Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Author Interview: J. Austin Gentry

1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Sure.  I was raised in SW Florida, by a single mom, I was the only
child.  I strictly remember being a little kid that needed to cross a
small dam on my way in mornings.  My little friends and I would hide
our fishing poles on the weekends and then during the week, we would
catch 'bluegill' then feed them to a very large and anxious alligator
on the side of the dam right before we would trot off to elementary
school. I graduated HS, then college with a business degree, and
headed to the Pennsylvania for a job opportunity.  It was then I
started to write and construct manuscripts.

 2. What do you do when you are not writing?

I spend that time playing with my wife and two kids and our little dog
- 'Lucky'.  I'm also promoting Churn Book I of III at local book
signing events as well as promoting the CHURN book trilogy.

 3. Do you have a day job as well?

Yes, unfortunately.  Commercial financing through investment banking.

4. When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

I had been writing privately for the last 18 years but started writing
CHURN Book I of III in early 2008, but really launched it 2010.  I am
about to launch CHURN Book II which should be out by mid September

5. How did you choose the genre you write in?

I chose dark suspense, urban fantasy and science fiction, not just
cause it's so damn awesome and because everything else bores me, but
because these genre's really do speak to me.

6. Where do you get your ideas?

Sometimes from movies, sometimes from the news, mostly - everyday
occurrences.  Churn Book I came about when I had some things going on
in my life I couldn't control.  At that same time, I had also seen
"Hell Boy" and one of the Jason Bourne trilogies in the same month.

7. Do you ever experience writer’s block?

No..., here's what I do...I preoccupy myself with at least two
manuscripts and one screenplay at the same time.  If I am struggling
with one, I jump on the other one.  You treat it like a buffet and
some slow poke is in your way looking at their calorie chart - you
jump to the next food plate and then go back to the one you missed.
You have to remember, the only person in your way is you.

8. Do you work with an outline, or just write?

It depends, short stories - I tend sometimes, to write without an
outline.  Novels on the other hand - have to have architecture at some
point, or you'll screw it up.

9. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way
 either growing up or as an adult?

I have read news articles that have influenced me as much as most
books but the books that have really stuck with me are 'Bury My Heart
at Wounded Knee' by Dee Brown, and 'On Writing, A Memoir of the Craft'
by Stephen King.  The one fiction that still blows me away is 'The
Road' by Cormac McCarthy.

10. Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?

I started chasing agents from day one.  Don't do this.  Personally, it
delayed my publication efforts. I realized that even though writing is
great, I was also in the business of publication, book marketing and
sales.  The good news is, that after six months with no real results
other than an expanded education in this industry, I was eventually
contacted by Lightning Source, an Ingram Content Group subsidiary.

11. If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your
novel or getting it published that you would change?

Yes, I wouldn't have gone to that certain NY book convention and spent
over six hundred dollars... There's that whole time machine gambit
that enables you to go back and slap yourself in the head, I wish it
existed and I could.  I learned that if I could have put just about
half of that money into advertising and marketing, I would have been
far better off.  Watch your money and who you give it to.

12. How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best
 for your genre?

There are book blogs to consider, ahem.  There are also digital media
campaigns, net radio interviews.  The best press you can get, is a
reader reading your book and placing a good review on Amazon or
Facebook.  Book signing events and networking with your local book
stores are a wonderful way to get your book in the hands of a
potential reader of your genre.  There is something about breathing
the same air as someone that is interested in your work.  For a reader
to shake your hand and ask you about your next project goes farther
than any press release or book review you could ever organize, believe

13. Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get

Nope, not yet.  It's too easy to get published but more labor to get
your story in the right pair of hands.

14. Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

CHURN Book II is it's own story, it's a urban fantasy and science
fiction based read with a  hints of romance and intimacy.  The
protagonist from the CHURN Book I of III is back with his supporting
line up.  The premise is a widower who has lost his wife and is being
controlled and manipulated by a Entity older than that of Lucifer.
The US government as well as some other leading nations are
intervening with the my protagonist's personal mission, which is to
destroy this 'Entity' all the while the United State and these other
nations want to use the power of this creature for their own designs.

Brief Synopsis: With the world’s governments watching, helpless and
pushed beyond measure; our heroes - Bill Towerse, Lisa Cacuzzo and
Miko Nguyen, struggle to fulfill their destiny.  They are forced into
an unwritten future, consecrating the mercy of  a monstrous Entity not
of this world, but that of a dimension only certain priests and select
religious historians are aware of.  The true intent of this enemy is
exposed giving certain governments of interest what they’ve wanted all
along.  Aware of the high stakes, our heroes find themselves between
the Entity and the people they cherish while risking the outcome that
could destroy us all.

 And some fun questions:

What is your favorite food?

Lobster and butter, what else do you need?

 How do you feel about fuzzy socks?
had a pair of normal socks but over time, like people, they grew
thin and fuzzy.

 Share a secret with us!
When I'm walking-running for at least two miles or more, I have ear
buds in and typically playing Led Zeppelin or Billy Idol or The Red
Hots...; I sing aloud - incurious to who is listening, I sing my ass

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