C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

Write and publish with love and fury.

Why I Went Into Podcasting

Guest post by author Armand Rosamilia

Armand            I know the general consensus for doing something is because you see or hear someone else do it and think (in your infinite wisdom and arrogance) that you can do it better. I am here to tell you, at least with me, it was not the case. I went into podcasting because it was my next challenge.

            I’m a blessed man. I am truly living the dream, being able to write full-time and stay home in my Big Bang Theory sleep-pants and drink coffee and get even fatter (almost at will, that last one). I do two music radio shows from the comfort of said home as well. I have a wonderful fiancé and great kids and I keep doing what I want to do: write books.

            In fact, let’s get the heavy-handed plug out of the way right now. I have a new book out, Dying Days 4, which is amazing. And I’m not just saying it because I wrote it and I want you to buy a copy. I’m saying it because our gracious host had this to say about it:

“Level up with Rosamilia’s take on smarter, scarier zombies! They don’t sleep and neither will you. Read this now!” ~ Robert Chazz Chute, author of This Plague of Days

            I’m sure our gracious host will now add a direct link to the Amazon page to purchase the book so I can keep living this dream. (Editor’s note: Yeah, yeah. Here’s the link! Darn, that Armand is subtle.)

Dying Days 4 Print 2

Click the cover for the Amazon UK link.

But onto other things…

Arm Cast

            I started a new podcast a couple of weeks ago. As you read this, the second episode went live last Friday. Conveniently, it features Robert Chazz Chute (this is getting to be quite the lovefest, I know) in an interview that went almost an hour. Because once my Mighty Canadian Author Friend and I get together on Skype, we don’t shut up.

            The first episode of Arm Cast: Dead Sexy Horror Podcast (I know, brilliant name all around) had interviews with zombie authors Mark Tufo and John O’Brien, two great authors and great guys.

            And that was my only goal for doing the podcast: to get to chat with horror authors, filmmakers, podcasters, editors, artists, heavy metal and punk bands, and anyone else I was interested in. I not only wanted an excuse to talk with them but wanted to record it and share for posterity.

            No written questions, no fancy opening jingle, and I’m not even killing myself in edits. In fact, so far I’ve just kept everything in and let the listener hear what really happened. The goal is to have two interviews per week. Yes, this is a weekly, and new episodes will be released via my rss feed on http://armcastpodcast.com and through iTunes and Stitcher, so subscribe and don’t miss an episode. Every Friday you’ll be treated to a new one.

            Upcoming guests will include authors TS Alan, Thomas M. Malafarina, Jack Wallen, filmmaker David Karner, and a bunch more people I wanted to hang out with. I have a wish list of people I want to interview, so more will be added once I get confirmation they actually want to talk to me. And I love finding new authors and podcasters and anyone else interested in horror to chat with, so don’t be a stranger… get in touch.

            As long as Robert Chazz Chute and I aren’t on a marathon Skype chit-chat, I’ll interview you, too.

            Oh, and here’s the Amazon link to Dying Days 4… just because you know you want to buy it and read it while listening to my podcast and wearing matching Big Bang Theory sleep-pants and eating M&M’s…

~ To find out more about Armand and his many books, check out his blog at ArmandRosamilia.com.

 

Filed under: author platform, podcasts, , , , , , , , , ,

Why your interviews don’t work and how to fix the problem

See on Scoop.itWriting and reading fiction

A fun yet uncomfortable author interview: The Questions with Robert Chazz Chute: Writer on dSavannah Rambles

Robert Chazz Chute‘s insight:

Most author interviews don’t get read. If they are read, they are lightly scanned. Too often, the same questions are asked and worse, the same answers squeak out to an audience that does not care. There are people who care about where you get your ideas or how you started writing. Those people are your mom (maybe) and the fans who are already into your books. No conversions for you!

Regular Interviews Don’t Create New Readers

Regular interviews bore old readers. They convert no one. Some author interviews make me wish they’d preserved the mystery and shut up. Mostly, I just delete, ignore and move on to see if the Internet has any playful cat videos (like you). Author interviews as they are generally practiced are lousy promotional tools. If you’re going to bother with an arduoous guest blog tour for your book, break the old paradigm.

The Solution is Umbilical Lint

Writers should avoid cliches, so enough about (slurp) how much coffee we drink. Tell us about the Hunter S Thompson acid trip you took in Juarez at spring break. Tell us about your hilarious colonoscopy (I did on the All That Chazz podcast). Share news. News is new. Be entertaining and don’t go for the standard questions and useless answers.

