Xlibris Publishing returns with James E. Merl, author of Chicago 1871.
Which influences have inspired you, with regard to your writing style and your book itself?
I would say my biggest influence as far as my writing style has to be given to Willy Vlautin. I was having a hard time writing in 3rd person and had gotten to chapter 8. One day while at Jubitz truck stop I walked into the set of a movie. That Movie was “Lean of Pete.” After being shot as an extra, I purchased the book and to say was unable to put it down. That was my first ever book I finished, and realized his first person, ease of words made it an enjoyable read. That’s when I found my style.
As far as influences in writing, I have always been a fan of Rod Serling of “Twilight Zone, and Night Gallery.” Leslie Stevens of “The Outer Limits,” and Alfred Hitchcock. I love a great story with a suspenseful twist.
What is the one message you would like to convey to your readers about your book?
5 years of research went into the story and has a very powerful ending where parts throughout the book all come together, some have even said it made them cry. The one statement everyone has said, is that they became part of the story and got to know the characters as if they knew them personally.
Are you working on a sequel to your book?
Yes, I ended it well that will give the reader satisfaction, but left it open for the sequel, “Return to Chicago-1872” the journey continues. Also, am working on a third book “The Cemetery Talks” about an 11-year old boy who sneaks into a cemetery and befriends ghost. Powerful Rod Sterling twist planned for the ending.
Are there any events, marketing ideas or promotions planned for your book?
Right now, it’s only been a few days since the book finished and I am leaving it to the marketing team at Xlibris to point me in a direction. I am however planning to do a nationwide newspaper advertising campaign. New York Times Sunday Review.
What was your favourite part of your publishing experience?
I would say when my manuscript got finished and the ball got rolling. Everything went fast and I enjoyed the interaction with the different teams that brought it together. They were like a very well-oiled machine. I look forward to the next time, I actually enjoyed it.
Finally, what advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Find a subject you can be passionate with and no matter how hard it seems to get and you feel like trashing it, don’t! There’s no better feeling than completing your book and seeing it for sale on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
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