As a first time published writer, share some of your misery with other would-be writers to give them hope. How long have you been trying to break into the industry?
To start with, I gave up on writing years back. Sometime in February ’09, I decided I wanted to write an outer space novel inspired by the stories I read when I was a teenager. It took two years of giving up fun and entertainment, but I got it done. The one true misery I’ve felt was a sympathetic agent telling me that these kinds of stories don’t get published anymore. I took a long look at the F&SF shelves at my local Barnes&Noble and saw that vampires and werewolves had taken over the place.
Did you consider self-publishing as a route? Why or why not?
I checked out the author-friendly Smashwords. That led me to Novel Concept Publishing and editor Jason Halstead. Going it alone on my first time through was a bit daunting for me. It’s a much easier ride when you work with people who know the route.
What’s your greatest fear (as it applies to writing or not – your call)?
Well, there’s having cancer and wondering if you’ll run out of treatment options. There’s reading about relentless budget cuts for public schools when you have two school-age children on the autism spectrum. That’s plenty of fear for one man.
Tell us a little about The Capable Man – what is it, what’s it about, and why did feel the need to write it?
The concept began as a moral mirror-image of Heinlein’s Have Spacesuit Will Travel. The protagonist—an adult, not a teenager—survives by his wits and the courage to take action; but he is, in fact, a pirate. He finds that choosing to do the wrong thing comes easily, especially when you’re being rewarded for it.
EDITORS NOTE: Since debuting The Capable Man has shot up the ratings at an amazing rate. It’s listed on two top 100 bestseller lists already, and that was before any press releases or marketing / advertising has taken place. Having also read the book myself I highly recommend it to any futuristic sci-fi lover.
What’s next for Justin Maisling and the others featured in The Capable Man? Do you have a sequel planned or is the story told?
Yes, a sequel is in the works because I just can’t help myself. I have family and friends telling me that more should be happening to Justin. I feel the principal story has been told; however, there’s some unfinished business with certain unsavory folks that can be dealt with and there are repercussions following Justin’s actions. The working title is A Tolerance For Pain.
What’s next for Marc Hamlet – anything in process or any ideas nibbling away in the back of your mind?
I’ve done some research on horse training and black powder revolvers for a fantasy story that’s been in the back of my mind for the past year. It could be three novellas or three novels, depending on how hard I want to work. All I’ve settled on so far is the main character, the social setting and the California Central Valley.
How was your experience with Novel Concept Publishing, especially as a first time published author?
I wasn’t asked to re-arrange the furniture within my story, much to my relief. The editing process went easily although it helps to have a wife with a tech writing degree to copy edit for you. Truly, it’s been smooth sailing from the start.
What advice can you give to other writers trying to be published?
As everyone else says: don’t give up. I did once and I regret it. If you have a story you want to tell, sit yourself down and write it out… and don’t worry about marketability.
Where can anxious readers find you on the web? Website, blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Wattpad, book links, and anything else I neglected to mention.
My facebook account name is Marc Hamlet, although I rarely post anything there.
My twitter account (which is more fun than Facebook) is @MarcHamlet.
My blog is http://marchamlet.com/
The Capable Man can be found at the following links:
Barnes and Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/books/e/2940013224728
To learn more about Jason Halstead, visit his website to learn about him, his books, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at http://www.booksbyjason.com.