This is turning into Indie Publishing Weekend for me. Yesterday I reviewed Stacey Cochran’s novel Claws and today I’m talking to Dawson Vosburg – the 14 year old author of Young Adult Suspense Novel “Double Life”. (also at Amazon UK and on the Kindle).
It must be said that haven’t actually read this yet, but I have read the sample that’s up on Amazon – and it’s caught my interest, so he’s doing something right. He’s also received some great reviews – some of which were unsolicited. Here are links to just a few:
- Book Reviews by Someone Who Knows the Pain review
- Books on the Knob review
- Kindle 2 Review Blog Mention (not really a review per se - but certainly an endorsement)
--Becky: Hello, Dawson, and thank you for finding time in your busy schedule to give me this interview.
Dawson: You're welcome, Becky.
Becky: Shall we start with the obvious - tell us a bit about yourself and your new novel.
Dawson: I hail from Anderson, Indiana (an abandoned GM town) and I've been writing since I was twelve. Double Life is a young-adult sci-fi adventure about a thirteen-year-old boy who finds a portal into his imaginary world of secret government agents, and finds out he's not the only one who has done so.
Becky: Interesting concept.
Dawson: Thank you. It's available in print or on Kindle on Amazon. (See above or at the bottom for the links)
Becky: Was the inspiration for this novel your own fantasy life or something else? If so where did you find your muse as it were?
Dawson: When I was five, I used to roll around on my bike in the neighbouring dentist office's parking lot. There I would imagine that I was on the BLUE Agency as Agent 12, and I was shooting at evil RED Agents. As I grew older, the story sort of went with it until I think it was 2002 that I came up with "Agent 12 and His Gang" as an idea for a movie. I came up with other agents' characters, and when I was writing the book I drew from those original ideas. (The characters David and Bob were my original imaginary friends, but their names were Bob and Joe. With the name for the main character being Josiah, I had to change it to David, which happens to be the name of one of my older brothers.)
Becky: On both your blogs (Dawson Vosburg, Author and The POD Journal) you talk about "No Plot, No Problem" and how it helped you. From this I guess you are more of a 'discovery' writer than I am. I like to give my readers an insight into many ways of writing as I believe there is no one true way of writing - just what works for you. Tell us more about how you write.
Dawson: First I'd like to say that there is no one way of writing a novel...it's just the one that has worked for me (and as far as I know the one that works the best for most people) is the one outlined in No Plot? No Problem!
The way I generally write is in three stages: First draft, I write down the main plot of the story and don't have any of the subplots there. I just have the main thread of the story.
Second draft, the one I'm currently on for the sequel to Double Life, is the one where I add in the subplots and extra characters and smaller plot twists to my original plot. I find it much easier to add these in afterward because I have a foundation on which to lay these things and I know what exactly goes on in the story.
Third draft, I focus on the prose, the writing, the word choice. I already have my story down, so this time I take the printout of my book and read through it several times at least and carefully scrutinize the writing each time. After repeating again and again 'til the pages are well-worn, I add my changes into the document and send it to an editor.
Becky: Again good answer. I outline before I write (except oddly enough for nano) but that's because I have never managed to finish without an outline. Like you say we're all different.
Dawson: The book that I did outline actually turned out quite horribly for me, so yes, this once again proves everyone is very different in writing.
Becky: Well my outlines are hardly rock solid - I'm something of a hybrid writer if that makes sense. But we're here to talk about you not me - I do that enough on here. Can you tell us about your experience with Amazon Kindle so far? It's been very successful for our mutual acquaintance Stacey Cochran. How's it been for you so far?
Dawson: It's been great--I've sold 69 copies as of 6 o'clock June 12. And that's just this month. I've sold 95 since May 30th. Stacey Cochran, whom I did a talk with on Blog Talk Radio last night about this very subject (you can hear the talk here) far outstrips me. He's already sold about 1,000 this month. But Kindle has been incredibly easy to use altogether.
Becky: Given that the ebook format seems quite successful for you and that the Kindle is currently North America only have you considered releasing your book in other ebook formats such as mobipocket or for the Sony ebook reader (currently being pushed by Waterstones - the biggest bricks and mortar store in the UK)?
Dawson: I haven't put much thought into having it on the Sony eBook reader, though I can't deny it crossed my mind. I don't really know what I'm going to do about that...right now my efforts are focused on the Kindle and this blog tour.
Becky: That's understandable - you don't want to spread yourself too thin. But at the same time you don't want to forget you may have potential non-US readers who's like an ebook version as much as your US readers. (I’d buy a MobiPocket version in a flash). Anyway, next question - you mentioned a second draft of a sequel - any teasers?
Dawson: Ooh! I have a few... There are more exciting events surrounding the death in the first book. There is also a mysterious third party and a possible rogue agent. That's all I'll say.
Becky: Mysterious third parties are always good in my book. Thank you again for joining us, Dawson. Good luck with you blog tour and sales from here on in.
Dawson: Thank you for having me, Becky. Have a great day.--