Monday, September 12, 2011

Interview and Giveaway With Author George H. Sirois

Q: Who are you, and why should readers read the rest of this interview?

A. My name is George H. Sirois, and I'm here to tell your readers about the Indie Book Collective and also to introduce them to "Excelsior," a novel available in paperback and eBook that has been called "refreshingly original and fun, adventurous, a definite must-read."

Q: Tell us a little about the work you are here promoting.

"Excelsior" is a science-fiction / young adult story about an underachieving high school student named Matthew Peters who spends all his time writing and drawing his own successful web comic. He is visited by a beautiful older woman who not only tells Matthew that she's from the planet he's been writing about in his comic, but that the lifeforce of the main character Excelsior is inside Matthew. So with Excelsior's enemies coming back into power on both planets, Matthew must stop writing about the larger-than-life adventures and start living them.

Q:  As a writer, do you have plans for world domination, or do you have a day job as well?

Don't knock world domination. According to Stan Lee, anyone can go to any police officer and say they want to conquer the world and they can't be arrested since that's not a crime. But anyway, while it would be nice to do so, I have no plans in the near future to reign over Earth with an iron fist. As of now, I'm going to have to stick to my current job as a news reporter for while finishing my courses for my Masters in Communication Arts.

Q: Self-published, traditional, indie or part of an indie collective? If not yet published, what are you doing to make it happen?

Self-published and a proud member of the Indie Book Collective. I was originally going to send Excelsior through the traditional methods, but I considered everything that I want to do with this character and didn't want to risk signing his rights away, especially since I had created him back in 1992. So I put together a blog and raised the money for the printing fees with Infinity Publishing (Everyone who pre-ordered for $17.95 guaranteed their autographed copy and had their names printed in the Acknowledgements section), and Claudia Jackson (@Novelhelp) was a huge help with the eBook conversion.

Q:  How do you handle bad reviews? If you haven't had one...would you be willing to take part in a social experiment? Basically? Would you grant me permission to trash your writing, just to see if you cry? I wouldn't do that (don't worry)

I've had a handful of bad reviews so far, and with each one, the sting fades a little quicker than the previous one. One thing that irked me a bit was that the good reviews were short and sweet while a couple of the lesser reviews went into great detail about what it was that bothered them, but now I look at it as something to consider while I write the sequel: "Ever Upward."

So unless the review is not offering anything positive and is just hateful ranting like Roger Ebert discussing "North," then I'll take it in and go from there.

Considering that you enjoyed the book, I'd be curious to know what worked for you and what didn't work.

Q: Are you nervous yet and do you prefer white or wheat bread.

Actually, I'm feeling very calm, thank you. And I prefer seedless rye bread, but if I had to pick between the two, I'll go with wheat.

Q:  Do you blog? If so, don't you wish you were as cool a blogger as I?

I do blog, and I wish I was as cool as every blogger out there, especially you. I've been very much behind on my posts, and I need to get caught up. Actually, more than anything, I need to delete the posts that never went anywhere to free up some room for what I'll be blogging about in the near future, which is the progress on the next book in the series.

Q: What is your favorite creature, monster, or fantasy based thing you write about?

I love writing about the planet Denab IV, which is where Excelsior came from, and its origins. I've always been a sucker for a good backstory and I like to think I came up with a worthy one for Excelsior and how he is tied to the planet he created.

Q: Are you planning to give something away (if not, good luck getting anyone to read this thing) and if so, what are your demands for winning (I assume, your book because why else would you stop by?)

I plan to send out free copies of the "Excelsior" eBook, but if people want to read it, they'll have to do a little something first. They must go to the page on my blog site that features the excerpt from the book: Once that's done, they must post their favorite part of the excerpt on this page and include their e-mail. They will then be e-mailed the Smashwords coupon code that will allow them to download their copy of the eBook.

Q: Any advice for aspiring writers?

The main piece of advice I have for aspiring writers is to get involved with social media, especially Twitter, and start building up your followers right away. That way, when your book is ready to go, you will have an audience ready to take what you have to offer.

A few months after my novel was online and ready for purchase, I followed the advice of a co-writer and friend Andrew Mocete (@AndrewMocete) and started following the Indie Book Collective on Twitter. The more I interacted with them, the more confident I became in my decision to self-publish.

Before, I was under the impression that once the book was finished, I would be alone with my marketing efforts. Now I know that's not the case, and it's because of Carolyn McCray (@craftycmc), Rachel Thompson (@RachelintheOC) and Amber Scott (amberscottbooks) taking me in and giving me the necessary tools I needed to give "Excelsior" more exposure than I had ever thought possible. They accepted me into the first-ever "Blog Tour De Force," which has already become a major staple in the IBC, and after seeing the success shared by other writers for their Bestseller for a Day promotion, I can't wait to get involved in that.

Q: Tick off a few indie authors you look up to.

The three main members of the Indie Book Collective - Carolyn McCray, Rachel Thompson and Amber Scott - have all been great to me and I hold them in very high regards.

I also have a lot of love for Ann Charles, who wrote the award-winning novel "Nearly Departed in Deadwood." I had to give my thoughts on that for the first Blog Tour de Force, and I couldn't put my Kindle down. She is a magnificent writer who tells a very captivating and entertaining story. And I'm not just saying that because she provided the quote that I used at the beginning of this interview.

Looking at their success, it's hard not to be in awe of Amanda Hocking, J.A. Konrath and John Locke. I had to add their books to my Kindle and I'm anxious to get all of them read.

And of course, there's your book. Judging by what I've read about it,. I think it's gonna be a blast and once I get my Kindle back from my wife, I can start reading it.

Q: Are you, or are you not a douche bag? Heh, you don't have to answer that. That's just for my enjoyment.

All I can say is that opinions vary. :-)

Q: Sell your book, right now, to your host without once mentioning your book, blog or twitter handle.

One of the great stories in literature is that of the Hero's Journey, when an ordinary man or woman gets that call to adventure and has a chance to do extraordinary things. Having grown up in a time when one of the best adaptations of the Hero’s Journey – Star Wars – became part of our culture, I remember the sense of wonder that story brought to so many people. Unfortunately, those same people cried foul almost two decades later when George Lucas released the prequel trilogy, and that same sense of innocent wonder was gone.

I feel the time is right for a brand new Hero’s Journey, a story that appeals to the youth in all of us, a story that takes you by the hand and pulls you into another world. With the help of my main character, Matthew Peters, my story allows you to experience wish-fulfillment at the highest level by becoming the savior of an entire world. And for only 99 cents, you can read the story for yourself, the story of a young man who gets to become his greatest creation.

Q: Alright, where can readers find you on the web?


TWITTER - @GeorgeHSirois



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