Author Spotlight: Dan Blake and M.A. Petterson

Dan Blake

The City by Dan Blake

1How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?
It varies depending on length and my motivation. I’ve written the first draft of a 50,000 word novel in 23 days, but the editing process took a few months. Most of that was due to the burnout of having written several hundred words a day for a few weeks. When I hit it hard like that, I tend to take a month off. Lately, I work a little smarter. I’m currently wrapping up projects that have sat on my hard drive for a year or more in varying states of completion. It takes me a few weeks to wrap them up, but the editing process is much faster because I’m editing as I go.

2. What motivated you to become an Indie author?
I met Hugh Howey on the NaNoWriMo forum and he told me how he self-published. It seemed “easier” than waiting for an agent and publisher to buy your book. Easy is relative, though, but I certainly do not regret my decision to self-publish. It was the best thing for me and is paying off in a big way.

3. What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Sometimes you will feel discouraged. Sometimes you will want to quit. But don’t give into that feeling. If I quit every time I felt like giving up, I would not be a published author today. I would not the successes I have today. And I would not have the friends I have today. Keep at it, your time is coming.

4. What is your writing process?
It varies, but right now I am dictating into a voice recorder and transcribing those recording with Dragon Premium 13. I dictate while my daughter is in taekwondo and can achieve 500-1000 words daily. I MUST edit those words because dictation is not perfect, but it is easier to edit words you are able to fit in at any time than it is to create words with a spare few minutes when finding time to write is difficult.

5. What is your favorite place to write?
I dictate in car before going into work and when my daughter is in taekwondo. I wouldn’t say it is my favorite place, but it is where the magic happens now. I edit at my computer and I have a standing desk so I don’t have to sit down for very long periods of time. I have back issues and sitting at my desk was making things worse. My legs get tired, but my back doesn’t hurt as much anymore. I would love to sit out on my deck and look at a lake or river as I dictate, but I live on a busy highway with a lot of noise and I don’t have a river or lake behind my house. Maybe one day I will lol.

M.A. Petterson

Soot Angel by M.A. Petterson

1. What inspired you to write “Soot Angel”?
The seed for this series started when I was in the maritime service attending firefighting school. I’ll never forget standing alone in a mockup ship’s bilge when I was suddenly surrounded by flames taller than I was.

2. How many hours a day do you write?
I don’t write every day, but I write more days than not. When I’m writing I’ll continue until my brain fizzles out—sometimes that lasts for an hour, sometimes for several hours.

3. How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?
It usually takes me three to six months to finish a title from initial concept to finished professional edit.

4. What motivated you to become an Indie author?
I became an indie author after years of rejection from the gatekeepers of traditional publishing. They were wrong about my books. I still remember the very first sale I ever made, and the very first fan letter I every received.

5. What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
If I had to pass on any advice to aspiring writers it would be this: Easy reading is hard writing. But like most skills, the more you write the better you get.

2 Comments

  1. Cora Lee Olazabal

    I love what he says about easy reading is hard writing. It’s so true about almost everything in life. The easier it looks, the harder someone had to work for it.

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