Kev Heritage interview by David Alan Binder

posted Jan 15, 2016, 8:31 AM by David Alan Binder   [ updated May 16, 2016, 6:41 AM ]
Author Kev Heritage interview by David Alan Binder


Kev is a bestselling author of science fiction and fantasy specializing in action & adventure, and paranormal mysteries with a comedic edge.  His books are books which are pictured below.

In each interview I learn something new and that is what makes it exciting.

Kev definitely has some pearls of wisdom below, read, learn and enjoy.

 His website:  http://www.kevheritage.com/

 His Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/kevheritageauthor

 His Good Reads:  https://www.goodreads.com/KevHeritage

 Amazon Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Kev-Heritage/e/B00DB1VB2Q

  

1.     How do you pronounce your name? 

 

Kev Herry-tayge

  

2.     Where are you currently living?

 

Brighton, UK

  

3.     When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

 

I was introverted as a child. Reading books and disappearing inside of them made me want to write stories. So that’s what I started doing at about age 14.

  

4.     How long on average does it take you to write a book?

 

Six months to get it to the standard that I’m happy with (and includes many trips to and from my editors), longer if I’m also working.

  

5.     What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

 

Any day can contain one or more of the following activities:

 

Playing games on my PS4

Watching rubbish TV

Looking out of the window

Switching the computer on

Guilt

A massive splurge of writing

Playing my guitar

Sleeping

Tweeting

Visiting the pub

Watching movies

Copy-editing

Programming drum and bass tracks

Cooking

  

6.     What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

 

Not having a clue about the mystery I’m going to write and finishing up with a well-crafted story complete with cool characters, clues and red-herrings.

     7.     Did you self-publish or have a publisher?

 

I self-publish via my own publishing company: Massive Banger

 

         8.     Do you have any feelings about eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs.                     conventional publishing?

 

I like stories. The format doesn’t interest me – although I’ve chucked out most of my books now they’re on my Kindle, simply because it’s easier. I’m also like any reader when it comes to a good story—I don’t care if it’s self-published or not.

 

9.     Do you have any tips for writers on getting a book published?   

 

Publish yourself, but make sure you have a robust and professional editing process—this is essential. Don’t trust family or friends, employ a professional editor.

 

If you want a traditional publishing contract or an agent, having a book out there that people are buying is better than having it stuck on your hard drive. Why wait to get noticed?

 

10.                        Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

From everywhere and all the time. I write all ideas down in my smartphone and transfer them to story folders (both physical and virtual) and then never look at them again...

11.                        Any tips for writers that you may have?

Read all the time. Write all the time.

Keep notes of all your ideas.

Finish what you start.

Don’t involve friends and families—they will lie to you.

Learn to take professional criticism and see it for what it is—gold dust.

Find your preferred social media – be it Twitter, Facebook, Instagram (whatever works for you and you enjoy) and find readers and reviewers—make real connections with people.

12.                        What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I read a lot, play guitar, run comedy nights and listen to Drum n’ Bass. Sometimes I commute to London to earn something called ‘hard cash’.

13.                        What does your family think of your writing?

I’ve never really involved friends and family. Not that I’m/or they are odd or anything, but they can’t add anything to the process and what are they going to say: ‘I don’t like it’?

They know I write, but I don’t think they see it as anything special—until I sell film rights. They might sit up and take notice then.

14.                        What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

That I can do it and do it reasonably well.

15.                        How many books have you written? 

Eleven books to date. Not all published (for varying reasons, but mostly because they were ‘apprentice pieces’ and badly realised).

16.                         Which is your favorite book?

Impossible to choose. There are, I would say, fifty or so sci-fi books that have had a big impact on me—nearly all of them classics in the genre.

I see my job as a writer to bring back that classic feel, whilst adding a modern, action-based narrative. There’s still a whole load of necessary exposition and introspection in my novels, but I try to place that within the action.

