Thursday, September 20, 2012

Author Interview Paul Dorset

Today, good people of the blogosphere, I bring you an interview with author Paul Dorset.

Biography:
Paul Dorset was born in Poole, Dorset in England in 1960 but has been living in America since 1995. He has been writing for many years and some of his early works were published in 'teen advice' columns. He has also had many technical articles published, mostly in the field of Computing.

Paul currently lives in the Pacific Northwest but has traveled extensively and worked many times with teens and youth groups. It is this background combined with a vivid imagination that has enabled him to weave a tapestry of magic into complete novels. His first epic fantasy series, aimed at young adults, is entitled 'The Southern Lands'. However, the storyline is more than exciting enough to keep adults turning pages as the story unfolds.

Paul is a father of five who has worked as a computer consultant for more than 30 years. His publications include fantasy novels for ages 12-plus, how-to books for adults, and dark paranormal thrillers for ages 16+. He incorporates his extensive experience in computers - and his insightful perspective on the possibilities therein - in novels that include layers of contemporary intrigue, romance and mystery.

You can find Paul Dorset by either visiting his website or reading his blog.

Now, on to my interview!

Jo: You write Fantasy and Paranormal. Why did you choose those particular genres?

Paul: The fantasy question is really easy. I write fantasy mostly because I love reading it. It’s a kind of escape into a world that could be, with wonderful things that are possible, given a little magic. Then as for the paranormal, it’s a little of the opposite. The world of the paranormal is one you hope actually doesn’t exist. It’s pretty scary really!

Jo: Your books are priced at $0.99. What led you to this decision and do you believe it has helped sales at all?

Paul: Some of my books are priced at $0.99; the ones that are the first in a series. I want to make it as easy as possible for people to try my books and to see if they like them. Once they do then hopefully they don’t object to paying a little more for the others in the series.

One such book by Paul:
Just $0.99 on Kindle.
Buy it here: Xannu The Prophecy
Synopsis:
Would you wake up in a hot sweat if you lived your night’s dreams as a soldier battling un-earthly creatures, witnessing powerful magic and fighting to save your own life on a daily basis?

English schoolboy Terry West does. Frequently. After digging up some rune coins near a roman road, he has been living in another world inhabited by warlocks, seductresses, priests and prophecy. There Terry is a soldier, Teern Truthbringer, who has been tasked with finding the Xannu - 'he who will lead the people into deliverance.'

If only it wasn’t real; but it is. Very real. When it all began it was even enjoyable, but now Terry’s life is getting very complicated. Somehow he involved his best friend Joe and although it had seemed a good idea at the time, the consequences had been dire. Then there is Susan, the leggy sister of klutzy school-friend Brian. Why does she keep sending him messages?

Terry is struggling to balance the two lives he leads and every day he is losing his grip on reality just a little bit more. He’s been forced to kill enemies; his companion, the magical woman Maria, is scaring him half to death with her abilities; and his parents are on his back about his school work.

How will he balance the two lives he leads, solve two sets of problems, and understand the lessons he receives from both? Only time will tell. But time is something Terry doesn't have too much of, as everything is unfolding in ways he could never have imagined!  

Jo: As a Scrivener user, would you recommend it to other authors? Why/why not?

Paul: I discovered Scrivener earlier this year and I love it! I wish I had found it years ago, although that would have been difficult as it’s only been available for the Windows platform since late last year. For a full list of reason why I love Scrivener I would suggest reading my blog, but I guess the best thing about Scrivener is that you no longer have to work in an 80,000 word MS Word document. Just writing and plotting and editing suddenly become something so much more manageable.

A link to Paul's posts on using Scrivener:  http://blog.pauldorset.com/search/label/Scrivener

Jo: Your non-fiction works The Ten Hour Project Manager and How To Write & Self-Publish Your First Novel are available on Amazon. Can you tell us a bit about these books and how they would help authors?

Paul: My How To Write book came about as a result of two things: First, questions from other authors about different writing topics, and second, as the result of a series of blog posts. The blog posts got so much attention I decided to publish them (and include extra topics) as a book. The book is written as a series of essays that can be dipped into time and time again. Many authors have written to me and thanked me, so I guess I did an okay job of it all. As for the project management book, it was something I really wanted to write as it’s all about my day job for the past 15 years. As for its use to authors, I’m not so sure about that one!

