Today I have the pleasure of having Author Neal Owens for Male Author Mondays on my channel. Welcome Neal.
- Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I was born and raised in Washington, DC. Wrote my first story in the fifth grade but didn’t consider writing a profession when I ponder career choices. After 33 years of service to at-risk youth as a sports coach and mentor, I resigned as Director of Operations for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington and decided to pursue my passion to write novels. At the age of 61, I have released my debut novel, MIRRORS OF LIFE.
- What do you do when you are not writing?
When I am not writing, I’m thinking and reading.
- Do you have a day job as well?
I am self-employed.
- When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I started writing my novel in 2014 and finish in 2019.
- How did you choose the genre you write in?
The story placed in my mind from God chose my genre – adult literary that encompasses drama, family, romance, suspense, spirituality, and philosophy.
- Where do you get your ideas?
My ideas come from life experiences, surroundings, and imagination.
- Do you ever experience writer’s block?
I have experienced writer’s block. I do not force myself. I stay patient and engage in other activities that include reading until the thoughts for my story returns.
- Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I just write and rewrite until I reach perfection in my mind.
- Is there any author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
The Spook Who Sat By The Door.
- Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
Speculation is that 2 million books are published each year, so there is an overcrowded field. My initial purpose was seeking the traditional publishing route but after multiple rejections letters and some with no reply, I had a conversation with an agent who informed me that i wouldn’t have control over the editing when the contract is signed. That motivated me to self-publish my work because editing control is extremely important to me. I didn’t want to lose control over 5 years of work that includes words and incidents I deem important for my story. Self-publishing is easy. Marketing is the hard and expensive part.
- 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?
- How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
If you have at least $30,000 for a marketing budget, you can count on your book becoming a bestseller. But since I do not have that budget, I have to market from the grassroots. Book Festivals, Book Signings at Libraries and Independent Book Stores, Bloggers, Reviewers, Book Clubs, Social Media, etc. All of those avenues work. I have mailed free copies to local news stations, radio shows, newspapers, and celebrities without reply.
- Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?
No. I haven’t written a book that I love but is unable to get it published. With KDP (formerly CreateSpace), it’s free to publish your work…and IngramSpark is only $50 to upload.
- Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
My upcoming book is the sequel to my debut novel, MIRRORS OF LIFE: What is your life in the mirror? The title of the sequel scheduled to be released in September 2020 is MIRRORS OF LIFE – PART 2: The Fight for Political Power.
- Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
Both real life experiences and imagination.
- What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
I don’t have a favorite chapter. Each chapter is my favorite.
- How did you come up with the title?
The thought appeared in my mind as the word from God.
- What project are you working on now?
- Will you have a new book coming out soon?
- How can your readers find you?
LinkedIn: Neal Owens
Pinterest: Owens Publishing LLC