Interview with Jody Cummings
Author of Arthur Rex: In Principio
Where are you from originally and where do you reside now?
I’m originally from Clio, Michigan, and I currently reside in Novi, Michigan.
If you currently reside somewhere besides where you were born, what’s the story that lead from there to here?
It’s not much of a story – I just moved to be closer to my work.
What made you decide to write and publish your first book?
I’ve always wanted to write, and in fact, I’ve been writing since I was four years old. I spent the better part of my twenties trying without success to get traditional publishing to take a chance on me. When it became clear that I would still have to do significant leg work even with a traditional publishing contract, I decided that independent publishing was the way to go.
How would you describe your books to first time readers?
My books are fantasies, but there are basic human truths at their core. I’ve studied humanity (degrees in anthropology and history) and I think there are certain basic commonalities. These are the skeletons around which I’ve built my stories.
Who do you feel is most likely to connect with the topics you write about?
I think the people most likely to connect to my books are people with a taste for magic and mystery, and who have a good grounding in history but still retain a taste for the fantastic.
What unexpected or surprising thing did you learn during the process of writing and publishing?
I was surprised by just how much work goes into the process other than writing. I think the actual writing part is 40% of the time I spend. The rest is editing, choosing covers, and marketing. So. Much. Marketing.
If you could, what advice would you give to your past self before embarking on this journey?
Stay the course, don’t give up, and develop a thick skin.
How many people would you ideally like to reach with your books?
I’d love to have millions of readers, but that’s not really likely. I’m happy with every new set of eyes that see my words.
What has been the biggest challenge and frustration during the process to date?
The biggest challenge and frustration is marketing, and how difficult it is to get attention. As an indie author, I need reviews and word of mouth, and no matter how hard I try, I just can’t seem to get either. It’s very difficult.
What’s your biggest strengths when it comes to book a) writing, b) publishing and c) marketing?
a) I think I write very good action scenes, and that the characters I write are fleshed out and realistic.
b) I’m a pretty good blurb writer and I have a good eye for covers.
c) Marketing – I’m approachable, which I suppose is a strength, and I believe in my work.
What’s your biggest weakness when it comes to book a) writing, b) publishing and c) marketing?
a) My biggest weakness when it comes to writing is my overabundance of ideas and my underabundance of time.
b) In publishing, I take on too much and too often find myself scrambling at deadline time.
c) Marketing itself is my biggest weakness. I just haven’t cracked the code.
When do you think you will write your next book?
I’m writing it right now.
Are you self published or did you use a hybrid publisher, or a traditional publisher?
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