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Ever wonder what it's like to be in that moment between struggling artist and published author? Read on and find out.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Interview with Donald J Carey - Part I

            Donald’s first book is out and available in stores. Bumpy Landings is about a young man, Jordan MacDonald, who moves from a failed relationship on to a new love. A love of flying. The story is set in Hawaii.

I met Donald at LDStorymaker11. In a crowd of authors, all offering to sign their books, he stood out to me because he had these great looking paper airplanes at his table. They’re an eye-catching green and the kid in me loves paper airplanes. (Although, I’m willing to put my design up against his any day of the week.)
            It struck me that this was an excellent way to promote his book and thought I would pick his brain on the subject.

Randy: At your signings you have some amazing looking paper airplanes that you fold and give away. What’s the purpose of that?

Donald: The paper airplanes are really just there for fun. It’s a way for me to connect with potential readers, and to help build awareness about the story. Plus it gives me something to do during the slow part of the signings. And I had a great time designing them.

Randy: How did you come up with the idea to hand out paper airplanes in order to promote your book?

Donald: I wanted something a little different that I could use as an unusual give-away, and since flying is a big part of the Bumpy Landings story, my fist thought was getting some foam or balsa planes custom printed. However, since each one would be significantly more than my per-book royalty, I decided to use paper airplanes instead.

Randy: Do you have any suggestions for new authors who want to do the same thing for their upcoming books?

Donald: Play to your strengths and the strengths/uniqueness of your book, and be creative. But make sure it's something that sounds like fun. If it isn't fun for you, then it probably isn't going to have a positive effect.

Randy: I notice that you also have chocolates to hand out at your signings. Why do you include them along with your airplanes?

Donald: Chocolate is kind of a universal attractant. Also, since the book is set in Hawaii, I use chocolate macadamia nuts when I have them available. The chocolate is more of a draw, while the airplanes are more of a fun novelty. They compliment each other well.

Randy: How effective do you feel this is in getting people to stop and take a look at your book?

Donald: I think it's good to have some kind of low-pressure draw. I find most people are hesitant to go out of their way to talk to me or find out about my book, but they are willing to accept something as innocuous as a piece of candy or paper airplane, and this opens the door to further conversation.

Randy: Who else has a method of getting readers attention that you think is especially effective and what is it they do?

Donald: A few years ago, Dan Wells gave out buttons with the name of his book on them. It was memorably funny to see all these people wearing buttons that said, "I Am Not A Serial Killer."

Randy: Do you have any ideas yet on what you might use to promote your works in progress; Into the Wind and Space Corp General?

Donald: Well, Into The Wind is a sequel to Bumpy Landings, so I'll probably stick with what is working. I haven't yet decided if I'll do another book trailer--those were a blast, but took A LOT of time.

I'm still far enough out on Space Corp General that I haven't really given promotion much thought.

Randy: Can you tell us anything about the two upcoming novels?

Donald: Space Corp General is a concept I came up with for a humorous middle grade book, and it quickly evolved into a more serious YA. It's intended as a national-market Sci-Fi, and it won its category in the 2009 LDStorymakers first chapter contest. I got halfway through a first draft before revisions to Bumpy Landings pulled me off. I still really like the idea, but I'm not sure when I'll be able to get back to it.

Speculative fiction has always been my first love, but my muse saw fit to give me a contemporary LDS story first. I also didn't intend to write a sequel, but I realized after Bumpy Landings was accepted that there are plenty of unanswered questions and unresolved conflicts and there is room for a second story with the same characters. Into The Wind starts about an hour after the end of Bumpy Landings.

Where Bumpy Landings was coming-of-age with strong romantic elements, Into The Wind is a true romance with a heavy dose of family drama.

(Watch for part two of the interview.)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for doing the interview, Randy! Very nice blog you have going here.I'll be sure to follow.