Welcome EA Lake, touring with his new release WWIV Kids at War!
What inspired you to write your latest book?
Lounging at the cottage, in northern Wisconsin, one weekend, I made the decision to create a series named WWIV. The first idea that came to me was for book two, this book. The idea for book one came a month later.
So, I created this event in my mind; an event of global proportion. An event that will set humanity back hundreds of years in our progress. Thinking things through more, I asked myself, “Who will be the most vulnerable members of our society in a post-apocalyptic world like the one I’ve created?” I thought about that question for most of the day, perhaps even the weekend. Late in the evening it struck me. It was perfect. I had my solution, my theme if you will. I started writing that night and wrote well past midnight.
How did you come up with the title?
I wanted something catchy for book two; just like I’m sure everyone desires a catchy title. But I wanted it to be ambiguous as well. The title could mean one thing, or something completely different.
Kids at War has absolutely nothing to do with arming a group of ten-year-olds with high-powered weapons and sending them off to war. I’m not that macabre. I really feel it catches the essence of what is inside the book in a special way. A way where it keeps you thinking the whole time.
How much of the book is realistic?
Okay, let’s just be clear – it’s fiction; post-apocalyptic dystopian fiction. With that said, I think what I’ve written is extremely realistic. In a futuristic, depressed sort of way.
I take great pains to make my characters are real, and normal, as possible. I don’t use super-heros, or ultra-preppers, or Johnny Rambo types in my novels. I write about regular people, like you and I and how their lives might be. Then, I use a setting that already exists somewhere in my world. Book one took place beginning in Woodbury, MN – basically right on my front steps. This book, Kids at War, takes place on a real farm in southern Wisconsin. Even the Amish neighbors featured in the book can be found all around the area. And finally, I try to keep the action as realistic as I can. We don’t know exactly what this world will be like, but I can guess. In keeping things consistent, I feel like there’s a realm of realism in the tale.
Give us an insight into your main character.
Sister Theresa is a young nun in her late twenties. She is small in stature and large in courage. Raised originally on a farm in central Illinois, she joined the church after completing high school. This was, of course, before the event that changed the world forever.
For the past seven years, she’s been working at a Catholic Church near Mequon, WI. There she aids the poor, helps keep people’s spirits up, and runs various tasks as assigned by her Mother Superior. At least that what she was doing before she was volunteered for her most recent, and potentially final task. Now she is back in the country, living with five teens and five babies assigned to the teens, hoping to scratch out some type of existence.
With the help of an alcoholic recluse, and neighbors from another century, Theresa courageously guides the teens through all kinds of troubles, and boredom, found far out in the country nowadays.
What are you working on now?
This week I began writing a primer for my WWIV series. As of now it remains unnamed. It will be a shorter, novella type of ebook. It will cover what happens to some people right before, and shortly after whatever happened, happens.
Each of the first seven chapters will be scenes from various spots throughout the US and world, moments before the event. You’ll see what these people’s lives are like just as everything falls apart, and shortly after. From LA, to New Hampshire; from teenagers driving down the road near Rapid City, to an operating room in Moscow, you will go through each of their experiences with the characters. Like I say, this will be a primer to the entire series. Something I probably should have written first, but an idea that came to me later in the process.
What book are you reading now?
Right now I am midway through Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand. It’s a great story from WWII, featuring the US Olympic runner Louis Zamperini, as he flies his way through the Pacific as a gunner on a B-24. I don’t want to say any more because I hate spoilers myself.
How do you publish your books and why? (Indie, traditional or both)
I am completely independent and plan to stay that way for the foreseeable future. I convert and format my own eBooks and paperbacks, so that if anything goes wrong only I am to blame. I like having complete control on the process. If I am going to make it as an author, I’m going to make it on my own terms.
Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
Covers are huge. And I think a lot of self-published authors miss this point.
For less than $100, you can have the cover of your eBook and paperback created by a professional. There are a lot of places out there that will do an eBook for as little as $50. Compare that to using a “free” stock cover that you’ve seen in hundreds of other books. Or something you create for free on your own computer. Unless you are a graphic artist, or really, really good at this kind of thing, you need to hire it out. Because a good cover is one thing, but a great cover catches people’s attention…and that translates into book sales.
Who designed your book cover?
For both book one (WWIV – In The Beginning) and book two (WWIV – Kids at War) I used Laura LaRoche from LLpix. And I absolutely love what she has done for me on both book’s covers. You can reach Laura here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Her prices are reasonable and her turn around time is superb. I cannot possibly say enough great things about her.
What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?
A lot more than I ever thought I would. With my first book, I was like, “What the heck; don’t these things sell themselves?” And by the way, the answer is NO!
When I’m actively writing something new, I spend about 15% of my time on marketing. That’s not much, but I need to create when the mood strikes. When I’m editing, or taking one of my few breaks, I spend at least 75% of my time on marketing activities. This can entail contacting blogs, researching websites, planning Goodreads or AdWords campaigns, or even filling in an interview for a blog tour (like right now). The bottom line is this: If you’re not creating, you need to be at least thinking about marketing. Never stop searching for creative new ways to market your product and yourself.
Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures?
Absolutely! And it’s the technique that brings us together today. A Blog Tour!
This is my second tour with Worldwind Virtual Book Tours. And then reason I’m back is because of the great results I had with my first book. In my very unscientific study, I experienced 300% ROI on my first tour. I know for a fact there was a noticeable uptick in sales during the two-week event.
I highly recommend that new authors at least consider a blog tour for your next new release.
Almost six years since an unknown event plunged the world into darkness, humanity continues to crumble. Times have worsened as the remaining fuel and valuable resources – fresh food and water – are long gone. Chances of recovery have all but disappeared; chances of survival seem grim.
In a plan so backward, so unlikely to have any success, the militia of the Milwaukee area take a young nun, five teens, and a set of five “special packages” into the barren farmland of south-central Wisconsin. There, with little more than themselves for support, they are to live, to grow, and perhaps even prosper. Or maybe the militia has just removed a problem they chose not to deal with.
With the help of new – yet strange – friends, their journey begins. But trouble finds them, even against their greatest hopes and fervent prayers. Worse, the militia has purchased help from a drunken recluse who may prove to be their greatest trouble of all.
The second book of our greatest war, our battle for survival, begins: WWIV – Kids at War.
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