Thursday

Kindle Author Interview: Jake Bible

Jake Bible, author of Dead Mech, discusses his book, his journey as a writer, and self-publishing on Kindle.

DAVID WISEHART: What can you tell us about Dead Mech?

JAKE BIBLE: Dead Mech takes place hundreds of years after the zombie apocalypse decimates the world. Human civilization has struggled to put itself back together again. Their secret weapon against the zombie hordes: the Mechs. Massive robotic battle machines.

But Dead Mech asks the question: what happens when a mech pilot dies in his mech and becomes a zombie?

And that is how the Dead Mechs are born!

This novel is a high action, fast paced, hell ride through a futuristic wasteland telling the harrowing tale of Mech Base Commander James Capreze and his crew of mech pilots as they battle zombies, cannibals, religious cults and worst of all, the Dead Mechs, all to try and save the human race one last time.

DAVID WISEHART: How do you develop and differentiate your characters?

JAKE BIBLE: I am a dialog writer. I tell so much of my stories through dialog. The characters start to take on their own personalities and develop by what they say. They each play their part in the novel by actively engaging verbally in the scenes. These characters almost come to life on their own, I'm just the guy writing them down.

DAVID WISEHART: Who do you imagine is your ideal reader?

JAKE BIBLE: Well, readers with deep pockets are always nice! But, seriously, my ideal reader is someone that wants to be entertained when reading, can handle a little tongue-in-cheek speculation and understands the importance of well-crafted pulp fiction. I'm not a "hard-science" scifi writer. I put enough technical explanations in my novels to make them plausible, but I'm not a scientist, I'm a writer. My ideal audience will know that the science is there to further the story, not that the story is there to further the science. Have fun, is all I ask!

DAVID WISEHART: What was your journey as a writer?

JAKE BIBLE: I started writing in elementary school. We would have to write our own books and then bind hand-written pages with paper board covers. It got me hooked early. I wrote non-stop up through High School and then after High School, but became disillusioned with the process of having to mail stories off and wait forever to get a response. Life got in the way for over a decade and I had pretty much stopped writing. It wasn't until about 2008 that I noticed all of the online spec-fic magazines showing up and realized the world had finally caught up with my personality! I could now get rejections in just days instead of months! I kept at it and kept at it and soon had stories accepted by several online publications and fiction podcasts. I haven't looked back since.

DAVID WISEHART: What is your writing process?

JAKE BIBLE: I'm a discovery writer. I get an idea, let it sit for a while until an overall story develops in my head and then I start writing. I'll outline a little just to clarify my thoughts, and to make sure I don't forget any important ideas, but two of the last three novels I've written I've scrapped at about 35,000 words and started over. Seems like a lot of work to toss, but I could recycle quite a bit and the novels were much better.

With Dead Mech, however, I created a whole new literary form: the Drabble Novel. A drabble is a micro-story that is written using exactly 100 words. No more, no less. Dead Mech is made up of 100 word sections. In order to do this I had to write and edit each 100 words as I went. This meant a nearly polished novel was in my hands the second I typed "The End." I would also write each 100 words and then print them out, which allowed me to shift the drabbles as needed to get the best narrative flow. It's not a process I would recommend to anyone, it's very labor intensive, but it did teach me economy of words. When you only have 100 words to say what you want then you have to pick those words carefully!

DAVID WISEHART: What authors most inspire you?

JAKE BIBLE: I have had many inspirations through out my life. Poe and Lovecraft have always been influential. Henry Miller and Dylan Thomas. Tom Robbins and Cormac McCarthy. Issac Asimov and Ray Bradbury. The most inspirational author though for me is Roger Zelazny. I love his fantasy/scifi novels and have read every single one. His style is so easy and entertaining, yet complex in it's plotting and structure.

DAVID WISEHART: What one book, written by someone else, do you wish you'd written yourself?

JAKE BIBLE: Going back to Roger Zelazny, I wish I had written Nine Princes In Amber. Zelazny's Amber series is my absolute favorite series ever.

DAVID WISEHART: How have you marketed and promoted your work?

JAKE BIBLE: Well, I first released Dead Mech as free serialized podcast novel. I was able to network with other podcasters and trade audio promos. This help expose me to a very wide audience. I've continued to podcast my short fiction and my current novel, The Americans, which has kept me visible (audible?) out there. I have developed a strong fan base with the podcast and that allows me to get the word of mouth engine rolling. I am also actively blogging on my site and guest blogging on other authors' sites. I use Twitter as my primary daily communication tool and have met dozens of amazing writers that way. I have also been able to strike up very meaningful dialogues with fans and readers. Being able to talk directly to a writer today is what really fires up a lot of readers. If anyone follows me on Twitter, I follow back. Give me a shout, I'll respond and we can chat!

DAVID WISEHART: Why publish on Kindle?

JAKE BIBLE: Kindle has leveled the playing field for writers. It's no longer about how you get your work published, but how good your published work is. I think that is very important. Readers, and I am an active one, know how to sift through the crap and find what they like. I have already had the ability to vet the quality of my work through my podcast, so publishing on Kindle was just a natural extension of that. It is a great way to keep control of my writing while also monetizing it. It's the greatest thing to happen to writers since the printing press, in my opinion.

DAVID WISEHART: What advice would you give to a first-time author thinking of self-publishing on Kindle?

JAKE BIBLE: Pay attention! Edit, proofread, edit, proofread. Get a quality cover done by a trained graphic artist. Have your work edited by an outside editor, not just your friends and family. Pay the money needed to put out quality work. If you put crap out there then all of your hard work will go down the drain and any prospective readers you may get in the beginning won't return. Don't cut corners, don't scrimp and don't publish unless you KNOW your novel is ready. You can't hurry art.

Also, read blogs by other authors publishing on Kindle. Do research into the industry. Ask questions. look for help if you need it. The internet is the greatest tool writers' have at their disposal. Educate yourself thoroughly and then dive in with open eyes and an open mind!

DAVID WISEHART: Thanks, and best of luck with your books.




ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jake Bible lives in Asheville, NC with his wife and two kids. He is the author of many published short stories and the creator of a new literary form: the Drabble Novel. Dead Mech is his first novel and represents the introduction to the world of the Drabble Novel, a novel written 100 words at a time.

Learn more about Jake and his work at www.jakebible.com. Links to his Facebook fan page, Twitter and his forum can be found there, as well as his weekly drabble release, Friday Night Drabble Party, and his weekly free audio fiction podcast.

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