Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Straight from the Mouth of 'Khost' by Vincent Hobbes

Vincent Hobbes was born and raised in North Texas. He founded Hobbes End Publishing over a decade ago, having sold the company to current President Jairus Reddy a few years later. Vincent now writes and produces books full time. He’s the author of the Legends in Time series, Khost, The Endlands, and a dozen other titles. Vincent currently lives in North Texas with his wife and German Shorthaired Pointer.

Find out more about Hobbes' military horror/thriller, KHOST on AMAZON.

Thanks for letting us interrogate you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

I’m not sure I ever chose to be a writer. Instead, I believe it chose me. I’ve always been creative, and always had stories to tell. I write for my own therapy, to keep the madness away, to feed my own sickness. It keeps me balanced, even though publication can be an entirely different monster.

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

Often, the demands outweigh the perks. The constant re-writes, the editing—writing isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. I tend to enjoy the production of other writers’ novels more than I do writing myself, though there are still rewards in that, as well. There’s no better feeling than having someone read your work, review your work, ask for more! Though writing demands much of my time, I find it therapeutic. It’s something different in life, something to break up the monotony.

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

I went a third route, a blend of both. I founded a publishing company originally. The intent was to publish my own work, though it didn’t work out that way, at first. After a few years, I sold the company, and finally focused on writing and book production. My own creation, Hobbes End Publishing, has published the majority of my work, though I’m officially independent of the company. It keeps my name, and that’s about it. So, I’m really not self-published, though it often seems that way.

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

I think at times they don’t understand. They see the work it takes, the amount of hours spent on something that may not promise any rewards. I think it’s hard to swallow, at times. But my family accepts me for who I am, and understands this is something that satisfies me. They’re very supportive.

This is for pet lovers.  If you don’t own a pet, skip this question, but do your pets actually get their food on time or do they have to wait until you type just one more word?

If it weren’t for my wife, my dog might miss an occasional meal due to exactly that.

This is for plant lovers.  If you don’t own a plant, skip this question, but if you do, are they actually still alive?

I’m fairly decent at gardening.

In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?

That’s probably the hardest part. The disruptions. Life gets in the way. I find myself most productive late at night. Everyone is in bed, including the dog, and I’m able to truly focus. Disruptions are not good for writing.

What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

Probably success. When I publish, or even produce a book for another author, I never expect anything to come of it. Maybe I’m cynical, but that’s the industry. It’s cut-throat, and few survive. But I’ve done well for myself, and I’d say that’s insane considering how tough this industry is.

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

I’m not an advocate of social media. I do blog from time to time, but that’s about it. I have a Facebook page I never check, and I refuse to Tweet. I’ve seen authors spend much of their time on such social networks, or arguing on message boards, when I believe they could be using that time writing, or editing. I suppose social media is helpful, but I’ve done well without it. You’ll hear the ‘Gurus of Publishing’ tell you to put your effort in social media, but I don’t buy it. I’m much more productive without it. The only perks I’ve found are the interaction with other writers, many of whom I’ve made friends with.

Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)?  How are you making the sales happen for you?

I focus my efforts on putting out the best possible product, a great story. The rest is up to my publisher, and fate. Overall, I’m happy with my sales. Some titles do well, some don’t. It’s just part of the game.

Can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?

My favorite part is having someone read my work. Entertaining a reader for a few hours, or days, or weeks—that’s why I publish. Often I weigh my options about publication, for I find it to be an invasion of my privacy in many ways. There’s something personal about publication, and you must have thick skin. But overall, I love that people enjoy my work, and even ask for more. That’s the reward that money can’t buy.

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