Author self interview: Lee Hall

Today see’s the beginning of a new series of posts called ‘Ask the author’. I will be interviewing myself about all things books, writing and being an indie author…

 

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Lee Hall 

How long have you been writing for? 

Since around the age of twelve I started putting together stories on an old window’s 98 computer. Seeing as I’m in my mid to late twenties that’s quite a while…

So it sounds like you’ve known for some time this is what you have always wanted to do. How successful have you been as an indie author? 

Well success as an author or success at anything in life is in the eye of the beholder. In terms of statistics I have sold around 100 copies of my books combined. In terms of money, I haven’t made anything near what people perceive. But then again I am not in this for the money. To have a few people take a selfie of my book and leave a few reviews is enough for me to grant a project successful.

What are you in writing for? 

To immerse people into worlds as I have been as a reader. There is no greater theater than the human mind. Books really do rule and they help the human imagination grow.

You currently have two books published, could you describe the both of them in three words? 

Open Evening – Teenage Terror Chase

Darke Blood – Vampires Witches Identity

What are you currently working on? 

I have been drafting two projects so far this year. The first was just a bit of fun and can be best described as a vanity project, whenever I am in between books I delve into it but I’m not telling you what it is just yet.

The second project I am currently drafting is the sequel to Open Evening! I am 80% through draft one of Cemetery House with a view to publish in 2018! For those who follow me via email I will be looking to send out sample stuff to followers!

Both Open Evening and Darke Blood can both be considered as horror or at least thriller in genre. Is there any other genre’s you would consider writing in the future? 

Hell yeah! I am currently putting together initial plans (in my mind) for a comic book style super hero comedy. This would be a novella or at least a shorter novel, so watch this space!

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Darke Blood and Open Evening by Lee Hall 

 

What advice would you give an aspiring author in terms of marketing a book? 

Start talking about your book now! Tweet, Facebook status and blog the hell out of it. Of course don’t shove it down people’s throats, be cool and subtle. The greatest way to sell a book is via networking and word of mouth. Get people talking online and sharing stuff, a good support network of friends will help to kick things off. You can read more on marketing in my resources section here

 

And that’s the first part of my self interview, thank you for reading and of course if you have a burning question get in contact and I will feature it along with an answer next time!  

Talking future books

It’s been way too long since I last wrote a blog, and so in my forever growing wisdom I’m back for a few hundred or so words just to remind you (if you forgot) that I’m still here.

More importantly I am still writing! And what’s even more important my first book Open Evening is still selling and the Amazon reviews are coming in. We are up to 6 so far and they are all 5 stars. Thank you for the kind no words and to everyone who’s got themselves a copy, I know there are still many people yet to leave a review but please tell me what you think.

I’m always looking for the next big thing in terms of getting more loyal readers and subscribers. There will even be rewards for those who give me their email address via the sign up facility to your right.

And that is my next big thing, a mailing list. My plan is to send any new material and sneak peak stuff out to loyal subscribers. Making a personal connection with readers can give me a better idea of what you want to see next in my books and believe me there are more to come.

Future books (Doesn’t contain spoilers but suggests them)

If you are a loyal follower (or just scroll down) you will know next year I plan to release my next book DARKE BLOOD which I can happily say is connected and set in the same universe as Open Evening! In this story the occult is further explored along with the appearance of blood sucking ‘people of the night’.

A release date is yet to be confirmed but I would like to get it out before the midpoint of 2017!

Those who have read Open Evening and feel like you want more, don’t despair. Right now I am putting a few words together for a project which will eventually become the sequel (but shhh, when a few more people ask for a sequel I’ll announce it officially).

CEMETERY HOUSE will continue the story of life after Haddington and will see Twister’s newly formed crew tackle the next purge!

I’ve envisioned ‘CH’ to deliver two things; a telling of Twister’s origins including ‘Colorado’ and the continuation of what Open Evening began. If all goes well ‘CH’ will eventually flow towards a crossover culmination with the DARKE BLOOD characters in a final spectacular showdown!

