SPYDER is published by L and L Dreamspell, a small independent and POD publisher. Fingerman appeared on my blog introducing his collection of chilling shorts called Edging Past Reality, and a novel that was on the verge of being released called Silent Kill.
David Fingerman very kindly wrote a guest post about self-publishing. Something I’ve been blogging about recently. Check out the post: Here.
Let’s speak to David Fingerman!
Hi Louise ~ thank you so much for letting me appear on your blog.
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=wiswor0a-21&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1935097075&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrYou’re very welcome. Tell us how are Edging Past Reality and Silent Kill doing?
Edging Past Reality is still doing pretty good, especially in downloads. Downloads are way outselling hard copy which tells me that’s where the future is. With Silent Kill I’m really not sure – I’ll know more when I get my next quarterly statement from the publisher. Going strictly by Amazon rankings, I’m a little disappointed that it’s not doing better. I’ll keep marketing that at the same time as Sypyder.
So, who or what inspired you to write Spyder?
Oh, this is embarrassing. There used to be this persnickety old woman who attended the same writers’ group I did. She drove me nuts. When it came http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=wiswor0a-21&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1603182306&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrtime to critique she would interrupt and go on and on about how it wasn’t anything compared to her life. No matter what the person wrote, she could somehow twist it into how her life was so much better, worse, etc. It got to the point where we’d run out of time before everyone got a chance to read even though the moderator would explain we were here to critique the writing. It didn’t matter ~ to her it was a social gathering.
My goal was to write something so insulting that she’d be speechless and Spyder was born. It was a short story (now chapter one in the book) and it worked. For the first time since I’d started going to the group, she had nothing to say. I thought that was the end of Spyder, but no. One day I was researching guidelines and found a small press in England that was looking for raunchy inner-city stories. I sent it in and the editor loved it. He asked that if I had any more Spyder stories, I should send them. With that encouragement I wrote another and sent it in. I got a letter back saying that he liked that one even better than the first, but unfortunately the magazine was going under. By that point I was having way too much fun writing Spyder stories.
What is it about?
Spyder is a streetwise punk with a very warped sense of humor. As he gets older and the streets become more dangerous, he comes to the conclusion it’s time to clean up his act and try mainstream society. But because of his self-destructive behavior . . . well, I don’t want to give too much away. It’s marketed as mainstream but I like to think of it as an urban adventure.
Was there a character you struggled with in Spyder?
This was the only novel where I can honestly say that I had no trouble with the characters. I had a blast writing each and every one.
How many unpublished books do you have lurking under your bed?
Yikes. I don’t dare look under the bed to see what’s lurking (I’m guessing killer dust bunnies). However, I do have a couple of unfinished novels hiding in the deep recesses of my computer. I started them years ago and one day I might pull them out again. If I still like the story line I’ll rewrite and complete them.
You’re still with L and L Dreamspell how did you find them, and are you still happy with them? Would you still recommend them?
Whenever I see a new book that looks interesting, and also looks like the type of thing I write, I always see who the publisher is. I can’t recall what the book was that I checked, but the publisher was L & L Dreamspell. I checked out their website and decided to give them a try. Wonderful for me, they liked my work. They’re a small, independent, POD publisher and I couldn’t be happier. They treat their authors almost like family. I highly recommend them ~ but read their guidelines before submitting!
In your original interview with me you said that you had a plan to self-publishing primarily to get your name out to the masses, and then I would try the traditional route . Have you not tried with Spyder?
I did self-publish Edging Past reality in hopes of getting a wider name recognition. Whether it had anything to do with my signing on to L&L Dreamspell I highly doubt. L&L Dreamspell is a small independent POD publisher, and I definitely found a wonderful home with them. L&L published bother Silent Kill and Spyder, but I’m pretty sure they hadn’t heart of me prior to sending my writing to them. Still, I think it was a smart business plan and I learned a lot about the publishing world by going the self-publishing route first.
What’s the best/worst part of being a writer?
The best part is I’m doing what I love to do. I’m in the enviable position where I can write full time. The worst part is marketing. Although it’s getting a little easier, I’m still way out of my comfort zone. Being an introvert, I much prefer sitting alone in my office and typing away.
What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?
I try to treat my writing like a job and write during the day (otherwise my wife will make me go out and find a ‘real’ job). I normally start at around 9 a.m. and go until about 4 (taking an occasional break). On those rare occasions when all the stars are in alignment and the creativity is flowing, I’ll keep going well into the night. I’ve also been known to wake up at 2 or 3 in the morning and feel creative. (Like I’ve mentioned earlier ~ I love what I do.)
Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer
The only time I use pen and paper is when I don’t have access to my computer.
What/who do you draw inspiration from?
Anything and everything. I just put a “What if . . .” in front of the thought and set my imagination free.
Do you set yourself goals when you sit down to write such as word count?
I’ve found that it’s self-defeating setting goals for myself. I know that it works for a lot of writers but not me. I do try to spend at least 6 hours per day writing, but that includes research and editing (and when my new books come out ~ marketing). As long as I’m productive, I’m happy.
What are you working on now that you can talk about?
At present I’m working on a horror novel. I shall say no more. : )
How do/did you deal with rejection letters?
I actually led a seminar at a writers’ conference on dealing with rejection letters. Doing research I found a number rejects some great writers had received ~ I’m in good company. I also learned of how many rejects some classic novels received. I always wonder what happened to the people who rejected J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” (over a dozen rejections) or Stephen King’s “Carrie.” (30 rejections)
For the most part rejects don’t bother me unless it’s one where I really thought I had a perfect fit – those sting a little bit. Fortunately for me, I’ve had enough acceptances that I’m secure (some call it egotistical) enough to feel that it’s them and not my talent.
Do you have a critique partner?
I belong to two writers’ groups – each one has an average attendance of about 12-15 people. People will read pieces of their work and get critiqued. So, I don’t have a specific critique partner, but I do have a couple dozen.
And to whet readers’ appetite for Spyder, here is a snippet:
When Sal opened his eyes he looked shocked, as if the coffee appeared by magic. I poured us each a cup and waited for him to start.
“I wanted to visit my ma, let her know I was okay. She had this big bruise on her face, and her arms were all black and blue. I could tell that she was happy to see me, but she kinda whispered that maybe it would be best for me to leave. Then the ass-hole came to the door. He was drunk as hell and the first thing he does is start dissing me. I politely told him not to call me those names.”I could imagine how he made those “polite” comments.
“It was self defense. He took a swing at me and I guess I went kinda crazy.”
“But you didn’t kill him.”
“No. He didn’t die ‘til later.”
I choked on my mouthful of coffee. “So how did he die?”
“After I showed him who was boss, he ran out of the house. I chased after him and told him never to hit my ma again. I caught up to him and he just collapsed. I didn’t touch him.”
I didn’t think now might not be the time to tell him that the courts would most definitely disagree on his theory of murder and self defense.
“So what do you want from me?” I asked.
He stammered a bit. “Well, a lot of the neighbors came out to see what all the noise was. I was wondering if you could, ya know, kinda set ‘em straight on what really went down. Tell ‘em it was self defense.”
“You want me to go door-to-door, and tell all your neighbors that they really didn’t see what they thought they saw?”
“And I was wondering,” he continued. “Well, I know you’ve got a roof now. I was wondering if you’d let me crash there for a while ‘til the cops quit looking for me.”
It was like he reverted to a giant mound of stupid. I silently pulled out my knife and hugged it next to my leg. I knew he wasn’t going to like my next words and wanted to be ready.