Friday, January 11, 2013

Indie Author Interview: Garry Rodgers

Interview with Garry Rodgers - Author of the Supernatural Thriller No Witnesses To Nothing.

Amazon Top 10 Best Selling Author Garry Rodgers has lived the life that he writes about.

Now retired as a Royal Canadian Mounted Police homicide detective and forensic coroner, Garry also served on British SAS-trained Emergency Response Teams and is a recognized expert-witness on firearms.

'No Witnesses To Nothing' is Garry's first novel in a series on Sergeant Sharlene Bate. It's based on a true crime story in which Garry was involved where many people believe that paranormal intervention occurred.

Interview with Garry Rodgers

Interview w/ Garry Rodgers
Author Garry Rodgers
Alan Kealey (Indie Author News): What is your (writing) background?
Garry Rodgers: I’m a retired homicide detective and forensic coroner with an expertise in firearms. I’ve professionally written legal and technical documents for 35 years, but when I started writing fiction, I realized I had to stop and learn a new craft. This set ‘No Witnesses To Nothing’ back nearly a year, and it’s a far better book for it.

Who are your favorite writers, your favorite books, and who or what are your writing influences?
Napoleon Hill of ‘Think and Grow Rich’ – I live by his words. Stephen King is a f’n genius; verbose, but... man, can the guy tell a story. Every fiction writer must absorb his book ‘On Writing’. I think ‘The Elements Of Style’ by Strunk & White is also mandatory for developing a readable flow. Frederick Forsyth is an icon and Joanna Penn (J.F.Penn of the ARKANE thriller series) is headed to the stars – she’s that bloody good.

When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
I can’t remember not wanting to write.

Tell us about your writing process. Do you have a writing routine?
There’s ‘pantsers’ and ‘plotters’. I’m definitely a plotter. It comes from being in the investigative business, so I research the hell out of everything, then draft, let it sit, and rewrite (lots of rewrite). I like drafting early in the morning with no distractions, not even music on, and just let ‘er fly. Midday is for re-write. Evenings are for research - it’s my Hemmingway time.

"I struggled with all the ‘show vs. tell’ [issues]."

What do you find easiest about writing? What the hardest?

Dialogue comes easy for me. I naturally hear the characters in my head, so I just transcribe what they say. I’m sure this comes from years of listening to taped police interviews, bugs, and wiretaps. I struggled with all the ‘show vs. tell’ crap. I finally gave up trying to figure this out, so I take Stephen King’s advice and ‘just tell the goddam story’.

Garry, please tell us a little about your novel 'No Witnesses To Nothing'.
It’s a ghost story – based a true ghost story. It’s about an actual Royal Canadian Mounted Police incident that I was involved in where many believe paranormal intervention occurred. I took an approach - ‘What-if the supernatural overtones were true? What would the karma be?’, then blended-in a number of other situations and characters I knew, making a thought-provoking story. It’s fast and graphic at the start, but gets pretty heady into the science and spirituality behind the human soul. I wanted to do more than a thriller – I’d like the reader to say ‘Wow! That frickin’ book really made me think’. So far, it seems to be working.

No Witnesses To Nothing (Garry Rodgers)
Click to Read an Excerpt

What inspired you to write the book?
It’s a story that had to be told and karma caused me to be the right person to tell it. It’s also a tribute to my police partner, Mike Buday, who was murdered in the ‘Teslin Lake’ incident, which is what the ghost story is about.

Who do you see as your target audience and where can we buy the book?
It’s targeted more at a women’s audience. I see Boomers who like the CSI, Bones, and The X-Files stuff, but it’ll appeal across the board to horror, spiritual, and good ol’ murder-mystery fans. It’s exclusive at Amazon in e-Book and Print-on-Demand.

"The reviews are trickling in and they’re encouraging."

How would you describe the success of your book so far? (Sales, Awards, Reviews)
Far beyond expectations. In the first 3 days on the Kindle Direct Publishing Select (KDPS) promotion it went to #5 BestSeller in Horror/Occult and #68 in Thriller. It’s making good money as an e-Book and the Print-on-Demand just came out. The reviews are trickling in and they’re encouraging.

How long did it take it to write the book?
Two and a half years from typing the first word to hitting ‘Publish’. Long haul, but it’s so, so, worth it.

Please, tell us where you self-published the book.
Amazon - Kindle & CreateSpace.

