Today’s interview is with CP Bialois. Welcome to the blog.
Thanks for having me. 🙂
Tell us something about yourself.
I’m originally from Pennsylvania and currently reside in South Florida. It took a couple of years, but I finally got over the culture shock of the move. lol
That would be a big difference, almost as great as Alaska to Florida. You’re a rare breed among indie authors. Tell us about that.
I’ve run the gambit from working fast food to being a warehouse supervisor, and I’m currently self-employed as an author and editor. I may not yet be Stephen King, but as long as I can pay some bills I’m not complaining.
Well, Stephen King started out working as a teacher to pay his bills, so good fortune in the book biz can come to any of us.
I have to admit, I owe my being an author to my wife, Jamie White. She’s always been supportive and doesn’t have an issue with my “playtime” with my characters. 🙂
Sounds like a great author’s partner. At what point did you know you wanted to be a writer?
This is a tough one. Lol. I spent most of my youth writing short stories, but I eventually grew out of/away from it as the need to make money became a priority. Despite that, I still took part in a few online RPGs involving some of my childhood favourites like the Transformers, GI Joe, and so on.
It wasn’t until 2010 that I started to write short stories again. I’d share them with one of my co-workers and he loved them. He then shared them with his co-workers at his other job and they liked them, which gave me a confidence boost.
Later that year I started to write my first book, Call of Poseidon, then lost my job. With a partially finished manuscript and being told I was overqualified for everything around us, I thought I’d try my hand at writing and haven’t looked back.
Tell us about your writing process.
My process is simple, yet complicated. Lol
I like to hand-write my novels as it helps me focus more on the story instead of the hundreds of ideas that appear out of the blue. While I can write anywhere, I prefer the library away from people. I prefer quiet solitude, and can usually pick out the best spots.
I’m extremely anal when I write, so my first drafts are usually about 85% of the finished product. While it makes future rewrites and editing easier, it can be time consuming when writing, so I recommend shutting off your inner editor if you’re able to. lol
What is your favorite genre … to read … to write?
I don’t really have a favourite genre. I like a little of everything, so I read and write a little of everything. If I have to choose, I’ll take a wimpy way out and go with a tie between Fantasy, Horror, and Sci-Fi. 😀
What are you passionate about?
Being myself and doing things the best way I see fit. I’m adamant that we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be pushed into a square slot if we’re a round peg. Our individuality is important, so as long as we don’t cause any harm, why not embrace it?
Which is kind of how we connected on Twitter because we have similar philosophy there. Where do you get the inspiration for your novels?
This is going to sound so simple, but from the world around me. My wife yells at me all the time because I can see a bird fly overhead and I’ll have an idea about a sneak thief hiding in the bushes looking for his next victim. My ideas usually aren’t tied to any one thing and appear at random.
What sort of research do you do for your novels?
It depends on what I’m writing. I’ve lived off of videos about Atlantis, Ancient Egypt, and the Titanic on youtube or TV. Wikipedia is another resource I couldn’t live without.
If someone who hasn’t read any of your novels asked you to describe your writing, what would you say?
Good question. I’d have to say, I like to trust my readers to use their imaginations and see the world and people I create as they see fit.
Do you find yourself returning to any recurring themes within your writing and, if so, are you any closer to finding an answer?
Honestly, I seem hopelessly lost in writing coming-of-age stories. I think it’s something we all struggle with at some point and, to me, is something we never stop doing. We’re constantly learning and growing, so I like to think I do the same with each story I write.
Are you a plot driven or character driven writer? Why?
Character. I like to sit back and let my characters decide their fate and take me on their journey. 🙂
Do you write from an outline or are you a discovery writer? Why?
I’m a little of both. I usually know how a story will start, what the climax will be, and how it’ll end. I then let the characters fill in the gaps. For me, it’s more fun not knowing what’s going to be done or said from one line to the next. Plus, when I tried using outlines, they tend to change after the first point. lol
Yeah, mine too. What point of view do you prefer to write, and why?
I prefer Third Person Omniscient. I think it adds more depth to the characters if we know what they’re all doing. I like writing in Limited as well, but I like to see the trees and the forest (No scene breaks between POVs). It gets boring just seeing one tree all the time. Lol
To be honest, I’m not a fan of the term “head hopping” as it’s become a derogatory term used to shun people from writing in Omniscient. To me, that’s forcing people into a style instead of allowing them to find what works best for them.
