15 January 2012

Interview w/David Estes

Today I have for you an interview with the author David Estes.  He is the author of the Evolution Trilogy.  Be on the look out for my reivew of the first book Angel Evolution!! So let's get started :)
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1. Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?


Interesting question because I turned to self-publishing like so many other authors who get frustrated with the challenges of traditional publishing. Initially, my biggest challenge was to get an agent and/or a publisher. When I finished Angel Evolution, I researched those agents and publishers that would be most likely to take it on. I sent off dozens of one page query letters and began receiving rejections on an almost daily basis. It was tough, but it gave me plenty of time to continue writing the rest of the trilogy, as well as work on some other projects.

I kept querying, kept getting rejected, and then finished the trilogy. I decided I wanted to self-publish after hearing about how much easier it was to do these days and how some authors were having considerable success with it (eg Amanda Hocking—as an aside, it is my goal to be the male author version of her!). So I hired a cover artist, edited my books to death, utilized beta readers to improve them (resulting in some awesome changes to characters and to the ending of the entire trilogy), and learned the ins and outs of formatting your book for e-book and print. Two long, busy months later I released the entire trilogy on Amazon in print and everywhere e-books are sold!

It was amazing to see my work in print and available on various sites and it has been the coolest experience to read reader reviews, watch the number of fans on my Facebook page grow (I get excited every time the counter goes up by even 1 Like), get Twitter followers, write new posts on my blog (and actually get comments!). All in all, despite the challenges, the publishing process has been so rewarding. That being said, I am absolutely going to continue to seek a publisher for the other books I have written!
2. Where do you get your ideas

Who knows? Thin air sometimes, I think. It’s hard to pinpoint a specific source, but I’ll try to give you a few thoughts. I’ve always had trouble turning my mind off, so thinking tends to occur at random, anywhere and everywhere. That’s why my iPhone is always full of random notes and scribbles, future book ideas and characters I want to create. I have a terrible memory (I eat blueberries from time to time but it doesn’t seem to get any better :), so I have to jot down my thoughts before they disappear forever. Occasionally I will get what I think is a really good idea in the shower and then I will have to keep repeating it to myself until I am out and can write it down. I also get some pretty good (and also pretty strange) ideas when I’m dreaming. I always write these ones down as soon as I wake up because I forget my dreams even faster than everything else. Sometimes these ideas seemed a lot better when I was dreaming them than in real life! The funny thing is, I tend to think the best when I’m not trying to. I could sit there writing for two hours, making steady progress on my newest novel, and then as soon as I close the lid on my laptop, a million better, more interesting ideas pop into my head. That can be frustrating sometimes, but I generally always take the time to jot down bullets so I can come back to them during my next writing session.
3. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

In Angel Evolution it would be the final battle scene. I’ve always loved action and suspense in books and I wanted to be sure that mine had plenty of it in addition to the dialogue and romance. I think the suspense builds throughout the entire trilogy, which will keep readers on the edge of their seats. However, in the entire trilogy, my favorite parts to write were the ones from David’s (Gabriel’s younger brother) point of view. Anyone who has only read the first book will wonder what is so intriguing about David, as he has a very minor role in Angel Evolution. Trust me, his role gets much bigger, becoming quite important in Demon Evolution, and crazy-surprising-vital to Archangel Evolution. I’ve heard from multiple people that they’d like me to write a new book just from his perspective.
4. How did you come up with the title?

The title was a work in progress for a long time, until about two months before publication. I knew I wanted Angel in the title, as I wanted to make it clear that the book was about angel and demons and such, but I needed something to differentiate it from all the other angel books out there. Because my story is so different—angels evolving from humans rather than falling from heaven or hell or whatever—I thought Evolution was the perfect word to pull readers into the idea. Angel Evolution was born! The second and third books were easy to name after that—Demon Evolution and Archangel Evolution.
5. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult

Oh, there are so many authors that I cannot possibly list them here. But at the very top of the list are authors like Dean Koontz and J.R.R Tolkien. Tolkien was my favorite author as a child, while Koontz became a favorite of mine later in life. Each of them have an uncanny ability to weave words into a book, like threads into a tapestry. I have also been inspired recently by Suzanne Collins and Amanda Hocking, who have both seemingly come out of nowhere to gain immense popularity. They are both great storytellers, which is what I hope to be.
6. When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

I first started writing in September 2010, in between jobs. I caught the writing bug almost immediately and finished Angel Evolution in 6 weeks. I’ve since written 8 books in 14 months and am halfway through my 9th. Thus far, I have only published the Evolution Trilogy, but I hope to publish the others soon!
7. What do you do when you are not writing?