How smooth went the self-publishing process? Any issues? What are things to look for when self-publishing a book?
Very smooth – once I learned how it works. That took a lot of self-teaching, but there’s so much information available, especially within the past year. The biggest thing is following the right people and just do what they tell you. Other Indies love to help out if they know you’re serious. I sure want to give back what I’ve learned.

Did you hire an editor and/or Cover Designer for your book?
Absolutely! I can’t emphasize this enough. You can’t afford NOT to get professional help in both. I worked with a writing coach, a structure editor, and a line editor/formatter, as well as with a top-end cover designer. It cost a bit, but the payback is huge.

"Write, and rewrite the best story you can, then get the best editing you can."

Can you give some tips for other Indie Authors regarding the writing and self-publishing process?
You’ll hear this straightforward advice over & over again, and it cuts through all the bullshit. Here’s the secrets…

1. Learn as much about writing, publishing, and marketing as you can.
2. Write, and rewrite the best story you can, then get the best editing you can.
3. Hire the best cover designing and formatting you can.
4. Tap into the best supporting network you can. (All of this can be done on-line)
5. Believe in yourself and never, ever, give up!

Are you working on another book project? Can you tell us a little about it?
I’m writing two sequels to ‘No Witnesses To Nothing’ featuring protagonist Sergeant Sharlene Bate; both crime-stories with supernatural overtones. ‘No Life Until Death’ deals with international trafficking in human organs, and ‘No Guilt Without Innocence’ gets into the courtroom as a psychological thriller about demonic possession. I’m also doing a non-fiction work titled ‘Lone Nuts – A No BS Guide to the JFK Assassination, set for release in the fall of 2013, the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s murder. It’s a straightforward look at the evidence.

Are you planning to move forward as an Indie author or are you looking forward to have one of your next books to be traditionally published?
I’ve no present plans to pursue traditional publishing and I think, given the turmoil in the industry, that any offer is highly unlikely. And I’d never give up digital, audio, or video rights to a print outfit.

Where do you see the book market in 5 or 10 years? Will there be only eBooks and will book stores disappear like record stores disappeared?
Oh, print is going to stick around for glossies and literaries, and I see Expresso machines in big-box stores where you can get a paperback on the spot. Niche new/used bookstores will survive, but genre reading will be digital. I think interactive e-Books are the next thing.

Do you write full-time or do you have a day job?
I’m retired from my cop & coroner life; now doing some private security contracting and eco-tourism guiding, so I have other streams of income and lots of time to write. Best of all worlds!

How can readers connect with you?
My web & blogsite is Email is Twitter is @GarryRodgers1 and I’m on Facebook, Goodreads, and LinkedIn. I really welcome new friends and would love to pass on what I’m learning, just as others do unto me. This is what the Indie movement’s all about. Co-operation. Not Competition. I think the new buzz word is ‘Co-opetition’.

[See Contact Links below]

Thank you very much for the Interview, Garry.

About the Book No Witnesses To Nothing

No Witnesses To Nothing (Garry Rodgers)
Click to Read an Excerpt
Do you believe in ghosts?

No Witnesses To Nothing is a novel based on a true crime story straight out of CSI or The X-Files where many believe that paranormal intervention occurred.

Sergeant Sharlene Bate, of Vancouver's Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, pries open Pandora's Box when two drug informers are brutally executed and a tragedy occurs when two young police officers attempt to capture a madman terrorizing the Canadian Yukon wilderness.

No ordinary madman, the local Tlingit people say. It's The Kushtaka. The Wildman-Of-The-Woods. The mythical being who tricks you, kills you, and steals your soul.

As Sergeant Bate digs deeper, she discovers more of the legend: In a gunfight with the shapeshifter, the two officer's souls are trapped in a twilight zone - the world in-between.

From the treacherous Hells Angels cocaine conspiracy in the prisons of America and the jungles of Colombia - to the spiritual journey in a Shaman's sweatlodge deep in the Australian Outback - is there an entity now hunting for Sharlene Bate's soul?

- “No Witnesses To Nothing is a book about karma - what goes around, comes around; both in life and in death. Disguised as a can't-put-down murder mystery, Sergeant Sharlene Bate's investigation reveals a secret bridge connecting science and spirituality along the pathway to understanding the essence of our existence - the soul.”

Links to the Author and the Book

Link to the Author's website

Connect with the Author via Twitter: @GarryRodgers1

Link to the Paperback No Witnesses To Nothing on Amazon with Excerpt

Link to the eBook No Witnesses To Nothing on Amazon with Excerpt

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