7 Questions With Author Brian Wilson
Brian Wilson is a writer from New Zealand. If he adds Christchurch, New Zealand then you’ll understand why he seems to live dangerously and there is never a dull moment. On September 2009 his city was rocked by a richter-scale 7.1 earthquake. He just happened to be at the worst end of his city – the airport at 5am, when it happened. On 22 February 2010 his city was levelled by a 6.3 earthquake killing 113 people- most of them being in the building across the road from where he was working at the time.
It was after the Christchurch earthquakes when Brian began writing. There was a story to tell and as a person who has travelled the world extensively Brian had other stories to add, enough to complete his first book of short stories “Moments in Time”. He followed this with “Bumpy Roads” – post earthquake Christchurch and other stories. Two more books of short stories followed: “Here Comes the Sun-Perhaps?” and “So that’s Life”, before Brian progressed to writing two spy novels: “Operation Iran” and “The First Trumpet”. He is now in the final stages of another thriller novel, but based in New Zealand.
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What were some major setbacks of this profession?
Initially the lack of knowledge of how to publish a book. Three of my collections of short stories were published by Trafford, who some would describe as a vanity publisher as they charge for their services but they do give you the resources to enable you to prepare your book for printing. They are owned by Random House and Penguin, the two biggest traditional publishers.
The cost up front for publishing including cover design unless you have the knowledge and can use a free service like Amazon. Both novels I have put through Amazon.
The need to have your book proof-read/ edited which is an additional cost.
Marketing- the biggest problem. Most authors don’t sell more than 100 books and the number can be increased through marketing but then the more money you sink into your book the more you need to recover through increased sales. The problem is that you may have a brilliant book but nobody knows it or you exist.
Authors vs. Social Media. How do you approach the tools you have at your disposal?
This follows on from d). How do you try to be known? I have a website at brian-d-wilson.com
I am on Facebook please pay me a visit and like as this is a new site. I also have an author’s page at Amazon and I am also at linkedin, and pinterest. firstname.lastname@example.org is a site where I have reviewed other author’s books.
What are the steps you usually take from writing your first draft to publishing?
I have an MA in psychology, and apply psychology to writing. In particular, what is most important in writing, interviews and many other areas are the primacy and recency effects. In other words the first and the last. For instance, if one picks up a book and read the first two chapters and it’s dull and boring then one often gives up on the book.
For this reason I like to pack action in the first chapter to get the reader on board. The ending is also important like finishing on a happy note or surprise twist, basically the wow factor, so the reader will want more of your books. So initially I know how the story will start and end and areas of suspense I want to include. The rest develops as I write. I have just finished a third thriller novel, set in my own country, New Zealand. Currently I have close to forty thousand words but I need to be up to between 60,000 and 80,000. But that’s not a problem as I now work through my novel adding bits and developing characters.
Just how much research is there behind a novel? Tell us how much research is there behind a novel? Tell us how it looks behind the scenes.
Accuracy is important and for this reason I use my experiences in other countries. In my last spy novel, “The First Trumpet”, my first chapter begins in Paris ascending the famous hill called Montmartre. I was in Paris a few years ago and for this reason I can draw on my knowledge. This novel also involves a wide range of research into past events and the more discerning reader can verify these through the Internet. In my novels research is extensive.
What’s your definition of the first draft?
Some might say the cold air coming through the doorway, but on a serious note it is hard to say. I might consider my current novel’s completion from the beginning to the end as the first draft but there’s another 20,000 or more words to add and I will continue to work over and over again from beginning to end adding and fine tuning.
How long do you self-edit your manuscript before sending it to a proof reader/ beta reader / editor?
Each time I work through adding and fine tuning I pick up and correct mistakes. When you consider that a novel may have 80,000 words plus say 20,000 bits of punctuation and add onto this grammar sentence structure errors, then say a 1% error rate (which seems quite low) would amount to more than a massive 1000 errors. I have been using Grammarly first to detect errors then I’ve shipped my draft to a proof-reader. Traditional publishers often use up to ten proof readers as even proof readers miss errors.
What should readers expect from your next novel?
This is based in New Zealand and will like the other two novels be a thriller leaving you to guess right to the end.
Are you in the Writing Industry?
Shoot me an email, I’d love to interview you!
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