Just $3.99 on Kindle!
Buy it here: How to Write & Self-Publish Your First Novel: Writing for Success
Essays Included:
1. Don't Start the Story at the Beginning 2. Become a Successful Writer in 2,000 Hours 3. Poems and Short Stories 4. Creating a Good Plot 5. How Long Should a First Novel Be? 6. Writing in the First Person 7. Writing in the Third Person 8. Dialog Versus Narrative – Show Versus Tell 9. Writing Your First Novel: Words & Routine 10. Conflict and Its Importance 11. Plot Pace 12. Creating Believable and Well Rounded Characters 13. Writing Dialog – Or ‘He Said, She Said’ 14. Creating a Page Turner 15. Letting the Book 'Cook' 16. Self-Editing Your Novel 17. The Process of Pre-Reads 18. Creating a World of Fantasy 19. How to Write & Self-Publish a Novel: The End-To-End Process Checklist 20. Creating a Writing Environment without Interruptions 21. Reading to Write 22. Encouraging All Would Be Authors 23. The Self-Publishing Process: The Complete A-Z Instructions 24. Marketing Your Novel - The Relevance of Social Media, ARCs and Book Bloggers.

Jo: Your blog, Utterances of an Overcrowded Mind, has a ton of useful information. You’ve been blogging since February, 2011. Why did you choose then to begin your blogging journey?

Paul: I’ve actually been blogging for many years on different sites. In February 2011 I decided to start a dedicated Paul Dorset blog to go along with my new determination to spend more time writing and helping others to write.

Jo: What made you decide to do a round of indie author interviews on your blog?

Paul: I think as an Indie Author it’s important to give back to the community. We are all in this together.

Jo: I couldn't agree more! Tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up?

Paul: I grew up in England and lived in my hometown of Poole in Dorset until I was 18 years of age. I’ve always had a bug for traveling, however, and since that time I have been fortunate enough to have found jobs and opportunities all over the world. Now I try to use a lot of those traveling experiences in my writing.

Jo: How long have you been writing?

Paul: I’ve been writing since I was a kid. I have books of old poems and song lyrics stored away. I started writing stories nearly 20 years ago and my first fantasy novel was published in 2003. It took until 2010 until I became more serious about my writing and since then I have tried to write two or three books a year.

Jo: What kind of books do you like to read?

Paul: I read mostly fantasy; although I also like to read some Sci-Fi, thrillers, and comedies. From time to time I also read other books that just take my fancy. As an author I believe it’s important to read a lot. I try and read (or listen to) at least 12 books a year.

Jo: How often do you write and how did you come to this decision?

Paul: My writing goes through cycles (novel writing as opposed to blogs and other projects). When I am writing a novel, I try and write about 1500 words a day for the duration of the book (60-90 days). Of course this writing time comes after a period of plotting and planning. I try to be strict with myself about writing as it’s important to actually finish the book. But that’s just me. I’m sure my methods wouldn’t work for everyone.

Jo: Tell us what a good writing day looks like for you.

Paul: Like I said, I don’t really have writing days. On days when I am writing I just have to find an hour or so to fit the words in. I prefer to write in the mornings but a lot of weekdays it’s not until the evening that I get my hour. The good news is that because I plot, at least I generally know what I am writing about!

Jo: When you get negative feedback, how does it impact your writing? How about your ego?

Paul: Even Vincent Van Gogh had detractors (lots of them actually). The secret is not to let them get to you. I know I can write. I also know I can’t please everybody. Therefore I don’t try to. And usually there is a little truth in a negative review. The secret is in finding it without letting the whole thing get to you. You need to have a thick skin to be involved in the arts!

Jo: Do you have any advice for other indie authors?

Paul: Keep at it and find what works for you. Oh, and don’t skip on the editing!

Jo: You have a lot of Twitter followers (58k+). Did this happen over time or did you make it happen with marketing?

Paul: It’s something I’ve worked on over time. I have also blogged about it. Never take your followers for granted although they are going to experience churn as well. I wish I had more time to spend on marketing and then maybe I could get my follower count up to 100k.

You can follow Paul Dorset on Twitter here.

Jo: What book of yours is your favorite? Why? Give us the synopsis?

Paul: Tough question. My books are diverse and all have a special meaning for me in different ways. So instead I’d prefer to answer that question with what is my favorite book (not mine). The book that had the most impact on me growing up was a book called Mister God, This Is Anna, by Fynn (unfortunately not available on Kindle). I read it as a teenager and it has stayed with me all my life. Children have an innocence about them and that is what this book is about. It’s a sad story too, and well-written sad stories tend to stay in your memories longer. I like to write stories for the Young Adult (teen) market and I try to rekindle that certain innocence in my readers. Anything is possible in a book!

If you missed any of the links above, here's a recap:

Author Website: http://pauldorset.com
Blog: http://blog.pauldorset.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/pdorset27
Twitter: http://twitter.com/jcx27
Books on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Paul-Dorset/e/B004OEFF80

I hope you've all enjoyed getting to know Paul Dorset! He's a wonderful addition to the indie author community and I suggest you check out his blog and his books.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON! As a parting shot: Live a little, live on fire

Jo

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