Next up is author Frank Zubek. Welcome Frank!
Briefly describe your journey in writing.
I originally started out as a cartoonist several years ago, which included writing all the punch lines. While I made a few bucks from it, I wanted to see how far I could go with just the writing. I went the usual route, a few children’s books, then some short stories and then novels.
In the past ten years, I’ve had a few short stories published both online and on paper. I also had a New York agent show interest in a novel I had written, but he turned it down eventually. Such is the business. Knowing that I could get that far (attracting the attention of an agent) encouraged me to keep writing.
What genre are your books?
I’m trying a bit of everything from literary to fantasy.
What made you decide to try Amazon?
I saw the Kindle just exploding. Plus the fact that some of my work had already made the traditional rounds and were just sitting on the shelf. This way they have at least one more chance.
Will you try to garner a traditional publishing contract for any future books?
Yes. My next book, a fantasy, will be sent to agents. If, over time, it doesn’t work out, I can always release it on Kindle. I’m confident it will find an audience.
Did you design your cover art?
Yes, I did. I photographed all my book covers myself. There are several factors to consider with each cover. I need room in the image for the title and my name as well as making sure that the image itself is going to be easy to “read” when it’s such a small size on Amazon.
I have a horror story collection coming out soon and I’ve been going to cemeteries for ideas. I’ve been trying to find the right combination of grave markers and surrounding landscape. The challenge is getting the shot that I need without allowing any names on the grave markers being seen so that I avoid any potential problems with estates (on the off chance the book really gets popular).
It may sound morbid to some but if I succeed it’ll be a striking cover. And good covers are an important factor in getting sales.
Are you pleased with sales so far?
The Man In The Background, which is a collection of some of my short stories, has been selling slowly, but I expected that. It’s just a handful of literary short stories.
My next book, called Empath: Nick Crowell, Paranormal Detective is due out in July and should sell better because it’s horror. It’s a collection of all the original stories that were published in Demonminds, plus a brand new story written exclusively for this collection. The stories feature a cop, Nick Crowell, who almost dies after being shot in a cemetery and from then on, he encounters ghosts and people with paranormal problems. The unique thing about his stories is that he isn’t able to help everyone he meets and this weighs on him through the series.
What kinds of social media (Twitter, Facebook, webpage, blog, writing forums) are you involved with trying to garner attention for your book?
So far, just the kindleboards and I have a blog. http://whatbrickwall.blogspot.com/
Plus I’m on a few unrelated forums and I have links in my signature when they allow for that. Readers can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
I’m hoping to release on Smashwords and several others soon.
What are your ultimate hopes?
A movie contract on any one of the stories would be great (grin). Barring that, just knowing that a few thousand total strangers took the time to read my work and liked it would make all the effort and sacrifice worth it.
What’s next for you?
A fantasy novella. It’s called Lives in Ruen and will focus on the lives of townspeople who are under the control of an evil queen. To keep order in the town, she has a witch turn any lawbreakers into inanimate objects such as candles and tables and doormats and such.
They stay that way for the rest of their natural lives. The book will focus on the friends and families of the Turned Ones and how they get by day to day. The whole thing is a metaphor about the abuse of power and I hope to release it later this year.
Thanks for the interview!