Kindle Author Interview With Wally Runnels

Friday, 29 January 2016

Next up for his turn in the interview chair is kindle author Wally Runnels. Come join us as he shares his thoughts on writing and his stories which are available through the amazon kindle store.

Why do you write?

I’ve always been a creative, having spent years in advertising as an art director and writer. Worked around the world with clients creating print campaigns and creating concepts for TV commercials. Writing is an extension of my previous profession.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I started writing on the weekends and evenings. When I freelanced I wasn’t always busy so I wrote.

As a reader, and I read everything that I can get, I began to see that I could do exactly what I was reading. Except my stories are strange with bent people, yet often good people with a respect for humanity.

What genre are your books?

My material is action adventure often tied with the paranormal.

What draws you to this genre?

Legends have always played a big role in my life. All the J. Frank Dobie stories, lost treasure and mines have always interested me, such as the kind of weirdness that one can find in a Cormac McCarthy’ novel. I like dark.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

The first short story was written just to see if ‘I could. Several of my shorts have been published in small literary pubs. Drove me crazy when I got a rejection. Sometimes an editor would send back a crit on my typed manuscript. That really helped me. I would write back a thank you note with the amended manuscript and it would be accepted. 

Anyone who thinks they can write along is crazy. My editor tells me that all the time and I listen to her. 

Do you write full-time or part-time?

My wife is an interior designer and we work with architects and I went back to school for a couple of years to learn basic engineering, specifically AutoCad so I do her drawings and work with the architects she works with. Almost went back to school to get an architect’s degree but I’m tired of school. I have a bachelors degree, a masters and was in a doctoral program at Columbia University.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

I write whenever I can. Carrying a notebook helps to not loose ideas. Got an idea write it down. If you don’t you’ll forget it.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

Maturity comes with hard knocks and frustration and you have to persevere. My writing has gotten more fluid but I like the hard edgy stuff.

What have you written?

There are three short stories and two novelettes on Amazon and I have a novel in the final editorial stage and another about to be edited, plus I'm working on a story now, a dystopian thing that I really am reaching for.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you?

I never outline, but just write with the story in my mind. Making notes can help. One thing one must always doe is start their scene with a goal, an opening emotion, a description of where they are and a sensory; what does something smell like. Gotta help the reader understand why they are reading what you’ve wrote. Opening a scene should be done with road signs.

How do you market your books?

My work is only on Kindle but the next two will be on paper and kindle. Use Amazon for everything you can. Free is a good sales approach. Many of my things can be borrowed or loaned on Prime. And here I am doing an interview. 

Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures?

Free book giveaways are good. People from all over the world are usually involved. Free is good PR and you’re getting your work into someone’s hands.

Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in the future?

Yes. Spend too money on results I didn’t know to maintain.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Don’t give up. Keep writing. Writing in itself can be therapeutic, make it work for you, the writer.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special?

My main character so far is a disabled Marine. He lost an arm in Macao, working for the CIA. He’s a hitter who since has worked for the cartels and again for the CIA.

Where do your ideas come from?

Places and people I’ve met. However I don’t believe I’ve ever met a hitter. My folks have a ranch on the Mexican/American Border. There are acres of stories and characters who walk in various paths in life. Some are good and some are bad. 

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Coming up with new ways of saying things. Not getting into a rut.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?

Trying to get deeper inside the characters and make the environment they are in become another character. I use nature a lot as an opponent to my characters. Some are actually nature spirits.

Which writers inspire you?

My favorites are Cormac McCarthy, Don Winslow, Barry Gifford and Elmore Leonard.

What do you do to get book reviews?

Book reviews help sell the words. I don’t have nearly enough. I’d rather write.

How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?

Only fair.

What is the current book you are promoting?

The current story is Blood Karma, an event that actually happened near the ranch on the border. A guy was running drugs in a Cessna 172. 

Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

Rocky is the one. He’s a killer but he’s a human. He says,”If people wouldn’t pay me I wouldn’t do it.” This comment is from a paid killer.

Who is your least favorite character and why?

One of my characters is a girl who I call Cat Boy. You’ll have to read the book to find out why.

If your book were made into a movie, who would you cast?

Robbie Rodriquez would direct it and Johnny Depp would be Rocky.

Who is your favorite fictional character and why?

The Judge, who was one of Cormac McCarthy’s bad boys in Blood Meridian.

What one person from history would you like to meet and why?

J. Frank Dobie. I’ve been collecting his first editions.

If there was one thing you could do to change the world, what would it be?

Being able to feed hungry people.

Who inspires your writing?

Cormac McCarthy.

What is one great lesson you have learned as a writer?

Persevere. Take things with a grain of salt.

What is one thing you hate about being a writer?

Being poor.


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