Kindle Author Interview: Alan Nayes

Alan Nayes, author of Barbary Point, discusses his book, his journey as a writer, and self-publishing on Kindle.

DAVID WISEHART: What can you tell us about Barbary Point?

ALAN NAYES: Barbary Point is the story of a young ambitious woman who is engaged to an older man who is quite wealthy. When Kelly English receives word her father has passed away, she must fly  back to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, to close out her father’s estate. The last thing on her mind is falling in love. Again. Kelly is twenty-eight and very satisfied with her life in Los Angeles. She only desire is to make the trip back brief, sell her deceased father’s place, and return to her stable life in California. My inspiration for the story is a family cottage my family owns on the lake and while fishing and relaxing there I always thought it would be an ideal locale for a love-slash-fishing story. Barbary Point is that attempt.

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

ALAN NAYES: Before even writing the actual story I have a fairly clear mental picture of “who” my characters are, but the picture is far from focussed. Different layers are added as the story progresses and sometimes the so called good character doesn’t end up so good and vice versa. Just like with people, you really can’t get to know them really well after only a brief introduction. Most of the time it takes many “chapters” to really become familiar with someone. My characters  are in a constant state of flux—sometimes this is good, sometimes this becomes a major headache in the form of rewrites—I hate it when this happens.

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

ALAN NAYES: David, in a nutshell, any individual who loves to read. And especially any reader who loves to read my books. All facetiousness aside, I enjoy readers who enjoy and can appreciate a well-written story, regardless whether the story falls within their chosen genre.

DAVID WISEHART: What was your journey as a writer?

ALAN NAYES: Man, a long one, David. I used to write some music in college, but when I realized I couldn’t sing well—allow me to rephrase that—not at all. So I gave that up and for several decades, I didn’t write any fiction. Then I tried a creative writing course at a local community college and this was my transition back into the realm of writing. I tried to sell some screenplays to no avail so switched gears to novels. In fact the first novel I sold, Gargoyles, was initially a screenplay under a different title that I converted over.

DAVID WISEHART: What is your writing process?

ALAN NAYES: It varies depending on my other job. Most weekdays I try to get in at least an hour a day, some days it’s less, and some days when I’m having one of those “shitty” days, I may not write at all. On weekends, I can usually get in four or five hours. My goal is always to complete a first draft before I start rewriting. That first draft can be a real challenge for me because there is always that temptation when you realize some aspect of the story isn’t going to work, I find I want to go back and change it now. I just have to keep reminding myself if I keep making changes, I’ll never finish. I believe it was Hemingway who said, “The only thing that matters about a first draft is that you finish it.” Now if I could just write another The Old Man and the Sea.

DAVID WISEHART: What authors most inspire you?

ALAN NAYES: Successful authors—no one in particular. There’s plenty out there—King, Meyers, Auel.

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

ALAN NAYES: The Da Vinci Code...can you say millions?

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

ALAN NAYES: I belong to social sites—Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads—I do interviews for anyone who’ll listen, send out copies for book reviews, join discussion groups like kindle boards, my website, blog, have I missed anything. Oh, and I  hope for some luck!

DAVID WISEHART: Why publish on Kindle?

ALAN NAYES: I’ve done the traditional route without a whole lot of success and wanted to attempt a novel on my own. So far it’s been a rewarding experience—I don’t mean financially—but mentally and emotionally. A few roadblocks, of course formatting is most definitely not my strong point.

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

ALAN NAYES: From my little experience, two things: hire a good cover artist and make sure you have your formatting down perfect. I don’t do either myself, but then I’m pretty tech-challenged.

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


Alan Nayes was born in Houston and grew up on the Texas gulf coast. After attending medical school at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, he moved to Southern California where he divides his time and energies between medicine and writing. He is the author of the critically-acclaimed biomedical thrillers, Gargoyles and The Unnatural. His most recent release is Barbary Point, a love story.

An avid outdoorsman and fitness enthusiast, he is one of only a few individuals to ever swim across Wisconsin’s chilly Lake Winnebago. When not working on his next project, he enjoys relaxing and fishing at the family vacation home in Wisconsin.

Visit his website.

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