Daily Archives: December 17, 2008

C.A. Milson Interview at The New Author Part III

This is Part III of my interview with C.A. Milson. I have greatly enjoyed participating in this book tour interview with C.A.

Now, back to the questions. (C.A.’s response in bold.)

Many things are expected by an author when writing, publishing and promoting their book. What, if any, are some of the unexpected things that you have noticed or experienced during this journey?

As I explained above about “marketing”, marketing to the masses is like trying to get the word out to everyone who reads a book, and then one is competing against the 177,000 new titles that are released each year. That is quite a difficult challenge to face for any author, whether it is their first novel or tenth novel. Okay, granted, if your name happens to be Stephen King, J.K.Rowling or Clive Barker you don’t have to do any marketing as your name itself sells the book. But for those who do not have that prestigious title of being part of the “World’s Best”, publishers do expect the (new) author to know about promotion/marketing, and also expect the author to do a majority (if not all) of the promos themselves. Not that I want to say that being published is ruthless, as it is a blessing to see your book in print. Nor do I want to deter any writer out there who is hoping to get their first novel published, but I do want to share my experiences and hope that the aspiring writer will take this advice and learn from it. This may be going off on a tangent, but writing is not all about the fame, the glamour, and dare I say, the stardom. Now some aspiring writers may have flights of fantasy about what “may” happen when they are published. They may fantasize that their book will be an international best seller from Day One, but that is not how it is. I can say this because I used to have those same thoughts when I wrote “SOE”. Truth is, once you are published, you don’t sit back and watch the royalty checks come flooding in, nor are you inundated with calls from Fox, Touchstone or any other film company. When you “do” get published, then you need to start promoting yourself. It is definitely the case of thinking to yourself; Okay, your book is released. Congrats. Now is time to start promoting.

Would you like to add any final thoughts?

If you don’t mind Brian, I would like to share these pearls of wisdom with the audience. There are probably a lot of new writers out there who have no idea where to start, but, if you are an aspiring writer looking to get your first work out there, start with a good letter to an agent or publisher. That is your starting point. A good letter with the synopsis of your novel will get the attention of the agent or publisher, even if the response is a polite “No thank you”. Learn by my example. It took 14 years from the main draft of The Chosen to now to get published, which shows that it is worth the wait. That is not to say that it will take 14 years for you to get published! I am saying this as I left mine sitting on the back-burner until I was ready. Yes, you will get rejection letters, or even worse yet, no reply at all. Don’t worry about that as it will happen. Those rejection slips only tell you that you are on the right (write) track! Okay, now that you have your email draft ready to go out to agents/publishers, make sure you do your homework, by checking out what genres they represent. If it is unclear on their web if they are accepting new clients, don’t be afraid to ask! Make a mental note on some of the authors they represent. Also, if you come across an agent or publisher that charges a fee of any kind, stay away from those. They are predators who will take your money and you will never hear from them again. I don’t have to ramble on about this topic as there are dozens of websites about this. But what I will say in concluding is this: If you have the ability to write, you have a gift. Like any skill, it is a talent that should be nurtured and polished. Find your niche, and keep on writing, no matter what wanna-be’s may tell you.

This concludes my interview with C.A. Milson. If you would like too read more about him and/or The Chosen here are a few links.
The Chosen Chapter Excerpts
Purchase The Chosen

I want to thank C.A. for inviting me to be part of his book tour and taking the time to respond to your comments/questions. As always, I hope you enjoyed reading this interview.

Ang said…
Great interview. So thorough…leaves me with not even one question. I wanted to thank C.A. for the last bit of information. It is so nice to hear encouragement and advice from a published author about breaking into the biz. Great information.
December 17, 2008 10:25 AM

Brian said…
Thank you Ang. This was a very informative interview. I have more interviews scheduled for next year as while. It is my hope that we will read more from C.A. in the near future when his second book is released.


C.A. Milson Interview at The New Author Part II


This is Part II of my interview with C.A. Milson. Also, C.A. will be back today to respond to your comments and/or questions. The first part of the interview is available if you did not get the chance to read it. I recommend reading the associated comments as well.

Now for some great questions and responses. (C.A.’s responses in bold)

How much of your own life and experiences are in the pages of – The Chosen?

Okay… I admit… There is some of me in each character. That’s not to say I am a megalomaniac who schemes every night to take over the world!!! LOL… Seriously though, there is definitely a part of me in each character, whether it is the way they talk or their personality traits. But a lot of each character is also taken from those I have met, and other character traits from some figures of history. But as far as the life experiences go, there are different theologies that I have studied that were added, but unfortunately were cut.

Looking beyond the completion of this trilogy; what do you see in your future?

After “Prophecy’s End”, I intend to rework my screenplay and maybe film it in New Zealand and Russia. It is a supernatural sci-fi work-in-progress. The storyline has the “what-if” scenario. For now it is just a mess of ideas, so I don’t want to say too much about it, but I will say that it will be one of those projects that will be worth the wait. In 1989 I wrote a further 26 short stories, so I will rewrite each of those and turn it into a novel.

From 1994 to 2006 you were a freelance marketing agent. Has that experience helped you with marketing/promoting yourself and The Chosen?

My experience in marketing has given me a very clear understanding of just how much goes into “marketing”, and even though I have done similar in the past (with putting on my own murder-mystery-dinner-parties), this is very much different to any other form of marketing. Okay, running an event is one thing and is relatively easy to do. The market one is targeting is limited to the demographic region that one wants to run an event. For instance, one places an ad in the papers, runs some promos on localized websites and put the name out to friends and associates. That, coupled with finding a venue and catering… All relatively easy compared to the mass promotion of a novel, and I have promoted everything from Kirby Vacuum-Cleaners to Mystery Shopping services.

C.A. Milson is your pen name. What made you decide to use a pen name? How did you come up with C.A. Milson?

Quite a funny story actually. I already knew that there was a children’s author named C.A. Jackson, so there I was, sitting at my computer and wondering to myself what nomdeplume will I call myself. Of course, there was quite a plethora of names that came to mind… Max Powers being one of them… lol. Finally one name did pop in my mind, from the tv show The Simpsons. Milhouse… Okay, not the best name for a horror writer, as one conjures up a thought of a geek wearing glasses with blue hair…so I took the first part of the name and added the last part of my surname and came up with the name Milson.

What did you learn about yourself and the writing business while producing – The Chosen?

I have learned a few things about myself while developing The Chosen. I have learned along the way that when it comes to writing a romance scene, I really stink at it! Just kidding… Seriously, I don’t think I would write a Mills & Boon type novel. That is one thing I do know about myself. Goodness knows, I once attempted to write a short romance, but it sounded far too cliché with phrases like “She ran her fingers along the blade of his sword”. Now how cliché is that? The same goes for comedy scenes. I also tried to add some form of comedy into an early story that I wrote, but that was about as funny as watching grass grow! No, I have learned that the genres I can write are sci-fi, fantasy, horror, and drama. Oh, and I can write children’s stories. But then again, when my imagination kicks into high-gear the possibilities are endless where I will take a scene.

Part III of this interview will be posted tomorrow.


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