Thursday, June 3, 2010

Interview with Brendan Carroll

Available at Amazon

Brendan Carroll is the author of the Red Cross of Gold/Assassin Chronicle series.  Welcome Brendan!

Briefly describe your journey in writing your first book.
The books I read as a child and then as a teenager never quite satisfied me although they kept me busy AND quiet for hours.  I started writing my own stories with my own characters and my own endings when I was still in elementary school. Eventually, I wrote a fan fiction novel for Star Trek, the original series cast and thought it was pretty good so I started checking into the possibility of getting something published. That was just about twenty-five years ago.
Did you query agents or traditional publishers before publishing on Amazon?
I quickly learned that the publishing industry was a very complex animal and that queries were sometimes like poking a caged lion that hadn’t eaten in several days with a short stick. I wrote a few more books, one of them being Tempo Rubato as a tribute to Mozart. I made a concerted effort to find a publisher or agent for that one. I found an agent in a small town in East Texas that read the book and immediately accused me of plagiarizism. I guess I didn’t look smart enough to write a book… I don’t know, but he took $500 when $500 was a lot more than it is now and then started hounding me to write short stories for HIS magazine. Well, I never saw a penny, but I heard a lot of empty promises. A very disheartening experience to say the least. I stopped wasting postage and anxiety shortly thereafter, but I didn’t stop writing.  That was impossible.
What factors influenced your decision to self-publish?
The publishing industry, as I said before, is not looking for true talent, new ideas or good stories. They are looking out for each other, their friends and their friends’ friends. You have to know someone who knows someone and my geographical location and lack of personal funding did not allow me the luxury of pounding the streets of New York City looking for a publisher/agent.
Will you try to garner a traditional publishing contract for any future books?
I have no intention of ever writing another query letter or reformatting my manuscripts to arbitrary rules. As far as I’m concerned, it is a waste of time and energy. No, definitely not.
Did you design your cover art?  If not, would you care to share your graphic designer’s information?
I did design my own cover art for better or worse.  A friend helped me with the first two or three and then I did them on my own. Once again, I did not have the funds to hire a professional designer and I’m quite pleased with how my covers turned out.
How did you feel when you got your first sale?  Are you pleased with sales so far?
I was thrilled to the toes about my first sell, but then nothing else happened. I knew I had to market the books somehow and my job and other obligations prevented spending much time on trying to figure it all out. Once again, a good friend came to the rescue and I’m fairly pleased with sells so far.  It’s like she says whenever I feel down: “How many books were you selling a year ago?” Answer:  “0” and so I feel better immediately.
What kinds of social media [twitter, facebook, webpage, blog, writing forums] are you involved with trying to garner attention for your book(s)?
I use facebook, but I’m just learning to navigate there. I post on Kindleboards when time allows because they are a great bunch of people and the moderators keep a close eye out for unfriendly/inappropriate posters. I also have blogs posted at Author’s Central, Author’s Den, Wordpress and Blogspot, which I try to keep up as much as possible. I plan on looking into twitter.  I had a webpage, but let it go when I started moving… geesh, this moving thing is killing me.  I also belong to Goodreads and find that a very friendly site for posting and reading.
Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
My books are available at Smashwords and many are available in paperback form on Amazon as well. Some of them have made it into Barnes and Noble. I’m not sure if they’ve made it to the I-Store yet.
What’s next for you?
I’ll never stop writing and I’m a bit of a drifter as far as writing is concerned. I want to finish editing and publishing my Red Cross of Gold series, of course, and that might take years. I also have a couple of other manuscripts to brush up, re-write and edit. And, lastly, I have new ideas for new books that I will eventually get to. I guess the very next thing is getting my next book The Red Cross of Gold XVII: Cross Purposes up and running in Kindle format. I’m also working on getting Book XIII on Smashwords and into print as a paperback edition.