AUTHOR TAKE OVER! David K. Hulegaard (Pt.1)

So, David. Welcome back.

> Thank you! It’s great to be back and talking with you again.

The last time we chatted was prior to the release of RESISTANCE FRONT. How have things been since then?

> Busy! I found myself elbows deep in a lot of projects all at the same time. I tend to get bored during the long periods of editing time, so I pick up and start working on another project. By the time RESISTANCE FRONT came out, I had three irons in the fire. I will definitely never do that again… until the next time I do it.

Did you see a rise in sales following your involvement in RESISTANCE FRONT? Or a rise in traffic to your blog? (this question is optional)

> Yes, and it was immediate. In the first twenty-four hours following RESISTANCE FRONT’s release, I had been contacted several times by new followers on Twitter to tell me how much they enjoyed my story MABEL, and how they were going to check out my books on Amazon. I think that’s exactly the way Bernard Schaffer envisioned the Kindle All-Stars working when he created it.

To your everyday customer on Amazon, what is STRANGERS? What’s it about, and why was it written?

> I used to have to travel a lot for my old job, but I have a terrible fear of flying, so I would take the train to get everywhere. Train rides make for long trips, and what I soon discovered was that you meet some rather bizarre characters when you’re confined to a train car and essentially forced into conversation. You would be amazed by the things people will share with you!
STRANGERS is a collection of some of my favorite stories that I picked up during my travels. All of the stories are inspired by either actual events that I witnessed, or events that were confessed to me by my travel neighbours. That may sound like an odd premise for a book, but wait until you read it. I think the shock value of the stories is going to catch readers off guard.

To me, STRANGERS is about people in transit. Would you agree with that?

> Definitely. One of the taglines that I used for marketing was “Everybody has a story.” There are hundreds of passengers on the train, each with a destination, but we never get to find out how their story ends. Why were they travelling there? What will they do once they arrive? What is waiting for them once they step foot off the train? In STRANGERS, the reader gets to find out, although it may make them rethink train travel in the future.

How much of STRANGERS is fiction and how much of it is inspired by real incidents?

> When I pitched STRANGERS a couple of months ago, the first question I got asked was, “Aren’t you a Sci-Fi writer?” True, most of what I write is indeed Sci-Fi, but I just go where my brain takes me. If my brain has an idea for something outside of my wheelhouse, I figure it must have a good reason for wanting to go in that direction.
As I collected more and more stories over time, I discovered that people were entertained by my experiences. Without fail, people would tell me, “You have GOT to write these things down!” So, that’s what I did. I must confess that I did spice up a couple of the stories for entertainment value (specifically, “The Tunnel”), but each was inspired by actual incidents.

In my review of STRANGERS on Amazon, I mention that your ability to write a gripping short story is up there with established, traditionally published authors. What I mean by that is that you’re producing work that I’d expect to see from a writer like Stephen King. How important do you think it is for Indies to strive for the best possible quality in their work?

> I had to read your quote two or three times before what you said finally sank in. Talk about flattering! A comparison to Hitchcock and King in the same review is the pinnacle of what an indie author could ever hope to attain. So, thank you very much for that!
Independent authors face an uphill battle in proving that their work is worth a reader’s time and money. I mean, from the reader’s perspective, they want to know why they should buy a book from an unknown when they could buy a book by a favorite author instead. One benefit to buying indie is that our books are much cheaper. For example, for less than the price of a Starbucks coffee, you could buy two of my books.
However, the pressure is on us as Indies to deliver quality, otherwise we risk losing the trust of potential readers. I purchased an indie book last year written by a woman in her twenties, and it was riddled with errors. I paid five dollars for it. I’m not knocking the woman’s ability to tell a good story, but her book is a classic example of what’s plaguing the indie book scene right now. Publishing a book is now easier than ever, not to mention free, and when a young author just wants to get published, they tend to skip the part where you need to hire an editor. Yes, editors are very expensive, but if you care at all about releasing the best book that you possibly can, you have to do it. No exceptions.

I thoroughly enjoyed STRANGERS. I’d like to see more short stories from you in the near future. Any thoughts on that? Anything in the pipeline?

> I don’t know that I’m going to do a formal follow-up to STRANGERS, but I definitely have a bunch of short story ideas tucked away. I’d definitely like to do another collection, and I can tell you that the next batch will be just as twisted. 
I do have a cryptozoology two-pack of short stories coming out in a few weeks called THE DARBY FOREST: TWO TALES OF THE ARACHNOLOX. I love to imagine that cryptids are real, and in my heart of hearts, I truly believe that someone will find Sasquatch one day. For this duo of stories I created my own cryptid called the Arachnolox. It’s a massive creature with the body of a tarantula and the head of a king cobra. Both stories explore the mythos of the Arachnolox, but from two completely different perspectives. One is a story about a hunter that kills them and collects the bounties, and the other is about a reality TV show that films an episode documenting their search for the beast. Needless to say, this collection is back in my Sci-Fi wheelhouse.

You’ve just released NOBLE: BLOODLINES which is the sequel to NOBLE. How is that going?

> Its doing exactly what I hoped it would do, which is to say that enough people have been talking about it that new readers are going back to the original to see how the series started. Trilogies are tough because they’re very hard to market until all three books have been written. I knew that going in, but I don’t regret starting my writing career that way.
With NOBLE being my first book, it’s fair to say that it’s not my best piece of writing, so I wanted to flex a little muscle with BLOODLINES and show the reader how much I’ve grown since then. Based on the reviews that I’m receiving, I’d call that mission a success. I know that I can continue to get better as a writer, but I am very proud of where I’m at.

Do you have the third entry in the series worked out yet?

> Within a week of publishing BLOODLINES, I had already started scribbling down notes for NOBLE 3. I wouldn’t say that I have enough notes to begin work on it right now, but let’s just say that I have more than simply a head start on it.

When do you plan on releasing NOBLE 3

> I am telling this to you here on your site first: The NOBLE trilogy will end in 2013 with NOBLE: NEW WORLD ORDER.

So on the horizon we have NOBLE 3, and possibly another story collection. But what are you working on right now?

> I am working on a new book, a ghost story called HOPESTILL. It’s about an old pioneer legend in a small town. More details to come. #TheWomanInWhiteIsComing

I think it’s a given that anyone who writes is also an avid reader. I like to participate in #fridayreads on twitter. What are you reading right now?

> Sadly, I haven’t had much time to read as of late, but I had been enjoying some fantastic short stories by a young author named Tony Healey. You should try and get him for your site.

You’re sharing CHICAGO with us tomorrow. Can you tell us a little bit about it?

> CHICAGO is the story of Matt, an up-and-coming businessman from Portland, Oregon who takes the train to Chicago to tend to some work matters. Matt is a very happy-go-lucky fellow who never lets much bother him. He has never been to Chicago before, but he romanticizes it. He has built it up in his head to be a place of great majesty. However, Chicago does not feel the same way about Matt.

Before we go, is there anything you’d like to say to your readers?

> Mostly I’d just like to say thank you for your time and support. Although I’m an American author, my books have been more successful in the UK than in the US, and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that.

Well, David, it’s been a pleasure. I hope your fans (the barbarian horde!) get a bit of an insight into your writing life. We’ll chat again soon, I’m sure.

Thanks again for having me! It’s always a pleasure, my friend.

You can click HERE to visit David’s page on Amazon.

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