After answering a tweet in the autumn of 2009, I agreed to assist Graham Storrs’ virtual book tour (blog tour), on the release of his new book TimeSplash. At that time I also asked for two interviews with Graham; one to cover his feelings and findings before the start of the tour, and the second one after the tour to ask how, for him, the tour went.
As is the nature of things, we quickly realised that a single after-the-event interview, could not do justice to what was occurring during the tour. So we chatted together after each event, whilst the tour was running, and this has resulted in a post of seven and a half thousand words.
This is now too big, so to help the weary reader I have serialised it over a few days, I hope you keep coming back to see what Graham did next.
Today we join Graham at the start of the third week of his tour. (Click here for yesterday’s post.)
So now you are well into the tour do you feel that you want to meddle with the tour plan?
Not meddle, exactly. I am open to the idea of doing more stops, if opportunities crop up (a few have but the timescales mean they are outside the tour.) I also think I might negotiate with one or two of the hosts on the final tour stops to do something different (like a competition, maybe.)
We won’t mention here how after scheduling the post on Comings & Goings, I was dismayed the next morning when I checked it before going to work, only to find that some of the scheduling had ‘glitched’.
No I don’t think we will mention it here, no not at all.
Fingers crossed that everything else runs perfectly.
I have just been reviewing the comments from all the nice readers on Wendy’s blog, they really liked your interview and the cover and the… It must be really nice when you pop back to monitor a post and the whole world and their mum has popped in to compliment you and your work.
‘Nice’ hardly describes it. I don’t know what I expected would happen when I finally got published. I suppose I thought there would be a couple of reviews and that the rest would just be collecting royalty cheques if the book sold well. I guess my ideas were formed in some pre-internet age that existed before the dawn of modern publishing. What I didn’t expect (not really) is that readers would write nice things about the book on people’s blogs, twitter about the book and even call me from foreign lands to talk about the book (which someone in India did recently!) When someone I don’t know pops up on a blog or does an Amazon review and says wonderful, flattering things about the book, I just gaze at the words in amazement. That someone has enjoyed the book is wonderful enough, but that they have taken the time and made the effort to say so in public is just fabulous beyond belief. I just can’t get over how kind people are being. If I continue to sell books, I hope I will never, ever, come to take such kindness for granted. That would be terrible.
Of course I might admit to being a smidgeon jealous, but then I have to admit you deserve your moment in the spotlight. Now the obvious question is; is the fame going to your head?
This is actually a tough question. To get yourself published requires a tremendous faith in yourself and your work. To keep on sending work to agents and publishers and having them reject you over and over again is only possible if you really believe your work is good. That level of self-confidence means that, if publication comes, there is some part of you that can’t help seeing it as vindication, when the reviews are good, the same part of you can’t help feeling you deserve them. If you didn’t have that inside you, you couldn’t keep trying.
Yet another, more objective, part of you knows it’s all rubbish. For everyone who is published, there are a thousand other writers, at least as good, who are still on the query-rejection treadmill, waiting for their lucky break. That saner part of you knows that hitting the right agent or publisher with the right book at the right moment is as unlikely as winning that BMW they’re raffling off in the mall. Joe Konrath says that no writer deserves success and I believe he’s right. You can work hard at your craft, you can understand and follow the ‘rules’ for becoming published, you can network your socks off, and write the best damn book you know how to, but there is just too much luck involved in this game to say that any author who is published is better than any one who isn’t. Still, I will definitely cherish my ‘moment in the spotlight’
There was a long gap between Wendy’s and Emma’s post on “Post-Apocalyptic Publishing” and her post just happened to land on ‘Read an E-book Week. Now was that planned or just a happy coincidence? Come on, be honest, had you realised this before hand?
Absolutely not. I had no idea Read an E-book Week was about to happen until about a week before. It was a very happy coincidence though I’m glad ebook reading is being promoted by those with a vested interest in it. I think we need a ‘Try an E-book Reader’ week too. People are very surprised, when they do try using a dedicated ebook reader like the Kindle, just how pleasant the reading experience is. I was surprised and so was my wife. Now I really resent grappling with paper books – they’re so heavy and awkward, the pages are always trying to flip closed, and it takes two hands to turn a page! These are all things I wasn’t too bothered by until I discovered there was a better way. Now I look at schoolkids, struggling through the streets with backpacks full of books, and think, “I hope they’re not getting permanent spine damage from that!” It won’t be long before the law suit case against a school for making kids lug these books around when they could have been given electronic text books.
By this time (stop six on the tour), you had been “interviewed” by a number of different blogs and there is an upcoming radio interview in a few days from now. What was the best technique used by a host and which technique did you feel was the weakest?
Yours was definitely best, Andy.
Seriously, having the questions a long time in advance, agreeing the questions, putting up answers and editing the overall interview gives it coherence and a better flow. It also means that it is done and dusted long before the tour date and the presentation on the host’s blog is less fraught and hurried. But you have to see your interviews as a group. If you did the same interview over and over, it would soon become very boring for someone following the tour. I’ve tried to arrange it so that my interviews represent a progression – material about the book and the tour early on, then more about me and writing the book, then opening it up to more off-beat and colourful pieces (like the interview with Sniper, which I loved, and the interview with the very funny Kristi Thompson that’s coming up on her How Did You Get There? blog.) In many ways, blog touring gets better as it goes along.
So, from your answer do I take it that there were no nasty surprises, no strange practices that you would warn an author to be aware of?
Absolutely none. Everyone has behaved impeccably.
Now I happen to know that Merrilee pressed you to write the short story that she posted and as anyone reading my blog will know, I strongly believe in short “bubble” stories to promote a larger, related, piece of work. What I would like to know is how you and Merrilee worked together in getting this story produced.
Click here for part four, when Graham exposes how a “moment of some awkwardness” can occur in a blog tour.
TimeSplash Virtual Book Tour (Blog Tour)
This interview is part of the virtual book tour running from 16th of February to the 5th of May. To find out more about the book, characters, Graham, publication and inside information about writing the story, go to the virtual book tour schedule page at “TimeSplash – The Blog Tour 2010″
About Graham Storrs
Graham Storrs is someone who thinks a lot about the future. It’s a place we’re all going, whether we like it or not, a place where we, our children and their children will have to deal with changes we can barely imagine. Some of us can’t wait to get there, to see what it’s like, and how we will cope. That’s why Graham writes science fiction – he wants to know what happens next in this amazing story we’re all living.
After a career in research and software design, Graham has turned his gaze firmly to the far horizons and now lives and writes on a remote mountain-top in rural Australia. Surrounded by gum forests and wild animals, he relies on his wife, Christine, and their Airedale terrier, Bertie, to keep him anchored in the present.
Released: February 15, 2010 · Lyrical Press Inc.
Purchase: TimeSplash can be bought as an eBook direct from the publisher, by clicking on “Buy now”.
e-Book: All six popular formats supplied with each purchase
Price: US $ 5.50,