Monday, October 26, 2015

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Jason Zandri

Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?

I am 46 years old, married and the father of four kids; my oldest son is eleven, my only daughter is nine, and the two remaining boys are seven and six. I have been in the information technology field since 1996 and I have been a server engineer since 1999.

I’ve always enjoyed writing in one form or another, but I never seriously considered authoring a fictional story until 2014 when I decide to “get down on paper” a story that’s been roaming around my head for fifteen years.





How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

I try to set time aside so that I can “complete a scene / thought” so to speak. If I’m in a groove I’ll keep going, but I don’t want to have writer fatigue, so I set a reasonable target and once I clip it I always feel comfortable (but not obligated) to stop. I try to make that target at least 1,000 words, but I don’t force it; if the scene wraps shorter, I stop. If it goes longer, that’s fine too. I am fairly confident that the overall average is 1,000 words.

Get the Book at Amazon
“When” sort of falls into the “whenever I have time” classification; with a full time job, 25 hour weekly commute, four kids, and civic duties in my hometown, there really isn’t a ton of free time. Over the summers my kids go with their mother to Poland, so I stay in New York City during the week and I write at night from the corner table in Bar 515 on Third Avenue. Each one of my books to date, in whole or in part, has been written from that spot. Beyond that table, I will do a segment of writing on my inbound train to work and a segment going home at the end of the day. Again, I try to make those sessions a “complete a scene / thought” at about 1,000 words.
 
How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?

While I am at Bar 515 or on the train I use my laptop. When I am at home I use my workstation in my “man-cave”.

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

My favorite part has to be when a scene / segment comes together. When that idea in my brain is completely fleshed out.

My least favorite part is trying to get my favorite part “there”. It seems sometimes as if I tweak, re-tweak, change and tweak, and then fix that scene, over and over, endlessly, when I am making my edits.

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

I honestly cannot remember any longer how I came up with the idea from my first book “Another Sunset” as it’s sort of just “been in my head” since I was thirty. Getting it out as a first draft took six weeks. Four weeks of editing later and it was off to the printer.

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

It would be probably better for me to answer what I DON’T do; that list is shorter. I am trying everything; home grown stuff on my own (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, etc.) and a mix of paid promotion and other advertising campaigns.

Having done what I have for the past year, (and spending the amount of cash I have spent since November 2014), next year, 2016, is “just” going to be the “year of writing” for me. I am going to spend time focused on getting all my remaining titles out in my two new series and then once that is done (and I have more cash) I will get back to active promotion of all my books. If I am able to execute completely through 2016, that will be eleven titles in total to push once I get back to active marketing in 2017.

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

I am currently wrapping up Book Two of my “As Life Goes” series – “The End of the Innocence” (Book One “Elementary” released July 31, 2015). I am expecting that will be available mid-November.

AS LIFE GOES: THE END OF THE INNOCENCE
COMING IN NOVEMBER

For National Novel Writing Month (#NaNoWriMo) my plan is to write Book Three of my “I, Hero” series “Phases” to have it ready for December 15, 2015.

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

There are back burners I can load? No, pretty much I have everything going at once.

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

Babe Ruth was at bat 8,399 times in his career in order to hit his 714 home runs; he struck out 1,330 times trying. I’ve never hit a home run, but I always swing for one. If I connect with the ball I know I gave it everything I had. If I strike out, I know I went down swinging.

Any chance at something that you choose to not take, will become the self-fulfilled failure you expect it to be.

MY QUESTION TO Kathryn (more marketing than writing but I see peer questions on it all the time) – Many of us that write for the sake of the hobby or simply because we have a passion for it, understand that any time you can take something you love to do, and minimize its own cost, that’s a wonderful thing. (At the same time, I doubt anyone would turn away six or seven figures if they could come into it). Knowing all of this, what are some cost effective ways to bring titles to the reading masses to introduce them to the public? What promotions for your work give you your greatest bang for the buck?

Wow. A great question. To be honest, I spend very little 'buck' when it comes to promotion, but one of my favorite 'cost' promotions is using postcards instead of book marks or business cards to spread the word. Very little can fit on a business card, and with a book mark, you really only have one use for it. Postcards, however, are open to your ingenuity. I use postcards as invitations to book signings, as a way of introducing myself at places such as the bank, the library, the grocery store; even as a free gift at book signing for those readers who are trying to decide if they want to purchase my book or not. Postcards are hard to lose; much harder than a business card. Plus, they give you a whole lot more room to write. 

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Through the years I have gathered plenty of ideas that have worked for me. All of these ideas I've gathered into a marketing book called: Marketing Your Book on a Budget. The book comes out every January, completely updated.



To learn more about Jason visit:

Author blog - THE GUNDERSTONE REVIEW - https://gunderstone.wordpress.com/

Additional BOOKS:

BEFORE ANOTHER SUNSET -
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00T11GKYE/



I, HERO: NATHAN RETURNS - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B011AOPE64/
I, HERO: PHASES – COMING IN DECEMBER

AS LIFE GOES: ELEMENTARY - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZXVB7SK/



Reactions:

3 comments :

  1. Thank you for hosting me today!

    "Through the years I have gathered plenty of ideas that have worked for me. All of these ideas I've gathered into a marketing book called: Marketing Your Book on a Budget. The book comes out every January, completely updated."

    Awesome - I will check it out and pass it along

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. It was great having you on my blog today.

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  2. Hi Jason, it's wonderful to see you here.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for your comment.