This week, in my post “Author Armand Rosamilia Hates Canada” we got a lot of hits, retweets and comments. People had a good time with Armand’s fun answers to my silly questions about his secret life as a belly button lint sculptor. We made people laugh and intrigued them. Getting read, whether it’s in your books or for your book tour, starts with getting people interested. Don’t lead with “How long have you been writing?” Who cares? Those sorts of questions are for authors who are already on the NYT bestseller list. (And even them, yech.)

Don’t be Afraid to be Bizarre…or Honest

In my latest interview with dSavannah (at the link below) I give honest answers and some of them are funny but uncomfortable. Some answers involve time travel to save my childhood and career. I give an honest answer that involves my mother’s death. (I didn’t kill her. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.) Be honest, informative, helpful, make jokes and use more imagination. You do that when you’re writing your books. Do that when you talk about your work, too. Just don’t be so earnest! To sell art, be more artful.

If You Want Nice Fans with a Sense of Humor, Be One of Them

Another example? Listen in to my giggly interview with cool Jessica McHugh at CoolPeoplePodcast.com. You might hate me but you’ll fall in love with her and you’ll want to check out her books. Our books are extensions of our personalities. Have one. That gives a reader hope they’ll like your books.

Read Armand Rosmilia’s audacious Fatty Arbuckle reference in his post here. Armand looks like a death metal biker dude, acts like a teddy bear and is a fun guy. We got such great feedback on “Author Armand Rosamilia Hates Canada”, he told me that in his next interview he plans to bomb Alaska. I think that’s something we can all get behind.

Entertainment is the first step to engagement. Are you not entertained?

If not, the author interview failed.

See on dsavannah.com

Filed under: author platform, author Q&A, authors, My fiction, publishing, , , , , , ,

Author Profile: Nate Hendley

Nate Hendley is a Toronto-based author who was born in Connecticut in 1966. He is a full-time journalist and writer and has published

nate hendley

Nate Hendley

over a dozen books, primarily on true-crime topics. He lives with a demanding cat and has a website at www.natehendley.com. You can check out his latest works on the Five Rivers website at http://www.5rivers.org/index1.html

His books: Motivate to Create: A Guide for Writers (Practical tips on how to start up or step up a freelance writing career) & Al Capone: Chicago’s King of Crime (An intimate portrait of America’s most famous gangster)

Previous works by Nate Hendley:

Edwin Alonzo Boyd: The Life and Crimes of Canada’s Master Bank Robber, The Black Donnelly’s: The Outrageous Tale of Canada’s Deadliest Feud, Dutch Schultz: The Beer Baron of the Bronx, John Lennon: Music, Myth and Madness, Crystal Meth, American Gangsters Then and Now: An Encyclopedia, Bonnie and Clyde: A Biography, Jean Chretien: The Scrapper Who Climbed His Way to the Top, William Lyon Mackenzie King: The Loner Who Kept Canada Together

 CW: When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

NH: I was around 10 or so, living in England (where my dad took a year-long sabbatical in 1975-76). I recall I started writing—by hand—a long war story that I ended up calling “Tank Tracks in North Africa”. As might be surmised by the title, it was all about a bunch of guys in a tank fighting Rommel in the desert in World War Two. That’s the first long-form book I recall putting together. I think it ran to something like 50 pages.

CW: Tell us about your book. How did you get the idea?Al_Capone_book[1]

NH: Two books actually. One of them is on Al Capone, the other is about motivation for writers. The Capone book was originally part of a series of gangster tomes I penned for Altitude Publishing, an Alberta-based company that ,alas, is no longer around. When Altitude went belly up, Five Rivers Chapmanry kindly bought some of my Altitude books for republishing.

The second book, Motivate to Create: A Guide for Writers, is a rather drastic revision of a book I initially self-published. Lorina Stephens, publisher at Five Rivers, liked the concept of my book but wasn’t totally excited by the contents. I ended up rewriting quite a bit of the book, making it more professional and taking out a lot of the personal anecdotes that filled my self-published tome. The newly revised book is considerably better than the original, which demonstrates the power of having a good editor crack down on your material.

 The idea for Motivate to Create came from the fact that there is a dearth of info out there on motivation for non-fiction writers. Almost every writers’ motivation book is aimed at creative writing, which is fine, but not what I do. A lot of the existing books seemed very sappy, too—all this crap about “finding and unleashing your inner muse.” I was more concerned with concrete, practical advice that had already been field-tested by other, established writers.

CW: What research was involved in your book’s development?

