Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Straight From the Mouth of 'Lila: The Sign of the Elven Queen' Mark J. Grant

Mark J. Grant, a graduate of Occidental College, has been on Wall Street for thirty-seven years in various senior management positions. He has run capital markets for four investment banks and been on the boards of directors of four investment banks. Grant also writes "Out of the Box," a commentary on the financial markets that is distributed daily to approximately 5,000 large money management institutions in forty-eight countries. He is the author of Out of the Box and onto Wall Street: Unorthodox Insights on Investments and the Economy (Wiley, 2011). LILA: THE SIGN OF THE ELVEN QUEEN is his first novel.

Visit his website at www.princesslila.com.

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

The book was inspired by a dinner party at my house. I had some friends over and they were complaining that there were no nice books, no fairy tales, no Alice in Wonderland's available in the world any longer. They said every book had he who could not be named or giant spiders or monsters or vampires or skulls and crossbones. There was nothing out there to read their kids or have their older children read. This was quite a topic of conversation. I said that they had to be kidding but if that was the case then I would write such a book. It would be a lovely fantasy that would not scare any child. They all looked at me with some disbelief but I did exactly what I promised. Lila---the sign of the Elven Queen is my answer to their frustration.

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?

Being an author is my night job. I run part of a Wall Street investment bank during the day. Both can be cracked up/or down.

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

You have missed the point here. There are not two routes but three. Traditional is one but that is set-up to reward the publisher and not the author. Self-publishing is ridiculous as you have no distribution. It is only in the middle ground, where there are 6-8 publishing houses that will read your manuscript and then pay the appropriate royalties where an author is treated fairly. It took me three months to figure this all out but I did.

What’s the snarkiest thing you can say about the publishing industry (e.g. rejections, the long wait, etc.)

The traditional publishing houses are a cabal, a collective, set-up to make all of the money and not the author. They will not read manuscripts. They require a literary agent. It is a closed society so that all of the publishing companies can make money. They say it is that they are over whelmed. This is not the truth. They say they require a literary agent for liability purposes. This is also not the truth. They are set up in the manner in which they are in for one reason and one reason only; they want all of the money and they do not want to pay the appropriate share of royalties to the author. Go to Mascot Books, Naren the CEO, is a real person and a stand-up guy. I have nothing but nice things to say about our relationship.

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 am single. My three Aussie rescue dogs are good. No worries.

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

I learned that self-publishing does not work. I learned the the traditional publishing houses are a farce. I figured out the game.

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

I have a very good publicist. They are the Barrett Company in Los Angeles. They have assigned one team to the sites/blogs and another to the social media sites. They are doing a great job.

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

The book is released on August 20. We already have sales.

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

The idiocy of the traditional publishing companies. They are in the process of cutting of their own noses.

Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…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?

I own a house on the water. I can watch the sea all day long. It is just the adventure and I am having a great one!

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