Hi Richard Kennett, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I am a forty-something family and business man living in Ohio. My background is in the automobile-industry. But before that I was a chicken cook and heavy metal guitarist for a local cover band. By the way, these were two separate jobs, I did not cook chicken and play guitar at the same time. That would have been a sight to see if it was one job!
Discuss your newest book.
My newest book is my first book. It’s a fictional story about a young man who is in an auto accident. He does not realize that he has been killed and is now stuck between the world of the living and the world of the dead. He meets other lost wandering souls like him in the same situation. They find each other and share their stories together. One of the souls wants to go back to where he came from in the living world to finish off what he started before he died, but he’ll need a little help. What happens next? Well, you’ll just have to read the book!
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Not really. As a kid I would make up stories and use a typewriter (yes kids, a real typewriter) to put my stories down on paper. The heavy metal guitar player gig came next, then starting a family after the guitar thing fizzled out, so the writing was put on the back burner for quite some time. It has recently made a comeback in my life.
What are your current projects?
I currently have one novel “Medium Dead” and that is on Kindle Scout until April 9th, I have another project I’m tinkering with now, just in case someone might like my work and want to read more.
What books have most influenced your life most?
My wife is the reader in the family. So I read what she reads (most of the time) which is mostly Stephen King. I currently read a lot of unknown, unpublished authors and mostly the mystery, action, adventure, horror genre. It is amazing how many people write books out there, some of them very talented!
What inspired you to write your first book?
I awoke from a dream (just like all of us writers do), and began to write my first book. At the time I didn’t know it was going to be a book. After almost a year of writing it, I had that magical goal of 80,000+ words written down.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
The main “guy” in my book’s name happens to be “Guy.” The first character name I ever came up with. It was just going to be a temporary name, but then it grew on me and I just kept it in the story. Guy is like me, so I guess what he does special is whatever I do special, which is nothing to spectacular. I guess I do have a way of getting along with people that are difficult to please. Yeah, that would be what Guy is good at too, getting along with difficult people.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
It’s a story about suddenly being somewhere you least expected to be, and being dead on top of that. That’s pretty much a bad day right there my friend. So if there is any message at all it would be to live in the moment, tomorrow is never guaranteed.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
My wife likes James Franco, even though she says I’m the one who likes him. (I do.) So that’s who I’m going to request play “Guy” in the movie. In fact, I’m going to insist.
When did you decide to become a writer?
You want an actual date? It was recent, like March of last year. So 2015.
Why do you write?
I think there are stories that want to get out and be told. Whenever I sit down to write something, I have no idea where it will go. Yes, there is a general idea, but the finished product is something exciting to read after it “comes out.”
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
That dream from the first book. It was pretty intense, it told me to do it. I’m just doing what it told me to do. It was write a book or be eaten by clowns. And I hate clowns.
Do you write full-time or part-time?
Extreme part-time. It’s more like whenever-time. Good thing is I can start writing just about anywhere at any time, so that’s good.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
Getting the creative juice flowing. It’s starts out like cold maple syrup coming out of a tree. But, once it gets going and gets warmed up, it’s hard to stop and I find that a lot of time slips by. If I’m at work writing (I can do that since I own the place) I end up staying too late and my wife gets mad.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Figuring out how to end it. Then going back and cutting things out.
What is the easiest thing about writing?
Writing out the dialogue that the characters speak. I just hear them talk and I write it down. It seems to go pretty quick.
What book are you reading now?
I’m in between books. I just finished The Martian by Andy Weir, and now I’m waiting for my paperback version of Finders Keepers by Stephen King to arrive, then I’ll start reading that one. (I’m behind on that trilogy thing.)
What is one random thing about you?
I once shot a man. No, just kidding, ummm, I can roll my tongue pretty good. Anyone who has seen it has been quite impressed.
What is your preferred medium of writing? Pen and paper or strictly tablet and computer?
Computer only. I used to type with a typewriter, but can you imagine how much paper I’d go through these days? I make a lot of mistakes and I’m always changing things. So the computer and a good word processing program are my friend.
