Sci Fi/Fantasy Author Matthew O. Duncan – Book Elves Event Interview

Here is the interview that I did with Matthew O. Duncan for the Book Elves on the Shelves Event. He will be doing his takeover on Dec. 8th 1-2pm CENTRAL!

Are you an indie author or with a publisher and what do you find the pros and cons to be for each?
I’m an indie writer.  Even though I had published non-fiction books in the past and have had plays successfully produced, I could not get any publisher or agent to even look at my work.  Every publisher I tried to submit my manuscript to would not even accept it without representation from an agent and every agent I approached either said they were not taking on new clients, or would not look at my work without a referral.  So I reached out to other writers to find out that even if a author finds a publishing house to produce the work, the cost was often put back on the writer, the author is still responsible for promotion and there is no guaranty the book would appear on any book store shelves.  On top of that, the writer makes a limited royalty and doesn’t always retain full rights to the work.  So I went with Lulu publishing, an on demand publisher.  I had worked with them before on management and theater books that I had published.  The writer has full control over the work, sets the price and is distributed through all the big sellers in both paper and e-books.  I had to find my own cover art, contract a good editor and proof reader and do my own marketing, but that is okay, because I have no one to credit or blame for my success or failure, but myself.

What is your current “work in progress”?
I just handed over book 2 of the New Terra Sagas to my editor and started on book 3.  Now here is the odd part of that.  I had written five chapters of the third book several months ago, but now it doesn’t work as the third book.  It’s still a good story, but it’s going to work better later in the time line.   I’m setting it aside for the fourth book.  So now I’m starting from scratch.  Yet I know once I imagine walking back into the new world, all I have to do is look around and I’ll find the story to tell.

How many books do you currently have out and titles if you would like?
Currently I only have The Warrior’s Stone out for purchase.   I had retired my other non-fiction books as they were out of date and I’m focusing on my career as a novelist.

What one character from your book or books do you connect with most and why?
That’s actually tough to call.  Roy, the main character in The Warrior’s Stone, is definitely the person who I would like to be more like.  He is brave, smart, clever and is a man who can inspire people.  Yet the character of Captain Roche, the commander of the T.S.S. Phoenix is probably closer to who I really am as a person.  He has a small part in the first book, but becomes a primary character in the second book, coming out early next year.  Roche is a little older, wise with experience, but also distant from those around him as he is more of a father figure to most than a companion.  He has a little more strain and self doubt, behind a leathered exterior.  I’m not there yet, but as my children age faster every year and the people I work with seem to get younger by the day, myself criticism grows along with the passage of time.

The key element with both characters is that giving up is never an option.  Wanting to aspire to that helped me finish both books and, in turn, feel better about myself as I had achieved a lifelong goal of becoming a novelist.

Being that this event is for the Christmas Season do you have any special traditions that you would like to share with us?
Our traditions are basic.  Tree, stockings, eggnog and being with family.

What is your favorite Christmas dessert?
Pumpkin Coffee.

What is the worst gift that you have ever received for Christmas?
Underwear.  It was a gag gift.  I didn’t find it funny.  Yet it was at that point in my life that I decided that I was more interested in giving the gifts than getting them.

Who is your favorite author and or favorite book?
Isaac Asimov – I, Robot

If you had to describe yourself in three words what would they be?
Obscured, upstage-left (Theater Geek Ref)

What are your thoughts on being apart of the upcoming Book Elves on the Shelves event?
I’m excited to be part of this event.  Things are just starting to pop in my efforts to get my work read.  I’ve recently been featured on blogs and book web sites as well as been approached to do interviews about my work and, every review that has come in as been wonderful as each highly recommended the book.  My expectations are not to become a millionaire writer, but I do hope to find a good size audience who loves my work and will be eager to follow it over the coming years.

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