Why are you taking part in the author interview and what do you hope to achieve?
I know you from Twitter and Goodreads, and admire the work that you do. I also feel I need to present myself better online, and this seemed like a good opportunity, and a new experience. It’s my pleasure to take part in your author interview.
How long have you been writing for?
I wrote in high school and technical school, and then took a little break of about 20 years. Honestly, in recent years, I concentrated on songwriting until I started writing my book. I never realized how much I had to learn. I’m still learning, and it’s part of my ongoing journey. Now that I have a publishing company, I also hope to work with young singers who need songs. As a performing artist, I am too old and have no talent. Not a good combination!
What would you say is the most difficult part of writing a book?
Actually starting to write words. Self discipline, and believing in yourself; that you’re writing something that others want to read.
What genre do you generally write?
I’ve only written one nonfiction book. It’s a travelogue which, most of all, I hope the reader finds funny and easy to read. If I can inspire the reader to go on their own journey one day, that would be great. I also have a vivid imagination, and have ideas for fiction books and other writing.
Do you have a favourite author and why?
I admire the English author, Bill Bryson. I like how he transformed from his early travelogues to the current historic books. Steven King also, but mostly for his brilliant book, On Writing.
What is your book called and how did you choose this title?
My book is called Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, My Way On The Way of St. James. Although I had alternate titles, I chose one that was to the point. My book recounts my 20 day journey, on the famed pilgrimage across Spain, the 500 mile Camino de Santiago.
Camino de Santiago In 20 Days is my personal recount how and why I decided to walk the Camino de Santiago, the events leading to my mom’s passing, a brief history of the pilgrimage, my planning and preparation, and then, I take the reader from St. Jean Pied de Port, France, to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. All from the comforts of their own home or a sandy beach.
Has your book been published and how did you go about this?
The paperback version has been out on Amazon.com since late 2011, and on other online retailers since earlier in 2012. I released Camino de Santiago In 20 Days with no press and little fanfare. I wanted to build up my name and following through blogging and social media, before spending money on promotion. My book made its official debut at the London Book Fair in April, 2012. I’m now very excited that Camino de Santiago In 20 Days finally had its Kindle release on October 16, 2012.
Approximately how long did it take you to finish your book?
I originally anticipated about nine months, but it took a year from when I started writing to publishing. I put in long hours, and took advantage of writing during the dark Vancouver winter and spring of 2011.
What advice would you give aspiring authors?
Don’t procrastinate, write your book. Go do it! Don’t always rely on what others think, because you will get many different opinions that will mess up your mind. Find one or two people that you trust for opinions. Be disciplined! Keep the goal of finishing your book always in your mind. Use Dragon Dictate, especially if you’re challenged for typing speed like I am. Read or listen to Steven King’s, On Writing.
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?
Yes, I am a KDP author and have signed my life away to Amazon. Well, at least for three months. It’s too early for me to give an opinion on KDP, but I must say, publishing my ebook there was fairly easy.
If you had to do it all over again what would you do differently?
I have made many mistakes, which are all part of the learning experience. I am often impatient, and it showed at times during the writing and publishing process. Looking back, I wish I would have delayed the release by a few months, and focused more on marketing and soliciting reviewers.
What books do you like to read in your spare time?
I mostly read or listen to non-fiction, self-help books, and the odd novel. I just started listening to The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. It has amazing advice and insight for anyone who is creative. I wish I knew about it two years ago. I also started listening to Fifty Shades of Grey about a month ago. The way I’m going, I should be finished in 2015. And to think I was worried about some of the content in my book.
What do you feel is the most important stage of writing a book?
I don’t know if it’s an actual stage, but I’ll say when you make a firm commitment to yourself that you’re going to write, and complete, a manuscript by a specified date. Not sometime in the future, but an actual date. Then, you need to structure your life so you can accomplish your goal. Self-discipline is one of the most difficult aspects to writing a book. Life is full of distractions and excuses not to write or accomplish your goals.
How did you go about designing the cover for your book?
I collaborated with a graphic designer in Spain. We exchanged many emails, and I commend him for putting up with my picky self. I think it worked out fine, and I’m happy with the cover.
Are you writing or considering writing a follow-up to your book?
I’ll follow-up with a new book when the time is right. I have ideas for three other books. I need to focus on making this book successful before I disappear for nine months again to write another one.
Do you have a day job (if so, what do you do?) or do you write full-time?
I concentrate most of my time right now with learning, blogging, and marketing for my book. Soon, I will host workshops online and in person around Vancouver, Canada.
Where is your book available to buy?
Camino de Santiago In 20 Days can be found at the following online retailers (partial list):