Author Interview with Brian K. Carr - Author of the Crime Thriller Hired To Kill.
Brian K. Carr is an author born and raised in Southern California whose professional life has allowed him to travel extensively and filled his mind with amazing stories. His first effort into publishing is the novel Hired To Kill, the first in the Colin O'Brien character series. Two follow-up books to the series are currently in production.
When not writing or reading, Brian hosts a show called Asylum TV for the off-road community website Jeep Asylum. He enjoys helping people build their Jeeps, taking them off-road, and camping with his wife and dog.
Interview with Brian K. Carr
|Author Brian K. Carr|
Brian K. Carr:Most of my writing has been learning modules for corporate automotive courses. I had written some scripts but found I had no avenue by which to sell them. When I got laid off in 2009, my ex-wife actually encouraged me to just start writing and then figure out how to self-publish…and I haven’t looked back since. It took a year or so for that really to sink in and become a reality.
Who are your favorite writers, your favorite books, and who or what are your writing influences?
I’m currently obsessed with the Jack Reacher novels by Lee Child. I’ve read every one of them and can’t wait for the next one to come out. I’ve also started on Vince Flynn’s novels…catching up slowly as I work on my own books.
When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always wanted to entertain people, make them laugh, tell them a story. I’m the type of person that will make a campfire last all night with bad stories and entertainment.
Tell us about your writing process. Do you have a writing routine?
I really don’t. I’ll sit down with a glass of wine, which usually turns into a bottle, and start writing. I usually go 10-20 thousand words before I go back and edit anything. Sometimes I have to force myself to write because the story line just isn’t connecting, but I still write and if I don’t like it, I’ll delete it.
"The hardest part is probably letting go of control with the editing process."
What do you find easiest about writing? What the hardest?
The easiest part about writing is probably just the writing itself. Once your fingers start tapping the keyboard it just flows out. The hardest part is probably letting go of control with the editing process. You want to keep it all in-house but know that it has to go to at least two outside sources to get it edited properly.
Brian, please tell us a little about your novel 'Hired To Kill'.
Hired To Kill is a story about Colin O’Brien, a guy who watches too much TV on his downtime and gets himself caught up in a conspiracy to assassinate an arms dealer. He gets mistaken for a famous hitman and goes along with it, due to his love of procedural cop shows. He has to fumble his way through meetings with arms dealers, the Russian criminal underground and federal agents.
The original thought process was to take an ordinary guy and throw him into an extraordinary situation. When I hit a snag, I remembered to write what I know…so I asked myself what I would do in that situation. That was when I started having the main character take on some characteristics with which I was familiar, like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
|Click to Read an Excerpt|
What inspired you to write the book?
I’ve travelled all over and had a bunch of stories floating around in my head. I had been catching up on some Lee Child books and decided that I wanted a character I could bring to life and drag through some hellish stories and just see what comes of it.
Who do you see as your target audience and where can we buy the book?
I really have no idea who my “target” audience is. I’ve heard from readers of both genders, ages 20-60, from all different parts of the country. Hired To Kill is available on the Kindle, the Nook, Kobo, Sony, Smashwords, and iBooks (via the Apple store).
Barnes & Noble
How would you describe the success of your book so far? (Sales, Awards, Reviews)
Book sales go up and down, depending on the week. Certain outlets report a few months behind, so I don’t worry about the numbers much. I mainly want to just get my name out there for now.
How long did it take it to write the book?
About 2 years.
Please, tell us where you self-published the book.
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobobooks, Sony e-reader, iBooks, and Smashwords.
"[...] having to learn to do all my own marketing was difficult."
How smooth went the self-publishing process? Any issues? What are things to look for when self-publishing a book?
The only snag I really hit was a software problem on the end of Barnes & Noble. That delayed the Nook release of Hired To Kill by a few months. I’m also not big into the social media, so having to learn to do all my own marketing was difficult. It still is. I’m not a blogger, though I know that’s how a lot of authors get their names out there. It’s just not who I am.
Did you hire an editor and/or Cover Designer for your book?
I did send the book off for editing, but did the cover art myself.
"Just do it, seriously."
Can you give some tips for other Indie Authors regarding the writing and self-publishing process?
Just do it, seriously. Write your heart out and figure the rest out as you go along. Copyrights are easy, there are people online who will do a cover for you, and services for editing and e-reader formatting. So the only thing you really have to do is write.
Are you working on another book project? Can you tell us a little about it?
I am currently working on Retribution, the sequel to Hired To Kill. And yes, this is the first time I have mentioned the title of the book in public. So there you go. Things are going to get interesting for Colin during the next few books. The readers are going to see what happens to a fun smart-ass when he continues to get piles of crap thrown at him.
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?
Eventually I might go with a traditional publisher. It just depends. I would like to see what kind of distribution I could get with something like a paperback and how many more readers I could reach.
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?
I don’t think we’re going to see book stores disappearing that quickly. I think we’re going to see more people reading books on their iPads and laptops than the actual e-readers. The different formats will continue to exist and compete, but I think we’ll see fewer versions of those e-readers.
Do you write full-time or do you have a day job?
I have many jobs. I run a website called Jeep Asylum for the Jeep/off-road community and film a tech show called Asylum TV for that website. I also teach Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
How can readers connect with you?
Thank you very much for the Interview, Brian.
About the Book Hired To Kill
|Click to Read an Excerpt|
Colin falls into the deep end of the criminal underworld, being chased by feds, grumpy Russians and seemingly the angriest mall staff in the western hemisphere. It quickly transpires though that there is much more behind the hit that the mysterious Monica Stafford wants Colin to carry out than she is letting on. Colin's only mistake was going along with it. In his mind, this was the type of thing he saw every week on his favorite television shows, only this lady was real and whoever she thought he looked like could be somewhere close.
Surrounded by federal agents, foreign spies, gangsters, and thugs, Colin must figure out who he needs and who he can trust.
"If you enjoy crime thrillers, you will love this story. Colin O'Brien finds himself entangled in international crime, assassinations, governments agencies - not unlike the crime drama he always watches on TV - only this time it is happening in real life. At first he enjoys playing a spy but he soon finds out that he has landed in some serious stuff. He seeks the help of his cop friends, but even they do not understand how far reaching this is. The story keeps the reader engaged and the author does a good job of explaining the inner workings of the different agencies. There is a lot of planning so the element of surprise is limited, but that does not take away from the storyline. The characters are likeable and real. This story would make a good film. Enjoy" - SEN Books (Review)
Links to the Book
Link to the eBook Hired To Kill with Excerpt on Amazon