It was a tour that author Eric Johnson took about a decade ago that inspired him to come up with his first-ever novel. In an exclusive interaction with the Literary Express, the author said that his first novel fictionalised the time he had spent in Afghanistan, a country he happened to visit ten years ago. The forty-four-year-old Maryland-based writer, who has an Associates degree in Business Management and Arts, stated that he had published twenty-three books and that his later book is entitled ‘Operation Crescent Moon’. ‘It is the fourteenth book in the 2-4 Cavalry Series. It takes place in the future and is about a future conflict that the unit goes through in the book,’ he explained.
Writing had become a true passion for author Lanie Goodell by the time she was a teenager. As a matter of fact, she would narrate stories to her mother, who would, in turn, write them down before Ms Goodell could spell. ‘I have been writing for as long as I remember,’ begins the Denver-based author, speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction. She tells us that somewhere in a box in the state she grew up, she has her first manuscript. ‘It is all handwritten, and the story follows a girl who falls in love with a ghost,’ she says with a smile, adding, ‘Even at that age, I was writing non-conventional endings, so it is a strange story, but I still enjoy it… as much as I can remember.’
Indie author Tamuna Tsertsvadze was just seven years old when she wrote her first ten-page story. And since then, there has been no looking back. The Georgian author, who primarily writes in Georgian and Englishes her works, says that although writing was a hobby of hers for a long time, she eventually decided to make it her career. ‘When I was fifteen, I self-published my first book, The Young Pirate, on Amazon. And I have been self-publishing my books since as well as pitching short stories to various websites,’ she begins, speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction. ‘Besides that, I’m a game writer and a screenwriter. The main genres I write are juvenile fantasy, Sci-Fi, and historical fiction,’ she lets us know.
While Mr Martin makes it clear that he never really thought of becoming a full-fledged writer until Pretty Flamingo happened, he says now it has become next to impossible for him to stop writing. ‘When I came up with the concept for my first novel, I believed that would be the only novel I would write. But then I found I enjoyed the whole process and I started getting ideas for other novels, so I figured I might as well keep at it. Now here I am working on my fifth novel,’ he shares with a smile.
When author Vince Stevenson was just twenty-nine years old, he’d moved to London, and for the first time, began living alone. That was exactly when he felt he’d all the time in the world. Before relocating to London, the author, now sixty-two, had worked for big companies and was heavily involved in communication. ‘In the old days, we had large dictionaries on our desks. I attended meetings and was often responsible for disseminating and documenting material, and it had to be accurate. If anything left my desk with a typo, I’d be cross with myself,’ begins Mr Stevenson, speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction. That was exactly when he started attending writing classes and meeting people with similar interests. ‘And I found that incredibly inspiring. I began to write short stories about the IT world, and I had many published in Computer Weekly,’ he tells us with a beatific smile.
While being grateful for having a micro-press publisher that enjoys his Kink Noir series, the author emphasises that without a contract from the big-five, becoming a full-fledged author is not about to happen. ‘That is because self-publishing has led to a deluge of books hitting the market at a daily rate. The competition is fierce, and there is a bottleneck of novels to choose from. I can only hope that writing non-traditional neo-noir thrillers with erotic elements will carve out a niche,’ he explains.
Two weeks was what it took renowned Kenyan author, entrepreneur and keynote speaker Laban T M’mbololo, Esq to write the manuscript of his debut book Influence: The Secret of Selling. The author says that the book was received so well that he happened upon many a person who complimented him for bringing about a transformation of sorts in their lives.
Indie author Jamie Sonnier, a trans male and a vehement advocate of LGBTQA+ rights, avers he is a plotter. As a matter of fact, before putting pen to paper, he has everything figured out. Speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction, the author says he is quite wont to take extensive notes before setting about writing a book. ‘Occasionally an idea might come to me while I am writing the story, but typically, if I sit down to begin writing, the entire story is already thought out,’ he tells us with a smile.