What does your writing process look like?
I just do it when I can. Preferably when I’m not too drunk or tired. My best time to write is when I’m about halfway through my first of six cups of coffee in the morning.
Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?
I sometimes will wake up at 4am and then go start writing. If that happens, it’s usually something from a dream that I’m wanting to get typed out.
How important are names to you in your books?
I think they are very important. I take a lot of time thinking of good names. Sometimes they just come out. Other times it’s quite a challenge to find the perfect name.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I’m quite a scatter brain. So, I begin a paragraph, then I might go back and change something. Then I’ll continue on, stop, go back, stop again. What happens when you do it that way is that you’ll will find repetitive words very close by each other. But, that’s what an editor is for.
Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future?
I’m too new to this to even know what marketing mistakes I’ve made. I’m sure I’ve made one or two so far.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
I’m not much into motivational phrases, my dad used to say: “Go clean your room or else…” That would usually motivate me, I never wanted to know what the “what else” would be.
What is your favorite book and why?
I remember reading “That Was Then, This is Now” in high school and loving it, I don’t know why, I should go back and re-read it to find out why. I think I’ll do that when I’m done with this interview.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don’t try to impress people with big words. Write what you know. Make sure you have a back-up plan. Don’t expect everyone to like your work. I think that’s it.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I’m usually working, eating, or sleeping when not writing. Not necessarily in that order. Mystery Man.
From where do you gain your inspiration?
Most of the stuff so far has been from my own life experiences, highly modified and embellished of course, all the names have been changed to protect the guilty.
What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?
Being published, well that would be awesome, but also way more work, they’d expect to get their money’s worth out of you. Self-published, you can work at your own pace and if you suck, oh well…at least you tried.
How do you market your books?
So far just Facebook stuff. I paid for a few ads too. Just family and friends, probably not enough.
Why did you choose this route?
I really didn’t want to spend a whole lot of real money, that’s mostly why.
Would you or do you use a PR agency?
Yeah maybe, if I needed one, sure. Right now, I’m fine with me doing it all.
Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
Not really, I think they should give me advice. I really have no idea what I’m doing with all that. I don’t think any of us really do know what we’re doing.
What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?
Now that the first book is finished. Almost all the spare time I have.
What do you do to get book reviews?
I have not tried anything yet. I’ll be getting to that soon. I know that is very important, to have reviews.
How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?
See answer to above question.
Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers?
See answer to the question above the question above.
What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
I think you can’t expect all reviews to be good. Just like in real life, you can’t please all the people all the time. When I’m looking for a book to read that has reviews, I’ll read the bad ones first. Then I’ll read all the good ones. The good thing is, there is usually more good reviews than bad. Unless your book truly is a festering terd in the making, then you should expect to have more good than bad reviews, but you will have bad ones! Just like Taylor Swift sings: “shake it off.” (I bet you have that song stuck in your head for the rest of the day now.)
Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you?
I started a Facebook page for my “authoring” and I sure do have quite an eclectic group of folks that liked my page. People from all over the world. Some are somewhat scary looking. But, never judge a book by its cover is what I always say. (Pun intended.)
What’s your views on social media for marketing?
I think you can’t go without it.
Which social network worked best for you?
So far just Facebook. I’ll experiment with other things when the time comes.
Any tips on what to do and what not to do?
Don’t pay for a whole lot of ads to begin with, over time you can grow your audience organically (that just means most of your friends and friends friends will end up liking your page naturally, without having to pay for it). I’ll let you know what works the best once I become a famous author. Don’t hold your breath.
Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?
Not yet, still working on all that!
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
Chewbacca from Star Wars, that guy is a nut. Best choice ever!
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
That’s a tough one, but if I had to say at least one, I’ll go with Green Eggs and Ham, just because I can’t really think of anything else.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Keep at it. Don’t be discouraged if you get rejected. I’d like to say “don’t ever quit your day job,” but that one’s probably overused.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
I have a website and facebook page for now: