Interview with Kevin Paul Shaw Broden author of Clockwork Genie and Revenge of the Masked Ghost
Kevin is a writer of television animation, comic books and web comics. His first novel CLOCKWORK GENIE is available for most eBook formats. REVENGE OF THE MASKED GHOST is now available on the Kindle and includes new story and illustrations. He also illustrates the web comic Flying Glory and the Hounds of Glory.
How long have you been writing for?
Practically all my adult life. I began by wanting to work in comic books as an artist, but it didn’t take long to realize what I really am is a story teller. My first published story appeared in my college newspaper, and eventually I did end up working in comics. My first professional sale was writing scripts for a Japanese animated television series called “Midnight Horror School.” It was a fun little show, but unfortunately it has never aired here in the U.S., tell me if you’ve ever heard of it in the U.K.
I’ve continued to write, and this past year released two novels as ebooks.
What would you say is the most difficult part of writing a book?
It’s either getting started, or the rewriting. You can have a great idea, but it make take some time and effort before it solidifies in to a story worth writing, yet other times a complete story blossom all at once. That can be great, but it doesn’t happen often.
Then comes the rewriting, and the rewriting, and the rewriting until it’s perfect without destroying the core passion of what was your original idea.
What genre do you generally write?
It’s a mix really. I’ll write the story that wants to be told before even considering what the genre is. Take my first novel; I had been in the midst of writing an “epic” science fiction story when I had a new idea, which was pure fantasy. I set the Sci-Fi aside and dove right in, but the more I wrote not only did the fantasy turn into a romance it also became a murder mystery.
My second novel is a murder mystery in the style of the pulp novels of the 1930s.
Do you have a favourite author and why?
Most of the authors I really have followed are also comic book writers such as Marv Wolfman and Mark Waid, but the author I was really in to was Ray Bradbury because I really enjoyed the way he wrote and never was locked into any genre but into character and metaphor.
What is your book called and how did you choose this title?
My first novel, a Paranormal Romance and Murder Mystery is entitled “Clockwork Genie”.
The title came to me early on when I was first making notes of the story because a watch plays an important roll, and I just kept it. If I hadn’t I probably would have been struggling for a better title when it was finished. Some people really like it, while others say that it make them think the book is Steampunk. But its not, and I’m not changing it now.
My second book is titled “Revenge of the Masked Ghost” which again came to me when at the beginning. I think that I need a title because it works as an anchor, locking the book into existence so it doesn’t drift away.
Cecilia Orchard lives alone.
She writes fantasy and mystery stories to escape her humdrum life and boring data entry job that barely pays for her apartment, food, and bus fare. Then a handsome police detective arrives with news that she is the prime suspect in the murder of her grandfather whom she never knew existed. If inheriting a fortune from a man she doesn’t know isn’t madness enough, Cecilia finds herself the owner of a powerful genie that could make all her dreams come true, but what are her dreams and is she willing to make the wish? Can magic make a family?
Revenge of the Masked Ghost
A vigilante stalks the streets of the 1930’s Manhattan, and Margaret Randolph is terrified that he will break into her home. Even though her husband Donald tries to reassure her that it won’t happen, the mystery man known as the Masked Ghost steps in from a stormy night and dies at her feet. What is the secret of the Masked Ghost? Why did he come to the penthouse home of the Randolphs? Do they go to the police, or must they solve his murder on their own? Must this young couple be forced to bring about the… ‘Revenge of the Masked Ghost’? Written in the style of the pulp novels of the 1930s, ‘Revenge of the Masked Ghost’ is the tale of a man obsessed and what that obsession does to his family. Originally released in serialized blog form, this compiled edition includes new interior black and white illustrations along with a never before published ‘Scarlet Spirit’ backup tale.
Has your book been published and how did you go about this?
As an Indie Author after getting some early response I chose to release both novels as ebooks myself instead of going though an agent and publishing house. At least I know it’s out there and people can read it, and not sitting on shelves until someone else decided to release it on the whims of the market.
Approximately how long did it take you to finish your book?
Nearly three years ago I was part of NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month) writing the science fiction story and was half way through it when I got the idea for a fantasy tale which what became “Clockwork Genie” It took me less than a month to write the first draft. It then took nearly two years to rewrite it until I was happy enough to release it for sale.
What advice would you give aspiring authors?
The answer I always give to this question is simple: Write.
Write, write some more, and keep writing. Don’t stop.
After that, rewrite, rewrite, rewrite.
Something I am just now learning, you should also know. Don’t be afraid to let people read your different drafts. After a while, there is just no way to know if your book is good or not, you can’t see it with your own eyes. Other eyes are needed.
Do you use social media to promote your book, if yes then which social networks do you like the most?
I do. Facebook and Twitter. Twitter seems to be the most helpful to me, networking wise, but I’ve come the point where I’m preaching to the choir. Everyone that follows me has already scene my promotions a dozen times and if they haven’t bought a copy by now they may never. I need to learn other ways to get people know about the books.
I’ve just started a Google ad for one of the books and we’ll see if that pays off or not.
Have you enrolled your book onto Amazon’s KDP Select and how have you found it?
No, I haven’t. Maybe if that had existed before I first released my books I might have tried it. But through Smashwords I have the books in most other distribution systems that I don’t want to loose. I might not get a whole lot of sales this way, but I don’t want to restrict them either.
If you had to do it all over again what would you do differently?
I probably should have hired a couple of editors, or asked for more beta readers. I know what I’ve done wrong, and wish the flaws weren’t there, but still love the story I’ve written and believe it is good. People have told me they enjoy it, so I am happy with that.
What books do you like to read in your spare time?
Free time, what’s that? Mostly I’m a comic book reader, but I enjoy detective as well as some fantasy and science fiction, but whatever the genre it has to have good characters to follow through their lives and adventures.
What do you feel is the most important stage of writing a book?
Ray Bradbury is known for saying; “Throw up in the morning, and clean up in the afternoon.” My afternoon can be very long.
How did you go about designing the cover for your book?
I am also an artist, and so was able to digitally draw and paint the cover art for both my novels, as well as for the comic book I produce each week online.
This isn’t something I would recommend other authors to do, but I knew what I wanted in the art and was able to create it myself using Corel Painter and Adobe Photoshop.
Are you writing or considering writing a follow-up to your book?
I am in the process of writing a sequel story to “Clockwork Genie” which I hope to have released by the end of the year. No promises, it might take me another two years.
There are also plans for a second ‘Masked Ghost’ story, and others that are in the planning stages.
Do you have a day job (if so, what do you do?) or do you write full-time?
Wish I could write full time, that hasn’t happened yet.
I write content and design programs and newsletters for the Fullerton College Foundation that helps provide scholarships for the students there.
Where is your book available to buy?
I believe both “Clockwork Genie” and “Revenge of the Masked Ghost” are available at most online distributers where ebooks are sold. Here are the links for Amazon:
REVENGE OF THE MASKED GHOST
Amazon U.S. and Amazon U.K.