How I’m Spending My Afterlife received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.
Following find an interview with author Spencer Fleury.
What is the name of the book and when was it published?
It’s called How I’m Spending My Afterlife, and it was published in October of 2017.
What’s the book’s first line?
“Beach Drive has always had the smoothest pavement in the city because that’s where the money lives.”
What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”.
Alton Carver is a cocky attorney in his mid-30s who has been embezzling from his firm and clients for years. Now that the authorities are bearing down on him, he decides to stage his own death and take his loot to Central America, leaving behind his wife and four-year-old daughter. But when he sticks around town long enough to witness his own funeral, the things he sees lead him to realize that the life he had wasn’t the life he thought he had.
What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?
I’ve had the idea for this novel for so long that I can’t even remember where it came from anymore. It was just there, trying to push its way out, and once I accepted the fact that I didn’t need to know the ending before writing the beginning, I just sat down and let it come forth.
What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?
Because it’s entertaining and thought-provoking, funny and suspenseful all at once. It’s a dark book that conceals its own darkness. And I’m pretty proud of it, so there is that too.
What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character? Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of?
Alton Carver is who Holden Caulfield would have become if he’d gone to law school.
When did you first decide to become an author?
When I was ten years old, at summer camp. I started writing short stories that were blatant ripoffs of the Friday the 13th genre of horror movies, even though I don’t think I’d actually even seen on at that point. I wrote through high school and college, and then I let certain people talk me out of pursuing writing fiction as a career. Which was a mistake, obviously.
Is this the first book you’ve written?
It is, if you don’t count my doctoral dissertation, which I don’t because nobody should read it.
What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie?
Both of these questions have the same answer: having complete control over and responsibility for every last detail of your book and its success or failure. I got to make all the decisions that went into bringing How I’m Spending My Afterlife to market, which was great because I had a pretty specific vision for the kind of book I wanted it to be. The flip side is that I’ll have no one to blame but myself if it fails. That level of accountability can get pretty heavy.
What’s a great piece of advice that you can share with fellow indie authors?
Take advice, feedback and criticism from people who know more than you do about marketing, cover design, narrative structure or anything else relevant to publishing a book. None of know everything about everything, and if you haven’t gone the DIY publishing route yourself yet, you will be amazed to discover how much you don’t know.
Would you go traditional if a publisher came calling? If so, why?
Absolutely. Don’t get me wrong, the whole DIY experience has been a great one, and I’ve learned a lot about the book world in the process. But every minute spent on marketing, or promotion, or coming up with cover design ideas, or hiring an editor, or whatever is a minute not spent on writing the next book. And that is how literary careers are built: butt in chair, one page at a time. I think a traditional publishing deal would make it easier to focus more on writing, though even then I understand that authors are expected to carry more of the promotional workload than they used to be.