It’s one thing to write a novel. It’s wholly another to market, promote, publicize and sell the work, something known as “establishing a platform.” Doing interviews with book bloggers is one way to get the word out. Here is an excerpt of my interview on my debut novel, Three Yards and a Plate of Mullet, with Fiona McVie, who writes the Authors Interviews blog and has interviewed more than 3,000 authors:
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
It was a lifelong challenge and dream to write a book, and I spent many years putting it off or not thinking about it at all. More recently, there came a point where I knew if I did not start writing a book, I never would. Then I got more serious about determining a topic that I would write about and working out a plot. In the end, I was inspired by events and the era in my life when I worked as a sportswriter in Florida, which was a new adventure for me, and all the people I met there and things I did as a young adult.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I don’t think so. But in Three Yards and a Plate of Mullet, I strived to be conversational and humorous and light-hearted and have compelling dialog, and pushed the boundaries a little on crudeness and offensiveness. I tried to be very descriptive and detail-oriented. Many of the characters have quirks and particular physical characteristics.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
It came up organically. It just kind of came to me after playing with some words and themes. Three Yards and a Plate of Mullet is a play on the football saying, “Three yards and a cloud of dust,” which describes a team that is very physical and grinds down the opponent by giving the ball to a bruising running back who plows into a pile of bodies and falls forward three yards, creating a cloud of dust. It originally described the Ohio State football teams under Coach Woody Hayes. The “Mullet” is a reference to a popular and plentiful fish that is eaten at fish fries in Florida. Mullet also has a double meaning as the popular hairstyle – short in front, long in back – in the 1980s, the era in which the book is set. A coach of the dominant high school football team in the small town where the sportswriter works uses the phrase as a catch-phrase meaning that his team will roll over its opponent and then go out to celebrate at a big fish fry in town.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes, young adulthood is a time of adventure and new experiences and new friends, and “living it up” as much as you can. You are going to look back on that time of your life with nostalgia and hopefully have great memories and feel that it really was the time of your life! Don’t waste it in your parents’ basement. Take some chances. Pursue your dreams.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not yet. I know there are a few parts in the book that go up to the edge or maybe a little over, as far as sexual escapades and hookups and male dialog about their adventures with women. However, this book is written from the perspective of a 22-year-old male. Let’s be realistic. Men in their early 20s can be pretty crude in the way they talk with and interact with women! I’m sure if women heard some stuff men say, they would find it offensive – at least some women. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t take place.
Read the full interview here.