I’m sorry for the delay storm Charolette wacked us here in the Northeast
PAGE TURNER BOOK TOURS PRESENTS…
Join me today for Ahmad Taylor’s interview
How did you get started writing?
I started writing poetry in high school and had my first poem published in 2004.
I wrote a short play in college and that’s when I knew I could do it. Took some time to actually start writing seriously, but that was the moment I proved to myself that it could be done.
What genre(s) do you write in and why?
Currently I am in the midst of Sci-fi, Suspense, and Thriller.
I have no specific genre that I want to write or be associated with permanently, but I do like Suspense/Thrillers a lot.
Once I finish the couple WIPs (works in progress) I will work on a Crime novel and then a Horror/Drama. In the end I want to write was excites me at that moment. I do not pretend to be an expert in any one genre but I think it is more important to choose a subject that drives your writing, rather than picking a genre and hoping you stumble your way to a novel.
Tell us about your current series.
Dark Side of the Moon (DSOM) is a bestselling Sci-fi/Suspense/Thriller:
When former government agent, Derrick Thomas, awakens to find his family missing and in danger, he must outwit a clandestine organization intent on keeping him from the truth and his family.
Government agent Derrick Thomas awakes from a disturbing dream to find a message from his father asking for help. As he sets out to lend his assistance he quickly discovers that not only can he not find his father, but that a clandestine government agency is out to derail his search before it can even begin. After discovering details of a global food crisis, an interplanetary mission gone awry, and the murders of two of his father’s colleagues, and the further disappearances of his mother and sister, Derrick is thrust into a fight for his own life and a struggle to uncover details of secret government experiments which his family may be involved with. Will he be able to save them and uncover the truth before he becomes the next victim of an organization bent on keeping him silent?
One of my WIPs is the sequel to DSOM which is due out mid-2013.
I am also excited to announce that I am releasing a short story prequel series: The History of DSOM, the week of Jan. 28. Book 1 & 2 should be out this week and the following three books will follow soon after. Once completed the five short stories (each gives a background into some of the main characters of the novel and sheds light on their pasts, motivations, etc.) will make up the DSOM: the History book.
What inspired your latest book?
I woke from a crazy dream one night and was so motivated by it that I grabbed a pen and pad and began outlining my book. After several pages and hours awake I decided I needed to write this story, so I grabbed my laptop and began typing away.
What is your favorite part of writing?
I love writing action scenes. I love the build-up to it and then letter the writing explode into an eye-opening scene on paper. If I could write a book with all action I certainly would give it a shot (and maybe one day I will anyway).
What is your least favorite part of writing?
The actual writing, ha!
I do enjoy what I do, and there is no greater point of pride than to have a completed work to show off. The tingles I get when someone tells me that they liked my book or asks me questions about my story and is genuinely interested, is immeasurable, but the actual typing, editing, writer’s block… Not a huge fan of that.
What is your next project and when will it be released?
DSOM: the History (a prequel series)
Due out: Week of Jan. 28, 2013
How much time do you spend promoting your books? What works best for you?
Far too much time in that the general rule is: 1-hr writing = 1-hr promoting. I am definitely in the area of 1-hr writing = 2 ½+ hrs promoting.
I have just completed a full year of having my book out there for sale, so it has definitely been a learning experience, and as with anything you learn something new every day. I am learning how to redirect my passion and efforts in promoting toward actually creating new works. It’s a hard balance to try and strike, but a necessary one.
I don’t know that I have found a ‘best’ means of promotion, but I would say some key pieces are:
- Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, etc.)
- Blogging (Blogger, Tumbler, Triberr, WordPress, etc.)
- Press releases/Media kits (Sending to sites and local papers, etc.)
- Face to Face (business cards w/ your brand, flyers, book readings/signings, etc.)
- Creating new works (creating a new work helps promote you and sell your backlist of works.)
How has your experience with self-publishing been?
Stepping back after a full year of it, it has been exciting. There are times it has been overly stressful and other times it makes you wanna cry, literally.
There are also times when you are in the clouds with excitement, joy, pride and success.
Looking back I know there is a lot of would have done differently to be more successful and less stressed, however, I wouldn’t give up the experience for anything. I mean, I’m sitting here talking to a group of random people I have probably never met before and it is awesome. I wish I could talk to all your readers face to face and share my passion and vision with them, but through this forum I can. There are not a lot of people who get to do this, so I am grateful!
Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
I have several outlines in the pipeline that came from dreams I’ve had (I now sleep with a pen and pad next to my bed just in case), but I also get ideas from reading other works, watching movies and television shows, and some just come when I’m out around the town.
What advice do you have for other authors wanting to self-publish?
Do not be intimidated by anyone or anything.
Writing is a daunting task, and it is easy to get discouraged. Do not allow it.
