I’m here with guest Jeff Bennington to discuss his new book, the Reunion which comes out this month.
Jeff has been one of my dear Tweethearts from the beginning, so I am super excited to have him on Celebrity Saturday! If you haven’t followed him yet, be sure to do so on Twitter! @Tweetthebook is very supportive and a great friend to have. I’m thankful we’re connected and happy to have him as this week’s superstar!
Now here’s Jeff! 🙂
1. Your latest book is called Reunion, correct? Can you tell us about it?
Sure… Reunion is a book about survivors. It’s a book about what happens when the news reporters leave town and the pain and aftermath continue years after a school shooting. Reunion is also a book about overcoming, grappling with your fears, and finding peace in a dark world.
2. When can my reader’s get their anxious hands on Reunion?
NOW…But if they can wait just a few more days, I’m pushing to get my fans, family and friends to buy at Amazon on April 15th so I can get a major spike in my sales ranking, thereby increasing Reunion’s exposure.
3. How many other books do you currently have?
I’m working on my fifth book, but the first is crap, the second, Killing the Giants, will be re-released in late April. Reunion is my third novel and my first supernatural thriller. I recently finished a fourth novel, Act of Vengeance, another supernatural thriller that’ll be available in late 2011. The fifth, Federal Underground, a huge supernatural thriller, will come out in 2012, hopefully before the world comes to a crashing halt.
((Claire’s note: I read the first Killing the Giants and liked it ^_^))
4. Which of your own books is your favorite to write? How come?
Reunion is a close second to Act of Vengeance. A of O is my best work , stylistically and technically speaking. When your editor says, “We have a winner!” That kind of makes you feel good about what you’ve done.
5. How long have you been writing? What was your first book published?
I started writing sometime around 1975 when I was in Kindergarten, but I don’t think that’s what you mean. I started to take writing seriously in 2006 while taking a graduate course at Indiana University. In that class I wrote a paper with a group of students regarding bullying in the work place. That experience planted the first seed for Reunion.
6. Before your first book came out, were you published other ways? Newspaper, magazine, etc?
7. Who was your inspiration to start writing?
My wife. In 2006 I was working three jobs and I finally burned out. I sold my business and quit one of the other jobs. My wife suggested that I start writing, something that she knew I always wanted to do.
8. What do you love most about writing?
Emptying my brain. I have so many ideas that play out in my mind that I have to get rid off them. Writing feels like I’m getting a cerebral drain after a head trauma.
((Claire’s note: I totally know the feeling!!))
9. What do you hate the most about writing?
I hate the business side. I mean, I love it, but I hate it.
10. What are you reading now? What’s next on your list?
I just finished reading Heaven is For Real by Todd Burpo, and started Liquid Fear by Scott Nicholson.
11. Do movies and/or TV shows inspire you or do books inspire you?
YES! I see dead people. And I like movies that do too.
12. What kind of research do you do for your books? Which one of your books involved the most research?
I mostly do online research as soon as I have a question about a setting or whatever. I did a lot of research for Reunion, more for Killing the Giants and even more for Federal underground.
13. What do you do to defeat writers block?
I haven’t had it yet. I’m sort of in withdrawal with my writing right now. I’m spending too much time promoting my book.
14. Would you self publish again?
I’m glad you asked.
I no longer self-publish—I’m an indie author. Self-publishing is paying someone to be your publisher and there are some huge problems with that model. The biggest problem is that with self-publishing, the quantity of books published is paramount to the publisher. This model rushes authors through the process, cares little for editing, cover design and marketing…UNLESS you pay…big time.
As an indie author, the quality of my book is paramount. I am the publisher. Reunion was twice professionally edited, has awesome cover art and has full distribution to bookstores, including a return policy and a 50% wholesale discount. You can’t get that with Createspace, Lulu, Outskirts Press or most any self-publisher. If you ask…they will cough out a bunch of nonsense about full distribution. But if they can’t provide a 50% discount and returns, you’re screwed, because you’ll never get your book into a bookstore unless you happen to have a relationship with a local store/manager.
15. What kind of attention are your books getting?
Not as much as it takes. Goodreads is generating some buzz, but this is a tough business. There are a lot of books published every month…Reunion is one of thousands. Try finding one fish in a school somewhere off the cost of South America. That’s what I’m up against, until I have 100,000 people waiting for my next book. In the meantime, I have to be patient with people who begrudge indies for self-promoting.
16. Does coffee or tea help you write? What’s your favorite?
I like Coffee, but I don’t think it helps me write. I think water and a vegetarian diet would probably help me write better, and think more clearly. But I like coffee, Folgers Special roast with Coffee-Mate’s Cinnamon Bun creamer. YUM! When I’m at Starbucks, I order a Grande Carmel Mocha or Peppermint Mocha Frap.
17. Thanks again so much Jeff for being this week’s rockstar! Is there anything ele you’d like my readers know about you or your books?
Yes. If anyone out there dislikes indies, and some do. I just want to say that all we want to do is share our stories with you. We spend months and even years writing, with no pay, working on our craft, hoping that we can share our work with you. Right now, publishers are not investing in new talent, but that doesn’t mean indies aren’t talented. Give us a try.
Thanks again so much Jeff! I’m glad to add you to my list of rockstars 🙂
For previous interviews, check out the #CelebritySaturday tag on the top of my blog! I’ve had some super interesting authors and poets last month, so I just wanted to thank everyone who mad Celebrity Saturday a hit! Glad you guys are having as much fun with this as I am.
And if YOU’d want to have a chance to promote your work and free digital coffee, simply ask @SmithEClaire! The next opening is April 16th, the week of my birthday yay!
Next week I’m very excited to have Susan H Gottfried guest star on Celebrity Saturday. You should follow her on @WestofMars!
Thanks again guys. Happy writing!