Author Interview with James Young
James Young illustration
Introducing James Young
Author James Young is the self-published author of several series. Self-publishing is a great vehicle for writers who don't want to wait for an approval letter before exposing readers to their work. He continues to produce story after story in order to keep readers engaged and to have a library of content to offer through Amazon. Below is my interview with Young about his books and why he writes.
Acts of War
Collisions of the Damned
An Unproven Concept
Ride of the Late Rain
A Midwinter’s Ski
After the Scythe
I write alternate history (Usurper’s War series), space opera (Vergassy Universe series), post-apocalyptic (Scythefall series), and historical non-fiction (Barren SEAD) at the moment. I will likely branch into urban fantasy in Anita C. Young’s Architects of Lore series as well as my own urban fantasy series at some point in the next 3-4 years.
How long you have been a published author?
I published Ride of the Late Rain in December 2012.
Photos by James Young
1. What made you decide to become an indie author? What do you like to write about?
I’d placed in several fiction contests with honorable mention in others. Despite this, I regularly received standard rejection letters from agents and publishers. When I was told about Amazon, I figured I’d put Ride of the Late Rain up and see what happened back in December 2012. Sales on that were sufficient to make a full length novel worthwhile—so I proceeded to publish An Unproven Concept a year later.
I’m across several genres (this is the point where Anita C. Young rolls her eyes as she’s finished her series). I mostly like writing about history, specifically military history. A close second is military science fiction.
2. How did you publish your first book?
I published Ride of the Late Rain through Amazon, then CreateSpace.
3. Did you ever try to submit to traditional publishers? If so, what was your experience like?
Yes. I was very disheartened at receiving form letter after form letter or being told I was this close.
4. How did you market your first book? Has your process changed with subsequent books?
My first full length novel, I bought several blogads and used Google ads in conjunction with Amazon promotions. That was expensive, and what sales I made seemed to be consistently eaten by the ad costs. Now, I use a combination of book promotion services, in person sales at conventions, and social media interaction to market my books.
5. How do you support other indie authors?
I make it a point to try and remember what other authors write. When I’m selling in person at cons, if there’s something that neither my wife or I have I’ll say, “Well, you know, _______ writes fantasy.” In a few cases, I hand out people’s bookmarks or business cards.
6. What responses have you received from telling people that you are a writer?
Most often people want to know how it is going. I don’t sugarcoat it—this is difficult work. But overall the response has been positive from the majority of folks I’ve told.
7. What/who has been your biggest support as an indie author?
First and foremost is the support of my spouse and fellow author, Anita C. Young (Architects of Lore). Everything from accepting long absences trapped in my lair to doing the con circuit on her weekends off, Anita’s been there through all the crazy.
Next to that are the convention regulars, both fellow author vendors and customers. With the former there’s a lot of idea sharing / tips. The latter provide the motivation to keep at this.
Finally there’s my parents. While Dad’s no longer with us, he gave me my first love of sci-fi. Mom is always willing to help with everything from helping with a con booth to giving me ideas.
8. Quote from a positive review of your work.
“This book tells a story, and it tells it in a descriptive and entertaining manner. Young didn’t write a book to change society or rewrite physics, he wrote a military sci-fi thriller. Young’s ability to manage the chaos he created while still inserting those Easter eggs and the gallows humor that seems to be so prevalent amongst men and women of action is to be commended.”—From Pop Cults’ review of An Unproven Concept