Whether you are a bestseller with the Big-6, a seasoned veteran, or the first time novelist, in the end you are still human and your writing is very personal to you. It is the outward expression of your inner thoughts. We as writers take our inner monologues and expose them to the opinions of the world. I don’t know about you, but for me that is a very frightening idea. I have feelings like the rest of you and I like to keep those feelings guarded. Writing takes away the guard and exposes all those feelings to public criticism. I have complete respect for anyone that takes that risk for the benefit of the masses.
For new writers, remember who you are, separate that from the work and be prepared for the good and especially the bad. Bad sales, bad reviews, bad following; these are all part of being a writer and especially an Indie writer.
When the bad comes, be prepared, brush it off and move forward. No one else can determine your worth and value, and even if not one person appreciates your writing or your work, at least you do, and in the end that is all that matters.
Do you have critique partners?
I have a writing partner that I work with on an interactive saga. It’s a fun project and we will be making a graphic novel out of it soon enough. Tag Team in Space
What is your favorite dessert/food?
Ah, a lighter question. Love a nice steak and cheesecake is amazing.
How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book?
Depends on the person. My family has already found their way into my work, a couple friends as well. I think most are safe but you never know.
As one writer said; “Be careful who you mess with, I may just kill you… in my next novel!”
What is most difficult for you to write? Characters, conflict or emotions? Why?
Expressing emotion is a bit difficult. Fear, sadness, joy, etc. are not the easiest things to describe when writing. Just saying; “Billy is very happy” or “Jennifer was mad at him” is not necessarily the best way to convey true emotion in a story. So finding the appropriate words to express a character’s emotions is a little bit tricky.
Was your road to publication fraught with peril or a walk in the park?
As an Indie writer, nothing I do is a ‘walk in the park’. I love what I do, and am blessed for the opportunity, but is certainly has not been easy.
Anyone who thinks it’s easy; please tell us your process so we can all learn the secret.
Give us an elevator pitch for your book.
A former government agent fights to stay alive while trying to uncover a government conspiracy and save his family, who may be involved in the conspiracy after all.
Do you have a view in your writing space? What does your space look like?
Tell us about your hero. Give us one of his strengths and one of his weaknesses.
Derrick Thomas: he is a problem solver and combat expert. Overly aggressive is a big weakness of his.
Tell us about your heroine. Give us one of her strengths and one of her weaknesses.
Jeanie Thomas: extremely intelligent and analytical. She is a bit naïve.
Do you write under a pen name? Why or why not?
AhmadDarkside is my pen name, but I write under my actual name. I use AhmadDarkside as a brand name for eventual writing empire (gotta’ dream big right?)
Why have you become a published author?
I have a lot of stories to share. Literature is a link to history, no matter what age you right about, your work is affected by the time you live in. Basically I want to be a part of history.
What sort of promo do you do? Do you have help?
This tour is a great promo. Thank you to all sites involved and to Page Turner for setting it all up!
I use Twitter, Google+, Facebook and my blog to do the majority of my online promotion. Other authors are always a big help with word of mouth and hosting me (thanks Marian.)
Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling for that first contract?
Never stop believing in yourself, even when it might seem no one else does. You need to be your own best cheerleader; the fans will follow soon enough!
What’s next for you?
Look for my short story series out almost immediately and look for the sequel to DSOM in the near future.
Thanks so much for allowing me to talk with your audience. I am blessed and grateful to you all. Keeping reading and writing. Hope to talk to you all soon.
Blurb: When former government agent, Derrick Thomas, awakens to find his family missing and in danger, he must outwit a clandestine organization intent on keeping him from the truth and his family.
Government agent Derrick Thomas awakes from a disturbing dream to find a message from his father asking for help. As he sets out to lend his assistance he quickly discovers that not only can he not find his father, but that a clandestine government agency is out to derail his search before it can even begin. After discovering details of a global food crisis, an interplanetary mission gone awry, the murders of two of his father’s colleagues, and the further disappearances of his mother and sister, Derrick is thrust into a fight for his own life and a struggle to uncover details of secret government experiments which his family may be involved with. Will he be able to save them and uncover the truth before he becomes the next victim of an organization bent on keeping him silent?
About Ahmad Taylor: Ahmad is a 36 year old writer currently residing and writing in the heat of south Florida. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, his debut best-selling Sci-fi/Suspense/Thriller: Dark Side of the Moon incorporates knowledge from his prior law enforcement career, and a vivid imagination for the intense and suspenseful.
After being a semi-finalist for The Kindle Book Review: Best Indie Book of 2012, Ahmad has begun the sequel to Dark Side, which will be released in early 2013. He is also working on a shocking Crime/Thriller which will be out mid-2013.
You can contact Ahmad at the following places: