Interview with Steve Symes author of Shadow House.
Why are you taking part in the author blog challenge and what do you hope to achieve?
As an independent author, I am always looking for increased exposure.
How long have you been writing for?
I have been writing stories since grade school, but started publishing about three years ago.
What would you say is the most difficult part of writing a book?
Revising–that is the true hard work of writing. You have to cut out things you originally loved and make other tough calls, and you have to do it over and over.
What genre do you generally write?
Paranormal thrillers, which inevitably crosses into science fiction, horror and urban fantasy.
Do you have a favourite author and why?
J.R.R. Tolkien–his ability to create believable and rich mythology is unbelievable.
What is your book called and how did you choose this title?
My first book is called Shadow House. It was the only title not already taken that I thought fit the subject matter of the book.
An ex New York attorney moves to an old Victorian-era house in rural North Carolina after losing his family. Instead of escaping into blissful peace, he begins to uncover the mystery behind his house’s haunting. The only problem is a violent presence in the man’s house, which threatens his life and very soul.
Has your book been published and how did you go about this?
I self-published the book about three years ago.
Approximately how long did it take you to finish your book?
Shadow House took me about two years to finish and bring it to market.
What advice would you give aspiring authors?
Write every day, read every day and don’t give up. Also, make concrete goals for your writing and don’t make excuses for yourself.
Do you use social media to promote your book, if yes then which social networks do you like the most?
Have you enrolled your book onto Amazon’s KDP Select and how have you found it?
I use KDP Select. It has actually increased my sales, so I am happy with the program
If you had to do it all over again what would you do differently?
Yes, I was so ignorant when I published my first book. I didn’t have a real marketing plan in place when I first released it, that was my biggest mistake. I would’ve written the book differently now, even though I am proud of my work. Publishing a book changes you as a writer–it changes everything.
What books do you like to read in your spare time?
I love books by Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. I also read a lot of criminology books and world mythology.
What do you feel is the most important stage of writing a book?
Pre-writing is the most important stage. Without proper planning, any book can become a tangled mess in no time.
How did you go about designing the cover for your book?
I designed it myself using the cover design software from the service I originally used to publish my first book. I would do the cover very differently, and I have thought of creating a second edition with a revised cover. See the attached image for a picture.
Are you writing or considering writing a follow-up to your book?
I have written several shorter works since, and I am working on a middle-grade paranormal book. Once I have that out of the way, I plan on publishing another haunted house book, but it’s not a follow-up to my first one. Maybe one day I will write a follow-up, but for right now I don’t have any plans to.
Do you have a day job (if so, what do you do?) or do you write full-time?
I’m a full-time writer and social media consultant. Most of my day job writing is about the automotive industry, but I also write about parenting, criminology and fitness, funny as that may seem.
Where is your book available to buy?
You can look at my Amazon author’s page.