Interview with author Ahmad Taylor

Today’s interview is with author Ahmad Taylor. Ahmad is a great guy and has written a book that I must say has me very interested. As soon as I’m back to accepting new reviews Dark Side Of The Moon will be on the must read list.

Here is blurb on Dark Side check it out and please say hi to Ahmad. I really enjoyed this interview and hope Ahmad will be back on the blog soon.

Government agent Derrick Thomas awakens from a disturbing dream to find a message from his father asking for help. As he sets out to lend his assistance he quickly discovers that not only has his father gone missing, but that a clandestine government agency is out to derail his search before it can begin. After the murders of two of his father’s colleagues and the further disappearances of his mother and sister, Derrick is thrust into a battle for the lives of his family while attempting to uncover details of a secret government program which may hold the key to his family’s whereabouts. Will he be able to save them and uncover the truth before he becomes the next victim of a government bent on keeping him silent?

 

Please tell us about yourself –

Hi Jessica. I am a Leo, I like long walks on the beach, the wind blowing through my hair, and champagne bubbles that tickle my nose.

Truly a “LOL” way to start things off. I am actually a 35-yr old former NYC police officer who has taken his “talents to S. Beach” (see Lebron James for shady reference).

I am a writer by day, writer by night and hanger-outer by weekend.

I love watching and more importantly playing sports, all except soccer and NASCAR which I don’t even consider a sport, and if any of your readers saw the shenanigans that went on at the Daytona 500, they will understand that the “sport” makes no sense whatsoever and simply manages to put the drivers and public in extreme amounts of danger for no real benefit. However; now that I am reading what I just write I can see that the last part of my statement is exactly why it is so popular.


Please tell us about your book Dark Side of the Moon –

DARK SIDE OF THE MOON (DSOM); is the story of a former government agent who stumbles upon a 40-yr old cover-up by a clandestine organization. He must piece together clues about this cover-up in order to help him find and save his family who are somehow involved in the cover-up and have gone missing.

This suspense-filled, action-driven, thriller takes you on the journey with Derrick Thomas to rescue what matters to him most. Will he find them in time? Will he sacrifice his sanity and his safety to save them? Only one way to find out…

Government agent Derrick Thomas awakes from a disturbing dream to find a message from his father asking for help. As he sets out to lend his assistance he quickly discovers that not only can he not find his father, but that a clandestine government agency is out to derail his search before it can begin. After the murders of two of his father’s colleagues and the further disappearances of his mother and sister, Derrick is thrust into a fight for his own life and a struggle to uncover details of a secret government experiment which his family may be part of.  Will he be able to save them and uncover the truth before he becomes the next victim of an organization bent on keeping him silent?

You self-published, did you try to publish through a publisher if so what was that like and if not why not?

When I first wrote DSOM, I was extremely excited and full of naïve expectations concerning the publishing process. I had wild ideas that “if you write it, they will publish it”, I could not have been more off-base.

The “traditional” publishing industry is what you might call a “club”. It has very regimented rules for admission, and it does not allow for much innovation. The major publishing houses, “Big 6” as they are known, have a very tight hold on the literary industry and they decide who and what is allowed in and eventually out. Literary agents also play a major role in vetting who may or may not have a seat at the table so to speak.

When I was done, or what I thought to be done, with writing, and had a few rounds of edits, I read up on the processes for admission into this club. I began ferociously writing and sending Queries to agents everywhere. I was driven and motivated and I just knew that I was the next “big thing” to come out. So I sent a couple hundred queries out and then sat back and waited patiently for the flurry of responses. Dot, dot, dot: no responses. I then went back to the well, and got out my formatted letter, made a few tweaks, and sent out another slew of invitations to agents asking for a chance to submit a “partial” of my manuscript. Dot, dot, dot: no answer.

This went on for the first 2 1/2-months after I had finished writing, all with no response. I then chose to try and go straight to the source, so I sought out the very few houses that allow writers direct access. I formatted according to their requirements, sent out the packages of partials, and waited once more. Dot, dot, dot: nothing.

It was at this point that I had reached my capacity for silent rejection and decided to sit on my novel ‘til I could muster up more strength to try for rejection once again. So DSOM sat on “the shelf” for the next several months, not seeing the light-of-day.

Somewhere around Christmas of 2011, a friend gave me the best gift I could ever have wished for. He sent me an email. This was not just any ordinary email. This email contained information that would essentially pull DSOM off the “shelf” and finally get it out into the hands of those who should have had access to it all along: the reader. In the email, was a link to a story about a woman who had been writing for several years with no publishing deal to speak of.

