My guest today is sci-fi author Drew Avera. He makes some great points about not using spell check as a crutch, and having at least two books before you publish, among other things. And don’t worry Drew: you’re not the only author the FBI has on a list!
Please join me in welcoming Drew to the Guest Author Program!
If you are interested in participating in the program, you can submit here.
Hello, my name is Drew Avera. I have a blog at http://drewavera.wordpress.com/
2. How many books have you written? This can include both published and unpublished works. Describe each of them in 1-2 sentences apiece (if published, feel free to include the links as well).
My first book is Dead Planet: Exodus. It is a dystopian, science fiction, thriller that takes place 2400 years in the future. You can find my book at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00C1KP6SS
3. Tell me a little bit about your current WIP.
I plan on releasing a novella called Reich in July. It is a story about revolting against oppression. I would classify it as historical fiction meets speculative fiction.
4. What does writing preparation look like for you? Do you do full outlines and character profiles, or do you just start with a general idea and write?
I did a pretty good outline for Dead Planet, but not so much for Reich and my other WIP’s. I do have a definite end in mind for each story and that helps me to not stray too far from the intent of the story.
5. Editing is a challenge for many writers. Give us some of your tips for editing efficiently and well.
I take one section at a time and go over it a few times total. Spell check is a false security, trust me when I say this, do not click spell check and then assume your manuscript is readable. For example, it I included the phrase “to the” in a sentence and mistakenly wrote, “tot he,” then that mistake may be missed by just using spell check depending on your word processor.
6. Research is another challenge writer’s face, but is an important part of the writing process. What are some of your research tips?
For Reich I did some research on Germany and weapons. For Dead Planet I did some research on nuclear power plants and enriching uranium. I have to admit that I was afraid the FBI might show up based on some of my Google searches.
7. If you have been published (self or traditionally), what type of marketing did you find worked the best for you? What was the least helpful?
I’m newly published so I still don’t know yet. I’m trying the whole social media and blog thing. I have sold a few books, but it’s a slow process. I am thankful for the sales I have had, and the reviews so far have all been positive.
8. What genre do you write in? What are some of the challenges to writing this particular genre well?
I am primarily a science fiction writer, but genres are like living in a box, the biggest challenge is staying in the box. I enjoy themes of corrupt governments, and rewriting history to see how it affects the future. That puts me more into a speculative fiction market, or dystopian genre. I even have an idea for a book using religious themes (not a religious book, but taking from those stories and making something different of them).
9. What advice would you give to a writer who is starting out?
Have more than one book before you publish. That is the biggest spread tip I have found in my own research is that multiple books help you to have a larger footprint in the market. Trust me, its tough having one book under the pile of thousands of great books. One other thing is networking, your work is your own, but you’re not alone. The indie author community is full of people who help their fellow indie’s and that is a great thing to be a part of.
10. What are your writing, editing, marketing, and research goals for 2013?
I write novella length books so my goal is four releases for 2013. I know I can make three of them happen, it’s the fourth one that’s gonna stretch me a little.
Finally, is there anything else you would like your readers to know?
I love talking about stories with people and collaborating. Please hit me up on Facebook or twitter and discuss anything you like. If you’re interested in checking out my book, Dead Planet, then you can find it here http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00C1KP6SS
Thank you for the interview!