Kindle Author Interview: Steve Carter

Steve Carter, author of Love, Sex and Tesco's Finest Cava, discusses his book, his journey as a writer, and self-publishing on Kindle.

DAVID WISEHART: What can you tell us about Love, Sex and Tesco's Finest Cava?

STEVE CARTER: Love, Sex and Tesco's Finest Cava is my first novel and relies heavily on the old adage, "write what you know."

It took me three years and two professional copy edits to get it where it is now. It was with a large talent agency in London for some time but the general consensus seems to me that Women no longer buy Rom-coms by male lad-lit writers??

It's based on my experiences of Internet dating and modern relationships. It's tone is very much lid-lit in the Hornby tradition of male angst.

The latest reviews on Amazon are very positive and it appears to be as funny to the public as I hoped it would be.

DAVID WISEHART: How do you develop and differentiate your characters?

STEVE CARTER: I mainly use dialogue as a way of developing characters as critics of my work say that's a strength of mine. I have to find each voice to do that, but it's something that, thankfully, come naturally to me. Maybe because I'm a Gemini :) I have great admiration for the wonderful descriptive writers who paint their characters in the readers minds with adjectives but I use another way.

DAVID WISEHART: Who do you imagine is your ideal reader?

STEVE CARTER: My ideal reader I imagine is female between 25 and 50, keen on learning about the male psyche with a good sense of humour. LSATFC is not high-brow stuff. It's very well-written poolside/airport holiday reading. But it's also a book for men to pick-up and go, "what's this rubbish?" and sit there laughing out loud as they read.

DAVID WISEHART: What was your journey as a writer?

STEVE CARTER: My journey as a writer only started five years ago. I set myself challenges. After having learnt to play the guitar in my late thirties I decided to write a novel. Like most writers I was convinced that what I was writing was rubbish; it was my partner who kept saying: "This is really good."

DAVID WISEHART: What is your writing process?

STEVE CARTER: My writing process is just to sit down and write. I write about two thousands words and on completion I sit down and tidy and improve. I might do this five or six times. I call each one of thses a piece of the quilt. When i have ten or twelve I sit down and weave the plot through them. It's unorthodox maybe and the reader can judge if it works in this novel :)

DAVID WISEHART: What authors most inspire you?

STEVE CARTER: Obviously my book is very similar in tone to Hornby. However, I think Stephen King inspires me because I think he's a brilliant writer, it's just that his genre isn't taken seriously. I suppose my genre isn't either, but maybe it's not meant to be.

DAVID WISEHART: What one book, written by someone else, do you wish you'd written yourself?

STEVE CARTER: The Catcher in the Rye is the one novel I wish I'd written. If you are going to be remembered for one book it might as well be the book that spawned a hunder comedy sub-genres.

DAVID WISEHART: How have you marketed and promoted your work?

STEVE CARTER: I have done some hard yards self-marketing. On the forums and social networks firstly. I built my own website without any experience and that has proved helpful.

DAVID WISEHART: How did you create your cover?

STEVE CARTER: My cover was designed by a talented guy in the states called Joe Mercer who did it for free. I think he's done a great job.

DAVID WISEHART: Why publish on Kindle?

STEVE CARTER: In the end I went for Kindle because of two reasons. Firstly the growth of Kindle last year in the US convinced me it's time in the UK was coming. That's proved to be true.

Secondly I just found it imposssible to get publishers in the UK to take a chance on an unkown Author in this genre. At first I thought it was because the novel wasn't good enough or not funny etc. Now I realise there are so many good writers with brilliant books out there, like my friend James Rainsford. who can't get deals;  Kindle fills that gap.

DAVID WISEHART: What advice would you give to a first-time author thinking of self-publishing on Kindle?

STEVE CARTER: To a first time author I would say go for it but don't think it's a magic bullet that will be the answer to everything. There are so many writers out there competing for the market it's hard to get your book noticed. But if you believe in it quality will out in the end. Thats what I think is starting to happen with mine but I'm not complacent by any means.

DAVID WISEHART: Thanks, and best of luck with your books.


Steve Carter (age: Immaterial when you're this talented) is the brilliant, but unstable, author of the amazing new novel that's sweeping the country: Love, Sex and Tesco's Finest Cava.

Bossed about in his guesthouse by his bossy-boots partner and fantastic (she made me put that in) editor-in-chief, Julie, he longs for the brilliance of his novel to be discovered by the difficult US market. This will free him up to write his even-more-brilliant second novel, How my first novel cracked the difficult US market.

Until then he remains a bossed about small guesthouse "Partner" in the NW of Skye:

Visit his website.

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