Sunday, 22 May 2016

Interview with Claude Bouchard

It’s time to hop over the pond to Canada to meet USA Today bestseller Claude Bouchard.   Claude is the author of over a dozen books, his most recent of which is Getting Even, part of his Vigilante crime thriller series.

What made you choose to write about a vigilante for your first novel?
The catalyst for my first novel, which I wrote in 1995, was the OJ Simpson fiasco. Shocked to see how someone could so easily get away with murder, I started thinking, “What if there was someone out there who dealt with those who slipped through the net?” The wheels started spinning and eight weeks later, I had completed my first draft of Vigilante.

Given the choice between a number one bestseller and winning a top award, which would you choose, and why?
I love spinning my tales and sharing them with my readers. That said, writing is not a hobby, it’s what I do to earn my keep and I do believe a number one bestseller would pay more bills than a top award would. I’ll have a number one bestseller, please.

If you were offered a publishing deal, would you take it, or do you prefer self-publishing?
I would certainly consider any publishing deal offered but whether or not I would accept it would depend on the proposed terms. I do admit I enjoy the complete freedom and control self-publishing provides me. However, I’d be willing to give some of that up for an offer allowing me to buy that cute little jet I’ve had my eye on.

Who edits your books, and where did you find them?
I do a lot of reviewing and self-editing as I go along so my first draft is generally pretty clean. Once it’s done, I run through it again then print a copy which goes to my wife, Joanne. Once she’s done and appropriate corrections have been made, the manuscript goes to my sister, Lucie who manages to spot a missing word here and a typo there. As to where I found these two marvelous ladies, Joanne was right there in our house and I’ve known Lucie since the day she was born.

If you could collaborate with one author, who would it be?
I’ve actually thought of collaboration in the past, not in the sense of wishing to do so, but rather, wondering how it actually works. I don’t plan/map out my writing so I’d likely be best working with someone who does. Considering the fun I had melding my characters with Russell Blake’s when I wrote Nasty in Nice for his JET Kindle World, and knowing he’s a decent, clown-hating, tequila imbibing sort, I guess I’ll say Russell… But then again, I drink rum.

What is a typical writing day in the Bouchard house?
A typical writing day starts somewhere between six and seven in the morning and runs until four in the afternoon. Weekend days generally start between eight and nine. Barring bathroom breaks and getting food, that time is spent behind the keyboard facing two monitors. One displays a variety of open internet tabs and the other, an assortment of required documents, the main one usually being my current WIP. Though I do sometimes write in the morning, the flow tends to be better in the afternoon. Mornings are generally devoted to writing related activities including social media, correspondence, promotion, recordkeeping, research and so on. It’s a finely honed form of chaotic multi-tasking which I’ve perfected over the years.

Have any of your previous jobs had an influence on your writing?
Absolutely. I held a variety of management positions, all within large corporations, where writing reports, policies, procedures, manuals and other official documents was an ongoing requirement and proper grammar was essential. In addition, my background is in human resources which led me to meet and deal with literally thousands of people over the years. This has definitely proved useful when developing characters for my fiction writing.

You have over half a million followers on Twitter.  How good a marketing tool do you think it is?
When I released Vigilante in 2009, nobody had ever heard of me. Today, some people have heard of me. It’s all a question of getting one’s name out there and, in my case, using Twitter and building a following has helped. I’m not saying I move tons of books whenever I send a tweet because that simply doesn’t happen. However, Twitter has allowed me to develop a network of readers, authors, reviewers, bloggers and interviewers which certainly hasn’t had a negative effect on my marketing efforts. Every little bit helps.

Where can we find out more about your books?
Folks are welcome to visit my website at at any time because I never lock the doors.
They can also drop by at Amazon (US: UK:

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Interview with Simon Wood

In the first of what I hope to be many interviews, I’m delighted to introduce the award-winning thriller author Simon Wood.  An Englishman living in California, Simon also writes horror stories under the pen name Simon Janus. 

What were you like at school?
Quiet.  Not very outgoing.  Not particularly good at school.  I am dyslexic and that made me very self-conscious.  I was more than happy to leave and never look back.

What made you decide to become a writer?
It's kind of hazy to be honest.  I'd moved to the US and I had a lot of time on my hands after working seven days a week at my previous job.  I just indulged myself for once.  And, oh yeah, I couldn’t get a job in America to save my life.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I'm an outliner.  I don’t outline heavily.  I just make bullet points for each scene and it goes into a color coded spreadsheet.  I'm not married to the outline but what it does do is make me think my story through.

How do you think your writing has evolved over the years?
I don’t know really.  I think my attitude and focus has changed.  I think I'm very aware of the kind of stories I write and I zero in on them.

Do you ever get writer’s Block?  If you do, how do you battle through it?
Yes, it happens from time to time.  I have two ways of dealing with it.  Write utter crap until the good stuff starts flowing again or go and do something completely different.  It's surprising that after a week or so, I get itchy about getting back to the keyboard.

Do you write full-time or part-time, and what is a typical day at the keyboard?
I write full time.  I usually start around nine on my main book project.  I work through to about three or four in the afternoon.  In the evening, I'll spend a couple of hours working on a side project.  At the weekends, I work on a pet project for a little bit.

Give us an insight into the main character in your latest book. What makes them special?
My current book is THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY and it features Zoë Sutton.  She's survived an abduction and now she's dealing with survivor guilt.  Essentially, this makes her impulsive, self-destructive, and a risk taker.  She left a friend behind to die.  She needs to find her soul again and a direction for her life, and she gets that when she tracks down the man who abducted her.  She's a prickly character but you want to see her change her life around.

For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
I'm dyslexic so I'm all about the audio books.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your latest book?
Oh, that’s tough.  I don’t have a clue but some readers have said they'd like to see Jennifer Lawrence play Zoë.  Brie Larson is another name mentioned.  I think that would work.

You find yourself in a perilous situation.  Which fictional character would you like to have come to your aid?
Crime boss, Mike Ballou, from Lawrence Block's Matthew Scudder novels.  I always think of him as a guardian Irishman…which everyone should have.

Where can we find your books?

My website is a good place to start.  It has descriptions, excerpts, audio clips and links to all the bookstores. 
My Zimbio
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