1. What’s your favorite part of Love Train (as a reader, not an author)?
The fight scenes. They're deliberately over the top and filled with ridiculous puns which, together, fulfill the twin duties of parodying the action genre and entertaining the reader. My goal here was to create characters that are both superhuman in strength and feat, while relatable to all of us with their goofy and awkward habits.
2. What was the hardest part of the book to write?
I had to figure out how the train's electrical system was connected to the hospital's system. This required a little bit of research and creativity. There's obviously no way the bad guy could have pulled off the stunt he did, but then, most events in action films and books are impossible, too. And that's the point.
3. What was your road to publication like? What would you do different? What advice would you give other authors?
I wrote and developed this as a 100% indie project, meaning from the beginning I intended to self-publish. I was inspired to publish on the Kindle platform after reading about another indie author who experienced success with it. The only thing I would have done differently was begin the marketing campaign before the book was done. As it was, I finished the book in mid-October; right before this I re-joined Facebook and began investigating social media and how it can be used for marketing. I should have started this back in July or August and built hype around the book, so I was a little late to the game.
I would advise any authors to start early when it comes to marketing. Build your network early and have everything in place so you can hit the ground running when your book is done. I know in interviewing and reading about other authors that this is something many would have done differently. Failing to do so is certainly not fatal to your writing project, it just makes it more difficult to catch up later. Better to get this part of the work out of the way first.
4. I notice you’re not on Smashwords. Is there a reason for that? (What about readers who don’t have a Kindle and don’t want the Kindle for PC?)
Right now I'm just focusing on Amazon since they own most of the e-book market. I'm also enrolled in the KDP Select program which means I have to make my digital book exclusive to Amazon for 90 days(if you're an Amazon Prime member, this means you can borrow it for free!) . I haven't foreclosed the possibility of using Smashwords or other sites in the future, but with marketing and blogging there's not much time for that right now anyway. I will add, however, that you can download a free Kindle desktop reader if you don't own the device, allowing you to read Kindle books on your computer.
5. What is the last book you read? Did you like it?
Of Mice and Men. Not a bad read although it's fairly depressing (the scene with the sheepdog being put down was the most disturbing, as I own two of them myself). I'm hoping to re-read The Giver soon, a dystopian fiction that's aimed at young adults but quite enjoyable by readers of all ages. It's one of those books that seems to have a cult following: not many know about it, but those who do love it. Highly recommended!
6. A review of Love Train on Amazon suggests Leslie Nielsen would be perfect if the book was turned into a movie. Would you agree? Who else would you place in roles and why?
Once Love Train was done, I looked to see if there was a particular category of humor, other than general parody, it fell into. I had a sense about the type of comedic devices I was using but wasn't sure if there might be a name for it. The first movie I thought of that employed a similar style was Airplane! and The Naked Gun series, so naturally this made me think of Leslie Nielsen. However, given that Mr. Nielsen is no longer with us, I can't say he would be perfect for the movie version!
Originally I envisioned George Clooney, Anne Hathaway, and John Malkovich as playing Vic Steelbrass, Anastasia Romanov, and Crunchy. I think Malkovich works for Crunchy because I could see him being a mix of serious and absurd. I doubt Clooney and Hathaway would be good for Vic and Anastasia.
7. Are you working on more books? What’s next for you?
I have three general ideas for future books rolling around in my head right now. In the next week or so I'm going to have to settle on one, but I want to write all three at once! They range from a comedy in the same style as Love Train (but with completely original characters) to a serious novel which could end up becoming a series. I'm also trying to do some freelance writing for my local paper and am continuing the blogging.
I also plan to offer Love Train for free as a promotional at some point soon, so please keep an eye out on my blog (kriswampler.wordpress.com) for this!
8. What would I find in your refrigerator right now?
Food, beverages, containers containing the food and beverages, cold air, electricity lighting the light bulb, refrigerator parts, and three-dimensional space.
9. Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
The plot of Love Train is truly original. As a device for parodying the action-adventure genre, it's perfect. Keeping that goal in mind I believe readers will enjoy the fast-paced storyline and spot-on humor that Love Train delivers. If you read the preview, you'll be hooked. And if you read the book and like what you read, please consider giving a review on Amazon.com.
I'd also like to remind readers that I run a blog which features indie writers and their marketing efforts. It's designed to share authors' works and their tips for getting their books out there on the market. The address is kriswampler.wordpress.com, and if anyone is interested in being interviewed they can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for the interview Jennifer!
"In a style his own, author Kris Wampler introduces this fast-paced and hilarious send up of the action-adventure genre.
When he boarded the 10:45 train, Vic Steelbrass had just one mission: learn PowerPoint by the time he reached New York. But when Anastasia Romanov walked into his life, fate handed him a different mission. Suddenly, he has to seduce a beautiful Russian, foil a madman's bomb plot, AND learn PowerPoint. With countless - or at least more than a few - lives on the line, Steelbrass must prove love is worth believing in...and kill a whole lot of bad guys in the process. He woke that morning as just your average, ex-millionaire, alligator-wrestling, skydiving businessman. But his life would be forever changed when he bought a ticket on...the LOVE TRAIN!"