This month I’ve been so blessed to be able to do two Author Interviews. I’m excited to welcome Amir Lane to my Scribbles Page. Let’s get started.
Amir I’m thrilled to have you here this month. Thanks for stopping by.
Always a joy to chat with folks.
I have so many questions, but so little time. So let’s jump right in. I’m curious about how you model your characters, are they based on real life?
I really try not to. It’s impossible not to let parts of people I know into my characters because there are only so many traits in the world. There’ve been times when I’ve been talking about a character and realized, ‘Holy crap, this is so-and-so.’ (chuckles)
Sometimes I’ll put real people in passing, like if I need a background character for two lines.
I think we’ve all done that.
Probably. The other thing I do is when I have a character from another country - ie, not Canada - I’ll pick usually a musician who’s voice I dig and I’ll listen to interviews until I get a handle on it. Like, I have Matt Tuck for my Welsh guy, Til Lindemann for German, Max Cavalera for Brazilian… Sometimes I hear something that totally works. Sometimes it’s, like, a cultural thing, or a generic sort of - Like Max Cavalera learning English from dictionary translations. It’s exactly how my parents learned English, but it totally works here too. Again, generally not deliberate but it happens.
We’re going to be all over the map today with questions. I hope you don’t mind?
Nope. Not at all.
Great, I wanted to ask if you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
I'm honestly awful at marketing so I'm probably the last person who should be giving advice.
I don’t know you have some amazing cover art for your books and your Urban Fantasy Short is on Tall Tale TV, so you must be doing something right.
Okay, how about you tell me what you don’t like.
Well, as a reader, it really bothers me when authors leave me copy/pasted messages to buy their book, especially when it's for a genre I don't even like. I get that it's the fastest way to spread the word but honestly, it makes me hate the book on principle before I even know the title. People don't like being constantly advertised to, especially when everything is an advertisement. If you want to recommend me your book because you know that, based on the books I talk about, it lines up with what I like to read, then by all means, recommend it but don't make it too obvious that you're only interested in my wallet.
Well said. I agree.
So, marketing isn’t your thing, but you must do some, so what part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?
Marketing time is marketing time. I don't take from my writing time, which is probably why I'm lacking in that department. I do most of my marketing when I'm between projects, or parts of projects. For example, I'll give myself a week between when I finish a draft and start editing, and I'll take that time to market. It's a system.
Cool, so keeping on the whole marketing theme, what do you thing about good/bad reviews?
I think the important thing to remember is that everything is subjective. Not everybody is going to like your book. Like, with Shadow Maker, someone said that my main character wasn't relatable at all, whereas other people found that he totally was. So, all that meant was that this person isn't the person that character was meant to be relatable to.
Any review should be taken with a grain of salt but there is a point where, if it's a lot of people who are saying the same thing, then maybe that's something to pay attention to. I don't know, I try not to read reviews or respond to anything about my books unless someone is talking to me directly.
That is great advice.
Sadly, this is my last question and I hope it’s an easy one. Do you have any tips on what to do and what not to do when writing?
Don't: Get distracted and watch that episode of Duck Dodgers where Dave Mustain saves Earth with the power of heavy metal and awesome hair.
(Laughs) That is probably the best advice ever. What a great way to end the interview. That you so much for joining me today.
Always a pleasure
More about Amir Lane
Amir Lane (pronounced Ah-meer) is a supernatural and urban fantasy writer from Sudbury, Ontario and the author of the Morrighan House Witches series that debuted in October 2016. The series opens with Shadow Maker, and follows physics major Dieter Lindemann as he's dragged down against his will into Necromancy and blood magic.
Engineer by trade, Amir spends most of their writing time in a small home office on the cargo pants of desks, at a back table at their favorite Middle Eastern restaurant, or in front of the TV watching every cop procedural or cooking competition on Netflix. They live in a world where magic is an everyday occurrence, and they strive to bring that world to paper. Their short story, Scrap Metal and Circuitry, was published by Indestructible magazine in April 2016.
When not trying to figure out what kind of day job an incubus would have or what a Necromancer would go to school for, Amir enjoys visiting the nearest Dairy Queen, getting killed in video games, absorbing the contents of comic books, and freaking out over how fluffy the neighbour's dog is.
Amir loves to connect with readers online. They can be found in their Facebook group here, on their Facebook page here, and at their website here, and on Twitter here where you can find out more about their work.