Over the next week or so I will be hosting a series of interviews with the authors who have taken part in The Bulwark Anthology, a series of books set in the town of Bulwork, created by Brit Lunden.
I hope you enjoy what they have to say and like the sound of the books enough to grab one, or perhaps even all, of them.
First up is
Tell us about yourself?
I’m R.L. Jackson, a screenwriter, novelist, and editor-in-chief of Indie Authors Monthly magazine. I also dabble in book cover design and graphics.
What changes did 2019 bring to your writing?
Well the biggest change was the anthology project that popped up out of nowehere. I have a few other series in the works, but this one kind of took over. When i started writing it, it opened my eyes to the fact that I liked shorter stories better because it’s not as daunting as knowing my goal is 100k words and trying to meet that quota. It was way less stressful for me, and I think a formula I will adapt to my other works this year.
- Why did you do an anthology? Was it harder or easier than writing a full out novel? What was the hardest part?
I kind of answered that a bit above, but what brought the idea together was a conversation I had with Brit Lunden regarding an anthology I was previously part of. I couldnt take part in it anymore because cost-wise, I wasn’t able to participate. So we decided to pool resources and do this project on a shoestring budget and we were able to pull it off. It was alot of hard work, but we did it.
How did you come up with your story?
For me, I have a vampire series that Im working on and I thought that this story would be a great introduction to the one I already have in the works. I actually have 3 vampire series in the works, all unconnected, but in the same universe, so they may, one day, all meet up. Who knows?
What is the hardest part of being an indie?
The hardest thing for me other than the basic education one should have before pressing “Publish”, are the “authors” who sometimes cheat the system and make it harder for honest indie’s to make a living. Between, book stuffing, piracy, KU manipulation, selling, buying and republishing the same books, and plagerism, the industry has become sort of like the gun toting Wild West. It can be exhausting.
Do you stay with one genre, or jump around?
I write any genre that interests me. I don’t believe in pigeon-holing myself into one area, nor do I think I need to create a separate persona to write a different genre. Readers read different genres all the time, so if they’re a fan of mine, the worlds and adventures will be unending for them.
Share the process of this collaboration? What inspired you from the original story and how did you marry it to your own work?
The process starts like they all do. Nothing can happen until the words are typed on the page. Once that occurred for us, there was the process of organizing when, what, and how things would happen, and that can be exhausting when you have 8 authors. That’s 8 personalities, 8 timetables etc, you get the point. For myself, doing my own covers usually takes about 10 tries. Well, I did the covers for everyone and I’ve literally had to tweak them about 6 times a piece. That’s a lot of work, lol. I pulled my hair out several time, but it had more to do with KDP and their paperback system (don’t even get me started) than authors being picky, which they were not. The inspiration of Bulwark was the town itself. From the name to the witch that haunts it every 50 years. The possibilities for things to go bump in the night were endless. My story, though, travels from one state and ends up in Bulwark. I wanted people who had no idea what the town was about to experience it the way my character would on her quest and based on the reviews so far I married them correctly.
Would you do another anthology?
Yes, im actually plotting out the next book in the series. My characters have a lot to deal with and they are in no way done with the town of Bulwark.
What trends do you see in indie books?
I already see a lot of authors seeking alternative ways to market, and sell their books. The market is super saturated and that’s not going to change. It’s going to take very well written exciting stories that speak to millennials, and well placed advertising dollars to get in front of them.
What makes your books stand out from the sea of indie authors out there?
For me, I think it’s the way I relate my charcters. I try to bring a realistic way to handle situations no matter how high the stakes are. I try to introduce strong capable leading women in my books. No damsels in distress. The woman are the saviors, the protectors, the bad-asses. lol
*Edited 21/03/2019 to correct the answer to question 9, the answer posted originally came from another author, not RL Jackson.