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IR Approved Author Ian Kent on being an indie: “It’s much like any do-it-yourself project, time consuming, but very rewarding at the end.” 

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

Following find an interview with author Ian Kent.

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

The name of the book is Catalyst, a name I visualized long before I put words on paper.  It was published early in 2019.

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

The first book I wrote was a historical novel Westcoast Legacy, about Fort Victoria and B.C.’s west coast in the 1850’s.  Although my readers loved it, my wife Diana suggested one day “Why don’t you write something more up-to-date, a modern theme?”  That’s when we came up with this ‘Environmental Terrorism’ idea.  Because of my environmental background and knowledge of certain gases, I thought one day “I could write an interesting story about that . . . I’ll call it Catalyst, because it is an uncontrolled catalytic reaction what really causes the disaster”.

What’s the book’s first line? 

The first line of the book sets the scene for several disturbing events that occur later.  “A small bead of sweat trickled down his back, starting alone, then joining others with that irritating itch as they fused together in a continuous stream, finally merging into the folds of his already soaked shirt.”  This describes how a man and his family are stuck in a massive and deadly traffic jam on a brutally hot day in Los Angeles, as an unknown poison gas builds up, sealing their fate.

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

I think people should read this book to fill in some of the gaps we all have in our belief system, that the ‘government’ or the ‘environmental laws’ are going to protect us . . . not so . . . we are all at the mercy of big industry, petroleum producers and users, anything that makes money!  If somebody actually did come up with a way to cut petroleum use . . . by even a small amount, they would have to be very careful how they announced it, or tried to use it.  Even small improvements could mean huge losses for some people, losses they are not prepared to experience.

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

The main character is an innovative scientist from Vancouver, a self-made successful entrepreneur, whose largest assets are his analytical skills and his ability to see “the big picture”, to put together small details to figure out what is going on.

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

This is a question that probably all writers think of as they develop a story . . . “what if it becomes a movie?”.  Years ago, when I started this and other stories, I had certain people in mind, but as years go by, they are all too old now, hobbling around with their canes.  Although my protagonist, Jake Prescott also uses a cane, as I do as well, our hero has to be younger and in much better shape to deal with the ‘bad guys, etc.

Nowadays, I could picture Chris Pine (with a short, well groomed beard) in the role of Jake Prescott, so please send him a copy of this book . . . who knows? . . . he might be interested.  After all, this is only the first of the Jake Prescott trilogy, Reaction being the second one, coming within weeks.  Chris Pine could get at least three movies out of it!

Is this the first book you’ve written?

As mentioned before, my first book was a historical novel in the 1850’s.  A modern day sequel is also on it’s way, possibly by early 2020.

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

I’m retired now, and find I have much more time to devote to writing.  I usually spend three to four hours a day writing now, if not on my novels, then writing my travel stories, blogs, poetry or just amusing limericks.

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

I find the best part of being an Indie writer is that you’re involved with every decision, in the editing, proof reading, layout, cover design, pricing, marketing, etc. . . . and thereby also lies the worst part of Indie writing.  It’s much like any do-it-yourself project, time consuming, but very rewarding at the end.  It is hard to describe the feeling when you are told you have received an IndieReader review of four-and-a-half out of five.  It’s like getting ninety percent on an exam that took several months to write!

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

Well, I’m not really in a position to give much advice, I’ll wait until I achieve “Best Seller” status before handing out advice.

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

I’m not sure . . . they would have to come up with a sizable advance, at least enough to cover all the money I spent on ink, paper, envelopes, stamps and trips to the post office. – just kidding . . . I’m not sure if I would even talk to them, they totally ignored me for the past thirty-plus years.

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

I find it very rewarding to receive praise from my family and friends, regardless how many books have been sold, I wrote the damn thing and people love it!  Of course, money is always good . . . at least enough to cover the publishing costs.  When I read about the big time authors that sell thousands or even millions of copies, I can’t even visualize how much money they are actually making, so you have to forget that and try to just cover the cost of the next book.

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

I admire so many writers, right from Shakespeare, down to present day Ken Follett.  Dickens, Michener, Ludlum,  . . . oh, there are so many!

Which book do you wish you could have written?

A couple of my favourite books are Michener’s Centennial and Hawaii, where he starts back in pre-history, and then progresses up to today with a riveting story.  I really want to do that one day, maybe I’ll go back and do something like that with my Westcoast Legacy.


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