Rick Gualtieri’s latest book, Bigfoot Hunters, was published on February 2, 2012. Bigfoot Hunters is self-published, as are all of Rick’s books. Since I'm the Blogsquatcher's sister I knew this was one to check out.
Tell us about your book. What is it about and where will it be available?
Bigfoot Hunters is my first foray into full blown horror. If Jaws made you afraid to go into the water, then my goal for Bigfoot Hunters is to make people think twice about stepping into their own backyards.
What were your inspirations for your book? What sorts of thing inspire you as a writer in general?
I have to admit, the original inspiration for this book came from the SyFy channel. I love their Saturday night original movies. Unfortunately, most of them are bad with a capital B. Bigfoot Hunters was originally conceived as a manuscript in my attempt to make a better monster movie. However, after a while I realized it could be a movie script that nobody ever saw or I could make it into a novel that hopefully a lot of people could enjoy. Aside from that, I took inspiration from shows such as the aforementioned MonsterQuest and Destination Truth. The final bit was my overall love of a good monster rampage and desire to give back to a genre which has entertained me so much over the years.
As for the rest, I try to take inspiration from anything and everything around me. Little touches of life spark my imagination. When that happens, the “magic” flows forth.
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 your book? Do you think it was the optimal writing environment for you?
My writing style is still evolving. My comedy/horror books: Bill The Vampire and Scary Dead Things; are mostly written like a college road trip. I know where I am and I know where I want to be, but I have no idea how I’ll get there until I start driving. It works for them because I find that humor is best when it’s spontaneous. Some of the best jokes in both of those books didn’t exist before the day I sat down to write a particular section and suddenly *BAM* they were there.
Conversely, Bigfoot Hunters was more or less fully formed when I finally sat down to write it. I jotted down notes before and during writing, but truthfully I only used outlines if I needed to work through a difficult section of the book.
Most of my writing time is during the evening at my dining room table, banging away on my iPad. It’s kind of a necessity. It puts me in the center of the action, so I can write but still keep an eye on my kids if needbe. It’s chaotic, but I’m used to it and the background noise really doesn’t distract me...although my word output does go up a bit after their bedtime. As for the iPad, I love it. I pair it with a Bluetooth keyboard and the battery life lets me write for hours (when I can) without needing to be anywhere near an outlet.
Tell us about your "story of getting published."
I used to write a LOT back in college: short stories, plays, manuscripts, everything but full blown novels. Afterwards, though, I sort of fell away from it. Life, career, and family took over. A few years back, I bought my wife a first-gen Kindle as a gift. Believe me, it got used...to death! Some time later, I began to notice a lot of ebooks showing up in the Kindle store that were written by authors I had never heard of and were at prices that were insanely low. Coming from the world of paperbacks, finding a $2.99 novel was a steal. Eventually I came to realize that a lot of these books were self-published. That got the gears turning. Suddenly, that sleeping writer in my head woke up from a decade long slumber. If they could do it, so could I. Once the floodgates were reopened, the story ideas just started flowing. I’ve been at it ever since: three novels, a novella of short stories, and counting.
The self-publishing route was an easy choice...timing. I could write dozens of query letters in the hope that someone liked my stories and then I could wait a year or two to see if they actually published me...or I could get my stories out there now and let the readers be my judge. Some authors worry about the legitimacy of being traditionally published. I’m more concerned with entertaining people.
What are the publicity plans you have coming up?
My publicity efforts are ever evolving as I add more books and gain more self-assurance in this field. To date, most of my efforts have been online. There’s no faster (or cost effective) way to get in front of so many people. I’m very active on Twitter. The main character from my comedy/horror series has his own Facebook page (www.facebook.com/BillTheVampire). I am also working on increasing my presence in various other online communities such as Kindle Boards and Goodreads. There are also author interviews on wonderful blogs such as this (suck up alert!).
This year my goal is be more aggressive (albeit not obnoxiously so), not only online but in the real world too. While I’m not sure I’m ready for full-blown book signings yet, I do plan on targeting libraries and book clubs as well as anywhere else I think I stand a shot. I guess we’ll see. Much like a lot of authors out there, I’m still looking for my silver bullet. I’ll let you know when I find it.
All the while, though, I plan to keep writing and churning out more fun stories. So stay tuned, there’s more to come...hopefully much more.
Don't miss Rick's other book, Poptart Manifesto. It's 99 cents on Amazon, or free for Amazon Prime members with Kindles. Bigfoot Hunters is also currently promoted as free to Amazon Prime members with Kindles. Apparently it's time for me to upgrade from a Kindle app to a full-blown Kindle! Who can turn down free books? You can get a Kindle for as little as $79! Or a full-color Kindle Fire for $199 (that's the one I want).