Advice from IR Approved Author Jason Daniels: “First, find a good editor who cares about your vision.”

The Preservationists received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.

Following find an interview with author Jason Daniels.

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

The Preservationists. May 29th, 2018

What’s the book’s first line?

Daniel and Dustin McHale were 18-year-old fraternal twin boys who were about to graduate in three weeks.

What’s the book about?

It’s about the opportunity and peril that two young men who are fraternal twins face as they choose different paths on the cusp of manhood.

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

Well, what started the book was a paragraph that popped in my head at work one day. It set up the main characters and what happens that changed their lives. But I didn’t do a lot with it after that. Until I met a viola player who traveled around playing in a band. She became a close friend of mine and inspired me in all aspects of my life. So after I had known her a couple of years, the book took off.

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

I think it depends on what kind of book you like to read. If you like a book that paints with words, a book that sets out to make you feel like you are watching the story unfold in person, a book full of rich detail, then this might be a book for you. If you like coming-of-age stories this book might be for you.

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

I would say the most distinctive element is his passion for everything he cares about. When he starts to care about something he does it with all his heart. Not just people, but he falls in love with his surroundings, with historic buildings, with the arts, and his life’s passion.

If they made your book into a movie, who would you like to see play the main character(s)?

That is a good question. I always imagine what it would be like to have my book turned into a movie. The role of Daniel might fit someone like Emory Cohen. Amelia might be suited for someone like Saoirse Ronan. Kathy by either Jenna Coleman, possible Emilia Clarke. Well, and she isn’t a main character, but I would like to see Tabitha played by Lindy Booth.

When did you first decide to become an author?

I knew I wanted to be an author in 7th grade. I fell in love with the arts that year, partly because of a teacher I had. She was supposed to be a high school English teacher, but for one year she taught 7th grade.

Is this the first book you’ve written?

It is the first full novel I have written.

What do you do for work when you’re not writing?

Well, I put together all the parts that go inside industrial air handlers. I have a BFA in photography, so I do some of that on the side.

How much time do you generally spend on your writing?

Do you mean how much time a day, or how long does it take to write a book? If we are talking about how much time in a week, probably 10 or 12 hours a week right now. I try to write every day. It is the last thing I do on the week days, so I can just focus on that.

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

I think the best part is that a good indie publisher thinks outside the box. They still look for quality work, but they will take chances on a book that might question the current idea of what makes a good book.

What piece of advice can share with fellow indie authors?

First, find a good editor who cares about your vision. Also, I would say take a look at all the information on how to get the most out of promoting your book. Your publisher will probably do some promotion, but you will have to put a little money in yourself, make sure you get the most for your money.

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

That is a hard one to answer, I think it would depend on what they offered me. Will they try to change my style, try to make me write in a more mainstream style? Will they pay me a big check up front? If I have to change what I want to say and if they are not offering me a big check up front, then I don’t see what the advantage would be.

Is there something in particular that motivates you?

I would say yes, but more than one thing. I love creating something. I have always been an artist at heart. I do want to make money; I want to quit my job and have more time to write more books. But another dream of mine is to restore old homes. I want to buy old homes, rehabilitate them and sell them. I want to save as many old rundown houses as possible. Because one of my passions is historic preservation. So I would like to make enough money to restore my first home. Getting to write books that people love and want to buy and saving 100’s of buildings would be a dream come true.

Which writer, living or dead, do you most admire?

There are so many writers that have influenced me. I admire each of them for different reasons. Charles Dickens, Jack Kerouac, Jane Austen, and Mark Twain. I think each of them changed the way people wrote and their influence is still felt today.

Which book do you wish you could have written?

There are so many great novels, so many novels I love, but if I had to pick just one, it would probably be Great Expectations. It is one of those books that has really stuck with me. I think it was the best novel buy one of the greatest writers of all time.


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