Thursday, September 5, 2013

Author profile - with - Kevin Domenic

Today we're sitting down with author Kevin Domenic

1 - When did you first start writing?

I wrote a couple of short stories in 8th grade for a school, but I didn't really get the writing bug until I was fourteen.  I had just finished playing the video game Final Fantasy VI, and the story had captivated me to such an extent that I was sad when it ended.  I wanted it to continue, so I wrote a sequel myself.  I had so much fun with it that I decided to try to write something original, and that's when the first incarnation of The Fourth Dimension was born.


2 - Do you read much?  If yes, have you always loved reading?

Not as much as I'd like.  I've got a bunch of books lined up on my iPad waiting for me, but I get myself wrapped up in other things way too often.  When I was younger, I got to read a bit more.  My mother bought me all kinds of books.  I wish I had that kind of time now.

3 -  Who’s your favorite author?  What’s your favorite book?

That's a hard one.  My initial response isn't a conventional author, but I want to say Bill Watterson, creator of the Calvin & Hobbes comic strip.  Some of his work is just so profound and intellectually brilliant that you quickly forget you're reading a comic strip.

If we're talking conventional writing, I thought The Great Hunt but Robert Jordan was some of the best writing of The Wheel of Time series. 

4 - What writers have influenced you the most?

When I first started writing, I was reading the Star Wars books written by Timothy Zahn.  His writing and characters left a lasting impression - especially Mara Jade, a strong female character introduced in Heir to the Empire.  Her strength and no-nonsense attitude helped shape Kitreena Azure, one of the main characters of The Fourth Dimension.

5 - Do you have a favorite fictional character?  Either from a book or movie or a tv show?

Another hard one!  Mara Jade comes to mind, of course.  Being a gamer, a lot of my favorite fictional characters come from video games.  Terra from Final Fantasy VI, Magus from Chrono Trigger, Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid - there are too many to name.  When a character shows an ability to look beyond themselves and their circumstances to do the right thing, they've usually gained my support.

6 - What are you working on right now?  Can you tell us something about it?

A variety of things.  I've actually been on something of a writing hiatus for a bit, but I'm getting myself back into the swing of things now.  My most prominent project is Outcry, a story that takes place after the events of The Vezulian Trilogy.  When Volume IV rolls around, the universe will have undergone some extensive changes.  Outcry will tell the story of how these changes came about  and what Arus has been up to during this time.

7 - Is there anything in particular that you do to get in the mood to write, or to get in the ‘zone’?  Any particular pre-writing routines? 

Not really.  I get a soda and put on some soft music, but other than that I just sit down and read over what I wrote last to get myself back into the flow.

8 - Where do you do your writing?

We live in a one-bedroom apartment, so the computer is in the living room.  However, I'll sometimes take my laptop into the bedroom to type in seclusion.  Depends on my mood.

9 - How do you approach your writing?  i.e. - Do you do outlines?  Character bios?  Etc.?

Most times, I have a general idea of where I want to take the story, but then I'll just start typing and let the characters do the work for me.  Having your characters grow, develop, and act on their own is actually one of the most exciting things about writing.

I bet that sounds crazy to people who don't write, but it really does happen.  You find yourself writing out events you didn't plan, character traits you didn't envision, and other unexpected elements.  In many ways, we're along for the ride just as much as the readers are.

10 - Do you have any advice for other writers?

Persevere and be humble.  Setbacks are a part of the job, but overcoming them will give you more fulfillment and satisfaction than you might expect.  Having even one person write to you to tell you what your work means to them is an amazing feeling.  At the same time, expect critics.  Although an unflattering letter or review will probably make you feel terrible at first, it is important to take everything as a learning experience.

11 - Are you a morning person or evening person?  Day or night?

Night, absolutely.  I'm half-dead for most of the day, but when evening rolls around, I feel like my day is finally starting.  It's when I feel the most focused, when I write the best, and when I feel the most motivated.

12 - Do you have any pets?

I have a cat named Silhouette.  She's going to be 17 this Christmas.

13 - What’s your favorite ‘I need a break from writing’ activity?

Probably video games.  I get a lot of storyline inspiration from role playing games, so any time I can indulge in another fantastic adventure, I'm all for it.

14 - How do you approach writing sex scenes?  They can range from mild to wild.  Where are you on the mild to wild meter?

I don't.  I feel they're unnecessary and add little-to-nothing to the story.  I actually wrote a blog about this topic a while back: PointlessSex

15 - Do you write in one genre?  Or more than one?

More than one.  I've written three sci-fi/fantasy books (The Vezulian Trilogy), a collection of amusing stories about my life in retail (Retal Ramblings), and a Christian fiction book (Building Blocks).  I like trying different things and exploring different genres because I'd otherwise feel as though I'd be limiting my creativity.

16 - Are you self-published or with a publishing house?

Self-published.  I tried for a long time to get publishing houses to notice me, but now I don't really care for them.  The market has changed, times have changed, and frankly, I'm not so sure they're needed anymore.  Perhaps if they paid authors a greater percentage and invested in marketing the books they sold, it might make more sense.  But as of now, I'm not submitting and have no intentions to do so anytime soon.I wrote a blog about this very topic: ThePublishing "Deal"

17 - What are your thoughts on getting a literary agent?

For now, I'm not interested.  Part of an agents job is to bring "marketable" product to publishers.  The problem comes when classifying what is marketable and what isn't.  When an agent picks up a book by Snookie and ignores the armies of indies who deserve their attention, it's clear that the publishing industry isn't focused on solid writing or interesting stories.  They want to capitalize on fads and trends to get the guaranteed sale, so they pass us by.  And that's great for them - they need to do what they feel is best for themselves.  But I feel this practice has left many talented writers out in the cold.

18 - What about marketing?  How do you approach that area?

Aside from the usual social media, I host interviews on my site with other indie authors and do interviews (like this one!) for other sites.  I don't like pushing too hard because there's just so much of "Buy my books!" that readers can handle.  But I want to keep myself in the eyes of readers, of course.

19 - What about beta readers?  Do you use them?  How many do you have?  Where do you find them?

My beta readers are my family.  My fiance, sister, and mother all help me in that area.

20 - What’s your favorite food?

Pasta.  Whether it's in soup, chili, tomato sauce, or anything else, I LOVE pasta, and I eat for more than I probably should.

21 - What’s your favorite color?

Blue.

22 - Is there a particular website or facebook page or blog that you, as a writer, find very helpful?

There are two Indie Writers groups on facebook: Indie Writers Unite and Christian Indie Authors.  They are an extremely valuable source of information and assistance for developing indies.

23 - What’s your favorite time of the year?

Winter.  I love Christmas, I love snow, and I love cold weather.  Curling up by the fireplace (or my artificial Duraflame fireplace) with a blanket and soup is just heaven for me.

24 - What’s your most recent book about?  And where can people buy it?

Well, most recently I've released a 3 book bundle of my sci-fi/fantasy series.  It's called The Fourth Dimension: The Vezulian Trilogy, and it can currently be found on both Amazon.com and Smashwords at the following links:


25 - As a writer, what do you feel is your strongest gift or talent or skill that you have, that helps you the most as a writer?

I don't know if this is a gift or talent as much as it is an approach to writing.  I think each character should be written as though they are the main character.  They need to have fully developed personalities, back stories, motives, ambitions, fears, and hurdles to overcome.  That's what makes readers connect with and identify with the characters you've created.  Without that, no amount of storyline will be able to compensate.

26 - Please share some of your links with us - facebook author page, website, where people can find your books --

Twitter: @KevinDomenic

Thanks so much for having me!


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