Writing…oh wait, you said, not writing. Number one is spending time with my wife, Adele. We are soul mates in every sense and are happiest when we’re together. We love to go to the beach, swim laps at the pool, play tennis, read on the daybed on our balcony, watch movies, or just hang out. I wish I had more free time at the moment to do all of that, but working a full time job, writing, and promoting my published books has made free time quite scarce!
8. Will you have a new book coming out soon?

It’s probably not too far off ;)

Besides spending time with my wife, writing is my favorite thing to do, so I’m keeping very busy. I’m working on a number of other projects while launching the Evolution Trilogy.

My current project is a YA post-apocalyptic dystopian thriller written from the perspective of two characters in alternating chapters. Without giving two much away, the two characters (one male and one female) come from very different walks of life, but are thrust together unexpectedly. As their lives intertwine, they must seek to bring balance to a world that is out of control. I hope to release the entire trilogy in mid-2012.

I have recently finished a YA novel about a boy with a very unique disability and one hell of a sense of humor who meets loads of interesting teenagers on a suspenseful yet funny adventure to uncover the truth about the father he never knew. I am seeking an agent for this novel but am still open to self-publishing it if I am unsuccessful.

I have also completed the first four books in a children's series aimed at kids between the ages of 7 and 10. It's a classic superhero story about a girl who meets a strange animal who leads her to a treasure chest in the middle of the forest. The chest contains a gift that allows the girl to perform miraculous feats. I have another two books planned for the series, which I will be working to complete in 2012. The first book in the series is currently being reviewed by a large children's book publisher.

My remaining projects range from a variety of children's novels from the fantastical to the downright silly, to my next venture into YA fantasy, and to the creation of an adult suspense/mystery series with a strong and interesting male character. I have written the first page of more books than I can count without taking off my shoes!
9. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

My advice is that if you love writing then just do it. Don’t worry about what people will think of it or whether anyone but your spouse, mom, or dog will like it. Do it because you love words. Even if you entertain only one person with your story, it will be well worth it—that I can promise you!
 10. Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?

While I don’t particularly enjoy promoting my books, I really enjoy connecting with my readers. I do it via my blog, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, LibraryThing, and Book Blogs. See below for links to where you can find me at all of those places. If you send me a message, I will respond. (I take this promise more seriously than any other!)

Like me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/David-Estes/130852990343920

Follow my Blog: http://davidestesbooks.blogspot.com/

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/davidestesbooks

Follow me on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/davidestesbooks

LibraryThing: http://www.librarything.com/author/estesdavid

Friend me on Book Blogs: http://bookblogs.ning.com/profile/DavidEstes

Oh yeah, and my books are available on Amazon.com in print and anywhere e-books are sold (Kindle, iBooks, Nookbooks, Smashwords.com, etc.)!

Happy reading!
Thanks for taking the time to conduct this interview!! Doesn't he sound awesome! Readers be on watch for my review of Angel Evolution which will be soon :) In the mean time there are a few links to buy his book below along with a synopsis.


Angel Evolution (The Evolution Trilogy, #1)Angel Evolution- the first book in the young adult fantasy trilogy: The Evolution Trilogy... When Taylor meets Gabriel at college, she is in awe of the subtle glow that surrounds him. No one else, not even her best friend, seems to notice. Something about him scares her. Is all as it appears? While Taylor struggles for answers, she finds herself in the middle of a century old war centered on one miraculous revelation: evolution.

You can buy Angel Evoultion At:

3 comments:

Jessica Jillings said...

Great interview and fab blog!

Jessica from Booked Up!
http://www.bookedupbloggers.blogspot.com/
:) xxx

Kathy Schneider said...

Great interview. I can't wait for more books. I'm loving this trilogy so far!

Books Ahoy said...

Thanks!

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