How many rejections did you receive before your book was published?
Thanks for bringing up a painful subject, Lisa, lol. I received 16 rejections before joining forces with Stephanie Casher and James W. Lewis to form our own independent publishing venture Ė The Pantheon Collective. I actually chronicled my complete journey to the publishing promise land on my website: http://www.qwantuamaru.com/the-journey.html. Hopefully other authors can learn something by reading about my trials and tribulations!
Do you have a set time that you write each day? Or do you wait to be inspired?
I write from 8-10 pm most days. I started doing this back in 2005 and it seems to be a good period in the evening for me to get my ideas out. I donít watch TV so this is my entertainment period of the day!
Are you working on another book now? If so, would you tell us a bit about it? And when do you expect it to be finished?
I am actually working on two books. One is the first book in a series called From Unknown Author to Breakout Bestseller in 6 Steps. The first book is about the importance of planning for success and will be published before the summer is out.
I am also hard at work on my second novel, The Uneasy Sleep of Giants, which can best be described as The Kite Runner meets The DaVinci Code! This book should be coming out in Fall 2013.
Do you ever become bored with what you are writing? If you do, how do you get past that point?
Knock on wood, but writing has never bored me. I have yet to experience writer's block, either. When I approach the page I always have something to say.
What new doors has your writing opened up for you? Were there any opportunities that you had never considered before?
Like many authors I hold out hope that my book will be turned into a book or miniseries someday, and One Blood is actually being evaluated for such by a L.A. management agency due to my coming in 2nd place in the 2012 Indie Reader Discovery Awards. Other opportunities Iím considering are teaching book and social media marketing at local writing workshops. People are approaching me about writing short stories for anthologies and partnering in other ways. Itís all very exciting!
How do you manage to balance your time between family, friends, and writing?
Very carefully! Seriously, I only carve out my 2 hour block. As long as I get that in, I have plenty of time for everything else. We always have time for the things that are important to us, right?
If you could spend one hour with just one person, whom would you choose?
Definitely Stephen King. He is my favorite writer and a huge inspiration. I would love to pick his brain about certain books and his writing/editing/rewriting process and just soak up his genius!
You are part of the Pantheon Collective. Could you tell us a bit about that?
Gladly! I started The Pantheon Collective with fellow authors Stephanie Casher and James W. Lewis back in December 2009. Our mission is to empower and inspire aspiring authors to take control of their destinies and make their dreams come true. We are passionate about getting our work (and the work of others) out into the published universe. We have blogged about every step of our struggle to create this publishing company as we published 4 titles in a year and a half: Sellout, When Love Isnít Enough, A Hard Man is Good to Find, and One Blood. Weíve sold almost 30,000 copies of our works since first publishing Sellout in June 2012 and our works have collectively won 12 literary awards! We are looking to publish other authors soon and will be putting out Stephanie Casherís sequel to When Love Isnít Enough in Fall 2012. Our website is http://www.pantheoncollective.com.
Do you have any advice for writers who are striving to be published?
Definitely. My advice is to invest in your craft by reading constantly, getting feedback, and identifying your strengths and weaknesses as a writer. Become the best writer you can be. Learn about the publishing process. Donít skip steps or cut corners due to impatience. Pay for a professional content edit, book cover, and copy edit. Be original and not a copycat of whatever looks to be selling at the moment. And be true to yourself. You are the unique aspect of your story. Put as much of you in your work as possible and you will never have to worry about anyone stealing your story.
Thank you, Qwantu Amaru, for such an amazing interview. If you would like to read the debut novel written by this author, I have provided an Amazon link below.