JLR: Thank you, Ryne, for taking the time to hang out on my blog today! With advancements in technology, self-publishing novels has gotten a million times easier and more affordable. What made you decide to self-publish, and how has that process been working for you?
RDP: For me now it’s about control. I’ve been traditionally published in the past by both Putnam and William Morrow, but so much is given up when you decide to hand over your book to another to print, promote, and publish. Even though it’s more work, it makes complete sense for me to do this now myself.
JLR: As all aspiring authors know, writing the novel is the easy part—getting published is where the real work comes in. Tell us about your road to publication. Is there anything you would have done differently?
RDP: For my first novel I queried, and queried, and queried. After 139 rejections an agent took me on and sold the book, Cloudburst, to William Morrow in a couple weeks. This was wayyyyyyyyy back in 1992.
JLR: How have you been able to use social media (Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, etc.) in your marketing plan? Do you have any advice for new authors looking to promote themselves on these sites?
RDP: I think it’s vital to get involved in social media, not only to promote but to also link up with people who are interested in writing and reading. It’s called ‘social’ media for a reason. It’s about connecting, not just promoting. In fact, I may mention a book of mine just once a day. Sometime not even that. I think it’s more important to build a following of people who find you interesting. If that happens, they’ll seek out more about you. I prefer using Twitter because it’s quick and can reach a wide audience. Plus, it’s pretty darned funny what people Tweet a lot of the time. Like a virtual standup show. Most importantly, for the marketing aspect, I have a website where people can learn about me, my books, where to buy them, etc...
JLR: There is so much advice given by authors about the writing process. What type of writing routine do you have? Are you a planner or a figure-it-out-as-you-go type writer? Any tips you want to share?
RDP: For novels and short stories I do not outline. I may jot down notes, but I don’t lay the story out fully in advance. For screenplays I always outline. The actual process for me involves sitting down and writing. That’s it. It’s not magic—it’s work. Put your butt in the chair and bang the keys.
JLR: Personal blogs and websites almost seem like a requirement for authors these days; yet, they are time consuming to keep updated and don’t bring in any direct revenue. How important do you feel a personal blog or website is, and how much time do you spend on these projects? What are the benefits that you have seen?
RDP: I probably spend an hour or two every day on my website. I consider my website to be the sign that points people to the various storefronts (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc...) where they can sample and purchase my books.
JLR: Have you ever been worried that you might be going too far in your sex scenes and might alienate readers? Does anticipating reader reaction ever cause you to censor yourself?
RDP: What’s a ‘sex scene’? No, in all seriousness, I have a saying I live by: write it like you’re gonna burn it. In other words, get it down on the virtual page first. You can always delete it later. But never self-censor WHILE you’re creating.
JLR: That's great advice. I’ve always felt that to be a good writer you must first be a good reader. What types of books do you read and how have they influenced your writing?
RDP: I read a lot of horror, science fiction, and suspense. I also love classic books such as To Kill A Mockingbird and also poetry by Robert Frost.
JLR: Do you feel it’s necessary to read a lot in order to be a good writer? Why?
RDP: I have no idea. I only know that if I hadn’t been an avid reader I would not have become a writer.
JLR: In the past year or two, e-publishing has soared in popularity. What made you decide to publish in e-book format? Do you worry that you won’t achieve as much success as you might in traditional print?
RDP: I believe I’ll be far more successful in eBook publishing that I ever was in print. There is no such thing as a backlist now, and ‘out of print’ is meaningless. My books will be selling long after I die.
JLR: There has been a lot of talk this year about traditional print books giving way to e-books. For example, publishing powerhouse,
Dorchester, announced a few months ago that they were getting out of the mass market paperback market altogether in favor of e-publishing. What affect for you think this will have on authors and readers going forward?
RDP: Print will be a niche market for books in less than ten years. That’s just the reality. It makes economic sense, and it’s better for both readers and writers. The only people it’s not good for are the huge conglomerate publishers.
JLR: How long have you been writing, and when did you decide that you wanted to write for publication?
RDP: I’ve been making my living as a writer for 19 years. I started trying to be writer a few years before that.
JLR: How did your formal education prepare you for becoming an author? Is there anything that you feel you’re your schooling could taught you to better prepare you for the publishing process?
RDP: I dropped out of college after one year, so I’m not the poster boy for education. But I am doing what I love and making a living at it.
JLR: What other works have you published?
RDP: I’ve published eight novels: Cloudburst, October’s Ghost, Capitol Punishment, Simple Simon, Tope Ten, The Donzerly Light, All For One, and Confessions. I’ve also published a short story collection, Dark and Darker. Simple Simon was made into the Bruce Willis movie Mercury Rising, and the movie Knowing with Nicolas Cage was based on my original script.
JLR: What is it like seeing your work on the big screen and played by major actors? Will we be seeing any more of your work in the theaters?
RDP: It’s very gratifying to see things that I’ve written released as films. It means I must be doing something right. As for future works on the screen...stay tuned :)
JLR: If you could give one piece of advice to your teenage self, what would it be?
RDP: Dump her first.
JLR: What is the scariest book you’ve ever read? Were you able to finish it?
RDP: The Amityville Horror, It was total BS, but it scared the crap out of me.
JLR: OMG! That was my scariest book too! In fact, i don't think I could finish it. :) Where can readers go to learn more about your work?
RDP: They can go to my website at http://www.rynedouglaspearson.com/ .
JLR: Where can readers go to purchase your work?
RDP: My books are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online retailers. Readers can find links to these retailers here: http://www.rynedouglaspearson.com/my-e-books/