Indie Author Interview with Ralph L. Angelo Jr. - Author of the Science Fiction Novel The Cagliostro Chronicles.
Ralph L. Angelo Jr., has written both fiction and non-fiction books, including the best selling 'Redemption of the Sorcerer, The Crystalon Saga, Book One' and the recently released 'Torahg the warrior: Sword of Vengeance!'
Ralph has written for magazines such as 'Backroads motorcycle touring magazine', as well as 'Motorcycle Consumer News' and 'Motorcycle Online'.
Interview with Ralph L. Angelo Jr.
|Author Ralph L. Angelo Jr.|
Ralph L. Angelo Jr.: My writing began about 17 years ago when I became involved with the internet fanfic movement. I began writing Marvel Comics fanfic at the ‘Marvel MV1’ site, which was the original fanfic site. Before that fanfic had been written on DOS boards. After that I, along with Clay Arceneaux, Barry Reese and I started the Faux DC site where we wrote DC fanfic. After that I began indulging in writing about one of my other passions, motorcycles. I write (Still today) for some major motorcycle magazines such as ‘Motorcycle Consumer News’, ‘Motorcycle Online’ and my personal favorite, ‘Backroads Motorcycle Touring Magazine’ So I honed my craft with those experiences.
Who are your favorite writers, your favorite books, and who or what are your writing influences?
My writing influences are varied and different. Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir of ‘The Destroyer’ series, Lester Dent who created Doc Savage, Robert E. Howard, ‘Conan’s’ creator, who also was the father of ‘King Kull’ and ‘Soloman Kane’. Edgar Rice Burroughs , creator of John Carter and Tarzan, but for me it was more his John Carter work that stood out. I was also heavily influenced by comic book writers of the 70’s and 80’s. Guys like Gerry Conway, Roy Thomas, Roger Stern, Bill Mantlo, John Byrne, Len Wein.
When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always dabbled in writing since I was a kid. In fact the opening scene to ‘The Cagliostro Chronicles’ I wrote over twenty years ago, the opening scene to my recent novel ‘Torahg the Warrior’ was written longer ago than that.
"I have an idea where I want to go, and I sit down and write."
Tell us about your writing process. Do you have a writing routine?
No not really. I have an idea where I want to go, and I sit down and write. I usually have an ending framework and a solid beginning worked out. Then I write everything in between, usually the story tells itself. I’m just writing it down. Once I get into a groove, I usually like to write a thousand words, stop for an hour or two and then put another thousand down. That’s my usual writing routine
"Sometimes it just feels like you’re never going to get to those two special words, ‘The End’ "
What do you find easiest about writing? What the hardest?
The easiest is coming up with a story. The hardest is transcribing it. Sometimes it just feels like you’re never going to get to those two special words, ‘The End’. But I do.
Ralph, please tell us a little about your Book 'The Cagliostro Chronicles.’
‘The Cagliostro Chronicles’ is a novel about man’s first faster than light space flight, and what Mark Johnson, the engineer/scientist who created the Cagliostro and his handpicked crew discover once they break that light speed barrier, which is a century plus old conspiracy against mankind, that reaches far into outer space. Basically these guys are a crew of a hundred people out there alone with zero chance of getting back up and help if they should fall into trouble. They are alone, and facing immeasurable danger that could doom all of the earth.
|Click to Read an Excerpt|
What inspired you to write the book?
I love sci-fi and action/adventure, fast paced stories. That’s exactly what this is. It’s a book I would want to read. I read a ton of ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Star Wars’ books as well as the aforementioned ‘John Carter’ books. This is my series playing in that pond.
Who do you see as your target audience and where can we buy the book?
Those that love sci-fi/adventure and what is now called ‘Space Opera’ will love this book. It’s NOT hard sci-fi, it’s not terribly technical, and I don’t want to write that stuff. I don’t want to bore my audience as I would be bored. I write fun stories, which is what this is, which is what I want to read as well as what I want to write.
"[...] it’s by far, my most successful novel at that point."
How would you describe the success of your book so far?
The success so far has been very surprising to me. It’s been out a little over a week at this point and it’s by far, my most successful novel at that point. I’m still stunned by the numbers this book is doing.
How long did it take it to write the book?
A few months. I believe it was about two and a half.
Please, tell us where you self-published the book.
I used Createspace under my own label/imprint ‘Cosmic Comet Publishing’
How smooth went the self-publishing process? Any issues? What are things to look for when self-publishing a book?
