An Interview with Self-published Author Jeremy Sandlin
A Guest Post by Christy Howell-Hoots
Jeremy Sandlin is an up and coming self published author. His first book “The Council” was published by Publish America in 2008. His second book “The Protectors: A Blue History Novel” was released as an eBook on September 19 and as a paperback on October 18. Jeremy was born in 1989 in Nashville and had no idea he was born to write. His first interest in writing came to him during his freshman year of high school when his English teacher asked his class to write a short story. He now holds a Bachelor Degree in History and a minor in American Studies. Currently, Jeremy works for the Community Action of Southern Kentucky. His spare time is spend reading and writing. His third book “Obtain: A Key Keeper Novel” will be released in late March. Updates on Jeremy’s future plans for his writing can be found at his website.
What first made you decide you wanted to become an author?
In high school I would often read books that had a similar style to my writing so I figured that if those authors could do it, so could I. That is when I started putting together my first book.
What made you decide to self-publish?
I decided to self publish because of the amount of control that the author gets to keep over their work. You don’t have a company making decisions for you. You get to decide what stays and what goes. Also, self publishing allows me to release my novels at a faster pace. Another reason is that I became fascinated by the publishing process and wanted to know how it works so that if my new books are picked up in the future by a publishing company then I will know what I am talking about while negotiating with them.
How did you go about publishing the book yourself?
My first step was to do a lot of research so I knew how to do it right. After I chose the places that I wanted to publish with I formatted my book and made sure that I saw a final version that consumers would see so that I knew it was correct.
Does your environment influence your writing? Do you ever use people, events or places in your real life?
My environment does influence my writing. I grew up in the country surrounded by woods. The woods are a type of environment that has made its way into my novels. I will often create imaginary towns, but use the name of a real town that I know for it. I don’t flat out use people from real life, but I do take traits from people to go along with my characters.
What made you write “The Protectors”? Where did you come up with the title?
The idea for The Protectors came about during my sophomore year of college. My creative writing professor gave us a prompt for creating a character. Using that prompt as a guideline I created the main character Arlis Calden or Waves as he prefers to be called. He was in a completely different story, but I really didn’t feel that the story was good enough for Waves so in the middle of the assignment I scrapped the first story and came up with the idea for The Protectors. The use of historical characters in the novel comes from my love of American History. The title just sort of popped into my mind and stuck.
Is there a message within the story you would hope for the reader to grasp?
There are several messages. One is that nothing is impossible. The impossible could be already in your life you just have to find it. Another message is that no matter how bleak things look there is always hope.
Who designed the cover for your book?
I hired an artist to create the cover.
How many books are planned in the Blue History Series? What can we hope to see with them?
There are at least five books planned in the series. The books will delve into the past to reveal more information about the protectors, the destroyers, and about blue bloods as a whole.
What was your process for writing the book? Outline, brainstorming, etc.?
It was a mixture of outlining and just writing when an idea popped in my head. I try to outline as much as possible because it makes the whole process easier.
What was the hardest part of writing the book?
Keeping up with my mind. Once I create the characters it is kind of like watching a movie. Ideas pop into my mind and my characters move the story forward even when I am not writing. For example sometimes late at night I will be in bed awake and a new scene where a character does something will pop into my head and I have to jump up and write it down even if I am not in the mood to write.
How did you choose the name of the book and the names of your characters?
Arlis was used from a very old school photo that hung in the library where I worked in college. All of the others just popped in my head. I get to know my characters so I know the best names to fit their personalities. As for the names of the books they just pop into my head usually before the book is written.
Do you ever feel like your characters are alive in their stories and are telling you what to do instead of you telling them?
All the time. Once they characters are created they have their own personalities and tend to make their own decisions.
If you could have any magical ability; what would it be?
I would have to say the ability to fly. It would allow me to travel for free and see the world.
Do you write anything outside of fantasy?
Not at the moment, but I do have a couple of history based fiction books planned that aren’t fantasy.
Do you read all of the reviews for your book? How do you respond to bad reviews or negative comments about your writing?
I do my best to keep up with reviews. Negative reviews don’t bother me at all. If someone out there doesn’t love my writing that’s fine; at least they gave it a chance.
Who would you say is your favorite author and why?
It’s a tie between Rick Riordan and Lemony Snicket, because they write about likeable characters that fight for what they think is right. Both authors have a wonderful sense of imagination that allows them to create unique worlds.
You are currently working on a collection of short stories with other authors. What do you plan to do with this collection? Will there be others?
I plan for this collection to showcase talented writers to help get their work to the public. For example, if someone gives my short story a chance and loves it, then they will be more informed about my writing style should they decide to purchase my other works. I plan for there to be other volumes of short stories as long as other authors want to keep contributing.
Do you invite other authors to collaborate with you on the short stories? Or can authors contact you if their interested? And, if they are; how could they contact you?
I invite some, but anyone is welcome to send me a short story to consider for future volumes. Anyone interested can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact form on my website.
Will the collection also be self published?
Yes the collection will be self published as well that way I and the contributing authors have complete control over it.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I read a lot. Reading is a very important part of being a writer. It introduces you to writing styles and techniques that can help you improve your own writing.
What projects do you have planned for the future?
I have at least forty something novels planned, but am thinking of more every day.
Where could a person go if they are interested in purchasing your books?
What advice would you give to budding authors who are trying to get published?
Do your research, decide what path is right for you. If you decide to go the traditional route then you need to have thick skin and prepare for a long process. If you self publish, do your research on the technical aspect of making the eBook and paperback book. It is not a simple process and takes dedication.
Finally, if you were stuck on an island and could only have three books with you; which three would you choose?
- Who Could That Be At This Hour by Lemony Snicket
- Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
- Eloquentia by Christy Howell
About Christ Howell
Christy Howell-Hoots is the author of the “Eloquentia” series, as well as numerous poems. She is a reporter and book reviewer for the Ledger Independent Newspaper.
She was born in Maysville, KY to a wonderful family in 1987. She learned to read before the age of six and always knew she wanted to be a writer. Her life’s goal is to become a literary agent and help other writers make their dreams come true.
She currently resides in her hometown of Maysville with her husband, a hamster, two Chinchillas, two fish and a library full of books. More information about Christy can be found on her website Christy Howell Books.