Welcome to the one hundred and nineteenth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, directors, bloggers, autobiographers and more. Today’s is with non-fiction author André Slade. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate the author further. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here.
Morgen: Hello André. Please tell us something about yourself and how you came to be a writer.
André: I seem to fall into a category of people born to write or at least so I keep getting told. It was not till the more recent years that it became a reality and this happened spontaneously. I said goodbye to the corporate world and retired to the coast. First time in my life I had time.
Morgen: And you still have it now? 🙂 I find anything to do with a computer eats time but so many writers say the same… I think most people find they don’t have enough to do everything they want to. What’s the inspiration behind your writing André?
André: I have passion for humanity but disappointment in society and their postulates. I am working on 3 different ideas at present but it would seem I cannot get away from my favourite subject.
Morgen: You have to be enamoured with what you’re writing about so that’s no bad thing. As you say, you have time. 🙂 What have you had published to-date?
André: My first book has only been published now for a couple of weeks!
Morgen: Oh wow, congratulations. How much of the marketing do you do?
André: My publisher is assisting with marketing strategies and I am considering New York Times and also Readers Digest but this is costly. Being a first time writer and having spent two years only writing does not make money. So I am hacking away at marketing both!
Morgen: NYT and RD… ouch. Yes I’d say costly. Maybe they have online outlets that will be more cost-effective? Have you won or been shortlisted in any competitions and do you think they help with a writer’s success?
André: No, but I am sure it would help a bit.
Morgen: Something else for the CV. 🙂 Do you write under a pseudonym? If so why and do you think it makes a difference?
André: I have nothing to hide although I should be a bit scared but am at peace.
Morgen: 🙂 Do you have an agent? Do you think they’re vital to an author’s success?
André: No Agents!
Morgen: You have a publisher already so I’d say you don’t need one… certainly at the moment. Are your books available as eBooks? If so what was your experience of that process? And do you read eBooks?
André: Yes on all eBook suppliers I would believe soon.
Morgen: Excellent. eBooks are certainly the way to go. What was your first acceptance and is being accepted still a thrill?
André: I wrote the book for my own growth and was convinced by friends to publish. Dorrance was my first choice and was accepted.
Morgen: Yay, well done. 🙂 Have you had any rejections? If so, how do you deal with them?
André: No, but I am sure that there will be some soon. I have stepped on some toes and I wait in anticipation. I see that as the best marketing.
Morgen: That’s one way to get a reaction. 🙂 What are you working on at the moment / next?
André: A book in another language and a sequel.
Morgen: Do you manage to write every day? What’s the most you’ve written in a day?
André: Haha… I do not type very well so it is a slow process. It’s important for me to consider writing as a job so yes I write little every day. Most of my time though is spent on research because I base my writing on fact.
Morgen: Which is why I go for fiction (I’m not a fan of research). 🙂 Well, what I write has to be realistic but there’s more room for flights of fancy. What is your opinion of writer’s block? Do you ever suffer from it?
André: Had it a couple of times but I just stop and wait for the inspiration to come again. I had many guides though and sometimes I believe that I did not write it.
Morgen: It can feel like that for me too, and I’m sure we’re not the only ones. What’s your planning process like?
André: My spontaneous research started 12 years ago and I did not know what I wanted to do with the information at first. It was only towards the end that my entire theory started making sense to me. The hardest part was to remove the work that did not fit in. In total it was about 80 pages.
Morgen: Who is your first reader – who do you first show your work to?
André: A friend who was Mr Universe and won against Arnold Schwarzenegger. He is a proof reader and also a friend who is an eye specialist.
Morgen: Wow, what a mixture. 🙂 Do you do a lot of editing or do you find that as time goes on your writing is more fully-formed?
André: At first I did a lot of editing but that improved with time.
Morgen: Yes, practice really does help. How much research do you have to do for your writing?
André: I spent my days running my guesthouse and researching making notes. When my staff left in the afternoons and I could concentrate with no interferences I would write. Sometimes I would write till early hours of the morning. My dedication even amazed me.
Morgen: If you have the passion (which you clearly do), time will just escape you (as it does me). What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
André: Good nutrition, meditation and a clear mind was my driving force.
Morgen: Do you write on paper or do you prefer a computer?
Morgen: Me too mostly. Some writers like quiet, others the noise of a coffee shop etc. Do you listen to music or have noise around you when you write or do you need silence?
André: I have a radio that plays all day but I liked tranquil background music playing.
Morgen: Me too, classical, no words. What point of view do you find most to your liking?
André: Total outsider at times but mostly I speak about my perception.
Morgen: I would say that would work better for non-fiction. Do you use prologues / epilogues? What do you think of the use of them?
André: In this case both worked.
Morgen: Do you have pieces of work that you think will never see light of day?
André: Yes, absolutely! To avoid my assassination there was some fact I had to remove.
Morgen: Oh dear… mine just isn’t going anywhere. 🙂 What’s your favourite / least favourite aspect of your writing life?
André: The passion that came forward has changed me forever for the better.
Morgen: Me too. I wouldn’t want to do anything but writing now (and as of the last couple of years). If anything, what has been your biggest surprise about writing?
André: The review said I was provocative and called it intellectual and compelling.
Morgen: In just two weeks; that’s great. What advice would you give aspiring writers?
André: Just write, it will come together.
Morgen: Absolutely, just keep going. What do you like to read?
André: Factual and inspirational work. There are too many but they are mentioned in the book.
Morgen: What do you do when you’re not writing?
André: Scuba dive, spend time in nature with my two dogs, photography, interviews with subjects for one of my next books, hiking, fishing and I have an amazing social life.
Morgen: That sounds… amazing. 🙂 In which country are you based and do you find this a help or hindrance with letting people know about your work?
André: I am based in a very remote part of South Africa on the Elephant coast (North East) and the net is slow here but I feel well connected.
Morgen: I love technology. And I bet your writing room doesn’t look out on a row of red brick houses (like mine does). Are you on any forums or networking sites? If so, how invaluable do you find them?
André: Yes, time will tell.
Morgen: 🙂 I think they will help people getting to know that you (and therefore your books) exist. Where can we find out about you and your work?
Morgen: What do you think the future holds for a writer?
André: I think the world is lazy to read but I will write because I love it.
Morgen: I think with eBooks it’s getting less lazy (hoping, anyway) and yes, I love writing too (I just need to do more of it). Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
André: Thank You!
Morgen: You’re very welcome. Thank you for joining me today.
Where To From Here, is a challenging wake-up call from the common postulates of society. Provocative author, Andre M. Slade embarks on a journey to find a solution to this insane and chaotic world we find ourselves living in. This intellectual and compelling read will alter many traditional perceptions. He dares readers to confront their past so that they can believe in their future. In this expertly-written publication, Mr. Slade teaches his literary audience that they possess the uniquely human power to determine their destiny. In the present predicament of the world, can concerned and careful people afford not to read this enlightening book?
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