Interview with Patrick Parker
Author of Six Minutes Early
Where are you from originally and where do you reside now?
I am originally from Oklahoma.I reside now in Texas.
If you currently reside somewhere besides where you were born, what’s the story that lead from there to here?
During my career in the Army, I spent a lot of time in Texas. After retirement from the Army we did go back to Oklahoma but soon realized it no longer felt like home. My daughter was living in San Antonio at the time and she encouraged us to move there. We did and it feels like home.
What made you decide to write and publish your first book?
It was a challenge issued by my wife. After reading a couple of books, I was frustrated at the number of errors in them. The books were published by name brand publishers. I complained to her on how sloppy and distracting all the errors were. I said, “I could write a better book.” I read another book and, again, there were numerous errors. I complained to my wife that I could do a better job. She said, “Well do it!” I wrote my first book, Treasures of the Fourth Reich. It was first published by a traditional publisher. I do think it was a much better book than the few I was frustrated with.
How would you describe your books to first time readers?
My books are fast-paced suspense thrillers. I draw from my military and defense background. They will have you walking away asking yourself, “What was real and what was fiction?”
Who do you feel is most likely to connect with the topics you write about?
Just about anyone who likes fast-paced suspense thrillers that will keep you on the edge of your seat. My readers are male and female from across the board of executive, management, and labor. I have received numerous positive comments on my books. My reviews have been 4 and 5 stars.
What unexpected or surprising thing did you learn during the process of writing and publishing?
My first book experience was that I still was responsible for the promotion of my book. I couldn’t just go focus on my next one. I had to continuously promote my book and reach out to the readers. It was up to me to make my book a success. There are no shortcuts and you don’t get a big advance on your first time novel.
If you could, what advice would you give to your past self before embarking on this journey?
Write the book! Don’t try to please everyone because you can’t. Your goal is to entertain the reader. You should strive to thrill them and keep them on the edge of their seat all the time, wondering what’s going to happen next. You are an entertainer—make it worth the time they spent with you.
How many people would you ideally like to reach with your books?
I would like to reach as many as possible, all around the world. I do have readers in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. I would like to have more.
What has been the biggest challenge and frustration during the process to date?
Time is a big issue. I just don’t have enough of it. It takes a long time from start of a book to publish. I wish it was shorter but I do take my time, research, and get the details right. I focus on the quality of the book. The reader expects it.
What’s your biggest strengths when it comes to book a) writing, b) publishing and c) marketing?
I draw from my background. I make it realistic and believable. I want the reader to walk away and ask themselves, “What was real and what was fiction?” I get it right because I write what I know. I am very concerned with the details. I take the time to make a quality product. The reader and I will spend a lot of time together and I want them to feel it was worth it.
Writing as well as publishing is attention to detail. Marketing is attracting the reader. All three takes patience.
What’s your biggest weakness when it comes to book a) writing, b) publishing and c) marketing?
Sometimes I get too focused or I take too much time working on the small details. I am probably like other writers when it comes to the internet. In researching a detail, I spend time searching for the correct detail. Often, I find interesting things that take me away from what I was searching for. The internet is a great tool but it can be a real time bandit.
When do you think you will write your next book?
I am working on my fourth book now. I plan to have it finished in the next few months.
Are you self published or did you use a hybrid publisher, or a traditional publisher?
My first book, Treasures of the Fourth Reich, was traditionally published. After my contract expired, I self-published it. Learning from that experience, I self-published the next two, War Merchant and Six Minutes Early. I will probably self-publish the one I’m about to finish.
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