Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Blooming Author: Jonathan Weyer!

“Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.” ~ George Sheehan

Jonathan Weyer's book The Faithful is coming out from Brio Press in October 2010.

Tell us about your book The Faithful. What is it about and where will it be available?

I'll let the "book flap" speak:

Aidan Schaeffer is a young pastor at a crossroads. Conflicted with his faith in God and the hypocrisy of the church, he feels alone and depressed. His only companion is his dog, Bishop. When he begins to doubt his faith, he knows he is entering a spiritual battleground. He panics and starts searching for answers.

Then he learns his ex-fiancée is murdered in a possibly demonic ritual and he finds himself catapulted into a deeper fight. Tormented by supernatural entities, Aidan becomes a medium that will hold the key to solving this murder mystery. Readers will find that The Faithful tears at the emotions and doubts of humankind.

You'll be able to get the book anywhere. It's on all the major booksites for pre-order. Plus, there will be an e-version for Kindle and iPad.

What were your inspirations for The Faithful? What sorts of thing inspire you as a writer in general?

There are quite a few different inspirations running through The Faithful. One, would be my experience as a minister and my work with people who struggle with their faith. Plus, not to mention hanging out with atheists the past two years.
Two, I just love scary stories. As a kid, I wasn't really allowed to watch movies like Friday the 13th. I scared myself by reading "real" scary stories about ghosts,Bigfoot and the Mothman. I love novels that really attempt to explore the relationship between the seen and unseen worlds. The novels of Charles Williams have been a huge influence. In fact, he is mentioned in the novel. I really love seeing people (so far anyway) react to the story. It really completes the whole writing experience for me.

Let's talk about your process. How do you approach a story, do you start with outlines or something else? Where did you work when writing The Faithful? Do you think it was the optimal writing environment for you?

I think my stories begin with the "What if?" question. With The Faithful, I started with the question, "what if a Presbyterian minister went around investigating paranormal events?' After I asked the what if question (Thank you, Stephen King), I'll outline a plot in my head. With The Faithful, I outlined the whole plot in a five minute shower. I need at least a loose idea of where I'm going, even if it changes later on.

I work in a coffee house when I write. I very rarely write at home, because of all the distractions. There is an amazing coffee house right near my house in Columbus.

Tell us about your "story of getting published."

I'm guessing this is going to be one of the most bizarre publishing stories you have posted. So, after writing, I did the whole query an agent process. Nothing. I did it for six months and nearly gave up. Then, a friend of mine in Texas met a rep for my publisher at a church small group.

And so, I sent my manuscript to the rep. A few months later, I heard from her boss at Brio Publishing, William Reynolds. Will loved the book and said Brio wanted to publish the book. Brio's business modal focuses on subsidy publishing and I told Will I couldn't swing it financially. He said, "Jonathan, this book is so good, I would hate to see it not be published. Let me see what I can do."

In the next few months, Will talked with his distribution partner, Lerner Publishing in Minnesota. Lerner loved the book as well and gave Will the go ahead. Will sent me in email in January and said Brio wanted to publish The Faithful in the traditional way. I didn't get an advance, but I get a huge percentage of the sales. Plus, with Lerner, the distribution of the book is all over the world. I love being able to tell people my book made a company change their business model.

Plus, given the current state of publishing, I really feel like I got the best of both words. I get creative control while having all the benefits of a publisher. My editor at Brio brought me pain, but it was a good pain. She went over the manuscript many times, more times than she wanted to, I'm sure. The publicist at Brio has been setting up interviews and I have already done two. Plus, she has set up some
fantastic book signings.

In fact, I told a friend of mine all the stuff Brio had been doing for me. She has a few books published by a fairly major publisher. She couldn't believe all the stuff Brio had done for me, especially in the publicity department. I think I made her jealous.

What are the publicity plans you have coming up?

I have a book tour that will start on October 1st. See my website ( for details and stops that include, Columbus, Cincinnati, the Eerie Horror film festival, Philly and St. Louis. I'm adding more all the time, so keep checking back.

I'm also doing a number of radio interviews, especially on paranormal shows. Plus, I'll be doing blog interviews, and of course, Twitter (@spookypastor).

Actually, for authors, I can't stress enough how important Twitter is for your promotion. A Time Magazine journalist has read my book and gave it an amazing review on Amazon. I have also met movie producers and blog people who have given the book a major push. So, moral of the story, get on Twitter and learn how to use it well.

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