Author David Wisehart gets down to the nitty-gritty with Phillip Thomas Duck.
Phillip Thomas Duck’s ebooks have been published by eHarlequin and self-published through Kindle. I spoke with him about his new Kindle ebook, Excuse Me, Miss.
DAVID WISEHART: Tell us about your new ebook, Excuse Me, Miss.
PHILLIP THOMAS DUCK: Excuse Me, Miss is told through the eyes of Victoria Frost, a sexy decoy working with the James Boston Private Investigations Firm. Victoria’s job is to basically test the fidelity of men whose wives suspect of cheating. It isn’t a perfect science, of course, but by encountering these men and seeing what they’re capable of, Victoria’s able to bring some peace of mind to their mates. Victoria approaches the work with a certain level of disdain for these men, but during the course of the novella she discovers that she isn’t as far removed from them as she imagined.
DAVID WISEHART: Are there really “fidelity anthropologists” or is that something you made up for the story?
PHILLIP THOMAS DUCK: Purely made up. Victoria and her boss engage in quite a bit of back and forth banter and he coined that phrase to describe her work. “Sexy decoy” just seems too pedestrian for the great service Victoria provides to these concerned wives.
DAVID WISEHART: How did you create the cover for your ebook?
PHILLIP THOMAS DUCK: Placed a bid at elance.com and was contacted by several graphic designers. After some brief interviews, we settled on a company named Graphic Design by Tara in San Diego, CA. She did an absolutely wonderful job bringing my vision to life. I would recommend her to any author looking to have a cover designed.
DAVID WISEHART: You’ve published several books with Kimani Tru, an imprint of eHarlequin. What can you tell us about those?
PHILLIP THOMAS DUCK: Very proud of those books. They’re YA novels geared toward an African-American market. Our youth—especially minority youth—are greatly underserved when it comes to literary options so I was happy to contribute. Both of my YA novels were awarded the American Library Association’s QUICK PICKS FOR RELUCTANT YOUNG ADULT READERS distinctions. They’re thoughtful and well-written books and I receive compliments all the time from young people that lost themselves in those stories. I’ve traditionally published several adult novels, as well, but the YA books remain two of my favorites.
DAVID WISEHART: What is your writing process?
PHILLIP THOMAS DUCK: I guess there are two schools: those who outline versus those that write on the fly. I’m somewhere in the middle. I start with a brief outline, usually only a page or two, and I roll up my sleeves and get to work. At some point in my writing an interesting thing ALWAYS happens and my story veers off in a direction I wasn’t smart enough to originally envision. Characters introduce themselves and refuse to leave, awful and horrible things happen to my characters that I didn’t see coming, and etc. It isn’t a process that would work for everyone but it seems to fit me like a (cliche alert) glove.
DAVID WISEHART: What authors most inspire you?
PHILLIP THOMAS DUCK: All authors inspire me. Anyone that has the discipline to sit down and write hundreds of pages of a fresh story and then release it to the world, opening themselves up to both praise and criticism, should be applauded. It is a difficult craft and every day I learn something that humbles me.
DAVID WISEHART: Why publish on Kindle?
PHILLIP THOMAS DUCK: I had a story that I believed fit perfectly with the medium. I’ve long wanted to see what I could accomplish on my own without the benefit of a traditional publisher. I’ve always had a strong vision of how I’d like my novels packaged and oftentimes my vision wasn’t the one that hit the book shelves. So…Kindle, Kindle, Kindle.
DAVID WISEHART: What advice would you give to a first-time author thinking of publishing on Kindle?
PHILLIP THOMAS DUCK: Be certain that the novel you’ve written is the best representation of your work. Revise, revise, and revise and edit, edit, edit before you take the leap over into KindleLand. Beyond that, have a succinct description of your story, a great cover, and a willingness to slog through the marketing aspects of selling a book. This should be happy times for all writers because the opportunity that Kindle presents is absolutely groundbreaking. But again, see my first point: really make sure the work is a good representation of you as a writer.
DAVID WISEHART: Thanks, and best of luck with all your books.
Interview with Kipp Poe Speicher
1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write? I’m a trooper, I can write anytime and anywhere. That said, logistically the most productive time for me is early afternoon into late evening.
2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer? Interestingly enough I switch back and forth. It depends on the moment, I suppose. I would say that the vast majority of my work is done on computer though.
3: What do you draw inspiration from? Everything. I think by nature writers are observers and dreamers. I can watch someone on line at the grocery store and pick up something from their dress or mannerisms that will work its way into my fiction.
4: Do you set goals for yourself when you sit down to write such as word count? Walter Mosley suggests 1000 words a day, minimum. Who am I to argue?
5: Are you a published or a self published author and how do you come up with your cover art? I’ve published quite a few adult and YA novels with a traditional publisher, but I felt compelled to dip my toes in this Kindle thing I’d been hearing about. My time with my publisher has had a fair share of ups and downs and I’ve always had a strong vision of how I wanted my books packaged. Unfortunately, my vision isn’t always what ended up on the bookshelves. This time out I get to see my vision through. I’m quite happy with the results.
6: What drives you to choose the career of being a writer? I’ve always loved words and I grew up in a home where oral storytelling was an art. When I was younger I rebelled against the teachers that told me I wrote well. But eventually I had to give up the ghost. I didn’t choose writing, it chose me.
7: Do you own an ebook reading device? Kindle.
8: Who are some of your favorite authors and What are you reading now? Love, love, love crime fiction. Daniel Woodrell, George Pelecanos, Walter Mosley, Jonathan Kellerman, Lawrence Block…I could go on forever. Currently I’m reading perhaps one of the greatest WRITERS period. A man that transcends genre. James Lee Burke’s THE GLASS RAINBOW. I don’t know whether to hate him or send him a pair of my boxers spritzed with cologne.
9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any? I think trailers are a neat idea. Not sure they have any tangible impact on sales, but no one truly knows what makes books move. I have an animated trailer up at goanimate.com. Readers can check it out at my Facebook page. www.facebook.com/excusememissptd It’s the cutest thing.
10: What are you working on now that you can talk about? Top secret. But shortly I plan on working on a follow-up to Excuse Me, Miss.