Joe is Online, discusses his book, his journey as a writer, and self-publishing on Kindle.
DAVID WISEHART: What can you tell us about Joe Is Online?
CHRIS WIMPRESS: Joe is a collection of digital documents displayed in date order. It doesn't have chapters and sometimes I wonder if it's really a novel at all. It reveals the process by which a highly intelligent boy who's a genius with computers forms an online terrorist group which launches attacks on the western world.
DAVID WISEHART: How do you develop and differentiate your characters?
CHRIS WIMPRESS: For their lives and actions I spent a lot of time drawing timelines for them. For their voices I tended to write different characters' sections on different days depending on my mood. Joe I tended to write when I was personally angry, Barney (the radical tele-atheist) I wrote when I was feeling more optimistic.
DAVID WISEHART: Who do you imagine is your ideal reader?
CHRIS WIMPRESS: Someone who spends far too much time online, as I do! Anyone who finds the Internet fascinating.
DAVID WISEHART: What was your journey as a writer?
CHRIS WIMPRESS: I wrote poems and short stories as a child and young adult. I didn't want to write a novel until I was over 30. I thought I was an okay writer until I worked in the BBC Newsroom for 3 years. I got to work with amazing editors who made me a much better writer.
DAVID WISEHART: What is your writing process?
CHRIS WIMPRESS: I like to get up early and write from 5:30am until about 8:00am. Then again from 2pm till 5pm. I edit late at night. I didn't know the detailed end to my book until I got there. For some writers that's anathema, I get that.
DAVID WISEHART: What authors most inspire you?
CHRIS WIMPRESS: For style, Margaret Atwood. For pace and plot, William Boyd. For vision and humour Alastair Gray.
DAVID WISEHART: What one book, written by someone else, do you wish you'd written yourself?
CHRIS WIMPRESS: I love the symmetry and grandscale vision of Cloud Atlas.
DAVID WISEHART: How have you marketed and promoted your work?
CHRIS WIMPRESS: I invited beta readers first, used Kindleboards and other similar forums. I gave coupons out for Smashwords and tweeted these. My book has gone off to some bloggers for review and I'm waiting to see what happens with that.
DAVID WISEHART: Why publish on Kindle?
CHRIS WIMPRESS: Because I wrote it FOR e-readers. As it happens reading it on Kindle is just one experience. Quite a few people have read it on their phones and tell me they prefer it that way. I'm very interested in how writing may change in the e-reader era, but I'm not one of those people who think it's going to kill off the dead-tree book. Far from it.
DAVID WISEHART: What advice would you give to a first-time author thinking of self-publishing on Kindle?
CHRIS WIMPRESS: Edit, edit, edit. And get beta readers. This precluding the option of a professional editor, which I couldn't afford. I made a big mistake in the first instance of sending my book for review before it had finally been properly proofread by someone with eagle eyes. He found typos which had evaded both me and my beta readers. They have a knack of getting through but readers tend to hate it and I don't blame them.
DAVID WISEHART: Thanks, and best of luck with your books.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joe is Online is his first novel.
Visit his website, find him on facebook, and follow him on twitter.
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