Please welcome Brad Green, author of Catalyst. Brad self-published his debut novel in May 2017 and he is answering some questions about his writing and publishing journey on the blog today. Let’s get started!
Welcome Brad! And congratulations for your debut novel, Catalyst, published in May 2017. Do you remember where and when you started writing it? Did you know you were going to publish it?
As cliché as it sounds, I started writing it in the notepad on my iPhone while riding the train to work. I used to have a 45-minute transit to work and decided to make the most of it. At the time, I never really thought about publishing. When I was in high school I wanted to be a journalist, then I found a passion for writing real out there stories for my friends. It wasn’t until a few of my colleagues read some of my early work on Catalyst that I thought, well maybe I could make something of this.
For those who are unfamiliar with your story, can you tell me a little bit more about it?
Catalyst is a fast-paced military/sci-fi action story that centres around a squad of soldiers who come face to face with the challenges of becoming the very enemy they were trained to fight.
Describe your writing journey: what did it take to bring Catalyst to life? Did you outline your novel first or were you a total pantser?
It took a lot of music, which might sound a little strange, to bring Catalyst to life. Hours and hours of music. Music is my ultimate inspiration and motivator when it comes to sitting down at the keyboard. Oh, and I can’t forget coffee and a website called DeviantArt. Over the weekends I would sit down, grab a coffee and scroll through endless galleries of digital art and search for inspiration, all the while listening to my favourite music.
In regard to outlining the story, well, I’m not much of a planner, a lot of the story for Catalyst was written on a whim, a spark of inspiration. It helped me stay engaged because sometimes, even I wouldn’t know where the characters would wind up next. There were a couple of times during the drafting stages where I wrote some real outlandish scenarios and either had to cut them or just reel them back in to the feel of the world. There were also times where I wrote a chapter so raw and intense during one of these inspiration blow outs that I knew it was amazing.
How do you make time to write? Do you follow a schedule or do you write when you can?
I often write during my lunch break. I don’t have the long train transit anymore so I have to make time to sit down and write. Which is quite a challenge when you’re not a planning kind of person. I still write on my phone, which is great for when you’re out and about, and sometimes I will sink into my world in the middle of an event like dinner or a party.
Was it always your intention to self-publish, or would you have considered the traditional path if the opportunity presented itself?
I always intended to self-publish. There were a few reasons for this. The biggest was how insanely competitive the traditional path can be, and how hard it is to get through piles and piles of other authors out there just to get picked up. I trust myself and my work enough to feel that self-publishing is the way to go. I also spoke with a lot of self-published authors before making the ultimate decision and learned from their experience how difficult both paths were, but overall, having the freedom of self-publishing was what I wanted to do.
What would you say is the biggest advantage of self-publishing?
I think it would be the control that you have over the end product and the freedom of deadlines and creative choices. I’ve read and been told how restrictions are placed on the author from publishing houses and feel that, that would only work against me if I went down that path.
Before self-publishing, what was your number one fear? How did you cope with it?
Will I be good enough, that was always my biggest fear. There is this sheet of glass that stands in your way before you show your work to your friends and family, it’s made of self-doubt. Once I broke through that, really started talking about my work with others, that’s when I really thought I could do this. I truly found that once I revealed my idea, my plans and aspirations to those around me, it almost made them a reality and that was an amazing feeling.
Did you design your book cover or did you work with a cover designer? What was at stake?
In December 2016, I was introduced to my partner’s cousin, who lives in Scotland, we got talking about what our dreams were. Before I knew it, he was sold on putting together a cover for me. I had this old cover design from a previous artist who never finished the work, it had the right idea but not the atmosphere I wanted. So, I sent him the image and he created what you see from scratch. It was quite the challenge organising the cover from two different sides of the world, with me located in Australia, but the results are amazing and I couldn’t ask for a better designer. The cover is incredibly important and Arron really nailed it on the head.
You are engaging with your audience through your Facebook page. How important are social media in your marketing? Any tips?
Social media is a tough nut the crack, I’m still learning the ropes. Being active and engaging your audience is key. Social media is great when you can afford to really get the advertising going through their paid schemes. But I have found that word of mouth and self-promotion have been the real successes for me. I have gone to various conventions and even set up a stall at a small business marketplace just to get my name and face out there. I’m aiming to do some visits to local libraries and various book stores in the near future.
After Catalyst, do you have another book project? Will you write Catalyst #2 or will you go for a shiny new idea?
Great question! At first, I was happy to leave Catalyst the way it was. I was happy to end it where it ends. But I have had some great feedback and questions from the readers which have sparked some questions about the world and its characters. These have inspired me to jot down some rough ideas, which may turn into a second novel set in the same world.
Before that though, I have been working on a piece of work for some time now which is completed different to Catalyst. It’s more of a Fantasy novel, full of magic, swords and monsters. I have really enjoyed learning this new style and building a world from the ground up (I had to learn some serious planning for that). But we will see how we go, all I know is, I can’t stop now. I have too many stories to tell.
Thank you so much for taking part in this interview! I wish you all the best in your author’s journey. Congratulations once again!
Born in Perth in 1991, Brad Green has begun his career as an author by self-publishing his first novel, Catalyst, in 2017.
His work, inspired by action/thriller author Matthew Reilly, contains the gripping blockbuster like action of modern day novels making it a read you just can’t put down.
Set to the backdrop of a not-so-distant dystopian future, Brad masterfully weaves an intriguing and suspenseful story detailing how new developments in science has lead humankind to the brink, with the power to either save or destroy all of civilisation as we know it.
Written with an action-packed intensity, Brad’s debut novel Catalyst is sure to engage and satisfy the most discerning of action lovers.
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