NH: Researching Al Capone involved reading all the available literature on the man (which is quite considerable) and tracking down newspaper and magazine articles from the period in which he lived. I was pleased to be able to correct certain falsehoods about Capone that have been perpetuated throughout the years. He was never a national crime boss, for example. He controlled the Chicago underworld but certainly didn’t control organized crime across America.

For Motivate, I queried various writer friends and acquaintances and used some of their quotes throughout. The rest of the material was thought up by me.

 CW: Do you have any formal training in writing?

 NH: I went to journalism school after finishing university. I never actually completed J-school, having failed desk-top publishing three times in a row. Anyway, journalism school taught me the nuts and bolts of news and feature writing and was an invaluable experience.

 CW: What is your writing process?

I don’t really have a writing process. One of the tips I offer in Motivate to Create is not to get too precious about your writing time (i.e. “I only write when the golden sun rises from the horizon and the muse dances upon my forehead”). When I have a writing project to do, I just sit down and do it.

CW: How long did it take you to write the book and find an agent and publisher?

NH: Capone took about a year to put together (research, writing, editing.) Motivate was spread over a longer period because I essentially rewrote the book when Five Rivers purchased it. Self-publishing is a pain in the butt so I am glad that a real publisher took the book over. I still have about 30 copies of the original book sitting around my apartment. Unless you’re really interested in marketing and promotion, I would not recommend self-publication.

 CW: What’s the most surprising thing you discovered in writing this book?

motivate_to_create[1]NH: Can’t really think of any. I was pleasantly surprised at the number of freelance writers willing to respond to a general questionnaire I sent around for Motivate to Create.

CW: What was the biggest disappointment you experienced through this book? 

NH: The biggest disappointment was that I didn’t get fabulously wealthy through self-publishing. I thought orders would come flowing like a river. More like a trickle from a tiny pond.

CW: What was the hardest part of the publishing process? What did you most enjoy?

NH: Research and editing are by far the hardest part of the publishing process. Writing is the most enjoyable. When you self-publish, doing all the promotion and marketing is the hardest part.

CW: What advice would you give unpublished writers?

 As Creedence Clearwater Revival once expressed it so well, “keep on chooglin’.” In other words, just keep at it. Practise doesn’t necessarily make perfect but it does make you more professional.

CW: Have changes in the book industry forced you to change how you published or marketed your work?

NH: Yes. Thanks to websites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn I can do more to promote my wares online.

CW: What’s your next book project and what can you tell us about it?

NH: I’m revising a book about the drug methamphetamine for Five Rivers. It is a revamped version of a book I initially did for Altitude that came out in 2005. The new version has new interviews and updated statistics.

CW: Thanks for doing this, Nate! You can follow Nate on twitter at http://twitter.com/natehendley or email me at nhendley@sympatico.ca . The Five Rivers site is located at http://www.5rivers.org/. Best to check the Five Rivers site for any info on upcoming book signings.

Filed under: Author profiles, author Q&A, authors, Books, publishing, writing tips, , , , , ,

#Authors : I want to eat your brains (and profile you)

The left frontal lobe (red), the forward porti...

Image via Wikipedia

This morning I mentioned I have some authors lined up for profiles for publication in this hallowed space. For instance, author of My Camino and friend of the blog, Sue Kenney, will share her journey across Spain and to publication in the near future. Not only is she an author, she’s a filmmaker, too.

Why can’t you spread the glory of your achievement, too? Answer: You can! I want to pick your brain.

I love books and love to hear from authors about their struggles and successes. If you’re an author with a book you want the world to know about (and if you have a book, why wouldn’t you?), shoot me an e-mail at chazz@chazzwrites.vpweb.ca.

I’d like to make author interviews a regular weekly feature if I get enough interest. If your fiction or non-fiction looks like a good fit, I’ll send you a questionnaire to answer et voilà! Instant book promotion as we delve into your climb to the literary pinnacle.

Brains! Brains! So hungry! I want to pick at your brain!

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Filed under: blogs & blogging, Publicity & Promotion, publishing, self-publishing, Useful writing links, web reviews, Writers, , , , , , , ,

Winner of Writer's Digest's 2014 Honorable Mention in Self-published Ebook Awards in Genre

The first 81 lessons to get your Buffy on

More lessons to help you survive Armageddon

"You will laugh your ass off!" ~ Maxwell Cynn, author of Cybergrrl

Available now!

Fast-paced terror, new threats, more twists.

An autistic boy versus our world in free fall

Suspense to melt your face and play with your brain.

Action like a Guy Ritchie film. Funny like Woody Allen when he was funny.

Jesus: Sexier and even more addicted to love.

You can pick this ebook up for free today at this link: http://bit.ly/TheNightMan

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