This Author 2020 blog series is for fiction and nonfiction indie authors who have either already published, or are due to publish, a book in 2020!
As well as showcasing their amazing writing achievement, every featured author answered ten questions to give aspiring fiction and nonfiction indie authors a behind-the-scenes insight into the self publishing process.
This blog post features author David Menon sharing his experience of writing and publishing his latest novel ‘The English Visitor: One man’s journey into the lives of an Australian coastal community’.
1. Tell me about your book in 25 words or less!
A compelling read about one man’s struggle with love and loss and adult relationships in an affluent community where everybody has a secret.
2. How long did your book take to write?
From the very first note written to the final click of my laptop keyboard, I’d say about six months.
3. How long did the whole process take – from initial idea to publication?
About 18 months because it was so different from the crime fiction novels I’m known for, and I seriously considered putting it out under a different name to avoid any confusion. But, in the end, I just decided that I was very proud of it and I wanted it to go out under my own name.
4. What have you learnt about the process of writing a book that could help other aspiring indie authors?
I think I really found a diversification to my voice with this book. It also confirmed to me that I’m the sort of writer who starts off with a basic idea of plot – start, middle and end – and then during the writing I put flesh on the bones to tell the story. That’s how I like to work so I don’t plan everything meticulously before I start. The ending for this book changed two or three times as the characters spoke to me and I like to be open to that. The characters are in charge of the overall plot.
5. Is there anything you wish you had done differently, or would do differently with your next book?
I won’t leave it as long after finishing it before I publish it.
6. How much did it cost to get your book to market?:
Less than £500. I publish through Amazon KDP and I’ve spent little money so far on marketing.
7. Do you have any plans to write another/any more books in the future? If so, would you like to share any details about it/them?
I’ve just finished ‘Uncle Dad’ and I’m very excited about it. It tells the story of a gay man who helps to look after his niece and nephew for his sister who is a single mum. When she’s dying of ovarian cancer, she asks him to formally adopt her two kids and he agrees without hesitation. However, in the process, he loses his partner who has never wanted kids, and he has to fight his own mother in court because she doesn’t want him to bring up her grandchildren on the grounds of his sexuality. The kids want to be with their uncle though and there are several twists involving his ex-partner and his mother that make it a real page turner.
8. Do you want to give a public shout out to anyone who helped you produce your book?
Rudi and Avalon own the ‘Palm Beach B and B’ in Palm Beach, NSW Australia (https://www.palmbeachbandb.com.au/), and it was whilst I was staying there a few years ago that I initially got the idea for ‘The English Visitor’. They’re tremendous people, very hospitable, and I’d recommend them to anyone who finds themselves in that neck of the woods.
9. Please share an excerpt of your book below.
Peter Cross had always believed in the tired old cliché of ‘it’s not what happens to you but how you deal with it that’s important’. He’d always been able to somehow rise above whatever difficulties he found himself in and rediscover his higher truth and ultimate destiny. But it hadn’t been so easy lately. He’d got himself caught up in the pain of what his family had done to him and he hadn’t been able to breathe at times. That’s why he was taking himself off to the other side of the world. He needed a break and he needed it to be as far away as possible.
‘Ladies and gentlemen, this is the captain speaking. The temperature in Sydney is currently 15 degrees and is set to rise to a rather pleasant 29 degrees later today. We’ll be starting our descent into Sydney’s Kingsford Smith international airport in ten minutes but the night curfew prevents us from landing before 5 am. So, although we’ve done our best to slow down your Airbus 380, it’ll still mean that we’ll have to do about half a dozen circuits out over the Tasman sea before we’re able to land. But all of that means that we’ll have you on the stand on schedule at 5.10 am. Thank you for flying with us and we hope that you think of us again when you’re next making your travel plans. May I wish you all a very good morning.’
He’d never been a complicated man. He’d never been one for clinging on to stacks of belongings, and he’d always prided himself on being the kind of anywhere individual who could live his life wherever he saw the need to. He was rather proud of the fact that at the age of thirty-six he’d never been anywhere near a mortgage, even though he would find it hard with his kind of irregular income anyway.
Being an author was what he’d always dreamed of and he felt lucky that he had an agent and a publishing contract that had combined to deliver some measure of success. It gave him a certain cache on the shelves of the book shops, but the financial rewards could still be somewhat precarious. Even though he’d sold the TV rights to one of his books, he wasn’t quite there yet. So, renting a place to live with the minimal amount of furniture gave him the freedom to up and go whenever he pleased or whenever a dwindling bank balance made it necessary for him to move in with friends for a while. It didn’t depress him as such, although he did sometimes wonder what he’d do in later life when he had nowhere to call home.
10. Where can readers buy your book (and any other books you have written)?
You can find them on Amazon. Here’s a link to the page devoted to ‘The English Visitor’: https://www.amazon.co.uk/English-Visitor-journey-Australian-community-ebook/dp/B084N8BDQW/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1GEWTI7PRNQYW&dchild=1&keywords=the+english+visitor+by+david+menon&qid=1591790186&s=digital-text&sprefix=the+english+%2Caps%2C154&sr=1-1
You can find it and all my other books on all the various Amazon sites around the world.
Thank you for participating in this Author 2020 blog series David!
This Author 2020 blog series is for all fiction and nonfiction indie authors. Check out the previous posts in the series:
A-Z of Storytelling Techniques for Authors is available to buy or borrow now! Get it here.