Welcome to another edition of We Love The Indies part of the #LetsReadIndie Challenge. Every Wednesday you will find a new indie author on my blog or RaeAnne’s blog. Our goal for We Love The Indies is to introduce you to new indie authors from different genres that may interest you. We hope that you pick up one of these wonderful authors that we are spotlighting and enjoy their book.
Today on the blog, I am interviewing David Allen Kimmel author of Your Truth Is Out There.
Could you tell us a little about yourself and your book?
David: The book, “Your Truth is Out There” is a fast-paced action-adventure that introduces Henry Backus, an Earthling artist who has spent his whole life shrinking in the face of conflict. Henry has accepted one compromise after another, until he finally reaches the point where he can take it no more.
It also follows Gsefx (pronounced “Zef”), a rising star at the galaxy’s largest and most prestigious accounting firm. Gsefx has the galaxy at his feet, except for two things: his inability to get to work on time and a boss who’s jealous of his success.
When circumstances put Henry and Gsefx on course for a chance meeting, a chain of events is set in motion that will bring them and everyone they care about face-to-face with the galaxy’s most notorious criminals–the merciless Ricnor Gang.
It’s also the first installment of my 3-book “Find Your Truth” series. I’m currently working on Book 2, “Truth Be Damned.”
As for me, I’m the only member of my family born in Oregon. I was raised on a farm, but was never much for the outdoors. Instead, I spent much of his youth traveling to the distant (and often magical) lands I found in my books. I count J.R.R. Tolkien, Terry Brooks, Anne McCaffery, Robert Silverberg, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Stephen R. Donaldson and Douglas Adams among my favorite authors. I currently live in the less wide open spaces of Yukon, Oklahoma with his wife and near my daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren. (I’m still trying to convince my daughter that Star Trek doesn’t suck.)
If you could describe your book in three words, what would they be?
David: Character driven action
What is the inspiration behind Your Truth Is Out There?
David: The initial idea came while I was stuck in traffic and thinking how wonderful a flying car would be at that particular moment. Of course, if I had a flying car, so would everyone else (I’m not THAT special!), and the traffic jam would just be 50 feet off the ground instead. One thing led to another and the next thing I know, I’m wondering if aliens get stuck in traffic jams as they’re flying their ships into work each day. As I pondered on it more and more, I thought “this could make a great little short story.” The only problem is that short stories are not my forte’ – I am much better at developing longer story lines than what will work for a short story, or even a novella. By the time I finished the whole thing (years later, I might add), it was, without question, a full-length novel!
Describe your writing routine, do you use an outline or do you just let the story come to you as you write?
David: I outline in my head … kinda. I’ve tried outlining on paper, but never really end up sticking to the outline. I just don’t really work that way. One look at my desk and it’s clear that “structure” and “order” is NOT my friend! Ha! Essentially, I start with the initial incident (like being stuck in traffic), and then start playing around in my mind what the potential consequences might be. From there, I have to make a determination about whether or not there really is a story to be told or not. In this case, the more I thought about it – and the more I started thinking about the characters, the more it became clear that there was definitely a story to be told.
At a certain point, when things are really working, as with this book, I stop “writing the story” and simply begin taking dictation as the characters themselves take on the role of storytellers.
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
David: I’m not sure if the actual publishing part changed my process, but the preparation for publishing definitely made a difference. It was no longer a case of me jotting down notes and stitching together sentences that I thought sounded good. Before I could place this out in the world, I wanted it to be as polished as possible – I wanted it to be as good as I could possibly make it. That meant focusing on the process as much as on the writing.
For example: I started writing each chapter in a separate Word document, so that when I was finished with the draft of that chapter, I could close it, set it aside and move forward. Otherwise, I’d get caught up in editing and re-editing that same chapter over and over again, without moving forward. Once the book was complete, I went back and did several complete edits/rewrites, but they were based on a finished story and so all of my edits were much more focused.
There is a 5-part blog about my writing journey on my web site at www.davidallenkimmel.com
What was the deciding factor in deciding to indie publish?
David: I never really considered going traditional. My desire is to write the best book I can write and make it available for others to experience if they choose. If, by chance, I make any money on it, great, but if not, I’ll know that I did the best I could. I would be concerned by too many external influences going the traditional route (editors, publishers, etc.), with little chance of increased sales.
Who has been your biggest support throughout your indie journey?
David: My wife, without question. She is so supportive, not just in her understanding of the time I need to write, but also in her critique of my work. She doesn’t pull any punches and it’s great. Too often when you share your work with someone who’s close to you, they don’t want to offer any criticism for fear of hurting your feelings – but that’s not helpful. I want to hear what doesn’t work. I may not always agree – but I want to hear it. She does that (in a loving way, of course) and it’s incredibly helpful. This first book simply wouldn’t be here without her – and definitely wouldn’t be as good as it is, without her help and insight.
What other writing projects are you looking to work on in 2017?
David: 2017 will be devoted to the second book in the series, “Truth Be Damned,” which will pick up with our characters pretty much right after the events of “YTIOT.”
While I’ve known the general storyline of the next two books all along, I’ve been churning the specifics of “Truth Be Damned” since “YTIOT” launched in March of last year. I’ve just recently started writing in earnest and expect a release date sometime in 2018.
What advice would you give to a debut indie author?
David: Keep at it. It will be difficult, discouraging and sometimes downright painful. Don’t let it get to you. Stay focused on the writing – and the reasons why you write – especially when sales are slow to non-existent. We write because we love the craft, we love to tell stories and we want to continually improve our skills and tell our stories.
And be wary of vanity presses and other “businesses” who promise you more sales and success (for a “small fee”). It’s unlikely they can deliver either.
Where can readers find out more about your books and writing?
David: Of course, my book is available on Amazon (link below). It’s enrolled in Kindle Unlimited, so if you are a member, you can read at no extra charge. Otherwise, it’s $3.99 for the Kindle version and $11.99 for the paperback. Just a quick plug for the paperback – if you’re a fan of sci-fi art, you might want to spring for the book. Long-time sci-fi artist Stephen Youll did my cover and I have to say, it’s awesome, every bit worth the cost of the book – plus, the paperback version includes a Kindle copy, so it’s a pretty good deal. All that being said, I make almost nothing on the paperback, so I’m not plugging it for my benefit – I just think it’s a really cool cover.
You can also read more about the book, catch my blog (which I haven’t updated in a long time!) and a few other things on my web site at www.davidallenkimmel.com
Please feel free to reach out with any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.