Chad's book: "School of Marble and Mud"
Q. When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
A. I realized that I wanted to be a writer when I was around six or so. I remember talking with a friend about what we wanted to be and he told me that if I wanted to be a truck driver, I had to go to college. I didn't have any desire to go to college when I was six, so I decided to become a writer. The first story I wrote was called "Strange Stories About Strange Dogs". It was a compilation of all the bad things that had happened to the few dogs I had in my short six years of life. I wrote the stories, drew the cover, asked my mom for the stapler and bound it. I had created something. I've been doing that ever since.
Q. How do you
balance working a day job with pursuing a writing career?
Q. What steps did you take to get your book published?
A. Since it took so long to finish this one, I decided to self-publish it. I really had changed as a person and I didn't want to keep the manuscript around stinking up the place. I knew I would keep messing with it and obsessing over it, so I just wanted to get it out there, then take the steps towards traditional publishing (which I'm doing now). I did a lot of research into many of the self publishing companies and basically chose the one that I thought produced the best cover and left me with all of the rights. That was iUniverse. It was a tedious process to go through, but worth the final product. There were various stages in the submission process. This was probably the hardest part of writing the book. I chose to have an editor tear the book apart and give me feedback...that took a couple of weeks. Then I made changes (like the title), then sent them back. Some of the input they give you is based on marketing, and unless selling books is your primary motivation, you have to take that advice with a grain of salt. After the editing, there was a proofreading stage, a revision stage, a final copy stage. Honestly, I really don't remember how many stages there were. It was pretty thorough, though. The perception of self-publishing is that these are people who can't get published. I used to think like that, and actually went into the process wearily, but I've come to find out that's not entirely true. There is A LOT of crap out there...don't get me wrong, but some of it is actually pretty good.
Q. What are some of the common mistakes that novice writers make?
A. If you define novice writer as a novice published writer, then I can't really answer that one too well, because I consider myself a novice in terms of being published. I guess one of the many mistakes that I made at the end of this thing was to assume that the book would just sell. I believe the book is worth reading...it MUST sell. Wrong. It takes money to market the book and without marketing, you're selling books to Aunt Geraldine and your cousin Moe. I wish I was a better salesman.
Q. Where do you see the future of the publishing industry going?
A. Being a teacher, I see an increasing number of kids who can't read worth a damn and have no interest in reading worth a damn. Overweight kids glued to their video games. Damn, I sound old. But it's true. I think people will always read books, but there's so many ways to get information these days, that who's to say where those books come from? Right now, romance novels are the top selling genre. I'm not sure what would change that. Maybe I'll write a romance novel.
Q. Where do
you see yourself in five years?
Q. What inspires you?
A. Too many things to list.