Written by Erin Eymard
Happy Monday, Bibliophiles! Today, I have for you the special treat of a follow-up interview with Robert Evert, author of “Riddle in Stone“. For those of you not familiar with Robert or RIS, please check out my past interview and review. For everyone else, please enjoy!
Welcome, Robert! And once again thank you for giving us a little insight into your publishing experiences! At the end of the “Riddle in Stone”, you gave us a little peek into the sequel. How is the writing process coming along?
It’s going very well, thank you for asking!
The second manuscript, Betrayal in the Highlands, is basically finished. It’s just needs to be edited. The current projection is that it’ll be released as an e-book in August and then as an audio book sometime after that.
My publisher and I are currently discussing a third book, tentatively entitled Blood in Snow. The first draft of that manuscript is finished. I’m just letting it sit a bit before working on it again.
We’re also waiting to see how many people buy Riddle in Stone. If enough people buy it, Diversion Books will be interested in releasing the third book in the series. If nobody buys Riddle in Stone…well, then Edmund and his dog are dead.
No pressure there, people. Hint! Hint! Hint!
Any sneak peeks or tidbits you could share with us?
Hmmm. What should I say???
In Betrayal in the Highlands, Edmund continues to be relentlessly pursued by the goblins, Kravel and Gurding. While hiding in a picture perfect coastal town, he falls in love with a wonderful character named, Abby—an unabashed snoop who wants to adventure. The problem is Edmund’s best friend, Pond Scum, has also fallen in love with Abby. Further, she’s now in mortal danger because of Edmund. He has to try to save her while saving himself and Pond Scum.
I really enjoy Abby. It’s nice to meet a female lead character who is as tough and smart as the male leads. I’d like to eventually write a series just for her; but again, I need Riddle in Stone to sell well enough to keep writing.
Am I being too subtle?
Not in the least bit, Robert. But it’s alright. I didn’t invite you back to be subtle. Over three months since the release of Riddle in Stone, what are some of the lessons you will take away from this experience?
Holy crap! Boy, that’d fill a book in and of itself!
I’ve learned a great deal about the writing and publishing processes.
First, writing is far more of a team endeavor than I originally thought.
I really have to rely on the feedback of readers to see what works in my writing and what doesn’t. I’m constantly reading reviews and asking readers how certain aspects of the story could have been different and so forth. Then I have to force myself to adjust my writing style accordingly.
I’ve also learned about marketing books. Honestly, I spend more time begging people to read “Riddle in Stone” that I ever did writing it. But that’s the nature of being a small-time writer.
Every sale, every review counts.
Seriously, a couple dozen sales could separate me from publishing another book or spending my life daydreaming about my characters. Marketing and promotion are THAT important to new writers, which is why I appreciate you letting me come here and say, “Riddle in Stone” over and over again. By the way, “Riddle in Stone” is available where most e-books are sold for $2.99.
In a recent blog post, you mentioned sitting next to a famous author on a flight and he/she gave you marketing advice. Can you share some of that with our readers who may not have read your blog? (Readers you can visit Robert’s blog here for a more in depth answer)
She was really helpful, not just by entertaining me on a very long flight from Oslo to New York, but also by telling me about what publishers want from new writers. We talked for several hours about the need for writers to have a marketing plan and a well-established presence on social media. It was a real eye-opener. I thought I just had to write a decent story. Evidently, I have to be social as well. Go figure!
Speaking of marketing, when will you get that twitter account?
Ugh! You know, I have a website that I rarely update, a blog that I post on every so often, facebook, G+. I can’t take anymore social media. I can’t!!! What can I possibly say on a minute by minute basis that anybody would remotely care about?
Buy Riddle in Stone or Edmund and his dog die!!!!
I think I’ll draw the line at twitter.
What are you currently reading?
In print, I’m reading Christine Green’s Deadly Errand, Simon Brett’s The Poisoning in the Pub, and Jasper Kent’s Thirteen Years Later. On audio, I’m listening to a book on ancient history. I can’t recall the title. On my computer, I’m reading a bunch of manuscripts other new and aspiring writers have been sending me.
So much to read, so little time…
The cover for Riddle in Stone was one of my favorite covers ever. Any cover ideas for the sequel?
Well, thanks! I’ll pass that along to the art department at Diversion Books. I’m sure I owe much of the success I’ve had to them and their wonderful cover.
I always have ideas for covers, but the problem is when you’re a nobody writer, you don’t really get to design your cover. You can’t say, “I want a painting of this and that and these colors.”
I tried with Riddle in Stone; but they basically laughed at me. Instead, you get covers created from existing pictures.
Don’t get me wrong, the art people are wonderful at putting things together. However, you can only do something with the pictures that are available. That creates some problems for my books.
You see, my characters aren’t really typical. Edmund is middle aged, balding man who has one-eye. Most of the available artwork involves burly men with tattoos and their shirts torn off.
And, oh, they also seem to all wear really tight trousers!
Don’t know why.
None of that fits my books. So we are limited in what covers we can make. But I’m sure the art people will do something wonderful for the second book. Fingers crossed!
By the way, if any of you are members of Goodreads, please visit the site for my book, Riddle in Stone. Riddle in Stone was put on several lists—including “best cover” and “books you want other people to know about.” If you have time, please “vote” for Riddle in Stone.
Riddle in Stone. Riddle in Stone. Riddle in Stone. Geez! How many times can I say that without losing all respect for myself? I feel like such a whore.
What character/scene/book do you wish you had written?
Hmmm. There’s so much that I could talk about here. I have tons of ideas for future books.
I suppose if my book, which I refuse to utter it’s name again, doesn’t sell enough to warrant another sequel… I think my next project will be a satire about higher education. I’m a faculty member at a major university. It’d be interesting to write something about my odd coworkers and insane administration. I’m tenured. I can do what I want now!
Jason Bourne, James Bond, or Ethan Hunt?
To sleep with or just cuddle?
Personally, I think James Bond is overdone. But I suppose that’s the purpose of those books. He’s almost like a cartoon or a superhero.
I enjoyed the Jason Bourne series and Mission Impossible. So they’re both possibilities.
The issue I have is that they are both good-looking guys with incredible skills. I just don’t relate to those kinds of characters. I like the under-achieving losers who don’t fit in.
However, if I have to answer, I’ll go with Ethan Hunt—but only because I keep getting mistaken for Tom Cruise. But that’s a story for a different blog post!
Just a closing plea!
If you like somewhat dark fantasies and need something to read this summer, please consider my book. You can read the first chapter on Amazon.
If you’ve already read it, please write a review wherever you can—even if you think it sucks. Every review helps, especially on Amazon.com, Goodreads.com, and BarnesandNoble.com!
If you’ve already reviewed it, please mention your review to your friends on Facebook, G+, Goodreads, and so forth.
The life you save maybe Edmund’s!
Thanks for having me, Erin! It’s always a pleasure!