ve been thus far in my life.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? …. So far, hands down, my children.  The three of them are very interesting, different, well-mannered (okay, well the currently 14 yr old daughter was NOT well-mannered between ages 12 and until recently!), and smart.  Seeing them take shape gives me great pride.
What is the trait you most deplore in others? … I detest people that don’t listen and steer every conversation back to themselves.  Have you ever chatted with someone, relayed an interesting bit of information to them, and they have this uncanny ability to connect this information with something that is important to THEM?  sheesh, get clue. 
What are your favorite types of books to read and why? I enjoy spy thrillers and other thrillers.  My favorite book of all time is John le Carre’s  “A Perfect Spy”  he writes with such richness, texture, and complexity that I often find myself pausing to decipher what I just read.  He is a master of the “gray” character in that his characters have a blending of good and bad traits.   I love Lehane for this same reason.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Thriller / Suspense 
Rating – R (for language)
More details about the book
Connect with Andy Holloman on Facebook & Twitter
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Books Sold - 6 Nov 2011 to 31 May 2012

Some of you have asked me for my total number of books sold to evaluate KDP Select so here it is. Bear in mind, that results will vary based on genre and author. Good luck and remember, Keep Moving Forward.

Total - 120,836

1. Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out
Amazon Kindle - 42,559
Paperback -
Smashwords -

2. Frequent Traveller
Amazon Kindle - 35277
Paperback -
Smashwords -

3. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 1
Amazon Kindle - 462
Smashwords -

4. Mirror Me Martha (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 281
Smashwords -

5. Drive On Hope (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 190
Smashwords -

6. Blog-A-Licious Directory 2012
Amazon Kindle - 1
Smashwords -

7. Pandora's Reading Room 1
Amazon Kindle -
Paperback - N/A

8. The Cat That Barked (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle -

9. Dora's Essentials - Examining Anxiety
Amazon Kindle -

10. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 2
Amazon Kindle -

11. Elevenses from Around the World
Amazon Kindle -

12. Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability
Amazon Kindle -

Blog-A-Licius - Sherbet Blossom

SherbetBlossom

Blog-A-Licious

Dealightfully Frugal

Blog-A-Licious - The Few, The Proud, The Wife

Blog-A-Licious

My Soul Slippers

Blog-A-Licous - Textbook Mommy

Blog-A-Licious - Blue Frogs Legs

Blog-A-Licious - Pretty All True

Pretty All True

Blog-A-Licious - tbaoo

tbaoo

Blog-A-Licious

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Blog-A-Licious - The Invisible Art

Blog-A-Licious - Rediscovering Domesticity

Rediscovering Domesticity

Blog-A-Licious - Quiver Full

Blog-A-Licious - Cori's Big Mouth

Blog-A-Licious - Great Fun

Greatfun4kids

Blog-A-Licious - Busy Wife

Blog-A-Licious - Steps To Happiness

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Blog-A-Licious - Toby & Max


Blog-A-Licious - Amelie

Raising Amelie

Blog-A-Licious - Peas In A Pod

Blog-A-Licious - Riley

Blognostics - Poetry

BlogNostics

My Awards - September 2010

My Awards - September 2010
Awarded By Jo Frances

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded By Alejandro Guzman

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded by Kriti Mukherjee

My Awards - April 2011

My Awards - April 2011
Awarded By Roy Durham

My Awards - June 2011

My Awards - June 2011
Awarded By Sulekha Rawat

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