17.                        Do you have any suggestions to help others become a better writer? 

 

This seems like a plug, but it’s not. I’m very serious about this. Buy my book:

The Complete INDIE Editor - 55 Essential Copy-edits for the Professional Independent Author

US: http://www.amazon.com/Complete-INDIE-Editor-Professional-Independent-ebook/dp/B00D9SNH1Y/

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Complete-INDIE-Editor-Professional-Independent-ebook/dp/B00D9SNH1Y/

It’s an essential guide to help you spot many writing mistakes with a practical step-by-step process to get your novel ready for agents or publication.

I use this for everything I write. I suggest you do to.

I’d also pop over to Autocrit: https://members.autocrit.com/editing-wizard/

It’s a great little online program that I find very useful to spot frequently used words and phrases. It cuts my editing time down by at least a month.

 

18.                         Do you hear from your readers much? 

All the time. I keep in touch with Twitter, Facebook and emails. It’s a privilege.

19.                        Who is your main audience for your books?

Sci-fi, fantasy and mystery fans love my stories, but I have fans who just like a well-crafted story, regardless of the genre.

20.                        What do you think makes a good story?

Great characters, lean writing, fast-pace, show not tell, and lovely twists that do not cheat the reader.

21.                         Do you plot your novels?

No, never. I follow the creative muse and see what happens. Everything is ultimately character driven. For my latest release, Vatic, I literally had no idea who any of the people were until the moment they arrived. And yet, who they were influenced how the story developed.

I find by far the most interesting part of the process is in the conversations between characters. It’s through them that everything unfolds (and, as often as not, becomes more complicated).

Vatic’s affinities and dislikes are all organic, so that when we get to the denouement, we don’t feel cheated. Or at least, Vatic didn’t. All the clues were there from the start. Even if I didn’t know what they were at the time!

22.                        As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

In this order:

Doctor
Dumper Truck Driver
Astronaut
Marine Biologist
Astronomer
Rock star

23.                        How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?

 

I love science, keep abreast of new research and future possibilities. They fuel my imagination and then I see what comes out when I write.

 

24.                        Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?  

 

Science fiction is the most imaginative genre. Mystery just sort of arrived without me realising. Every time I wrote, I was always writing mysteries. These two fused somewhere along the way, but at heart, I’m a mystery writer because my technique is …finding out what happens.

 

25.                        What do you think most characterizes your writing?

 

Well-crafted prose (mostly), imagination, characters that drive the plot and action.

 

26.                        What inspires you? 

 

Reading and really bad TV and movies that I know how to fix.

 

 

27.                        How did you get to be where you are in your life today?

 

Very, very slowly.

 

28.                        Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work?

 

My favourite authors are not influential in my work. Or if they are, it’s not obvious to me. They are Philip.K.Dick and Robert.E.Howard.

 

29.                        Are you a full-time or part-time writer?

 

Both, depending on how much money I have in the bank and how long I can survive between contracts.

 

30.                        How does that affect your writing?

 

It’s hard to get a rhythm going, but I manage. It’s all about discipline…

 

31.                        What are some day jobs that you have held? 

 

Here’s what my bio says:

 

Kev has worked as a driver's mate, factory gateman, barman, labourer, telesales operative, sales assistant, warehouseman, Student Union President, university IT helpdesk guy, British Rail signal software designer, premiership football website designer, mobile banking content team lead, gigging musician, graphic designer, stand-up comedian, sound engineer, improv artist, magazine editor and web journo. Although he doesn't like to talk about it. Mostly.

 

32.                        Did any of them impact your writing?

 

Everything impacts writing. All experience: good, bad and… boring.

 

33.                        What makes your book stand out from the crowd?

 

Vatic is a cracking mystery, a real burn of a read that will keep you guessing to the end.

 

34.                        What are some ways in which you promote your work?

 

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Email

Newsletters

Advertising on Amazon

Giveaways / competitions

Shouting at passersby.

 

35.                        What do you like to read in your free time?

 

Whatever takes my fancy. I’m presently reading Agatha Christie, who I’d never read before. I didn’t expect to like her as much as I do. Very dark and also amusing. They are lean, character-driven and wonderfully human novels.

 

36.                        What projects are you working on at the present?

 

I’m writing the sequel to Blue into the Rip. 62K words already down. Now at the nervous, ‘what the hell is going on?’ stage.

 

37.                        What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has?

 

Can we buy the film rights?

 

END OF INTERVIEW

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