Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Interview with Ian Lewis

Briefly describe the concept behind your book. 
“The Camaro Murders” was largely an experiment. It is one of my early attempts at first person point of view and was born of my desire to avoid force-feeding the reader the meat of the story. I envisioned something that would require a keener level of interest on the reader’s part—something that would elicit a re-read not because you didn’t understand it, but because you wanted to gain a better understanding of what happened. I intentionally left gaps but tried to do so in a way that would permit the reader to draw logical conclusions about who did what and why.

Explain your decision to tell the story through multiple viewpoints.
I was intrigued by the idea of seeing the same events through multiple characters’ eyes. It was not so much an ‘unreliable witness’ thing as it was understanding that each character has a unique perspective on the events in which they’re involved. Though it’s more difficult to nail down a unique voice for each character than it is to tell the story in third person, the writing process is more interesting because you have to get into each character’s head and think things through the way he or she would.

What genre are your books?  Do you write in more than one genre?
I don’t feel as though I write a particular genre, or at least don’t strive to do so. I billed “The Camaro Murders” as a supernatural thriller for lack of a better description. I’ve never wanted to write genre fiction and have other stories in varying levels of completion that might fit other labels: science fiction, slice of life, mystery…

What factors influenced your decision to sign with Untreed Reads?
I queried both agents and publishers, but Untreed Reads was the only one who was willing to publish a novella the length of “The Camaro Murders.” I feel very fortunate because I didn’t have to shop it around for years like some authors do with their first works. Untreed Reads is great in that they are more interested in the quality of your writing rather than whether it fits a standard length or format. This is a largely a benefit of digital publishing, but many of the e-book publishers I’ve seen still look for works that meet a certain word count.

Do you plan to self-publish any other books or will you stay with Untreed Reads?
At this point I have no desire to self-publish. I suppose if I wrote something for which I could not find representation but felt very strongly about needing to be out in the world, I might consider it. Otherwise, I would love to continue to work with Untreed Reads.

What kinds of social media [twitter, facebook, webpage, blog, writing forums] are you involved with trying to garner attention for your book(s)?
I have a website ( as well as an Amazon Author page. Though social media seems like an obvious choice for promoting an e-book, I am philosophically opposed to social media and do not see myself using it any time soon.

How do you feel about the world of digital publishing?  Do you think it will replace traditional publishing one day?
I am torn on this subject. Personally, I prefer having a real book in my hands. For me, ownership is more satisfying when I can pull something off my shelf without the limits of a device that requires charging. However, I also recognize that digital publishing is the future and it’s not going anywhere as well as the greater ease at which new authors like me have been able to break into the publishing world because of it. I think at the very least, digital publishing will give traditional publishers a run for their money.

Do you have any advice for new authors?
I would recommend joining a fiction group that can provide constructive criticism. This continually proves to be an invaluable resource for me and helps to strengthen my writing. Plus, it’s motivating to be around other writers. I had given up writing for several years before becoming involved with the group of which I’m currently a member. It’s the best decision I’ve made as far as writing goes.

What’s next for you?
I am looking to find a home for “Power in the Hands of One,” a technological thriller I completed about a year ago. I am also nearing the end of the revision process for the follow-up to “The Camaro Murders.”