Good morning everyone. Today it’s my pleasure to have with me William R. Potter, Indie Author of Dead of Knight and Lighting the Dark Side – Six Modern Tales. And for those of you not familiar with William, he set up the Independent Author Network to help other Indie Authors promote their work. IAN is currently running a reader’s contest with freebie books, so make sure you stop by and check it out. http://www.independentauthornetwork.com
LP: Good morning William. Tell us a little about yourself. Where you live now, and where you grew up.
WRP. I was born in a suburb of Vancouver, B.C. Canada and now live in New Westminster B.C. Canada with my wonderful wife Erin; my son, Alex 7 and daughter, Meghan 5.
LP: Canada has always seemed like such a wild and beautiful place to me. Someday I’m going to have to visit there. Do you feel that the environment you were raised in has any effect on your choice of genre?
WRP. No, I see genres as a challenge and will try any that is of interest at the time I’m writing.
LP: That’s rather unique, but it is one of the advantages of being and Independent Author. When and why did you begin writing?
WRP. I attempted my first novel at age 11 after watching the first King Kong remake in 1979. Later in my teens I would enjoy poetry and later short-stories before returning to pen my first novel in my late 30’s. I’m not sure why.
LP: What inspired your first book?
WRP. My first book was a collection of short stories and novellas. Each story was inspired differently over several years.
LP: I love book titles and I’m always fascinated by them. How do you come up with your titles?
WRP. I put a lot of thought into my book titles. I look for something catchy that will be memorable and will lend itself to promotion.
LP: Is there a specific message in your novels that you’d like the reader to grasp?
WRP. Nothing major. I try to write stories that are entertaining. Something that I would like to read if I wasn’t the author.
LP: How much of your book is realistic or based on real life issues?
WRP. Not much. The killer in Dead of Knight was bullied as a child and so I believe it addresses bullying in school systems.
LP: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
WRP. When I saw that first sale of my first book at Amazon.
LP: I have to admit that’s a pretty great feeling. I still get it the first of the month when I’ve faced with that horrible brown board that says “no sales during this period”, and then later you come back and bingo the brown is gone and numbers begin to show.
Do you have a specific writing style?
WRP. No I don’t think so. I like to change it up as much as I can for each project.
LP: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
WRP. Hmm, I think spending a few minutes or a few hours with Stephen King wouldn’t hurt.
LP: What book are you reading now?
WRP. After reading and reviewing over 120 books during 2009-2010 I have taken a break from reading to write.
LP: Wow, William, that’s amazing. I love to read, but I don’t think I came anywhere near that number. Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
WRP. Many self and indie published authors have caught my interest over the last few years.
LP: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your first book?
WRP. I would rework the opening novella of my first book into a full novel and not publish a short story collection at all.
LP: Are you currently working on a new book, and if so, can you share some of it with us?’
WRP. I just began writing the sequel to DEAD of KNIGHT. Very exciting to be writing again. A stand alone is at my editor now and I expect it to be published on or before June 1st. Falling Down the Hole tells the story of a family man who had everything until a freak kitchen accident leaves him blind.
LP: Sounds very interesting and emotionally compelling. What is the most challenging part of writing your current work in progress?
WRP. Leaving the book at the computer is the hardest part of any book project for me. I tend to get stuck in my story world and I know it drives my wife nuts as I seem to be in a daze at times.
LP: I can definitely relate to that. I know that Coby gets tired of sharing my attention with my characters. Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
WRP. No, but one can dream about a vacation to scout a book location.
LP: Did you design your own cover?
WRP. Yes. Then I have someone turn my working covers into something that can be used for printing.
LP: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
WRP. I did a ton of research into police procedures and real crime scene investigation for DEAD of KNIGHT. For Falling Down the Hole I studied blindness and vision loss for months until I felt I had enough info to write a book about a man who loses his sight.
LP: Do you have any advice for other writers?
WRP. Don’t rush your book into publishing. A first draft isn’t a book it’s usually a mess—only you can’t see the problems right away. I like to walk away from a first draft for months and then come back fresh for a read through without touching anything. Then it needs at least 3-5 more rewrites to really come together. Then it’s ready for editing and another read through before proof reading. Take time to write and rewrite your work until it shines. Hire a professional editor to catch those pesky typos.
LP: Excellent advice, William, and what’s taking me so long to get that next book out there. You founded the Independent Author Network. What is IAN and why start up a book promotion website?
WRP. The Independent Author Network is a group of like-minded authors who are self-published or published by a small indie press. The group uses social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook to promote authors as a group. After looking for an affordable and effective book promotion site for 3 years and finding none that truly offered value and increased exposure I came up with the basics of IAN and began to mention the idea to my author friends.
LP: Does IAN work?
WRP. I think so. Members can directly affect the traffic to their IAN member page by tweeting and facebooking the page daily. This sends a great deal of traffic to all the membership. Those who are active are seeing over 1200 hits to their IAN page per month. Also, IAN pages are showing up on the first page of Google and Yahoo searches. Members are selling signed copies on their page and seeing increased traffic to their personal website and blogs.
LP: Thank you, William, for being with me today and sharing a little about both your personal and professional writing life.
WRP. Thank you for having me on your blog.
If you’d like more information about William, or the IAN website please stop by and visit at: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com
You’ll find a vast array of authors in all genres, as well as a reader’s contest.
Ready to download a sample of William’s books, or better yet Buy Now?