Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Blooming Author Rick Gualtieri!

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. 

Sasquatch is usually considered a shy, curious creature. However, something is wrong with this particular clan of them and it’s causing them to go nuts...murderously so.  The only thing standing between them and killing everyone, in a remote little town in the backwoods of Colorado, are some college kids on a camping trip and a film crew from a MonsterQuest type TV show.  However, this last group isn’t quite what they seem, hence the book’s title.  The only question is...who are the hunters and who are the hunted?  The book is available now as an Amazon Kindle exclusive.  The Paperback version will be available the week of February 13...just in time for Valentine’s Day (awwww!)."

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 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 (  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).

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Blooming Author Myke Cole!

Myke Cole's book Shadow Ops: Control Point was published by ACE yesterday, January 31, 2012! I'm so excited about this book coming out it has pulled Writing Insight out of a six month sabbatical.

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

CONTROL POINT is a novel that asks the question "what if the modern military had a magic-using arm?" What would that look like? How would it operate? What would its impact be on society? Those are some deep questions, and I do my best to tackle them honestly, but there's plenty of geek-out action where you get to watch modern military hardware (tanks, helicopter gunships, direct action teams) go up against the fantasy monsters you know and love from D&D. The book is officially available on 31 JAN 2012, but I am hearing that folks are getting copies shipped in the mail to them already.

What were your inspirations for your book? What sorts of thing inspire you as a writer in general?
I told Black Gate magazine recently: "It’s ironic that mashups seem so popular lately, since I’m kind of a mashup myself. I’m a warrior-nerd blend of a military officer and committed fantasy/SF geek. I’m fortunate enough to make my living in both camps and those influences greatly inform my writing. My new novel Control Point is a fusion of influences: 3 tours in Iraq and a life spent perusing the fantasy mass-market wire racks and comic book shop display stands."

That warrior-nerd blending I described is the biggest inspiration in my writing, creating what I hope is a unique fusion of military and geek culture.

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?

George R.R. Martin describes writers as "Gardeners" or "Architects." I've also heard that described as "Planners" or "Pantsers." I'm an UBER-Architect/planner. I typically do 100-150 pages of outline before writing a word of prose. I get feedback on that outline too, so I know that I'm not starting off in a bad direction before I begin to move.

I write in public (coffee shops or libraries) listening to movie soundtracks that put me in a cinematic mood but don't distract me with lyrics. This allows me to be around other people (I'm intensely social. I get lonely/maudlin writing at home alone) without having to interact with them.

Tell us about your "story of getting published."

I told this story to The Founding Fields. "When my 3rd tour came around, I had a manuscript called LATENT 75% written about a military unit that used magic. I thought it sucked. But hey, I could die in Iraq, so I sent it off to Joshua with strict instructions. “If you like it, I’m going to be all worked up and unable to concentrate. If you don’t like it, I’m going to be depressed and unable to concentrate. I’m off to war and I need my head in the fight. Do NOT tell me what you think until I get back, okay?”
Joshua agreed and I spent the intervening months dodging 107mm rockets and sleeping with camel spiders in a converted connex box. But I did keep my head in the fight and made it home with a Joint Service Commendation Medal and citation signed my Admiral McRaven himself (admired the hell out of that guy, so it meant a lot to me). My fiance had dumped me just before I left, and I got off the plane to see all these other servicemembers’ families greeting them, and I was depressed as hell. Nobody came to pick me up at the airport, and I actually had to take a cab home. You can imagine it was a low point.
I got home, grounded my gear and started calling folks to let them know I was home safe. Joshua was high on the list (we were good friends, and to be honest, I’d forgotten that I’d even given him a book). He answered the phone and I said “Hey, man! It’s Myke. Just wanted to let you that I’m ho . . .”
“Finish the book,” he cut me off.
“LATENT, finish it. It’s fantastic. I didn’t want it to end.”

What are the publicity plans you have coming up?

Folks can check out my SITREP page on my website at, which includes all my upcoming promotional events. I've already said that I'm intensely social, so please throw me a bone and come on out. Nothing is more depressing than sitting around by yourself in a bookshop next to a pile of your books waiting to be signed, or reading to an empty room :)