Hey, everybody -- J.C. Hutchins here. Not long ago, I allowed my pal and fellow new media author Seth Harwood to commandeer this here blog to tell you about some exciting things he was working on. Today, I'm doing the same for the supremely-talented Jeremy Robinson, a storyteller who excels at telling tales in many genres. Jeremy wants to introduce himself to you fine peeps -- and I thought be best-possible way to do that was to let him choose any three topics he wanted, and share his thoughts about them with you. Along the way, he'll share some cool news about his latest novel The Sentinel and tell you about an opportunity to win a free Amazon Kindle e-reader. Two Kindles are up for grabs, so it's worth your while to learn about Jeremy's work ... and how you might become a lucky winner.
So long from me -- the rest of this post is all Jeremy!
Welcome to Jeremy Robinson’s Great Kindle Giveaway and Blog Tour...
“Hurray for free Kindles!” you say, but who the hell is Jeremy Robinson? Allow me to introduce myself. I’m the author of 11 mixed genre novels, published in 10 languages, including the popular fantasy YA series The Last Hunter, and the fast-paced Jack Sigler series (also known as Chess Team -- not nearly as nerdy as it sounds), Pulse, Instinct and Threshold from Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press. I’m the co-author of an expanding series of novellas deemed the Chesspocalypse, which take place in the Chess Team universe. If that doesn’t wet your whistle, I’m also known as Jeremy Bishop, the #1 Amazon.com horror author of The Sentinel and the controversial novel, Torment. For more about me, or my books, visit my website.
J.C. told me I could tackle any three topics I wanted in my guest post -- so I did just that. My three topics are below. I hope you enjoy them.
Also know that there are rewards for sloughing through the questions and answers. I'll be giving away two Kindles to two randomly selected readers who sign up for my newsletter. Details on the giveaway can be found below. On to the Q&A!
You published two novels, Beneath and Kronos as free podcasts novels a few years back. What was your podcast experience like, and why haven’t you released another podcast novel since?
In general, my experience with releasing the two podcast novels was great. Kronos has been listened to, in full, 19,500 times. Beneath has been listened to 16,600 times. From what I understand, those are very good stats. Maybe not Sigler or Hutchins stats, but respectable. But have that podcast fanbase translated to sales of my other, non-free books (which is the goal when giving something away)? It's impossible to say for sure, but my guess would be no. In fact, when the podcasts were new and being downloaded in large numbers, there was no noticeable uptick in sales of my non-free books. I suspect this is because there is a glut of free books available now, so why bother paying for something when there are other free options?
That said, there are some hardcore podcast novel fans who are dedicated to supporting the authors they listen to. And I've heard from many who have bought my books, but it's a microscopic percentage of total listeners. And that's why I haven't put out any more free books. I'm a crappy narrator, so I actually spent thousands of dollars creating each book. I’m glad I did it, but I can't justify doing it for the rest of my novels. I am, however, using ACX and partnering with Jeff Kafer, the narrator of my podcast novels, to get the rest of my books selling as audiobooks via iTunes and Audible.
You've written more than a dozen books, but your interests seem to expand into other forms of media: screenplays, an iPhone app, and game, and are always putting out video trailers and viral videos for your books. Do you plan to expand your career, officially, into other forms of media?
I'm going to say something that might be surprising. I am not a writer. Sure, I string together words in a way that other people call writing. But unlike most writers, I am not in love with the English language. I can't quote rules of grammar. I’m not a living thesaurus. I loathe most classic novels. These things don't even interest me.
So what am I then? I'm a storyteller, and I'm not married to any particular format. I started in comic books (writing and illustrating), shifted to screenwriting, and then to novels. I not only want to see my books turned into movies, I would like to write the screenplays for them. I would like to direct them. I have big aspirations, and may never get that far, but I'm going to try. I will probably always write novels. Turns out I'm pretty good at it and they pay the bills. But I'm going to try every form of storytelling I can. Making money isn't the point. I'm planning to direct a low/no budget movie, hopefully next summer, titled The Devil is in the Details. I'm going to write it. Direct it. Edit it. And release it. Will it be in theaters? I doubt it. Direct to DVD? If I'm lucky, but the odds are against it. I don't create for the money, I create for myself. For the first thirty years of my life, I drew, painted, wrote and made movies for fun. For free. Just because I now make a living writing novels doesn’t mean I'm finished experimenting with storytelling. If I manage to make a kick-ass movie and some studio picks it up, that might make it official, but money or no money, I'll continue to branch into whatever form of story-telling that fancies me.
Which of your books is your favorite, and why?
I think I’m supposed to say this is a hard decision, but it’s not. The Last Hunter -- Descent and the other books in the Antarktos Saga, are by far my top picks. They're written in the first person and the main character, Solomon, is a combination of my son, the real Solomon, and my childhood experiences. So the story is deeply personal for me, but that carries across to the reader as well. The stories feel real, despite being my most fantastic in terms of settings, creatures and scope. They're technically YA/teen books, but that's only because the main character is a teenager in the first few books. The books are as action-packed, violent and frightening as all my other books, but are balanced by more heart and deeper characters. As for what the story is about, I'll let Solomon tell you in his own words:
I've been told that the entire continent of Antarctica groaned at the moment of my birth. The howl tore across glaciers, over mountains and deep into the ice. Everyone says so. Except for my father; all he heard was Mother's sobs. Not of pain, but of joy, so he says. Other than that, the only verifiable fact about the day I was born is that an iceberg the size of Los Angeles broke free from the ice shelf a few miles off the coast. Again, some would have me believe the fracture took place as I entered the world. But all that really matters, according to my parents, is that I, Solomon Ull Vincent, the first child born on Antarctica -- the first and only Antarctican -- was born on September 2nd, 1974.
If only someone could have warned me that, upon my return to the continent of my birth thirteen years later, I would be kidnapped, subjected to tortures beyond comprehension and forced to fight ... and kill. If only someone had hinted that I'd wind up struggling to survive in a subterranean world full of ancient warriors, strange creatures and supernatural powers.
Had I been warned I might have lived a normal life. The human race might have remained safe. And the fate of the world might not rest on my shoulders. Had I been warned....
This is my story--the tale of Solomon Ull Vincent -- The Last Hunter.
Hope that was as good for you as it was for me. Now how about that kindle giveaway?
Here’s the deal: To be entered to win one of two free Kindles all you have to do is visit my website and sign up for the newsletter. That's it. The first Kindle will go to a randomly chosen newsletter signup on October 31. For the second Kindle, there's a catch. The second giveaway will only be triggered if one of my Kindle books hits the Amazon.com bestseller list (top 100). So pick up some books (most are just $2.99 a pop) and spread the word! If one of the books squeaks up to #100 for just a single hour, the second kindle will be given away to another randomly chosen newsletter sign up on October 31.
*When you sign up for the newsletter, be sure to include the name of the blog that referred you in the field provided. I’ll be giving away two $50 Amazon.com gift certificates to the blog that refers the most sign-ups and another to the blog who referred the first kindle winner.
** I will announce winners via Twitter, Facebook, my blog, and newsletter (which you will be signed up for!) but I’ll also e-mail the winners directly—I’ll need to know where to ship those kindles!
Thanks for spending some time with me today. Hope you enjoyed the Q&A, and good luck with the Kindle giveaway!