Friday, February 19, 2016

Interview with Neal Tyree

Today, it is my pleasure to present Neal Tyree - a friend, once fellow co-worker and author of Exit of the Ascended. I owe Neal much gratitude. He was the one to finally convince me to take the leap and self-publish. His enthusiasm for writing served as quite an inspiration for me.

To get things rolling, I asked Neal to tell readers a bit about himself. Here's what he had to say:
I like to think of myself as a tinkerer. I like to learn about everything from machines to plants. I have tried many different forms of art. Writing may be the one I enjoy the most.
Could you give readers an idea of what your book is about?
Exit of the Ascended fits best I think in the cyberpunk genre. It is humanity against technology.
What genre are your books?
Science Fiction.
What draws you to this genre?
Imagination. Orwell, Jules Verne, Isaac Asimov all take me on trips outside of reality. They make me think a lot of what is possible.
Have you ever considered writing stories for other genres?
I have and even attempted to write different kinds of genres. My heart just wasn’t into it. There is a freedom of writing Science Fiction I have not found anywhere else.
When did you first discover your passion for writing?
When I was six, I wrote “Bear Island.” Two shipwrecked people were stuck on an island with helpful bears. In writing that, I knew I would write for the rest of my life.
Bear Island sounds pretty cool. You might have to "re-boot" that one, haha!
How long have you been writing?
I have been writing for about thirty years. Most of what I have written is long gone. There were a lot of short stories and half-written books.
What inspires your stories?
Most of my inspiration comes from society. What I daydream the future will hold, or could possibly hold.
Do you have a special routine or ritual when you sit down to write?
Coffee, coffee, coffee. With the caffeine in my system and the time to write, I will just pound out five or six thousand words in a sitting. I don’t try to put rules and regiment to writing. It is creative, and regimenting the process would make it too much like work and kill my writers high.
Most writers I know are addicted to coffee (myself included). I should market a drink called "Writing Fuel". Hmm...
What is the best part about being a writer?
The freedom. A long time ago, in high school my art teacher Mr. Platus told me, “There are no rules in art.” I have no boundaries when I sit and write. The story can be as absurd as I want, or as predictable as I want.
What is the worst part about being a writer?
Without a doubt, editing. I enjoy the flow of writing. Being in the zone where your fingers can’t move fast enough to keep up with your brain is awesome. Editing all of it, yuck. It seems to take as long if not longer to edit, than it does to write the story.
Editing can be tedious for sure. But, it's also a great opportunity to "fine tune".
Do you ever feel self-conscious when writing love or sex scenes? Why or Why not?
Haha. Never. I pull from my experiences, maybe even embellish slightly. It is my words, my story. I don’t write to impress anyone, only to free the creative outlet. Love and sex are part of the human experience. They should be used when telling any story if appropriate. I have no hang-ups about writing about sex and love any more than if I were writing about any other human experience.
If you write in the realm of fantasy, do you ever worry about how believable your scenes will be to your readers?
No. I like feedback when I finish parts, to understand what others see in the story.
Do you write for yourself or to what you believe your readers want?
Every drawing, painting, or writing I have ever done was for me. The process takes me to places only they can. The outcome as judged by others, only lets me know how it is perceived. Whether the writing is liked or disliked, I have gotten what I wanted out of writing.
That's a great answer!
What do you do to get book reviews?
I just asked people I knew to give a look at it.
How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?
Great. I do think it is very important to get people who are forward and not your close friend or family. You need to be open to the negative criticism as well as the positive.
How do you deal with negative reviews?
Get more detail. The negative usually is more helpful then the positive. The negative will let you know what areas you need to work on.
Do you have a marketing strategy when announcing your books?
Sadly no. I don’t mush about marketing for a book. Maybe this is why I haven't made the best sellers list yet.
Was there any technique in particular that had the best or most immediate impact on your sales? If so, would you care to share it?
Putting it on Imgur helped a lot.
I may have to look into that.
Do you find promoting your books challenging or enjoyable?
I don’t like it at all. I want to be able to write, then hand it off to an editor who makes everything happen. If I could get away with it, I wouldn’t even spellcheck it.
Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in the future?
I would not advertise on Facebook. I spent a good amount of money with no return.
What do you think of traditional publishing vs. self-publishing?
I would like to try traditional. Self-publishing seemed to have a lot of work involved.
Would you say there is a stigma to being self-published?
Yes. For myself, I feel perhaps my book wasn’t up to par. I tried many different publishers and literary agents. None of them were interested.
Do you have a favorite author?
No. There are so many areas I read. Their areas are too different to fairly compare them as writers.
What are some of your favorite books and why?
That’s hard. The Republic by Plato is fascinating. Black Boy by Richard Wright is great. Long Walk to Freedom is moving. Stranger in a Strange Land is insightful. So many authors and genres it is hard to have favorites.
What are you currently working on?
I am working on the sequel to Exit of the Ascended, Return of the Ascended.
I'm looking forward to reading the sequel.
Do you identify with any of the characters in your book(s)? Why?
I identify with parts of them. They allow me to mentally live out certain parts of life.
If your book was made into a movie, who would you cast to play the characters?
I don’t know. Who played what part wouldn’t bother me. How the story is portrayed would be more important.
Would you like to give readers a bit of a teaser for your latest work?
If anyone asked, I would gladly let them give a read to anything I have in the works.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Just get to it. Don’t over think it. Start writing, let the story evolve. The idea is only the beginning of how great it can become. Stories have a way of evolving and growing into things even authors didn’t foresee.
Well, your advice is what finally made me "get to it".
Is there anything you would like to add?
It is not easy to get a book out there. Do it for yourself, if it becomes something, great. If it goes nowhere, you will probably still be proud you made it happen.
That is sound advice. Well, that wraps up this interview. Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions and giving readers a chance to get to know you. Where can they go to learn more about you and your work?

Amazon Author Page:

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