Today I have an interview with Eric Edstrom, author of the YA series The Undermountain Saga. The third, and final, book in the series was released at the end of last year, so there is no waiting to read the whole adventure.
What kind of research did you do to write this book?
I didn’t know I was researching it at the time, but I got married in Canada with the Canadian Rockies as a backdrop. I guess the lesson is that life contains a lot of research if you remember to pay attention. As for researching Bigfoot, I didn’t find many sources I found credible 😉
Do you have a writing routine?
I tend to write in sprints. For instance, I wrote the first draft of the YA novel I’m working on right now in six days. That’s over 10,000 words per day, for six days straight. It’s exhausting, but it’s also exhilarating. I don’t reread anything until I get to the end.
The quality is variable of course, but that’s what revision is for. I tend to enjoy the revision process far more than the first draft, so this process suits me well.
What types of prewriting activities do you do? (i.e. research, outlines)
I like to outline as much as I can. Usually, I get the first third outlined and some sort of ending. After that, I feel like I have to start writing to discover the details that will inform the middle and ending.
I get stuck a lot, so I’ve found that writing through that resistance is the only way to move forward.
What types of promoting do you do?
I don’t do much. It is very inefficient to try to steal people’s attention with advertising, whether it’s through the evil of tweet spam or the expense of paid advertising. There are so many competing demands for attention, one more book promo is practically invisible.
The challenge is to find that first group of readers who are willing to give a new author a shot and then write a review. Goodreads has been a godsend for that. For me, anyway.
That said, permission-based marketing, where individuals have given you the nod to send them email, is awesome. The trick is to build a meaningful email list and not just collect addresses from people who wanted a freebie and nothing else. You want people who love what you write. The only way to do that is to write really compelling stories.
What input, if any, did you have in the cover design?
Since I published my first series through my own publishing company, I had complete control over the covers. I feel very fortunate to have found Melvin DeVoor, who designed the covers for all three books of The Undermountain Saga. Afterlife won the eBook Cover Design Award for July of 2012.
Eric is an author, songwriter, husband, father, and guitarist. He is the author of YA SF series The Undermountain Saga, which includes Undermountain, Afterlife, and Starkiller.
Eric loves working out with kettlebells and eating pretty much anything with peanut butter.
Two teens from from different worlds . . .
Seeking refuge from their troubled home lives, sixteen year olds Danny Michaelson and Breyona Lewis join a group of teens in the Canadian Rocky Mountains for a ten day hiking excursion.
. . . the encounter of a lifetime . . .
Six days in, Danny and Breyona come face to face with a creature of legend–an eight foot tall beast they tag as “bigfoot.” But this this is no mere animal, and it doesn’t want humans knowing its secrets.
. . . friendship, love, and loyalty . . .
Swept into the hidden city of Undermountain, Danny, Breyona and their friends find themselves in a race for survival against alien forces determined to take control the earth.