Author Spotlight Interview: Andrew Hess

Where are you from? Long Island, New York

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite? Currently 5 books have been published. The Phoenix Blade: Project Justice and also Campus Killer have been my favorites so far.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? That’s a very long story to tell. The shorter version is that I have been writing on and off for most of my life. The interest originated in elementary school and didn’t fully evolve until college. After taking a literature course and then a creative writing course, I came up with my first solid idea for a story which was book 1 of The Phoenix Blade Series: Project Justice.

What are your current projects? I just put out my 5th book Campus Killer which is the start to the Ali Ryan Series. I am currently working on writing the sequel Scorned and have the release of the third book in The Phoenix Blade Series coming out in June called Pandemonium.

What books have most influenced your life most? I don’t know if there has ever been one book in particular that influenced my life. But the authors that did would have to be Edgar Allan Poe and James Patterson.

What inspired you to write your first book? The very first book I ever wrote went unpublished and was my own fantasy version of how I wanted my life to go if I had decided to go into pro wrestling. My first published book was a book of free verse poetry. It was a way for me to deal with a lot of changes that had occurred in my life, changes that a lot of people go through. I felt like it was therapeutic for me to write it all down and could help others if they read it.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? I guess the central theme or message in every book has been just to never give up. Never give up on yourself. Never give up for fighting for what you want out of life.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? I think rewriting is always the hardest part because you are constantly having to go back and make sure you didn’t repeat the same thing somewhere else. You have to make sure the descriptions translate the same, and you need make sure it all makes sense.

What book are you reading now? I am reading Falling for Heaven by Anne Conley

Do you ever experience writer’s block? Definitely. It’s something every writer goes through. The key for me is to keep going no matter what. You can always go back and edit or revise what you wrote at a later time.

What is one random thing about you? I can change my voice to sound like one of the Chipmunks.

What is your preferred medium of writing? Preferably, I would love nothing more than to lay at the beach with a pen and paper or at least somewhere overlooking a beach with my laptop. But that never happens for me. Instead I’ll take writing whenever and wherever I get the chance.

What does your writing process look like? Organized chaos. I have everything planned out but never stay completely on course.

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)? I completely zone out when I really get into writing or if a new idea hits me.

How important are names to you in your books? The names aren’t as important to me as the characters themselves. The main characters and a handful of the secondary characters are at times loosely based off of people in my life.

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad? I always read my reviews, but never respond to them unless messages me about it. One person criticized something I wrote once and I took it in stride, apologized because it was the one thing that made them go from giving me a 5 star to a 4 star rating. And then I told them this would not happen again. I’ve had a few negative reviews, not much, but a few. At first you get angry or annoyed that someone didn’t like what you wrote. You put so much effort into it only for someone to tell you it wasn’t good enough. The one thing to remember was that it wasn’t good enough for that person. It doesn’t generalize everyone. The only thing that negative comment should do is give you more determination to make the next book that much better.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Finding new ways to add little twists that keep readers guessing

Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future? I’ve made a few. The first was not trying to build an audience in the right areas when my first books came out. Instead I focused on telling everybody what I was doing to all my friends and family instead of talking to other authors.

What is your favorite motivational phrase. Everything happens for a reason.

What is your favorite positive saying? Everything happens for a reason. My other is; never quit, never give up and never surrender.

What is your favorite book and why? If we’re including me in the potential candidates, I would say The Phoenix Blade: Project Justice because I love the story, the characters and was my first real idea for a book. Other authors would definitely be the Complete Collection of Edgar Allan Poe because of the dark edgy way he wrote.

What is your favorite quote? Never forget about the past but live for the future.

What is your favorite film and why? Boondock Saints. There’s too much I can say about it and not enough time to write it.

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why? Harry Potter Series. It was one of the most popular books of our time. I loved the characters and would have written some of the books slightly different.

Do you have any advice for other writers? Start networking whenever possible. Use social media to your advantage to connect with other authors, bloggers, editors and publishers. Start up your own blog to review or help promote other authors as well.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Watching TV or movies

How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Twitter: Iamphoenix13
Amazon Author Page:
Smashwords: (Campus Killer) (Andrew Hess) (Iaphoenix13) (The Phoenix Blade)
◦Book Links:

Published by Courtney M. Wendleton

I'm an author with an associate's in psychology. Interested in a lot of different things, and love controversy. The more controversial the better, but that's not all I'm interested in. Can be a bit confusing at times, but that's normal!

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