At the time of the article she had written 6 books, been at the “game” for 7-yrs, and had accomplished nothing in regards to getting an agent much less a publisher. The article went on to talk about her foray into the world of self-publishing. It told her story, in great detail, about the steps she took, the barriers she came up against, and her eventual extraordinary success with it (she had sold tens-of-thousands of books at that point). I read the article, marveled at her success and started to wonder to myself: “Was it truly possible? Could I, and should I, even dare to try it this way?” I sent the link to a friend who was also very amazed: amazed that I had not started to process already. We talked about the idea several times and he basically shot-down every excuse I had for not doing it. So after another week of being doubtful, I finally woke up one morning and said; “To hell with it, I’m gonna’ publish”.

I won’t bore you with all the steps I took, but on January 24, 2012 Dark Side of the Moon became available for purchase on Amazon.com.

Is writing a new interest? –

I’ll start by saying that I have not always enjoyed writing. I was not an avid reader when I was younger. I liked school, and always did very well in my subjects, but I was not big into book-reports or reading novels at all. My mother used to make my sister and I read one book every summer and write a book-report for her while other kids were outside playing and having fun. My sister loved it, as she would go through several books in a few weeks. I always struggled to get through just the one, and would write the briefest synopsis I could.

Once I got to college, I became intrigued by poetry and what I assumed to be the complete “lack of rules and structure” that poetry allowed the writer. As any poet will tell you, and as my teachers had to explain to me many times while I was debating my grades with them; “There are certainly rules to writing poetry, and it is only after you know these rules and their importance that you can consciously make the decision to break them for your desired effect”. I fought tooth-and-nail, but I eventually saw their logic and began to write both structured and free-verse poetry. I was published in a poetry anthology in the early 2000’s and that was it for me, I wanted to write and more importantly, I wanted to be read.

What are you reading now? –

I am in the middle of: Martin Little, Resurrected, a light fantasy novel written by a talented author named; Ella Medler. It’s quite sarcastic and has many intriguing characters. I’ll be writing a review which may be posted by the time the interview is live, so check it out.

What do you do when not writing? –

I worked as a security specialist for several years, and now I do off-and-on consulting in the same industry.

However, since publishing my book, I have been spending large quantities of my days marketing and promoting, trying to get the word out, and trying to build sales.

What has your experience been like since publishing your book? –

Emotionally it has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever gone through. It’s an old cliché that says: “enjoy the ride”, well I have truly been trying to enjoy this ride. I have never had a greater sense of pride over what I have managed to accomplish, both writing and publishing my novel. This particular book is very personal to me because the characters, while fictional, are drawn from people in my life, so to have been able to tell the story that I wanted to tell, the way that I wanted to tell it, has been very fulfilling for me.

The flip-side to all of that satisfaction is having to deal with negative criticism, because no matter who you are, and how well or long you have been writing, there will always be someone out there who does not “get it”, or who just doesn’t like you work. I was warned about this many times once I had published. That being said; when I got my first “less than positive” review, I was close to tears. It was as if this person, whom I had never met, and who knows nothing about me, my life, or my motivations, decided to kick-in my front door, enter my unannounced and uninvited, take a dump on my living room floor, steal my most prized possession, and then spit at me as they were leaving. Now that is a bit over-the-top, but believe me, the feeling of someone taking something very personal to you and criticizing it is not a happy feeling at all.

What do you have planned for the future? –

I am of course still promoting DSOM, which I have so much passion for, but am also currently working on the sequel. Spoiler alert, the first story leaves our main character in a very precarious position, and while I love “cliff-hangers”, there must be an end to it all. So I am working to get #2 out to the readers by mid to end of 2012.

I am also working on a project with a writer friend to create a blog-series where we will have several characters interact across our separate blogospheres, engaging in whimsical dialogues, having extraordinary adventures, and just living out their lives in the most comically inappropriate ways possible. I invite all your readers to check it out sometime towards the middle of March 2012.

(http://ahmaddarkside.blogspot.com)

Followers will also have the chance to post comments about the current storylines and vote for future events as well.

Where can my readers find out more about you and your work? –

DARK SIDE OF THE MOON is currently available at:

Also stay tuned for the upcoming paperback version to be released end of March 2012.


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Thank you Jessica for having me, and thank you to your readers for their time and interest. I certainly look forward to hearing from you all here as well as on my various outlets. I promise to try and entertain you at every step of the way.

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