Thursday, October 13, 2016

Straight from the Mouth of Gabriel Valjan, Author of 'Corporate Citizen'

Gabriel Valjan is the author of the Roma Series from Winter Goose Publishing. Also the author of numerous essays and short stories that continue to appear online and in print, Gabriel lives in Boston’s historic South End, where he enjoys the local restaurants. His two cats, Squeak and Squawk, tolerate the occasional empty food dish and his traitorous fondness for dogs.

Find out more 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?

Author sounds better than professional liar. I kept writing and submitting and Winter Goose and others kept accepting me. I think that is a good thing.

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?

I don’t have minions, if that is what you mean, nor do I waltz out onto the veranda in my bespoke suit and spiffy Panama (author Tom Wolfe does that). Downside…how about sore shoulders, bad posture, and shortened hip flexors from sitting in a chair and staring at a screen. As for perks, I’d say that holding a book -- something that you created in your hands -- is very cool.

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’m traditionally published. Winter Goose is an indie press, with a talented gaggle of poets and novelists. I’m fortunate that I have a say in the editing process and designing the cover art. The editing process takes two to three iterations with Winter Goose, but I do my best to give them the cleanest copy possible.

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 have two cats. I wake up in the morning because I have to keep supplying them with tributes.

Do your pets actually get their food on time or do they have to wait until you type just one more word?

Wait? No self-respecting cat waits for their human; their human waits on them. I have two cats and we have come to an understanding: they get fed on time and I get keyboard time. I don’t mind the occasional paw on the leg and I’ll dole out a belly rub. Homeostasis.  

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?

I’m hearing-impaired so distracting sounds aren’t an issue. Not having a landline also helps. I do keep my cell phone in front of me so I can decide whether to answer it or not. I prefer email.

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

I can’t speak for myself, but I have a friend who self-published a book and had asked me to take a look at it. She sent me a digital file gratis. She was basking in the rays of accomplishment because she had worked hard on this book. She mentioned that she had uploaded the file to Amazon before she said, “When you have time…” I know how nerve wracking it is to wait on a friend’s opinion so I loaded the file into my Kindle app and my jaw dropped. Somehow and for whatever reason her file uploaded with Track Changes turned on. Yep, you can see every change on the screen. I emailed her and she was able to correct the problem before readers purchased a copy.

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

It’s all voodoo to me. I gave up trying to figure out which one will get me eyeballs. I use the venues that I like and for the reasons that they were intended: to keep in touch with friends and acquaintances. I’m on Facebook and Twitter. Twitter -- talk about writing micro-fiction. Have fun, be nice, and forget about what works because I don’t think anyone knows the answer to that question.

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

Word of mouth or Visibility is a problem for all authors today. Think of that famous opening sentence from Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities. It is the best and worst time to be an author. To recycle the voodoo analogy, I don’t know what it takes. Reviews? Someone famous praising your book? Do what you can and keep writing.

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

Support authors. Leave them reviews and tell all your friends.

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?

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