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BookBuzzr Interviews Author Clint Adams

BookBuzzr Interviews Author Clint Adams

Can you tell us about yourself?

First off, thanks so much for the interview, Vikram. I sincerely appreciate what you do. Summing up 51 years…OK, let me try. Done. Well, since genetics made becoming a male stripper an impossibility, I turned to writing instead.

Wholeheartedly I believe that we're all here for a reason. Mine (I feel): to help adults and teens who struggle. Whenever I write a novel or even blog, I always try to imagine how my words are relevant, or perhaps helpful to readers, folks of any age who wish to overcome. In addition, I'm both an Italian and American citizen, love tennis, can't get enough of 80's music, relish alone time (preferably in nature), was a professional actor in film and TV, have been a published author for the past 16 years and am currently living in London indefinitely.

Your novel 'The Seventh Ritual' is based on a real-life murder. Can you tell us about the story behind your book.

Straight to the point! I can tell you're not shy. Yes, a covered-up murder truly existed in my childhood, a murder I hadn't known about until 1991. That discovery changed my destiny forever; my life would never be the same. THE SEVENTH RITUAL, an occult crime novel for ADULTS, is based on the following premise:

This premise (cover copy) really happened. Many pages of TSR are true, many are not. Fiction's better. Much time has passed since 1991. I'm not the same person I once was. Firmly believing that 'the truth will set you free,' I now feel liberated, mostly because, during those in-between years (1991-2009), I learned compassion, forgiveness and patient acceptance to the best of my ability.

Among all your books, which one is closest to your heart? What makes it special?

Good question. The correct, and most time-sensitive marketing response should be THE SEVENTH RITUAL, of course. Truthfully though, the closest is DON'T BE AFRAID OF HEAVEN, a middle-grade/teen novel. It was written as a tribute, a colossal 'thank you'…to my cat, Samantha.

DBAOH was the third in a series of four 'No Time for Fear' books I was writing. I was living at Lake Tahoe, Nevada at the time, and Samantha had been sick with an 'unknown' diagnosis for over a year. Before a HUGE winter storm was about to come in, she was pawing to get out the window, something she'd never wanted to do before. My instinct told me that she wanted to go out to die; Samantha was unafraid of going to heaven. I just knew it wasn't right for me (selfish) to want her to continue living while she, perhaps for many months already, wanted to go. During a break in the storm, my neighbor and I took Samantha to the vet so she could go to heaven. Since that time I've met many people who've told me stories about their own pets that had left to go away to die. Animals don't seem to be afraid of death. Why are we?

What are the different marketing activities you have done for your various books?

In 2001, I went back to school to earn a master's degree in marketing (for the express purpose of being better able to market my books). A true oddball alien at San Francisco's Golden Gate University; a teen-novelist among employees of HP, IBM, Apple, Sun MicroSystems, hoping to advance in their corporate careers.

You name it, I've done it. Launching JUST SAY MIKEY as an exhibitor at BookExpo America/L.A. and FEAR AIN'T ALL THAT and DON'T BE AFRAID OF HEAVEN at the Bok & Bibliotek in Göteborg, Sweden. Attending bookfairs in Frankfurt, London, Chicago, Pisa, Bologna and San Francisco for the primary purpose of selling foreign and domestic rights. Writer's conferences, print ads, online advertising, procuring book reviews, promotions, hosting my FEAR BYTES radio show in 2007, having my own website (being ultra-aware of SEO), e-mail campaigns, public speaking, lectures, writing related articles and many, many other techniques.

Don't forget, it's now 2009, and marketing methods have changed radically in the past few years. Very little of what I'd learned in my master's (marketing) program is relevant anymore. Social Media Marketing is taking over. Any writer would be a fool not to hop aboard this new wave; primarily because it's free AND (I feel) quite effective.

What modes of marketing have been most successful? Do you have any recommendations for other authors?

