1. What type of books do you write? Four of my five novels are historical. The fifth, Adolf Hitler in Oz, I call a comic fantasy satire. In it Hitler stands for evil and hate, and Oz stands for goodness and love. Oz wins.
2. What is your newest book about? My latest book is Rabbi Yeshua, a fictional biography of Jesus of Nazareth.
3. What inspired you to write it? I was listening to a recording of Jesus Christ Superstar, and it made me wonder. Whatever else Jesus may have been, he was a human being who lived in a historical period and came from a cultural environment. Given the history and the culture, what did he think he was doing? What was he trying to accomplish? That started me reading about the Jews under the Roman occupation of Palestine, and after thirty years I had a novel. Of course I didn't spend the thirty years doing nothing but working on one book; I wrote four other novels during that time, besides holding down various jobs.
4. What is the writing process like for you? It's exciting. I like thinking ahead what I'm going to do, I like getting the words down, and I like going over and over and over the product trying to get it exactly right.
5. What did you do before you became an author? For 23 years I was a university professor. Then I burned out and quit. I worked for a newspaper, then an advertising agency, and then a public relations firm. By then I figured I was an expert on career change, so I went into the career management field and spent 15 years counseling clients on how to get new jobs.
6. How does it feel to be a published author? It feels great when I look at my books and see what I've accomplished, but then it feels frustrating to consider that many of the people who would enjoy what I write haven't found my books.
7. Any advice for struggling writers? I think the way to begin is to find an author you like and imitate him or her. Eventually you will realize that you are different from him or her, and you will begin to become aware of what the differences are. In that way you will develop your own voice, and then you are a writer.
8. Where do you see book publishing heading? There are two main trends right now: self-publishing and the e-book. Self-publishing has made it possible for many people (like me) to get into print, but it has also flooded the book market so that it is harder for one voice to be heard. The e-book has made books more affordable and available, but I hope it never leads to the death of the printed book. I still prefer to hold a book in my hands and turn the pages.
In his own words…
I am a retired career counselor, 86 years old, back in the United States after six years of retirement in Thailand. My other three books are Sweet Betsy from Pike, a historical novel of the gold rush based on the folk ballad of the same name; The Robin Hood Chronicles, a fictional biography of the outlaw based on the earliest ballad sources; and Huckleberry Finn Grows Up, a sequel to Mark Twain's classic, tracing Huck from Indian Territory, where he lived with the Cherokees, to California during the gold rush, and finally to Kansas, where he helped to bring the territory into the Union as a free state. Also three collections of my short stories are available as e-books: Through Farang Eyes and Snapshots of Thailand, both about Thailand and Myanmar, and Chamberlain Stories, about a college town in the Midwest. There's more about me at www.amazon.com/author/samsackett and http://samsackett.us.
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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at email@example.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014
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