Paul Jones is a sci-fi writer who draws influence from his own family and lifetime of reading. In this interview he discusses why he’s avoided traditional publishing and which marketing techniques have not worked for him.
1. Tell me briefly about your books – what are they about and what motivated you to write them?
My Epic Fantasy “Ameca J” series is a trilogy that takes place in the fictional world of “Mythrania” and is based on my two daughters. The inspiration comes from a lifetime of reading fantasy and science fiction, and a genuine desire to promote “family” values for my two girls who were always fighting. So the inspiration was, what if it was only the two of them, trapped in an unknown, dangerous world populated by strange and savage creatures? Would the eldest girl step up to the responsibility of keeping the younger safe?
My first “Blake Trubble” novel is a sci-fi/thriller, the idea for which came to me while I was researching the first Ameca J novel, and in particular the Large Hadron Collider experiment situated on the borders of France/Switzerland. As a big fan of the Alien, Predator and John Carpenter’s “Thing” movies, I wanted to create a similar paranoia but this time in a sealed facility 15 miles in diameter and located underground. Throw in two deadly enemies and 400 hostages and an unknown menace, and you have some great ingredients for a classic sci-fi/thriller. Blake Trubble is the name of the main character, a major in the SAS, and allows me to use quite a few cheesy lines, such as “You want trouble, you’ll get it. Major Trubble.”
2. How have your sales been?
Sales are slow. But that is because I’ve self-published and self-promoted, which takes more time to do than actually writing the books themselves.
3. Have you sought a traditional publisher? Why or why not?
I have not sought a traditional publisher. There are several reasons why not, the first of which is the inspirational stories of Amanda Hocking and John Locke, both impressive success stories of people who have self-published and self-promoted. Another reason is I have no patience for writing submissions and synopses; if I’ve just written a hundred thousand word novel, I am not going to try and condense it into two pages for some lazy publisher or agent. Finally, the true judge of a good book should not be a publisher or agent, but rather the public.