On the question of what he would like to tell budding authors who lose motivation if their works don’t do well, Mr Merkel, who works tirelessly for thirteen hours each day, pronounces he would want them to know that doing well is relative. ‘Write what you want to read and do it with passion and pride, and you cannot go wrong,’ he suggests.
The author says that his previous short story collection, Dark Journeys, was his first experience with self-publishing. ‘It is mostly original fiction, except for two stories that were previously published in magazines. It also contains one of my favourite stories, Sunwalker,’ he tells us. Making it clear that he was initially hesitant to publish Dark Journeys because he wasn’t sure how it would be received, he states that while some of the stories in the book are straightforward sci-fi and horror, he also included some speculative fiction. ‘These were writing experiments, attempts to try something new and different. Luckily, I have received some nice reviews on it, and it has sold well,’ he lets us know, adding that prior to Dark Journeys, his fiction was published in a variety of magazines and anthologies throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s.
Author M Sheehan may have just one book to his credit at the moment, but he is well convinced that narrating stories to the world is something he will never stop doing. Telling the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction that his debut book is only a part of a series, which will comprise a total of seven books, the forty-three-year-old Canadian writer says that each of his books will go on to depict a century.
When Canadian author and entrepreneur Sara Louisa wrote a short story about three years ago, she asked her family to have a look at it right away. ‘I was at the time told I should keep it up, so that is what I did, moving into a full novel,’ says Ms Louisa, speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction.
Greek might be author Lito Seizani’s mother tongue, but her English is no less than a native speaker’s. The famed short story writer and poet, who has translated several works of Thomas Hardy and Giovanni Verga into Greek, tells the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction that she wrote her very first poem at the age of sixteen.
Indie poet Daljeet Kaur believes in being direct, crisp, and to the point. And this quality of hers only shined when she gave the Literary Express an exclusive interview after the launch of an anthology of inspirational poetry titled ‘Catharsis’, which, on the side note, comprises three of Ms Kaur’s prolific works. Although we did find her answers pretty straightforward, the thirty-one-year-old came across as a light-hearted soul. Very much at the threshold of becoming a well-accomplished author, Ms Kaur told us with a smile that she felt jubilant to have finally become a part of the literary world, a dream she had cherished since her college days.
Indie author Kristifer Ann may have begun writing just about a year and a half ago, but she knows deep within her heart that creating stories is something she will do for the rest of her life. In an exclusive interaction with the Literary Express, the fifty-year-old author of House of Marchetti fame, states categorically that she absolutely nourishes the goal of becoming a full-fledged author. ‘I just submitted the last three chapters to my editor for Rise of Marchetti, which is my latest book. I also put the first chapter down of book three lately. It is titled Marchetti,’ she lets us know, going on to exclaim, ‘These Marchetti men won’t let me do anything else!’
Beaming with joy, the thirty-seven-year-old author, who lives with her husband in Colorado, the US, tells us that not only did Mr Simmons sign her book, but he wrote her a two-page letter in return! ‘He encouraged me not to give up, and he even took the time to answer some of the questions I had posed about his own writing!’ exclaims Ms Calvin, who was overwhelmed by his response. ‘I had not thought he would take the time to write such an in-depth response to a teenager. I still have that letter,’ she says joyously.
With all her books being published by Meryton Press, a full-service publishing company for books in both print and ebook formats, Ms Miller, who mothers a twenty-one-year-old girl, says that she first actually purchased and read several books published by Meryton Press, and it was only after being impressed with the quality of their books that she decided she would like to work for them.
Upon being asked if she has something to tell budding authors who lose motivation in the starting phase of their career, Ms Swartz points out that selling is hard and that half the job of an indie author is marketing. She stresses, ‘Once you are sure your cover and blurb are good, it’s all about ads, social media, and promotion of all kinds. It is the toughest and most stressful part of the job, in my opinion. It takes money and a ton of time and effort. Finding your readers can be the most difficult thing in the world, but with enough determination, you will find them, eventually.’