Ghost Bully received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.
Following find an interview with author Brian Corley.
What is the name of the book and when was it published?
Ghost Bully – February 2018
What’s the book’s first line?
The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and the spring flowers were blooming in the yard.
Hold on … those are weeds.
I know that’s two lines, but that’s the indie spirit for you.
What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch.”
Ah! Let me give you the logline: A dead guy finds his purpose in life and must fight off a graveyard full of ghosts and an ancient evil in order to save his friends.
I spent months on the back of book copy and blurbs, but I sat down for a couple of hours in a break-out session at the Superstars Writing Seminar at the end of January and hammered out that log line as part of the Query Letter construction process. It’s tough condensing an 89,000 word book into a single sentence, or at least tougher than I ever thought it would be.
What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?
My friend Jonathan Isaacs had been writing books for years by the time I beta read The House That Jack Built about a young guy that renovated a haunted house he inherited in Louisiana. Over beers, I made the comment that we’re afraid of ghosts because they may kill us while we’re asleep or not paying attention, but I didn’t think that ghosts really ever thought out what would happen if they killed the person in their house. I mean, that person becomes a ghost too.
Then what? You thought you were annoyed with them for making noise for the couple hours a night you were both up—now you have to deal with this spirit forever. Constantly whining about you cutting their life short, or moping around the house while you’re trying to do … whatever it is you like to do as a ghost. And what happens if that person becomes a much better ghost than you ever dreamed of being? A super ghost. Great, now you’ve created a super ghost who wants revenge … deal with that forever. Good luck with that.
Anyway, Jon told me that I should write that book, so I did.
What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?
Because they want to have a good time! This book is fun over anything else, so it’s a perfect weekend read, or for a night when you’re feeling kind of dark—just not Stephen King dark. Like you’re in the mood to watch something written by Tim Burton and Rick Linklater, but directed by Seth Rogen.
What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character? Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of?
Jonah has a big heart and real reasons for pushing the action forward. He’s a little Frodo meets Harry Dresden.
If they made your book into a movie, who would you like to see play the main character(s)?
Surprisingly, I only have a few takes on movie casting. I think Zoe Kravitz would make a hell of a Zoe (no coincidence in name inspiration there), but she would be great for Cat as well. I had John Hamm’s voice as Father Chandler in my head while writing that scene—loose Don Draper—Greenwitch Village Don Draper. Either Marc Maron or Ryan Reynolds would be great for Seph, but those are two very different interpretations of the guy—both would work, I think.
When did you first decide to become an author?
It was definitely on the list of things I wanted to do when I grew up. Author, lawyer, astronaut, rock star—the usual. That said, the real answer has to be last year when I took the idea out of my head and finally put it down in a Word doc.
Is this the first book you’ve written?
Yes (but it won’t be the last).
What do you do for work when you’re not writing?
No comment … seems more mysterious. For the purpose of my answer, I’m willfully ignoring that LinkedIn exists.
How much time do you generally spend on your writing?
It depends really. When I sat down to write Ghost Bully, I had three weeks in between jobs, and since I thought that was too long to sleep in every day, I gave my self an interim job—to finally sit down and write the book I’d been thinking about for the two or three years prior. So everyday, I’d wake up and start writing around eight o’clock and finish up around noon or one o’clock. It was a great experience, and I was able to hammer out a full rough draft, then revise it over the next few months.
Now, I really only have time to write creatively in the mornings for about an hour to an hour and a half, so it’s taking me a few months to get through the rough draft of the next book.
I think the important thing is to keep to a schedule and make sure I dedicate time every day, regardless of the output. My self imposed quota is time-based rather than tackling a specific word count at the moment.
What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie?
Deciding to go indie removes the barrier between you and the reader. You can publish the story whenever it’s ready. The worst thing is you have to figure out how to reach that reader yourself. It’s difficult to be both artist and entrepreneur.
What’s a great piece of advice that you can share with fellow indie authors?
Write every day. Find a good writing group, and beta readers you can trust. Youtube is a wealth of information! Find your favorite author, search for their panels on writing, and take their advice over mine. Who am I really? Just some guy on the internet.
Also, reedsy.com has everything you need to publish on their site, it’s an incredible resource.
Would you go traditional if a publisher came calling? If so, why?
Of course, they can help me reach a larger audience. I’d love to be a hybrid writer someday (my contact info is on my site, publishers).
Is there something in particular that motivates you?
I like to be creative. From the paragraph to full page short stories I wrote in third grade, to the songs I wrote when I was a teenager and on through my twenties and thirties—it’s fun to create something that wasn’t there before. To tell a story that didn’t exist before I wrote it down.
Which writer, living or dead, do you most admire?
Neil Gaiman, hands down, he’s my favorite. He’s an amazing story teller regardless of medium—comics, TV, film, books, podcasts, or in person. He can just flat tell a story.
Which book do you wish you could have written?
The Hobbit. I’ve read it dozens of times over my life, the first after seeing the Ralph Bakshi cartoon back in the late seventies or early eighties. It was the first book I checked out of the public library in second grade.
The thing is that it reads like a different book every time I’ve read it. It’s like the thing is alive and changing to meet me wherever I am in life … at whatever age. I suppose you could say the same thing for every good book, but that one in particular for me.