Monday, December 26, 2011

Russell Blake interview

1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write? When I write, it's for ten to fifteen hour stretches, so I wouldn't say there's a particular time. But the most unproductive time is when I've been at it so long my vision's blurring.

2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer? All computer. I jot out a one or two paragraph description, and sometimes one sentence chapter summaries, then start writing.

3: What do you draw inspiration from? The stellar work of standout novelists. And the occasional times I hit a sentence or a story out of the park.

4: Do you set goals for yourself when you sit down to write such as word count? Generally, yes. I shoot for 7500 words a day. That's actually slow, if you divide by 12 hours. But I'll sit down and stick to it until I hit it. Usually, as in 85% of the time, I make it. This year, I will have released a dozen books by year end. People are skeptical and wonder how. Take 7500 and multiply by couple hundred days, and you quickly see how the math works. Simple, really.

5: Are you a published or a self published author and how do you come up with your cover art? Self-published. I come up with a concept - I "see" elements of the story as the cover, and then give my talented artist a conceptual description, sometimes accompanied by a very rough sketch.

6: What drives you to choose the career of being a writer? I've always been interested in the effect language can have. The power. To evoke, to jar, to elate. It seemed like something worth doing. And I enjoy conjuring up a story.

7: Do you own an ebook reading device? A kindle.

8: Who are some of your favorite authors and What are you reading now? David Foster Wallace. Lulum. Forsyth, Trevanian, Harris. Dickens, Dumas. Now I'm reading Black Flagged by Steven Konkoly, and next up is Vaccine Nation by David Lender.

9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any? I don't know enough about them to comment, other than to say that if someone could show me that they're actually effective and offer good ROI, I'd take a hard look at them.

10: How did you come up with the title of your latest book? King of Swords? My Brit editor actually suggested it. Liked the visual tied to a tarot card that's used by the assassin as his calling card.

11: What are you working on now that you can talk about? I just wrapped a prequel to King, called Night of the Assassin. I wanted to get that done while the character was vivid in my mind. Am editing The Delphi Chronicle trilogy, which is an international conspiracy thriller based on the US involvement in narcotics trafficking and its operating hit squads in Central America during the 1980s. And my next one that I'm just rolling into is The Voynich Cipher, which is sort of a Foucault's Pendulum-esque treasure hunt adventure/thriller featuring the protagonist from Zero Sum, Dr. Steven Cross.

King of Swords

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