As I have always said, I’m a man with a plan and I’m always 2 or three steps or books ahead!

On the subject of signing up to the mailing list; you will receive the information before anyone else about release dates and I will even include some first draft preview material just to grace your appetite. (I’m real serious about this mailing list stuff and I can’t seem to stop saying mailing list, so seriously sign up!)

Mailing list!!!!

 

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Episode 4

It’s the fourth episode and I still have stuff to write about!

Introductions Part 10

Whoa I hear you say. What happened to the introductions between? Well I’m doing that clever thing like in TV or film when they flash forward into the future for a brief time. (I’m not actually sure if there will be 10 instalments of introductions but it sounds like a round figure to jump ahead to)

So in March of this year, I had reached frustration city in terms of sending my manuscript out to various agents and publishers seemingly to no avail. At this point I just wanted to know if or where I was going wrong, and if my book has what it takes to stand shoulder to shoulder with others.

After some googling I came across the oxford editors. They were offering a service that appraises a manuscript and involves a report at the end. Finally I have received most of that report (I wont go into the amount of chasing I had to do for it and quite honestly I wouldn’t do it again).

My whole angle was to actually have someone honestly look at my manuscript without it just being cast off into the many slush piles. It involved a fee and hopefully that would entice someone to be obligated to actually have a read.

The initial part of the report came through and here are the highlights in the form of quotations:

“I think the idea of this book is ingenious and it has a great deal of potential. However, the first few pages of any book are so important and here I think that you put all the points, but it is rather flat the way you have presented it, so it is like reading an article and not the sort of start that pulls readers into a book”

As much as this starts off complimentary I agree with the points.

“Probably the most important moment of the entire book, in terms of hooking readers, agents and publishers is that first sentence.”

Again I agree and my opening sentence could in fact be better.

To interpret the rest of the report it is apparent that the opening chapter does need some work in order to really grasp the reader. Not work as in rip it up and start again but a series of minor changes and additions to get the opening looking great. That goes for the whole book, there are some instances where I am telling the reader something when I should be showing them.

This is what I have been waiting for since March and now I have been given some decent constructive advice. From here the plan can be instigated. Phase 1 of the Warrior Project Publishing plan has been activated.

  1. Receive manuscript assessment      (I am more proud of the fact that I discovered there is a button to allow crossing words out, technology these days. I’ve been waiting to use that since I started this blog)

Back to the main plotline

Introductions Part 4 (where were we)

After much thinking I decided to start from the very beginning of my story. On my brothers laptop I began writing a title called ‘Untitled Warrior Project’. At this point it that was it in terms of a title and over many autumn evenings I pecked away, putting together the foundations for what would be my ‘first’ book. I had previously attempted to write a Clark Thorn story (a few years back on the xp piece of sh**) so from that initial idea I built the basics.

I struggled throughout this time, adapting to the horrible process that I still don’t like and that is the initial draft. (I do it in hour sessions now (controlling my addiction) To me drafting just feels like whatever thoughts one has is literally sucked out onto page, and that is what one element of what writing is to me. Translation of thought from brain to page.

My run in drafting this ‘warrior project’ ended just as quickly as it started leaving me with writers block at chapter 3.

To be continued….

 

A video

This week a good friend of mine Matt Streuli released a video in tribute to his late mother Janet Ann Streuli. As much as his journey and story is a sad one it also pays homage to the legacy left behind and how it helps him to this day. I share the same hobby with him, that being amateur drama, something I have grown to love and almost need in life. For a few hours a week we get to be what we want to be, whether that is the dashing hero or dastardly villain and perhaps anything in between. It’s a release and stress reliever at times. For whatever is going on in our lives there is always a place where we can be us or someone else. Check out his video here

 

A final note about a prestigious valuable item of memorabilia or sale on ebay, check it out, you wont be disappointed. Click here