Lions, and Books, and Self-Publishing! Oh My!
I will come right out and say it, I love books. Reading has long been one of my favorite pastimes, transporting me to others worlds and times. There is a certain magic to a book, no matter the content, that captivities me. You can therefore imagine my excitement when I got the chance to interview Joseph Wolfe, a local self-published author (who goes by the name Daniel). Daniel recently published his first book, The Lion of Fallavon, which you can check out on Amazon. He also has his own website, and regularly posts helpful writing and story tips to his blog. Let’s see what Daniel had to say about the journey to becoming a self-published author.
Give me a brief overview of your book?
The book is called “The Lion of Fallavon” and it is first in The Last Angel trilogy. The book follows the life of a fur trader turned soldier named Donovan, a man who can’t remember who he is or where he came from, likely due to a curse placed on his mind. After fleeing from captors, he finds himself in the fey city of Fallavon which is on the brink of civil war. The more he discovers about his past, the more dangerous the city becomes for him and his friends.
What inspired you to write your novel?
When I was much younger, I worked with a friend on a storyline for an RPG video game we were going to make. The game never came about (hey, we were only about 10 years old at the time) but the story kept coming back to me. Eventually I thought, “what if Donovan lived in a trading outpost called Nightingale?” The book took off from there.
What did you learn that helped the most?
I learned hundreds of things, but probably the biggest piece of the puzzle was reading Eye of the World, by Robert Jordan. That really opened my eyes to fantasy worlds and helped me write better. I’ve read more authors since, and each one adds quality to my style.
What hardships did you face on your journey to completion of the book?
A lot actually, but discouragement was the biggest one. Feeling like I’m not a good writer or that no one will ever read my book, thoughts like that. Having friends and mentors who believed in me (and still do) really pulled me through times of not working on the book for literally months.
How hard was it to self-publish?
Easier than I thought (considering I thought it was impossible at some points), yet still very difficult. I used amazon.com’s company, Createspace, which breaks down the self-publishing into much easier steps and also helps you format and make corrections to your book. When you self-publish, you are your own editor, cover artist, formatter, chief financial officer, and so on. Anything you don’t outsource, you have to do yourself.
What advice would you have for aspiring writers?
The market is more sympathetic to self-publishers, and that’s a great way to get started. If you aren’t ready for publishing yet, keep working on your skills and start blogging so you can get a following of people (Michael Hyatt’s Platform is a great book for blogging advice).
Also, I would HIGHLY recommend outsourcing your editing (if the person is not a professional editor, ask upfront if he or she will read your book TWICE, once for pleasure and once for edits). Also, consider outsourcing cover art if you are not a great graphics artist. A professional-looking cover is very, very important.
Lastly, my blog, wolfebooks.com/blog, updates twice a week, and Thursday’s updates are always about writing/publishing, so there’s a lot more detail there. This post is a good one to start with: http://bit.ly/1mWo5oz
What plans do you have for future works?
Absolutely! Children of Perdition (book 2 in The Last angel trilogy) is scheduled for release early December of this year, and the third book will be out next year around the same time. I also have some science-fiction short stories I will publish soon, and plans for another trilogy in the same universe as The Last Angel is also on the list. I’m also looking into doing more script writing for plays and sketches, but I don’t expect that to take off for quite some time.
Thanks to Daniel Wolfe for the interview.