Advice from IR Approved Author RD Meyer: “Remember that even Harry Potter was rejected by nearly a dozen publishers.”

Salvation Day received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.

Following find an interview with author RD Meyer.

What is the name of the book and when was it published?

I published Salvation Day on October 30, 2017.

What’s the book’s first line? 

“Rain fell steadily as tears streamed down his cheeks.”

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”. 

This is the back cover blurb, which I feel gives folks a good tease without giving everything away:

Mike Faulkner wants to kill God.  No, he doesn’t want to convince less people to believe; he wants to confront the deity Himself and watch Him die.

After he lost his baby girl to a childhood illness, his wife, consumed by grief, committed suicide.  Through a series of (seemingly) random events, he comes to know that his wife’s soul has been sent to Hell for this violation.  However, Mike is a theoretical mathematician whose equations show the potential for a new form of energy that can affect the bonds of reality.  In the midst of this discovery, he’s approached by a demon from Hell’s ruling council with an offer of immortality in exchange for creating a new weapon to storm the gates of Heaven and confront the Almighty.  The demons promise to free his wife and give him absolute power for his efforts.  And all it will take is destruction on an unimaginable scale, as well as the discarding of conscience in order to satiate anger.  After all, what’s the harm in annihilating Heaven if that means the cruel will of God can be overcome and real justice established?

Salvation Day is a paranormal thriller that takes us from Mike’s grief to his temptation to his corruption to his redemption, stopping at every emotional place in between.  Mike’s journey is for everyone who has ever had questions of faith, the meaning of existence, and a longing to know why life sometimes seems unbearable.  How would each of us react to being given the power to create our own version of paradise, and would we truly understand the repercussions of that desire?

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event? 

The birth of my daughter.  Rachel arrived nearly ten weeks early and had some health problems that could’ve been serious.  As things calmed down, my mind began to wander as to how I’d react if something had happened to her.  My mind almost always tends to go to a “worst case scenario,” and the what-ifs with my daughter were no different.  Anyone who has experienced challenges with his or her child has questions about why it happened to them, and I just took those questions way farther than most.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book? 

To be challenged.  This book is designed to get people to ask questions most would be uncomfortable doing.  The story provides a vehicle for people to “cheat” by allowing the novel to ask the questions they would like to ask but feel unable to.  Salvation Day takes age-old elements and adds a few new twists to keep readers guessing.

What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character?  Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of? 

The most distinctive thing is the main character’s evolution throughout the book.  Mike Faulkner starts out as a grief-stricken shell who is corrupted by forces trying to use him in service of their own purpose.  Mike recognizes he is being used, but unlike some, he not only doesn’t resent it, he revels in it.  As things progress, he moves beyond the bounds of who is was and becomes more.  Even by the end, it’s apparent that his evolution will continue far beyond the story.

He reminds me, honestly, of me, because I based him on my own emotions during a time of crisis.  They say “write what you know,” and since I know myself best, that’s who came out in the book.  I’m not trying to sound egotistical, but rather to give an honest assessment of how the main character came about.

When did you first decide to become an author?

When I was nine.  We had “creative writing time” in 4th grade, and I fell in love with it.  My first story was more of a Star Wars rip-off – I was nine and that was what was popular – but as I grew, my own ideas started to take shape.  It was just a matter of putting them on paper.

Is this the first book you’ve written?

This is the second full length novel I’ve completed, but even that requires some explanation.  I wrote a science fiction novel 18 years ago that, upon further reflection, was awful.  Several years back I committed myself to writing Salvation Day, so I poured my energy into it.  Even then, it wasn’t my first release – I published another paranormal novel called Akeldama that came out in May of 2017.  Salvation Day followed several months later.

How much time do you generally spend on your writing?

When I am “into” writing, I spend about two hours a day on it.  Unfortunately, I’ll often have long stretches where other things intervene.  And while I love to write, I try not to write for more than three hours because the writing turns into a grind at that point.

What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie?   

The best thing is the control I have.  I can decide whether or not to accept an edit, and since I know best what I want the cover to convey, I get to decide what to put on the front.  I’d say the hardest part is the marketing, but that’s true of any new author.  Even in traditional publishing, authors are expected to do a lot of their own marketing, and new voices often need a break to do more than scrape by.

What’s a great piece of advice that you can share with fellow indie authors?

Never stop believing in yourself just because someone else told you your writing was bad.  Reading taste is subjective, so not everyone will like your book, and some will be vocal about not liking it.  Whenever you get down on yourself, go to a bookstore and see what’s in there as “published.”  A lot of stuff is incredible, but a lot of stuff also stinks.  Remember that even Harry Potter was rejected by nearly a dozen publishers.

Would you go traditional if a publisher came calling?  If so, why?  

Yes, but only under the right conditions.  A traditional publisher would have to show me what they can do for me that I can’t do for myself and how it would increase my reach.  In today’s day and age, an indie writer who is business savvy can do nearly everything a traditional publisher can, so it becomes about the ability to reach more of an audience.  Further, there’s a certain amount of control I would insist on retaining, and I’d be willing to walk away if that didn’t happen.  I think all of us long to be part of the cool kids’ club, which we’ve had drilled into our head means being traditionally published in the writing world.  If you’re not willing to walk away, then traditional publishers will own you, and you’ll be perversely thanking them for it.  If there’s not a true mutual benefit, then it’s not worth doing.

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