My guest today is fellow author Clayton Bye, who has self-published another collection of ten short stories he wrote. Behind the Red Door is just going to print now. Welcome, Clayton!
I used to write in the evenings and on the weekends. Did it for over a decade. Now I begin writing (or writing related work) at 6 a.m. and quit between 4 and 5 p.m. I get to do this because of a physical disability that keeps me confined to the couch.
Will you be Indie publishing, looking for an agent/publisher or a combination?
I’ll be Indie publishing. I’ve been an Indie publisher for 20 years. I made the decision when I began writing that I would publish my own work, and I’ve seen no reason to do otherwise. In fact, I’m a traditional publisher on the side, and I’ve found it less lucrative than publishing my own work. This is mainly due to authors who don’t want to market their books or they don’t understand marketing.
Who would you say have been the three most influential authors in your reading/writing life? Why?
Damon Knight, Steven King, John D. MacDonald. Damon Knight was an editor and a fantastic author in the heady days of the dawn of modern science fiction. I loved his writing. But the thing that influenced me the most was his comment, “No one should be allowed to write before the age of 40—they don’t have enough life experiences.” I was unable to produce any writing of note until I was in my 30’s. His comment gave me hope to keep on trying.
Steven King creates characters and stories like no other. His book on writing gave me a style of writing that fundamentally changed the way I work. Basically, you treat a story like a fossil you’ve found in the ground. Sometimes you can break of large chunks that allow you to see the shape of what it is you’ve found. Other times you must chip and brush with painstaking care in order to tease the thing out of the rock that surrounds it.
John D. MacDonald was a prolific writer who could create atmosphere that could rise right up off the page, yet his style was simple and straightforward. I’ve tried to emulate that in my work.
What would you say is an appropriate balance, percentage-wise, between time for writing and time for promotion/building visibility?
I spend a year writing a book and a year marketing it. Why? The average book now sells about 40 copies. This is due to the influx of POD authors. It takes an awful lot of work to rise up out of the masses and catch the eye of the prospective reader. If you aren’t prepared to promote your work with everything you’ve got over a long period of time, you might as well not publish.
What is especially near and dear to you – a key cause you support?
I’m a Mason and a Shriner. The charity work Masons quietly do in the community is astounding. I know of no other organization like it. To be a Shriner you must first be a Mason. I think this is important, because Freemasonry teaches a moral code and instills the desire to do charitable work. You see, The Shriners are the world’s greatest philanthropic group. They exist only to support injured and sick children. All their efforts raise money to support the 22 Shrine Hospitals for Children, hospitals that have no cash registers. That’s right, the children are treated free of charge!
ABOUT BEHIND THE RED DOOR
Will it be humour? Or will it be horror? Will you find stories both modern and fictional or will you find the end of the world? Perhaps it will be all these things and more. Because if there is one thing you can say about author Clayton Clifford Bye it is that he loves to jump from one genre to the next. His writing is eclectic, his style as variable as his stories and the content is consistently 5 out of 5 stars. So, come .... walk with him through the red door into places you would never have imagined and that will give you reason to pause and think and feel. Come ... Open the door.
Clayton Bye is a writer, editor and publisher. The author of 11 books and a varied collection of short stories, poems, articles and reviews, he has also published four books under the imprint Chase Enterprises Publishing. These books, published for others, include three award-winning anthologies and a stunning memoir about what it's like to live with and die from anorexia. Visit his e-store at http://shop.claytonbye.com.