Say hello to indie author and videographer Sean McDevitt. As the writer of one of the books I’ve reviewed since starting this blog, I made certain to extend an invite to the author of The Wizard Murders for today’s tête-à-tête. If you’d like to take a look you can also read my review of his book “A Killer’s Eerie Calling Card.”
Giveaway: One randomly drawn commenter to today’s post will receive a copy of Sean’s book.
1. Please provide a brief synopsis of your book.
The Wizard Murders takes us back to the early 1980s, to a small town in California -several years before things like cellphones and the internet changed our lives, including the way we used to solve crimes. Our “hero”, Andrew Pitt, is a detective who just wants to retire to where his brother lives in Maine, but suddenly his own town is gripped by a series of random and extremely violent murders. Whoever the killer is, they’re so sophisticated that they don’t leave a fingerprint behind- just a murder victim and, for some reason, an elaborate painting of a bearded wizard. Pitt wishes he could be out and away from the situation, but of course duty calls, and obviously the bizarre nature of the killings forces him to stay and try and solve them. He finds himself trying to learn how to read things like star charts for clues, but the killings continue.
2. Tell us a little bit about what motivates or inspires your writing.
The satisfaction and the control that comes with expressing yourself in a way that no one can interfere with. I’m also still mystified and delighted when material seems to be falling down from my brain into my fingers and onto the keyboard -and I really have no way of telling you where it came from.
3. It’s hard to pick just one, but what do you consider your favorite novel and why?
That’s easy. Watership Down by Richard Adams. He created an entire world, culture and mythology and he did it so well that I’m convinced (to this day) that Hazel and Fiver are still running around out there.
4. What is the name of your blog (include the URL) and what can readers expect to find there?
I don’t have a blog, simply because I don’t have the time. I’m either writing the next project, or in rehearsal for a play, or putting together YouTube videos. I do maintain Facebook pages for each of my works, and will continue to do so in the future.
5. Are you traditionally published or self-published?
So far I am strictly self-published. I run the whole store, so to speak. So far as book covers go, I actually held a contest for The Wizard Murders on Facebook, where friends submitted entries and then everyone voted on the winner.
6. Can you offer one or two helpful tips for fellow writers when it comes to marketing and publicity?
For all self-publishers, remember: YOU are the author, publicist, agent, marketer, editor, producer…if word doesn’t get out about your work, you’ve no one to blame but yourself. So embrace electronic social media with all of your heart.
7. Describe your writing background.
I wasn’t aware of self-publishing until January of this year. When I found out, it was life-altering. I had reams of material -short stories, entire novels- built up over the course of decades that had never seen the light of day, and honestly and realistically they probably never would have been seen otherwise.
8. What does your drafting and/or editing process entail?
What I’ve developed is a small, exclusive inner circle that combs through what I’ve written, and they’re sworn to secrecy until it’s formally released. Up to now I’ve been sending them multiple completed drafts, but now I dole it out chapter by chapter.
9. What future projects can we look forward to?
I have two completely different novels scheduled for release next year. First up is CALL ME ISMAY, coming in April 2013, and then YESTERDAY’S RIVER, which should be released by September. CALL ME ISMAY basically places vampires onto the Titanic. Seriously, no joke. It’s meant to be read like a historical document. YESTERDAY’S RIVER is a larger-than-life parable on resilience as seen through the eyes of a young boy. (Each link will take you to the book’s page on Facebook.)
10. Is there anything else you want your potential readers to know?
All I ask of anyone who reads my work is that they should come into it with a completely open mind and heart.
You can connect with Sean on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and YouTube.
Is there anything else you would like to know about Sean McDevitt?
The Wizard Murders is available in eBook form on Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.
Please share responsibly. Jeri Walker, 2012.
This sounds like an author I definitely want to read. Vampires on the Titanic as a historical document? Love it! The Wizard Murders sounds really interesting too. Murders by stars… 🙂
I am finding the differing views authors have about social media usage interesting. The mention that when you self publish you are the “everything,” is important to remember. Considering how hard it is to break into traditional channels, doing it all really isn’t that much of a trade off.
Jon, I definitely see where you’re coming from. Every day, I go back and forth on that issue and then some.
Jeri — I know the author is early into the self-publishing game (he said last January). I’m curious – how are is his sales going? Even authors who write for the big publishing houses have trouble attracting readers. Only the biggest names with blockbusters sell in the 6 figures. And only they get promotional backup from the publishers, sad to say. Unknown writers mainly have to do their own promotion, too, just like the self-published authors. I know self-publishing is a trend and a number of writers have made it big going this route, but it is perilous.
Jeri, once again thank you for your generosity in allowing indie authors to have a venue where they can try to gain an audience. One of the responders to this specific blog entry asked about sales. While I don’t divulge actual numbers, I have sold reasonably well. (A little more detail: Amazon Kindle is by far my most active publishing venue, with Barnes & Noble Nook a distant second and Smashwords an even further third. An interesting tidbit: THE WIZARD MURDERS has sold double the amount in the UK than it’s sold in the US. )
That’s interesting as I’ve noticed a few UK writers I follow mention how their books don’t sell as well in the US. Maybe the Brits love a good mystery? It is the land of Sherlock Holmes after all 🙂
Jeri, that’s as good a theory as any I can come up with. I’ve really spent some time thinking on this, and the only thing I can come up with is that the sample chapters are intriguing to those in the UK possibly because Southern California is interesting to them. Past that, I’m stumped but grateful.
Anyone who loves Watership Down is one of my heroes. I loved that book, still do. I so get what he says when he refers to from “his brain to the keyboard” when he is writing. I plan on taking a look at his YouTube and FB page when I return from my trip. 🙂
Love and identify with the following that Sean says: “The satisfaction and the control that comes with expressing yourself in a way that no one can interfere with. I’m also still mystified and delighted when material seems to be falling down from my brain into my fingers and onto the keyboard”.
It’s great fun that you can decide what happens and the amazing thing when we write is that suddenly we tap into the universal mind and ideas just flow.
Good interview Jeri!
I’ve been on a winning streak lately, so after reading this, I hope I win 🙂
Thanks for the introduction to Sean. My mother-in-law is an avid reader and I think she’ll love his book!
Congrats to Jeanette for being drawn as the winner of the free copy of Sean’s novel!
Sorry I’m late posting on this! It sounds like a really great story, I love murder mysteries… maybe it is a Brit thing 😉
I love Martina Cole and just discovered Ann Cleeves.. in my element with those so will definitely check this out, thank you for such a great interview