Today’s featured author on my blog is Perry Busby. Please welcome Perry to my blog.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I published my first novel, The Hacks of Life, in October 2017. For the past twenty-five years, I’ve been an independent IT consultant, applying my skills to assist government agencies such as NASA, and the Federal Reserve Bank; Fortune 100 companies and community-based organizations. I currently reside in South Florida with my wife of 31 years. We are the parents of four, and grandparents of one.
What do you do when you are not writing?
Reading, mostly mystery or counter-terrorism. Going to the beach.
Do you have a day job as well?
Yes. I work as a data analyst consultant.
When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I began writing on my first book in 2013. I finished it in 2017, after undergoing a series of job changes and two long distance moves.
How did you choose the genre you write in?
I’ve been a big mystery fan since I was young. My favorite book series as a child was Encyclopedia Brown.
Where do you get your ideas?
Some come from personal experiences. In most cases, I attempt to take a significant point in computer science history and overlay it with social issues of that time.
Do you ever experience writer’s block?
All the time. I can envision a chapter or plot point in my mind, then draw a mental blank when I sit down at the computer. There have been times where it has taken me at least three days to write the opening scene of a chapter and several weeks to complete a chapter.
Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I work with an assortment of writing prompts. In addition to outlines and character profile sketches, I also write my opening chapters before I develop my end. Once I come up with an ending, I trace back to my beginning.
Is there any author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
Many books and authors come to mind. James Baldwin, his prose is poetic while the social consciousness in his storytelling is prominent but not overpowering. Walter Mosely, John Grisham and the late Vince Flynn are my Trinity when it comes to mystery writers. In my opinion, Steven King is one of the best when it comes to storytelling.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
I made the decision to self-publish when I made up my mind that I wanted to pursue a career as a novelist. Most of my challenges were a result of personal crises that had nothing to do with writing but impacted ability to complete my manuscript in a timely manner. One of my biggest challenges, and I’m still dealing with it now, is learning to discipline myself as a writer. Although writing and programming require a creative thought process, writing does not require as much analytical thinking, so the approach and preparation are quite different.
If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?
Besides having a bank account with unlimited funds to bankroll the project, there isn’t any part of the process I would change. Although the time from writing to getting published was longer than I originally anticipated (4 years), I’m grateful that the time allowed me network with other authors and learn from their experiences.
How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
Because my work as an IT consultant has allowed me entrée into various networking groups, I’ve been leveraging those contacts to promote. I just completed a two-week book signing tour in Texas where I partnered with other Black-owned businesses, such as restaurants and wine bars, for signing events. I found it was much easier to get nominal readers to come to those establishments, as opposed to a bookstore. I also had two events at libraries, which are very welcoming to authors who have a local connection.
Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?
No. I have one or two that I conceptualized but have not started in earnest. I’ve come up with a few parts, but they’re far from complete.
Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
I’m currently working on the follow up to The Hacks of Life. Although some of the characters are the same, it shouldn’t be considered a sequel. Whereas, The Hacks of Life was set in 1993 and focused on the introduction of the Internet, the upcoming book is set in 2001 and focuses on the Internet’s major strength, accessing information; and its primary weakness, personal security.
Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
It is a combination of both. While the story itself is fictional, the origin comes from real life experiences and/or events. Over the years, I’ve encountered many people with technology phobias, or people who believed they could never learn anything computer related. I also know that people’s eyes tend to glaze over when the topic turns to computers, so I attempt to take a pivotal event on the technology timeline and develop a story around it.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
My favorite part of the process was developing the female characters. I am surrounded by strong women whose love and care makes them vulnerable and fragile. Being able to express that from a male perspective, without pointing a finger at a certain type of woman, causes me to draw from experiences with all the women in my life, from my mother, to my wife, grandmother, aunt, sisters, daughters, granddaughter and friends.
How did you come up with the title?
The final title came about after my editor, Monique Mensah, completed the first round of edits. It wasn’t that she disliked the title, it just didn’t fit the type of story I had written. I didn’t want to use any computer terms because I didn’t want to give anyone the impression it was a “geek” book. Since the story had a retro feel to it, we wanted to take something that most people were familiar with, and then twist it a little. The Facts of Life was a popular show that is currently in syndication, and it’s a familiar catchphrase. Hacking has also become a familiar term since the 2016 election and is a key skill of the protagonist. After playing around with a few ideas we settled on The Hacks of Life.
What project are you working on now?
I’m working on another IT mystery. The story centers around the events that take place after 9/11 and their impact on how technology is used and weaponized today.
Will you have a new book coming out soon?
My next book is scheduled to be released in April 2019.
Mr. Busby’s book is available on Amazon (print & digital format): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077138ZPF
The author has one event scheduled, so far:
F.R.E.S.H. Book Festival
January 17th – 19th, 2019
Daytona Beach, Florida