1) Creating a 'platform.' Turning fiction into a vehicle that HELPS readers directly…more than just entertaining them. Clint Adams is not a household name. And, as I had mentioned prior, my foremost goal, years ago, was to 'get the truth out.' I never wanted to become a writer, but while writing, I realized I wanted to help people through my books. As my fourth was about to come out (all having to do with 'living without fear'), I created NO TIME FOR FEAR workshops, a closely-related medium that would accompany my book pursuits.

2) School visits. My first NO TIME FOR FEAR workshop took place at the same time MY WATCH DOESN'T TELL TIME was released. This was in Copenhagen in 2006. Since then I've conducted several throughout Denmark, Sweden, Austria, Germany, Italy and the U.S.

3) Interviews. Yes, I'm talking directly to you, Vikram. I'm grateful. Interviews, especially online, never seem to die…they're around forever, appear on every search engine imaginable, and I don't have to pay for them. I have a lot of control as to what info. I wish to get across, and therefore, can't be misquoted.

I heartily recommend these three modes. But, by having learned by trial and error over the past 16 years, write this down, "DON'T EXPECT ANYONE TO EVER HELP YOU! INSTEAD, DO IT ALL YOURSELF!" By anyone, I'm mostly referring to literary agents, editors and publishers. Your dream is uniquely yours; no one else is ever going to care, be as passionate, as you.

As a BookBuzzr user what are your thoughts on the tool, and how is it different from other marketing tools (how does it benefit you as an author)?

Whenever I see those widgets, I feel like a kid. "Whoa…look at that!" Those flipping pages - how'd they do that? I'm sure I'm not alone here. One word: Interactive. BookBuzzr widgets do everything, and they can be posted nearly everywhere. Like I'd said about Social Media Marketing…they're also free. I learned about BookBuzzr/fReado just prior to THE SEVENTH RITUAL coming out, and I'm glad I did.

A standard icon/non-widget does little more than display an image. BookBuzzr widgets allow readers to view excerpts, sift through reviews and interviews, examine and rate, and finally, buy the book. I've made widgets for all five of my books. They benefit me mostly because the use of online book marketing tools, not to mention, online sales will continue to expand and grow.

You offer 'No Time for Fear' workshops to help teens. Do you have any learning or inputs you would like to share on them?

Right, I'd talked about my NTFF workshops a bit before. Turning fiction into a viable vehicle to get the message across, good. Unfortunately, since I no longer write teen fiction, I no longer conduct these workshops. I still want to continue this 'NO FEAR' theme/platform though. At this moment, I'm marketing THE SEVENTH RITUAL and what I'd like to do most is lecture to university students. If there's a connection to what I'd done prior, TSR is a great demonstration of the 'origins' of fear and how its impact exists even decades later. The purpose of the lecture: how to overcome this learned-fear.

There's no question that my life has benefited greatly from the workshops I'd done with teens. I loved every minute. Just like social media, they were interactive. But, it was the stories the KIDS shared that will be with me forever. Students that had never read a book before having read mine, students that told me they were going to take more risks, students that were no longer afraid, students who want to do better in school, students who don't need anyone else to tell them they're 'good' enough. I could go on and on. No publisher advance or royalty could ever come close to the many valuable experiences I've had with teens.

Do you have a message for authors and readers out there?

Yes, absolutely. I've made a ton of mistakes along the way (in life, in publishing), yet I regret none of them. Instead, I chose to learn from them. As an author, never ask ANYONE, "What do you think of my book? Is it good enough?" Of course it is, YOU wrote it. If you want to find out how to make your book better, learn more about the craft of writing and keep at it.

As a reader, my message would be, "Continue to discover new authors, authors whose names you hadn't known about before." There are some real gems out there. I admire authors who have developed their own distinctive brand. While at a book event somewhere a while back, an editor had mentioned, "Every story's been told by now. The only thing that makes a story different these days is the WAY it's told." I agree with this completely. What I like most about a book is the voice in which it's told. The more distinctive, the better. My message for readers, "Seek out new voices, and in the process, you'll probably find them refreshing and miss them when they're gone."

-- syndicated from The Book-Marketing Technology Blog
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