It’s time to meet another debut author who found success and explains how you can find it, too! This debut author interview is with Lochlan Bloom, author of THE WAVE (Jan 2016, Dead Ink). The BBC Writersroom describe his writing as ‘unsettling and compelling… vivid, taut and grimly effective work’.
Lochlan Bloom is also the author of the short novellas Trade and The Open Cage. He has written for BBC Radio, Litro Magazine, Porcelain Film, IronBox Films, EIU, H+ Magazine and Calliope, the official publication of the Writers’ Special Interest Group (SIG) of American Mensa, amongst thers. Lochlan lives in London and does not have a cat or a dog.
What is the book’s genre/category?
If I had to categorize it, I would say literary fiction but it blends elements of metafiction and historical fiction as well as some sections in screenplay format.
Please describe what the story/book is about in one sentence.
It follows several characters who all have issues with reality.
Where do you write from?
Anywhere with coffee.
Briefly, what led up to this book?
Reading a lot of books and drinking coffee. I’ve been inspired by a range of authors and couldn’t single out one sole inspiration for THE WAVE. The novel deals with ideas such as uncertainty, duality and hidden connections within reality so I have been influenced by a lot of what I have read around those subjects. One of the characters in the book is based on the real-life quantum physicist David Bohm and his work on the implicate order and non-local determinism has certainly been an inspiration for some of the philosophy behind the book.
How did you find your agent?
I’m still looking and hoping they will find me….I think it is incredibly hard publishing literary fiction with or without an agent but I was lucky that Dead Ink found some of my other writing online and took the time to get in touch. I sent them a copy of THE WAVE and they liked it and really got behind the book which has been a huge support. There seem to be more and more small literary presses appearing, at least here in the UK, and even if there is not much funding it is encouraging to see that readers are interested in reading more alternative, literary fiction.
What was the time frame for writing this book?
About one year.
What were your 1-2 biggest learning experience(s) or surprise(s) throughout the publishing process?
Good editorial support and real reader feedback can be invaluable. I knew what I wanted to achieve with certain sections but my assumptions on what people would or wouldn’t enjoy was sometimes off the mark. As a result of feedback, I was able to go back to some of these sections with an extra confidence and add more of what was working while removing any over-explanation.
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Looking back, what did you do right that helped you break in?
I think concentrating on the story first and foremost.
On that note, what would you have done differently if you could do it again?
Spend less time worrying.
Did you have a platform in place? On this topic, what are you doing the build a platform and gain readership?
My publisher Dead Ink launched a pre-order campaign late last year which helped get the book out there and also posts via my website and Twitter.
Best piece(s) of writing advice we haven’t discussed?
Just Do It.
Something personal about you people may be surprised to know?
There’s not much that surprises people these days.
I’m almost finished my next novel. It is a bit of a departure from The Wave and quite different in style but I’m keeping it a closely guarded secret for now…
Check Out These Great Upcoming Writers’ Conferences:
- Oct. 28–30, 2016: Writer’s Digest Novel Writing Conference (Los Angeles, CA)
- Nov. 19, 2016: Las Vegas Writing Workshop (Las Vegas, NV)
- Feb. 11, 2017: Writers Conference of Minnesota (St. Paul, MN)
- Feb. 16–19, 2017: San Francisco Writers Conference (San Francisco, CA)
- Feb. 25, 2017: Atlanta Writing Workshop (Atlanta, GA)
- Feb. 26–March 3, 2017: Writers Winter Escape Cruise (conference/cruise departing Miami)
- March 25, 2017: Michigan Writers Conference (Detroit, MI)
- April 8, 2017: Philadelphia Writing Workshop (Philadelphia, PA)
- May 6, 2017: Seattle Writers Conference (Seattle, WA)
- July 22, 2017: Tennessee Writers Workshop (Nashville, TN)
- Aug. 18–20, 2017: Writer’s Digest Conference (New York, NY)
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Other writing/publishing articles & links for you:
- Agent Spotlight: Whitley Abell (Inklings Literary Agency) seeks YA, MG and select Upmarket Women’s Fiction.
- The Thrifty Person’s Guide To A Successful Book Launch Party.
- Self-editing Advice: Tackling Character Consistency.
- 11 Steps To Finding The Agent Who’ll Love Your Book.
- Follow Chuck Sambuchino on Twitter or find him on Facebook. Learn all about his writing guides on how to get published, how to find a literary agent, and writing a query letter.