Advice from IR Approved Author Eric Serrell: “…drink wine. Lots of wine. My suggestion: white in the morning, red in the afternoon.”

Fall Rotten received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.

Following find an interview with author Eric Serrell.

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

Fall Rotten was launched, on July 21, 2019—my son’s birthday.

What’s the book’s first line?

Luc snatched the fedora from Expat’s hand.

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

A covey of cons bust a vault full of gold belonging to powerful French fascists in the months leading up to the Invasion of France.

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

I wanted to experiment with writing a novel in the spirit of the old, fast-talking screwball comedies of the 30s & 40s—His Girl Friday, The Lady Eve, My Man Godfrey—which I love.

My editor absolutely hated me for this.

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

This is a straight-up beach/airport/lunchtime book, a story about friends who live by their own rules and have fun being the smartest bunch at the party. Read it purely for the joy of a smile and a laugh.

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

Fall Rotten is very much an ensemble cast, a lot of strong personalities.

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

Easy, because for every project I work on, the first thing I do is create a photomontage. (See below.) In the case of Fall Rotten, it was a collection of black-and-white images of the actors I had playing each of the major roles, done up in 1930s style opening credits:

Expat — Paul Newman (though he’ll have to be on something to keep up)

Maggie — Katharine Hepburn

Luc — Cary Grant

André — Claude Rains

Reggie — a very young Ray Milland

Helle — Diane Kruger

Emil — Michael Fassbender

Joubert — Jameson Thomas

Petra — Carole Lombard

Okay, maybe getting all these folks together and at the appropriate ages wouldn’t be so easy. Still, they could try.

But anyway….

When did you first decide to become an author?

When I was a kid, living in Brazil, needing something to impress a girl I really liked in the fifth grade because I had absolutely no ability to draw.

hate freakin’ sketch artists. All the girls want to go steady with them.

Is this the first book you’ve written?

Actually, my 6th, but it’s the first work of my own.

Recently, while doing a favor for a friend-of-a-friend, I stumbled into the aggravating & unprofitable business of ghostwriting fiction. I must admit, compared to most, I’m a rather reasonable client—I more or less agree with everything I say. (I don’t often agree with my editor, though, but I always do what she says, because she’s pretty much always right.)

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

Haven’t worked a “real job” since my wife passed away. Now, I write. And I jump a lot of rope. (See below for explanation.)

How much time do you generally spend on your writing?

All morning. Every morning. Every day of the week. Until lunchtime. (And I get up fairly darn early.)

Except for Sundays. After 9am, we clean the house.

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

Best part: trying to figure out the publishing game.

Hardest part: not knowing all the rules, only that the house always wins.

Best part: beating the house anyway.

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

Suggested by author Walter Dean Myers: I start each new writing project by creating a collage of images and impressions. The effort helps to clear a lot of the early brambles of ideas in my head. And having it on my desk as I write gives me a quick way to focus and pick up voices.

Also, I grab an existing novel that has about the same tone I’m shooting for. I read a few pages before I start writing for the day. I don’t copy, but I find that I will mimic the cadence of things I’ve just read, so it primes the pump. As the novel I’m working on reaches a point of near completion, I use it to feed back upon itself. One of the first things I ask folks I’m writing for is “What book do you want your book to be like?” and I get a copy.

If your brown sugar becomes hard like concrete, throw the end piece from a loaf of bread in with it. It’ll soften up in about a day.

When editing, I read aloud. If I stumble on the words while speaking them, I rewrite until I can get through cleanly to the end. I also catch duplication of words this way. And duplicate words. (Shoot!)

Oh! And wineLots of wine. My suggestion: white in the morning, red in the afternoon. Best to buy it in bulk, the big boxes. We’re not looking for quality here, but a nice workman’s vintage. I’ve found Burgundy to be best when redline editing late in the day.

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

I’d listen to what they have to say, but then I would tell my current partner, as she’s my friend and I will never burn a friend.

She, however, will be more than happy to throw me over, just so she can claim that she “discovered” me and use it to build her publishing empire.

Is there something in particular that motivates you?

I’m trying to keep my promise to my wife that I will outlive our autistic son (which is, like, really hard to do and why I jump so much rope), and my promise to my son to take him to every Disneyland in the world and get every character’s signature.

Yeah, I don’t think things through when I make my promises.

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

The truth is, I have this thing about not reading from the same author. I generally read just one book in a series, that’s it. Don’t know why, always been this way, but it does lead me to find some pretty outta-the-way authors. Also makes it danged hard to find which book I’ll be reading next.

Fortunately, there’s the rest of the world. Otherwise, all writers would be starved ones.

Which book do you wish you could have written?

Lonesome Dove, no doubt.