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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Doug Hiser - Interview

Author Interview Featuring Doug Hiser

A few years ago, I had the privilege of meeting Doug Hiser during our teacher certification courses. He had already written several books and was (and continues to be) very passionate about the art of writing, creating, and illustrating. He has accomplished so many goals that I thought it only fitting he would be featured first.
This is what he had to say. . .

  1. Where do you get your ideas?   My imagination is filled with stories and images and if I had the time I could write hundreds of books.  I am also a professional wildlife artist and painting takes away half of my writing time.  I balance the two fields of creativity.  Sometimes I dream stories and parts of novels, actually when I was writing Montana Mist, my new novel out on January 19th on amazon.com, I dreamed the entire final hundred pages, woke up and wrote all day long finishing it that night.
  2. When did you realize that you wanted to be a writer? When I was 17 I read Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne and fell in love with "cool" sentences.  I wrote a terrible first book when I was 18 and it still sits in a box, still terrible.  I began writing poetry and then again at 26 I wrote my second novel, which sat around until 2001 when I did a total rewrite and published it in 2002, Cavern of the Eggstone, a fantasy Young Adult novel.
  3. What’s the most critical step when you go from an idea to a book? "Critical"  well Critical would be writing that idea down on paper.  You might not get to start right away and then years later you come back and find it written down and BAM -NOW you're ready to write it.  Happened to me with my novel, The Midnight Jungle, which I just finished the first draft this May 2010.  I wrote most of that idea back in 2004, sat it aside, wrote 2 other novels, picked it back up in 2010 and finished it.
  4. What advice would you give to aspiring authors? Join a critique group, join a writer's league or group, hang around writers, poets, artists, film makers, creative people and just soak up everyone's enthusiasm about the creative process.  Find your passion.  Don't write about stuff you know nothing about.  Write about what interests you.  That intense passion always shows through in your writing.
  5. Did you go through self-publishing or a traditional publisher? What is better? Both.  POD too.  I actually like POD for so many reasons and especially because you keep almost half the profits off each book sold.
  6. What is the biggest misconception about being a writer? Most people think every writer makes millions of dollars and that writers are all reclusive introverts.  Only a very few writers make millions.  I make much more now than when I first started turning out books, but it took a while to get a reputation and a following.  I am NOT an introvert but an outgoing intense people person.
  7. What did you do before you became a writer? I'm an art teacher and a soccer coach.  I am first a professional wildlife artist and a conservationist.  I've been creating art long before I ever took writing seriously.
  8. Do you plot out your novel or do you just go with the flow? I have never plotted any of my 18 books.  I have the inkling of a mood or an idea and I just let my characters go with me following them like watching a movie in my head.  When I first start I don't even know what genre it will turn out to be, no wonder I have a thriller/mystery novel, 2 fantasies, a love story-coming of age novel, a nature-love triangle- adventure novel, and so on...
  9. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say? Oh yes, all the time and I love every email.  Most respond to my bestseller, The Honey Bee Girl, because love stories always touch people in their hearts and in their memories.  I have a website, https://webmail.brazosportisd.net/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.Art-Escape.com, and also I send out a newsletter featuring my artwork, writing news, speaking engagements and more.  I get all kinds of requests and comments.  I have readers all over the USA, Canada, a big group in Bombay, India, New Zealand, Denmark, Germany, and probably many other places.
  10. What do you think makes a good story? "Conflict"  Emotion, "voice" mystery.
  11. What’s next? Well, let's see, more art shows this year coming up.  Montana Mist (Winter of the White Wolf) my 2011 novel is on sale on Jan 19th with my worldwide book launch to drive it to number one on amazon.com  Go online and get your copy on the 19th.  Watch the movie trailer here:  https://webmail.brazosportisd.net/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDLXoHyCWHQ  I have two finished novels ready to follow in the next couple of years, thriller mystery-The Texas Sugar Pussy Kat Murders, and my epic massive huge awesome fantasy, The Midnight Jungle.  This summer I will start working again on a novel I started last summer about the tribe of very small prehistoric people that inhabited the islands of Komodo.  The komodo monitor lizards were the largest predators on the islands, still are today, but the people were only about three feet tall according to National Geographic explorers.  My novel follows the life of one of the small people, a shark hunter, as he struggles to survive, exiled from his own people, in love with the girl he can never have and taming the wild pygmy elephants that were also once roaming those islands, now extinct like the tiny tribe of those lost people.
Thanks Doug!

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