Friday, August 2, 2013

Author Interview – Bill Hiatt

 

What are some of the best tools available today for writers, especially those just starting out? I cannot overstate the importance of the Internet and of social media. With the help of online resources a writer can learn how to do pretty much anything related to the mechanics of self-publishing, from how to format an ebook to how to use cover templates. If you are a writer, and if you have the time to look around, you can learn how to do many things that someone else will want to charge you $150 to do for you. (I’ve seen prices for converted a book to a particular ebook format that are that high or higher.)

Social media in particular is a great promotional tool—if used with appropriate restraint. (I have a separate Facebook persona as an author so I won’t completely wear out my friends with promotions, and some of the authors I know have discovered that even their fans don’t want a steady barrage of advertising.) Even more important, social media groups give a writer a chance to meet with other writers and become part of a developing culture of mutual support. Find a varied enough author group, and you can get any question answered, from beating writers’ block to deciding whether or not your proposed cover design is really as good as you think it is. An individual writer, even one with a fair amount of experience, will still need help with some issues. A new writer will need help with all. If you are in that situation, don’t travel that road alone! There are many people who can help you.

What do you do to unwind and relax? This may sound a little nerdy, but I read when I want to relax. Escapist genres are best for this purpose, but I find reading anything helps me unwind.

If you could leave your readers with one bit of wisdom, what would you want it to be? “Don’t give up on your dreams—but have a plan B.” I have seen people keep plugging away until they got what they wanted, even though at first their goals seemed impractical. I know people who believe truly can accomplish the seemingly impossible. That said, people don’t always succeed. I have become determined not to give up on my writing, but I haven’t quit my day job. (I love being a teacher anyway, so I won’t leave that profession until I retire, but even if were in a job I didn’t like as well, I’d never leave it until the point at which I knew I could support myself.)

What books have most influenced your life? The Lord of the Rings trilogy was a big influence in pulling me in the direction of fantasy, the genre in which I currently write. Even earlier, though D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths gave me a love of mythology that put me on the pathway toward the fantastic. I read that book so often as a kid that I literally wore it out. As time passed, I read so many other books it would be hard to isolate specific recent influences. Each book contributed a little to who I am—just as I hope each of my books will contribute a little to who my readers are.

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From now till 5th August, be a part of Bill Hiatt's "Find Me A Treasure" book tour.

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Genre - Fantasy / Young Adult

Rating – PG13

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