Welcome, welcome. Tonight we've a traveler coming in from Australia to visit with us. Please give a warm welcome to Assaph Mehr. Assaph, will you get us started with a little about yourself, and what started you on your writer's journey?
I've always liked to read, and grew up on classic sci-fi & fantasy as well as detectives and thrillers. I've also always liked history, so historical detectives has been a passion.
I just never planned on writing anything before retirement.
Then one night about 2 years ago, my wife complained that she had nothing left to read. So after everyone was in bed, I sat down and started to write that idea that has been kicking around in my head for a while.... and haven't stopped till I finished the manuscript!
Sounds like you were a man on a mission.
While you were writing, did you run into many challenges you had to overcome?
- With the first draft, not so much. With the current WIP I find I struggle to find the time... But I blame the baby that joined us in the intervening time for that
I have the stories in my head. I enjoy exploring them as I put them down on paper (well, screen). I just wish more time to do it in.
Congratulations on the new addition. Any tips for making family life, work, and writing balance? Any one of those would be a full time (or more) job, it seems.
- They are. When I find the leprechauns selling more hours in the day, I'll let you know.
Until then, it's just a matter of finding the time - even the small windows - and plugging at it little by little.
Funny thing, that's what I hear the most often.
Does that mean you try to write every day, or is it more like you block of parts of the weekend to write?
- My current writing schedule is on the train ride to and from work. That's about 45 mins uninterrupted twice a day, that I can devote to writing (unless I'm tired - in which case I read).
Well, it is bandied about that reading is the replenishment of writers. Any favorite authors you find inspirational?
- I read whatever catches my fancy at the time. Pretty eclectic.
Then I'll try to narrow it down some. Any indie authors who have caught your fancy?
- Dan Buri has a great style, with gentle, soulful writing.
Wendy Waters has a great talent at the depicting broken, slightly mad people.
Jonathan Maas defies categorisation, with each of his books in a different genre and exploring different issues.
Oooh. A couple of new ones to look up.
A slight change in subject with a double question: Do you find the indie author world one that's supportive? Do you have a personal set of folks who support you, beyond your family?
- Yes! The indie community, by and large, is extremely supportive. I've made many new friends since publishing my book.
Friends are always good to have, and new friends even better.
Since I know you're in Australia, I'm curious - what's the hardest part about being an indie author for you?
- Timezones are not too much of a problem. Most of publishing and marketing is online anyway.
I sometimes wish I could attend conventions more often, but realistically there are a lot of geeky and bookish cons in Australia that I haven't explored yet.
- The "hardest part" would be very individual. Each author would have their strengths and weaknesses. Each one just need to learn to deal with them, in addition to the general learning curve of writing, publishing, marketing.
For me this is a hobby. I write because I enjoy reading my stories. There is nothing there that's harder than pursuing any other hobby.
Have you ever considered making it your full time career?
- I have a 3-step plan for that:
1) Write novel
2) Get movie deal
3) Buy small castle
- I'm working on step 2 now
::Chuckles:: I like that plan.
Any snippets you can share to help bring step 2 a little closer to fruition?
You can find the first few chapters of Murder In Absentia for free on Amazon and Goodreads.
I also publish short stories with the same protagonist and world as my novels on my website: egretia.com.
I love it when people read them (they're short!) and let me know what they think!
A few short stories involving Felix, mostly from his past prior to Murder In Absentia. To receive notifications about new posts, short stories and news, please click the “Follow” button… egretia.com
Hmmm... I seem to remember reading one a while back. Really fun short read. Will have to go see what else you have hiding over there.
Do you have many books planned for your world, or do you write as the muse strikes?
- I have the plots for three more books (one is the WIP) plus several short stories all ready to go. I got most of them while I was still writing my first novel, so as I keep writing I don't expect to run out of ideas any time soon.
Are they being polite and waiting their turn?
- In a way. Sometimes a short story will interrupt everything I'm doing, and demand to be written right there (like Girl On Fire). The novels are mostly waiting their turn, as - even though they are independent - there is a certain sequence to them.
I'd like to say you're lucky, but I know not everyone's muse is maddeningly insistent on all the words being poured out at once.
Since I know time's a valuable commodity, just a couple more questions for you.
If someone wanted to keep up with you, and your progress, where would they find you?
::Chuckles:: Seeing as "all over" covers quite a bit of territory, I'll happily take the links.
And the last question: Any final words before we wrap up?
- I expect a lot of your reader will have an interest in writing. There is only one secret to writing a book, a secret I've shared with my daughter.
The secret to writing a novel is.... <drumroll>... to write!
No, seriously, that all it takes. Just keep writing, until you finish the manuscript. Then write some more.
I'll have to try and keep that in mind - there's times I know it can get hard to go any further.
Assaph, thank you so much for coming across the pond from "Down Under". It was great having you here to visit.
- My pleasure! Thank you for having me.
If you enjoyed the visit with Assaph, and wish to connect, I promise he won't bite. Use the links above, and get ready to find out more about Felix and all the antics he gets up to. (Along with some of the foods he enjoys.)
Don't forget to check back soon. Next time, I'll be talking with The Fox himself. Until then...
Keep those pages turning.