I’m going to drop you in a remote Alaska cabin for a month. It’s summer so you don’t have worry about freezing to death. I’ll supply the food and the mosquito spray. What do you do while you’re there and what do you bring with you? If you’re bringing books, what are they?
Oh boy. FYI, getting me out of there won’t be easy. LOL
You gotta cut your own firewood, man, come winter and … warning, there’s an outhouse. Alaskan winters are much more challenging than our summers.
I’d love to say I’d spend my time writing, but I know that won’t be until a couple of weeks in. I’d probably spend most of my time sitting outside enjoying the sights and sounds of the woods while reading. I’ll have to have a stack of Stephen King, Tom Clancy, and Sue Grafton books to read as well as a stack of notebooks. Lol. Once I’m settled in and all zenned out, I’ll start writing. 😀
Talk about your books individually.
Well, my first book, Call of Poseidon, is a mythological thriller similar to the DaVinci Code. It’s based on the premise of a ancient relic of Poseidon being responsible for the sinking of Atlantis. The surviving Atlanteans have formed a secret organization that draws the attention of the US government and a police officer following a double murder.
My Sword and the Flame series currently has four books and two novellas taking place in the world of Pyrain and focuses on a group of adventurers. It’s an epic fantasy adventure that begins with a young man trying to buy his freedom and come to terms with a strange power within him. Each of his friends goes through a similar path of self-fulfilment as they struggle to find their way.
Skeleton Key is a collection of 13 short stories in the psychological horror/suspense genres. So far, I’ve managed to cause a few people to double check their locked windows and doors and turn on all their lights. I’ll take that. 😀
The Last World is my first Sci-Fi book that delves into the origin of humanity and the possible lengths an alien will go to keep us safe.
My Winter Creek Trilogy follows Jay Lightfeather, Winter Creek’s Sheriff, as he struggles to deal with mysterious killings while coming to terms with his own destiny and the sins of the past. Each book focuses on a different legendary animal from the Appalachian Mountains as well as Native American folklore and the Salem Witch trials.
I love the multi-genre aspect. What do you want readers to think or feel after reading one of your books?
Honestly, I hope they had a good time. I don’t write to drive home any points or ideals, but to have fun. I love reading to escape, and if I can help someone else forget their problems for a few hours, I’m good. 🙂
What influenced your decision to self-publish?
After doing a lot of research, I liked the idea of having control over my project. I don’t have to worry about someone changing the title, cover, postponing a release, or not paying me. Plus, if I don’t do well, it’s easier for me to figure out what I did wrong instead of wondering who did or didn’t do something.
What do you find to be the greatest advantage of self-publishing?
The ability to be myself and maintain my vision along with being able to tweak anything that may need it.
Conversely, what do you think self-published authors might be missing out on?
I’d have to say we miss out of the publicity push. While it’s easier and cheaper to advertise than previously, it’s still difficult to build a following while a publisher usually has a solid base in place to market to.
With the number of self-published books increasing by such a huge rate, it is really difficult for authors to make their books stand out. How do you go about this?
Just by being myself and maintaining my vision for my books. While it’s not an easy task, I think it’s harder to stand out if my style mirrors everyone else’s, whether they’re self-published or not.
Who designed your book cover/s?
I’ve had three awesome cover artists work with me over the years. The Sword and the Flame: The Forging and Skeleton Key were done by Audrey Haney. TSATF: The Purging and Lightwalker were by Bitten Twice (https://www.facebook.com/BittenTwice-295323473457/?fref=ts) , and the SATF: The Dragonmaster and the Winter Creek trilogy were done by RJ Keith (https://www.facebook.com/Clockmakersdoll/?fref=ts).
Do you believe that self-published authors can produce books as high-quality as the traditional published? If so, how do you think we should go about that?
Definitely. I think writing an awesome and engaging story is the first step. I’ve honestly read several self-published books I thought were better than some traditionally published books. Second, we need to continue to study our craft to tighten up any weaknesses we may have, and, of course, having awesome covers that convey the story we’re telling.
Probably the biggest and most important is we need to stick together instead of tearing one another apart. I’ve met some phenomenal authors and people, but I’ve also seen a good number of self-published and Indie authors in general try to tear others down on social media. It’s a lonely world out there, and if we don’t support one another, who will?
I completely agree. So where do readers find you and your books?
My Website: https://cpbialois.wordpress.com/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/CP-Bialois/e/B006QK4TX2/