No, at this point after doing three previous books with Createspace I have it down to a science.
"I feel that editing is the most important thing [...]"
Did you hire an editor and/or Cover Designer for your book?
Oh yes, to both questions. It’s expensive, and God only knows if I’ll ever make the money back, but I believe in putting out a quality product if my name is on the front. I work very hard at doing things right with my writing and publishing. I feel that editing is the most important thing, especially with the lousy experience I had with my first novel when I went with a so-called publisher (Publish America) who did not edit my book at all and just put the very rough manuscript out there. I ended up buying the rights back from them and self-published after finding my editor and then doing a hunt for a cover artist, which I got very lucky with.
I found a terrific cover artist who I’ve used twice, and he’s now my go to guy. I’m not saying I’ll never use anyone else, but he delivered two (‘Redemption of the Sorcerer’ and ‘The Cagliostro Chronicles’) amazing covers for me that just blow me away every time I look at them.
"How do you know an editor is competent?"
Can you give some tips for other Indie Authors regarding the writing and self-publishing process?
I don’t consider myself a pro by any means when it comes to self-publishing, but I know what the process is. Write your story, go over it yourself a few times after it is written, clean it up as much as possible, then send it out to a competent editor. How do you know an editor is competent? Ask who they have edited books for, see if you recognize any of the names and book titles they supply you with. You hope that everyone is on the up and up, and that’s about all you can do. Editing will make your story infinitely better. It is one of the most important things you can do to your book. It turns it from a raw piece of meat into a filet mignon.
As far as covers go, if you can get by with your own photo shop skills (Of which I have zero) you can create your own covers. If not spend the money and get a good cover artist. The cover is the very first thing a perspective reader (and buyer) is going to see.
Write an exciting back cover blurb, one that grabs the reader and excites them. The cover is everything. Without it your book does not get noticed and becomes just one of the crowd.
"The cover is everything."
Are you working on another book project? Can you tell us a little about it?
I try to always be working on something at this point. I am working currently on the second volume of the Crystalon saga. It’s the sequel to my epic fantasy novel ‘Redemption of the Sorcerer’, which will always have a special place in my heart as it was my first completed and published novel. I personally think it’s an amazing story, and the sequel, tentatively called ‘My enemy, Myself’ will be even more amazing!
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 already have a novel published with ‘Pro Se Publications’, a ‘New Pulp’ publisher which did a fantastic job with my sword and sorcery novel, ‘Torahg the Warrior’ which recently was released as well. I have another one in queue for them to publish but that will probably be sometime next year I would think. I will continue to publish as ‘Cosmic Comet Publishing’ for certain projects that I want complete control of. But I have no problem with working with other publishers as well.
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’m no psychic, but the book store market is shrinking. I hope books do not disappear. There is something special about holding a book in your hand, as opposed to your tablet or e-reader, which I do as well. E-readers are amazingly convenient and do a great job, but certain books are better as paper, and will always be. As far as book stores disappearing, we’ve already lost ‘Borders’ and many mom and pop book stores disappear every day, sadly. I don’t know how much longer book stores will be around myself. I think smaller stores in small towns will probably fare better than large stores.
"[...] publishing the book and doing all the follow up stuff is as large if not larger than writing the book itself."
Do you write full-time or do you have a day job?
I’m writing and producing full time at this point. The reason I say ‘producing’ is because publishing the book and doing all the follow up stuff is as large if not larger than writing the book itself.
How can readers connect with you?
Twitter: @RLAngeloJr, Facebook: Author Ralph L. Angelo Jr., my web site: http://RLAngeloJr.com
Thank you so much for having me; it’s been a pleasure.
Thank you very much for the Interview, Ralph.
About the Book The Cagliostro Chronicles
|Click to Read an Excerpt|
In the year 2089 man's first faster than light space flight is about to begin, but where it ends will be filled with action, adventure and the unknown!
The Cagliostro is an experimental space craft which is destined to begin mans first faster than light voyage beyond his solar system and into a greater universe filled with dangerous adversaries, intrigue and a deadly conspiracy set to tear humanity apart!
Join Mark Johnson and his crew of adventurers as they travel beyond our wildest dreams and into a universe fraught with mystery, action and danger!
Links to the Book
Link to Ralph L. Angelo Jr.'s Books on Amazon
Link to the eBook The Cagliostro Chronicles with Excerpt on Amazon