I am very pleased to introduce our guest author: Luke Brimblecombe. We’re all curious how authors started out and what challenges they faced. Thank you Luke for taking the time to get inside your head!
Luke Brimblecombe has self-published the psychological thriller Zero Anaphora as an e-book and softcover (2014).
Tell us a little about yourself. What got you into writing?
I wrote a short novel back in 2001 in the holidays between graduating from high-school and going to university the next year. I tried again in 2004. My writing was really bad back then, but I was inspired by how much it improved each time I found the inspiration for a new project. Life experience, reading, and using language in general still does enough to improve you though. New writers shouldn’t have their hopes set too high for the results of their first attempt.
How did you come up with your story?
It’s a gradual process of starting with a central premise and building up around it systematically. It’s also good to work with other people when developing your plot ideas, especially if you like to plan your structures in advance. I actually have some advice about this in my own blog here: http://lukebrimblecombe.blogspot.co.nz/2015/07/plot-construction-development-in-fiction.html
Tell me about your experience, what were the biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?
The biggest challenge was disinterest from friends and family. People love the idea that you are working on a book, but when presented with an unfinished, digital document, you apparently can’t expect them to spend much of their own time on it. Fair enough too!
What is the result? Are you doing well? What would you have done differently if you could do it all again?
The result is that I’m improving as a writer and finding the process of creating literature to be quite a fulfilling and rewarding activity. I prefer to set performance oriented goals rather than results oriented ones. That means looking forward to changing a certain aspect of my text for the better, NOT seeing a certain number of copies of it on a bookshelf.
What are you working on now? What are your future plans?
I’m going to write a series of fantasy e-books for self publishing, the first will be free. It’s going really well, I’m collaborating with a friend who helps me develop the ideas quite a bit when we get together for workshop sessions.
What advice would you give unpublished writers?
Focus on improving your technical ability and mental approach. You need to be actively looking for people who are capable of giving you genuine feedback about what is wrong with your writing. Don’t set out to ‘get published’ unless you are already well-known for having stories published in magazines, or you’ve done newspaper columns/articles, or unless you’re already famous for something.
Just for fun, which character would you kill off in your book if you had to and why?
All my characters are expendable, but I would prefer to make the death of a character as relevant to the plot as possible.
Let’s hear about your Self-Publishing endeavor. Did you hire an Editor to revise your work? If not, do you regret it?
No, it’s not worth hiring someone to do that when you can get the same result by working very hard on the text yourself, and also working hard to get others to read through the text before you go public with it.
Was it difficult finding the right cover and blurb?
Yes, but I ended up hiring a cover-creator, and following the recommendations of an indie-reviews site for blurb creation. I was by no means happy with either.
What made you decide to go the self-publishing route?
I self-published because I wanted it published, for a sense of self-satisfaction, and the opportunity to promote myself as a writer for future projects. It would have been a waste of time to try to get published traditionally. Check out an article I wrote recently as to why I believe this is the case: http://lukebrimblecombe.blogspot.co.nz/2015/07/publishing-vs-self-publishing.html