Alain Gomez: The Eclectic Mix, discusses her book, her journey as a writer, and self-publishing on Kindle.
DAVID WISEHART: What can you tell us about Alain Gomez: The Eclectic Mix?
ALAIN GOMEZ: It's a collection of three of my short stories that I put together. Two of them are stand-alone stories and one of them ("Celebrity Space") is part of a series. I grouped those three stories together because they all take place in different time periods (past, future, present). So any potential readers could get a feel for my writing rather than just placing me in a specific genre.
DAVID WISEHART: How do you develop and differentiate your characters?
ALAIN GOMEZ: That's a tough one! I'm not really sure I have a tried and true method. Usually what happens is I'll just get an idea and then just kind of let the characters unfold themselves. I don't think I've ever finished a story the way I originally thought I was going to finish it.
DAVID WISEHART: Who do you imagine is your ideal reader?
ALAIN GOMEZ: One that would buy three copies of all my stories and then tells all their friends? You'd definitely have to like short stories. I'm just starting to generate consistent sales, so it's hard to say. I have no idea who's buying my work. But I imagine the people who will come back for more will be sci-fi buffs who approach short stories the way they would a comic book or a tv series.
DAVID WISEHART: I see that you're starting to review short stories on your blog. What a wonderful idea! What do you think makes a great short story?
ALAIN GOMEZ: It's hard to say. That's like asking what it is you're looking for in that "certain someone." Could be number of small things that make a great whole. But I think that one thing most great short stories share is immediately pulling a reader in to a world already in motion. The author has to somehow make the reader care about the characters even if the reader knows nothing about them. Not an easy task!
DAVID WISEHART: What was your journey as a writer?
ALAIN GOMEZ: Writing has been a hobby of mind since I was a teenager. When I learned about electronic self-publishing I decided to give it a shot.
DAVID WISEHART: What is your writing process?
ALAIN GOMEZ: Similar to my character development. I'll outline general points just so I remember where I'm going with the story. But more often than not, I'll just let the story itself dictate the end.
DAVID WISEHART: What authors most inspire you?
ALAIN GOMEZ: Georgette Heyer is probably my number one role model. I love her books, but I don't really write like her (I wish I did!). What inspires me is her literary legacy. She's pretty much how I'd like to end up as an author if I had the choice.
DAVID WISEHART: What one book, written by someone else, do you wish you'd written yourself?
ALAIN GOMEZ: Dracula. Such an awesome book.
DAVID WISEHART: How have you marketed and promoted your work?
ALAIN GOMEZ: This has been tricky since I'm a short story author. I've found that I run into two problems: the readers and the reviewers. A novel has general appeal, short stories you have to find your niche. You also have to find reviewers that "get" short stories.
With this in mind, I've done the usual stuff that most independent authors do: tried paying for ads on Facebook or Goodreads, staying active on forums such as Kindleboards, sending my work in to be reviewed at blogs... etc. I've found that blogs tend to be the most effective means of spreading the word around.
DAVID WISEHART: Why publish on Kindle?
ALAIN GOMEZ: Well, it's a huge market for one thing. For another, there are actually quite a few short story readers on Amazon/Kindle compared to B&N. Though B&N is slowly picking up.
DAVID WISEHART: What advice would you give to a first-time author thinking of self-publishing on Kindle?
ALAIN GOMEZ: I really wish I had gone on Kindleboards before I had even published and posted a thread asking "what am I getting myself into?" It would not have deterred me in any way. It just would have really helped me to fully grasp what I was getting myself into.
DAVID WISEHART: Thanks, and best of luck with your books.
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