IR Approved Author Andrew Wolfendon: “The best part [of being an indie] is that you have the freedom to color outside the genre lines.”

Fishermen’s Court received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.

Following find an interview with author Andrew Wolfendon.

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

Fishermen’s Court, published June 13, 2019.

What’s the book’s first line? 

It’s a two-liner: “Ever see that old beer commercial: ‘Life doesn’t get any better than this’? That’s what I’m afraid of.”

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

The short pitch is: “A fatal mistake on a drunken night in college comes back to haunt a troubled artist, threatening his friendships, his sanity, and his life.” Fishermen’s Court is a psychological thriller and a mystery tale, but it’s also a character-driven drama about friendship, trust, community, self-realization, and the corrosive power of secrecy.

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

I decided to see if I could write a “beach thriller”—the kind of book you take on vacation and don’t want to put down. The first question I asked myself was what location I, personally, would want to be transported to as a reader. The answer I came up with was an island off the coast of Maine. And so, setting became my starting place. But the character and plot elements soon took over as the driving forces. I’ve been told, however, that the fictional community of Musqasset Island reads like a character unto itself.

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

Many readers have read the book within 24 hours (it’s not a short book) and told me they couldn’t put it down. They’ve also said that the story and characters were much richer than they were expecting in a thriller, and that they were moved to tears or goosebumps by the ending. There’s a lot of humor in the book as well, which readers are enjoying. So I guess if you want to laugh, bite your nails, and go on an emotional adventure, maybe this is your book.

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

Finn Carroll is the first-person narrator, and his sense of humor is his defining trait. He’s a pretty depressive guy with low self-esteem—at least at the beginning of the story—but his funny observations and odd mental processes offset his darkness and make him likeable. He’s American but of Irish descent, and he has that Irish ability to use humor as a defense mechanism in the bleakest of situations. There’s a lot of myself in Finn, but a lot of not-myself as well. Maybe a touch of Holden Caulfield too.

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

I could see a little Casey Affleck action there. The role would also be a great one for a comedian with acting chops. I love it when comedians play edgy, dramatic roles. You know the humor is in there, waiting to come out at any moment, but you also get to see the dark stuff that lurks in the souls of most comics. Bill Burr is a good example of that; he might also be a good choice for the lead. It would have to be someone who can play Massachusetts, like Affleck or Burr. That’s hard to do if you’re not a native. (I’d take my chances with Irish actor Jack Reynor, though.)

When did you first decide to become an author?

Probably when I was five and wrote my first “novel,” a horror story called The Fantastic Finger. I had to ask my mother how to spell every word. Professionally, my road to writing novels was a winding one. My first creative loves as an adult were music and acting. I later became interested in comedy and put together a traveling comedy show with a friend of mine. I realized I enjoyed the writing part more than the performing, so I got my master’s in writing at Emerson and started to write screenplays. The scripts always got optioned, but they never made it to the big screen. For several years I made my living in the computer/video game industry, writing and designing games—I wrote some of the kids’ “classics” of the ‘90s like Darby the Dragon, 3D Dinosaur Adventure, and several of the JumpStart and Magic Tales titles. Then I moved on to ghostwriting. I polished my book-writing skills by ghosting over sixty books, then finally decided it was time to write my own novel. Whew.

How much time do you generally spend on your writing?

Because I’m a bread-and-butter writer, I write all day, every day. My biggest challenge is to find the time and creative energy to write my own material after spending fifty hours a week writing for my professional clients. Being a writer can be a writer’s worst enemy!

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

The best part, I think, is that you have the freedom to color outside the genre lines. You can write the kind of book you want to write; the way you want to write it. The flip side is that indie publishers (at least in my experience) don’t have the resources to give you a lot of artistic guidance, editing, and creative feedback. In terms of the textual content, you’re pretty much on your own. But the publisher does contribute a lot on the design and marketing end.

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

It would depend on how hard they were going to promote the book. You have to do a lot of self-promotion when you’re with an indie publisher, but these days that’s also true when you work with traditional publishers. Writing and promoting are very different skills, and they don’t always go together. So I guess my dream—maybe every author’s dream—would be to have a big mainstream publisher tell you they want to publish your book and they’re going to promote the hell out of it. But I think that’s rare nowadays, though it still happens to a few authors now and then.

Is there something in particular that motivates you (fame? fortune?)

I love telling stories. Trying to come up with a compelling story and tell it in an involving way is very motivating for me. Once I dig in and start writing, the other stuff—the fame and fortune crap—recedes into the far distance. The only thing that matters is the story.

Which book do you wish you could have written?

I don’t wish to have written anyone else’s books, but I do hope I can write novels that are as good as the best work of the top thriller authors out there—especially the ones who write with a sense of humor, like Harlan Coben, Tana French, Stephen King, Nelson DeMille…