1) What motivated you to write The Inner Circle (first in Comet Clement Series) and have it for free in the Kindle Store for free… permanently?
The idea came from when the movie “Deep Impact” was coming out. Commercials made it seem like the movie wasn’t just about stopping an approaching comet, but dealing with the plans for what would happen if the comet struck. I remember one scene in particular where chosen survivors were being herded into a mountainous shelter. Needless to say, I was disappointed to discover that the movie was quite different than what I’d imagined. The idea stayed with me for several years until I decided to try writing the story myself.
Unfortunately, The Inner Circle is not permanently free in the Kindle Store. I’m only able to select five days during every 3-month period to make it free. Since I’m an indie author, most of my new readers are those who’ve downloaded one of my books for free during a giveaway. For that reason, I wish I could keep the first books in each of my series for free, but alas, that’s not possible.
2) How much research did you do (or not do) for writing the Comet Clement Series?
I read several books on comets and asteroids in the months before writing my series. I also read as much as I could about the Tunguska event. With that said, I had no desire to write a book that was too technical or scientific in dealing with the comet subject. Though I’ve tried to keep my facts fairly accurate, I always wanted the Comet Clement series to be more about storylines and characters and the difficulties in planning for an extinction level event.
3) How do you write 12 300 page books in 1 continuous series? The price of the coffee alone would bankrupt me.
I didn’t initially start out thinking there would be so many books. I’m a fan of longer series, so I knew there would be at least a few books to tell the entire story arc. But I knew where I wanted to start most of my characters in the story, and I knew where I wanted them to end up. For the story and events to remain scientifically accurate (at least mostly), I knew there would be a long passage of time from the beginning to end. Therefore, when I started writing the outlines, I decided to focus each book on smaller time periods in the overall bigger picture. In the end, 12 books ended up completing the journey for my characters.
4) Any future novel series?
I’ve already written a few other series since Comet Clement. One is the Flea’s Five Christmases series (5 books in total). It’s about a young boy who’s different than so many of his classmates. Not only does he discover that he’s a Christmas elf, he becomes embroiled in a centuries long battle between the North and the South Pole that threatens to destroy the world. The Harry Potter series is obviously incredible, so I wanted to write something that HP lovers might like.
I also wrote the Keeper of the Water series (3 books have finished the initial story, though I’ve considered spinning off and writing more due to receiving many requests from readers to keep going with the characters). While my Flea books were meant more for a middle grade audience, this series (about a teenage girl who starts dreaming about a past life that then begins to catch up with her) is aimed more toward a YA crowd.
Finally, I’m two books into my newest series, a four-parter called Cryo-Man (Book 3 should be completed within a month). This series goes back to my love of science fiction, like the Comet Clement series. In Cryo-Man, a man experiences the final moment of his life, which involves playing with his young son. The man is sick and soon dies. When he wakes up, he remembers nothing of his past except that final memory. Although he’s a completely different person (if that’s what he truly is?) in a completely different time, that final memory drives him to do whatever he must do in a dangerous new world to remember who he once was.
5) What is your writing process if you have one?
I start with a very broad idea, and then I continuously narrow it down. The two most important parts for me are figuring out the first scene and the final scene. Then, it’s just a matter of connecting the two in an interesting, exciting way. I usually start jotting down examples of scenes I want. Then, I write a very long, very detailed, stream-of-consciousness, flowing outline. The outline usually takes me nearly as long as writing the actual book. From there, writing the book is the easy part. Lastly, the editing process, which starts with me doing the first draft and then passing it on to a few friends to jot down mistakes and ideas. I had editing issues when I first started self-publishing, which previous reviewers had every right to call me out on. But like every learning process, I’ve figured out better ways to improve.
6) What are your thoughts on people with “Author Self Publishing Guides?”
The independent, self-publishing scene can be very overwhelming. I had many questions when I started, and I’ve communicated with plenty of others who feel the same. But I’ve also found that this community of indie writers is very helpful, and many of them work very hard to help others succeed. Our reputations are often interwoven. For that reason, I applaud those who take the time to write Self-Publishing Guides in order to help fellow writers.