1. What inspired you to write your book?
So, I have this friend, as we all do, and one day she decided to write a book and self-publish it through Amazon. I thought to myself, "Self, you got this. If she can do it, so can you, because you are awesome and writing is something you do quite frequently (but mostly for the checks to pay the bills)."
I immediately sat down at my dinosaur-sized PC and after banging away at the keyboard for a solid half-hour. I had a paragraph that looked like this:
"I SUCK AT WRITING!"
(Or something like that...I don't remember...it's been a long time)
But what I took away from that experience was that, however unlikely, maybe I couldn't do it. So I saved my measly paragraph and I wrote my friend an email about how she inspired me to think about this writing thing. Think being the keyword. Oh, and that friend is now a NYT Bestselling author several times over.
I spent some time working out the idea that would turn into Ageless, I decided to start again. This time I wrote what would evolve into the first chapter for the book. At that time I was really into some great story telling on television and modeled early ideas after shows like LOST and Fringe. Years went by and the idea morphed into basically what we have coming to the shelves.
2. What is it about?
Obviously this is the most asked question of any writer, but I feel it's also one of the most difficult one to answer. For me, (and I assume other writers) after living with these characters and story for as long as I have, it can be a great challenge to water down your "baby" into a few sentences. But here it goes:
Imagine that you never aged—that you would forever remain young and vital, impervious to the ravages of time. For Alessandra, a woman whose genetic code keeps her eternally young—perhaps even making her immortal—this fantasy is a reality.
But it’s not as idyllic as it seems.
Her rare condition only leaves her feeling isolated and fearful of what her circumstances really mean for her future. And Alessandra has every reason to be afraid. After many years in captivity as the subject of Nazi science experimentation, she’s haunted by the memories of her exploitation and desperate to keep her identity a secret. This proves to be exceptionally difficult when impassioned CIA agent Mark Richards develops an unhealthy obsession with capturing her.
After decades of fleeing from her enemies, Alessandra finds a devoted ally in Grey Chapman. But can she learn to trust another after all she’s been through?
Ageless is a thrilling journey that spans decades and asks the question: If you could live forever, would you want to?
(P.S.- I cheated - this is from the back cover of the book)
3. What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book?
First and foremost, I want the reader to be entertained and intrigued. I create content with the hopes that people will enjoy it. For me it's a creative outlet, and it's a way to share a little bit of myself with someone else. I hope that the reader has cause to stop and think about their own life too. This is almost a case study of what it could be like to be so different, and so alone; to be an outsider looking to anything for help. I could see readers possibly gaining an appreciation of the world around them.
I'd like to make a connection with the readers on some level. I think that why we all do this...that and an overwhelming desire to create something from nothing.
4. What advice do you have for writers?
When I was writing the original document, I remember finishing page twenty-six and moving into page twenty-seven. I stopped and proudly proclaimed to my lovely wife, "That's it. I have officially written more here than I have ever written before!" It was a profound moment for me. I was standing at the edge of a pitch black cavern looking into the darkness. In other words, I don't know. This is as much of a mystery to me as it is to anyone else. I'm still wet behind the ears, so to speak.
In my limited experience I turned to the old stand by (by the way, I totally believe this), if you want to be a writer, then write. It's really that simple. It might not be great or even good, but eventually you will find something that is great. Ray Bradbury says to write a short story every week for a year, because it's impossible to write 52 bad stories in a row. Which bring me to another good point, manage your time! Especially in the latter stages of publication. stick to your deadlines. You book will be better for it.
Oh, and learn your grammar. It's the worst when you get flagged for being terrible at that. There were many times during the production of Ageless I wished I had paid better attention when I was younger.
5. Where do you think the book publishing industry is heading?
I'm a little biased here, but I see this new form of hybrid publishing, like my publisher Inkshares, being a game changer for the publication industry. At Inkshares, you have a system that is based on crowdfunding (or better described as crowd-voting or crowd-partial-funding) where the story idea campaigns for a period of time and collects preorders for the authors work. This will end up being the funds to get the book off the ground, and it shows that your work already has a built-in and invested audience. Traditional publishing houses have to be more selective about who they choose because its a shot in the dark. Maybe that book will go on to be something big, but maybe it wont. It's can be more of a gamble than the Inkshares model.
Above I mentioned that it's better described as crowd-voting or crowd-partial-funding. Let me explain, once you've crossed a certain number of preorders (tier one is 250, also called Quill and tier two is 750 also known as fully funding) then you're put into production by Inkshares. The production process for the fully funded tier is no different from the traditional publishing companies. Inkshares puts up the rest of the money to push the book into production and the author gets developmental edits, copy edits, proofreading, cover design, a print run, and publication in the online market as well as brink and mortar stores. The idea is that the authors reader network will help drive sales from there. The lower tier sees a fraction of those perks due to bugeting, but it is almost a stepping stone to build your audience more for your next work. Overall, either tier can be seen as a more legitimate than self-publishing a book. Inkshares is partnered with Ingram, one of the largest distributor in publishing. That turns into more visibility than you'd receive self-publishing.
This form of publishing is still relatively new and it's still trying to find it's footing, but I have seen a lot of major changes from Inkshares in the past year I have been working with them, and the future is looking very bright.
6. What challenges did you have in writing your book?
What? Writing a book is HARD? No, I don't believe you. ;)
I create content all the time, but I'd never tried long-form writing before this. I've never been the type of person to write anything more than school assignments, even then it was only because I was forced to or fail. So, the biggest challenge was just getting started.
Once I did get the ball rolling, the story seemed to write itself. I can say I took my time, almost three years, but that was mostly because this story was a hobby and I still had to work at my day job, and wanted to be with my family. So I wrote when I had time, or if inspiration was ringing the doorbell like that one neighbor kid who just HAS to press and hold the button down until someone opens the door in exasperation, I'd sneak off for a bit and make sure that I had some time to myself.
I only had one point that I can remember where I felt a bit blocked. Star Wars stepped in and fixed that though (see if you can figure out where).
I think I had more challenges with the editing process after the book went into production. I'll just put it this way, I am pretty hard-headed, and I'm fairly certain I am NEVER wrong...what, why are you looking at me like that? I guess I have a tough time wrapping my head around criticism, even the constructive kind. I had to tell myself several times during the production that everyone wants this to be the best it can be. Then, usually, I would have to sit on the ideas presented for a few days to let them really penetrate my thick skull. In the long run, they made the book better.
Ageless is told as a non-linear story, and early in the process I was presented with the idea of let's try it linear. Ultimately, for me anyway, the non-linear is as much a part of the story as the characters themselves. I couldn't see it working any other way. That one I couldn't let go of.
With all that said this experience has been amazing. And I look forward to doing it many more times.
7. If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours?
Finishing off with an easy question. cough (sarcasm) cough
Maybe these will help you decided:
"A well-crafted story with engaging characters, excellent descriptions, and a deep, thoughtful plot. I really enjoyed this story and look forward to Inman's next outing." - Dave Barrett, author of It's All Fun and Games, winner of the Nerdist Collection Contest
"Wow, wow. What a fun adventure this was." - Teresa from Idaho - Goodreads
"Filled with surprises of the 'wow' sort, there's even a little romance." - DJ Zippergirl - Goodreads
About the author
Paul Inman has a passion for storytelling across many platforms, including music, short films, podcasts, and different genres of writing. As a graduate of Coastal Carolina University, he holds a BA in music performance and an MA in teaching. He resides in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. This is his first novel.
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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2016
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