Authors, Writers, Publishers, and Book Readers
Q1: Thanks for participating in our Authors.com Spotlight Interview series! Please introduce yourself and your book to help our readers get to know you.
A: My name is Sally Pomeroy and I am one-half of the writing team of Keith and Sally Pomeroy. Our book, Butler Did It! is the first in a series called the Matthew Butler Adventures. Our main character, Matthew, and his sidekick, Tommy Cooper, travel the world, field testing high tech innovations and generally getting into trouble everywhere they go. Their ship is the converted LST the Pelican, which is crewed by a collection of eccentric characters. Oh, they also periodically fall in love with an existing or introduced female character.
Q2: Please explain how you came to be a writer, what inspired you to write your book(s) and how long it took.
A: Keith has been a writer for much longer than I have. He has been writing on a series of novels called the Rabbit Dowd Mysteries for twenty years or so, mostly for his own entertainment. Several years ago, on a trip with friends to Lake Powell, we were talking about one of our favorite movies. It was a buddy action adventure movie featuring Matthew McConaughey and Steve Zahn. We had heard the news that there would be no more in that series because the author of the books had thrown a legal tantrum over not liking the movie. So, on a lark I said, we should write those books, the ones they could make this kind of movie out of. We began brainstorming and decided on our main character and his sidekick and it began to grow from there. It took several years to complete this first book because we had a lot to learn about each other and our expectations in writing the novels. It got put on hold for a while, but eventually, with some negotiation, we got back to work on it and finished it in fairly short order.
Q3: What did you enjoy most about creating this book?
A. I love the characters. I can just hear these two guys in my mind, so the scenes where they do something silly, or dangerous, or both at the same time, are pure fun to write.
Also I love writing with Keith, we go out to our favorite lunch spot and brainstorm and argue emphatically about the details of the book, the reactions of the characters, how the plot can be made to work. It has added a lot to our friendship. After 25 years of marriage, you can run out of things to say to each other. This always gives us something to talk about. When we solve a logistical problem or come up with the right wording for something we’ve written but didn’t like, it feels like a great discovery. It’s a delightful process of throwing ideas at each other ‘til one of them sticks.
Q4: What facets of your life, both personal and professional, are woven into your book, if any?
A. Keith is a geologist and an amazing storehouse of trivia. So his knowledge of the earth, history, science, and general oddities often gives us material to work with. I love to do research, so the things I discover in my research fill in the details of location and provide the basis for the high tech equipment Matthew and Tommy test. These technologies end up being part of the story. I love animals, so there had to be a dog.
Q5. How did you get published?A. We self-published on Smashwords and then Amazon. It’s so easy to do, and we’ve heard so many things about how hard it is to get published, it just didn’t seem worth the effort. It would have been nice to have a professional editor, but I think we did OK. Perhaps if we were trying to make a living it would be worth going the publisher route, I don’t know. I think the publishing industry is in such flux right now; perhaps lazy writers like us have arrived just in time to take advantage of a major shift in that world.
Q6: Did you have any surprises or hiccups along the way during the book writing and/or publishing process?A. Well, there was the aforementioned hiatus, while we figured each other out. Also, it took a long time to edit, many more months than I expected, of going over and over and over it. Once we decided we were ready to publish, it was up and out there in a matter of days.
Q7: What one thing did you wish you'd known before you started this project?
A. I wish I’d known how much I would enjoy it. Having Matthew and Tommy’s world alive in my head, the delight of discovery when one of us comes up with a good idea, and that great little buzz you get when you’ve written something that’s just right and you sit around with this happy little glee inside, gloating for the rest of the evening.
Q8: You're a fly on the wall when readers are discussing your book. What would you hope to hear them say about it?
A. I’d like them to say it was really fun to read. That they can’t wait for the next one.
And of course it wouldn’t hurt if I heard them say, “Matthew McConaughey should make a movie out of it, I’ll go tell him right now.”
Q9: Tell us one thing about you that most people don't know or would surprise them.
A.I think I love to travel, but I get miserable when I’m away from home for more than a few days.
Q10: What single piece of advice would you give new authors?
A. Edit, edit, edit! Learn the meaning of the words you use. Go through your work forwards and backwards and make it the very best you can. A reader who is distracted by mistakes is going to miss out on the beauty of what you’ve written.
Q11: Share a short summary of a typical day in your life with us please.
A. I am really spoiled. I rise around seven, open the door to let the pets out, and make a cup of tea. The tea is then my excuse to sit and stare into space until brain and body get working. Then the dogs and I go out and climb the hills near us for half an hour or so, during which time I often plan what I intend to write next. Many ideas take form while walking those paths. If it’s a nice day I might garden for a while. If it’s a writing day I take my NEO, a cheap little word processor, outside or into my tiny greenhouse and lose myself in Matthew and Tommy’s world for a while. Or I could end up getting lost reading cookbooks for the whole morning, and not get started until afternoon.
I usually check my email, facebook, and favorite websites once or twice a day and comment or respond to comments whenever I can.
In the evening the dogs and I go out again, for a shorter walk, I try to have something scrumptious for dinner, and get the cats in before dark.
I go to Tai Chi class or practice Tai Chi in the evenings, then read until I fall soundly asleep.
Like I said, grandly spoiled.
Q12: Describe where you do most of your writing. What would I see if I was sitting beside you?
A. I like to write outside, if at all possible, otherwise I sit at my computer in a large family room. If you sat beside me, you’d probably see me staring into space a lot. There would be a cup of tea or a glass of Italian or Spanish red wine nearby, and three dogs lazing around our feet. Often a cat would come by to get in the way for a little while. Hopefully you’d hear some sounds of glee because something fun has just been written.
Q13: What's your motto or favorite quote you like to live by?A. ”Nine tenths of magic is knowing one extra fact.” Terry Pratchett
or, “There’s no justice, there’s just us.” Also Terry Pratchett
Q14: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us in closing such as your website, an imminent book launch or what you're working on presently?
A. We’d love you to visit our website: http://www.matthewbutleradventures.com where you can read a sample of Butler Did It! And check out my blog for updates. Matthew and Tommy’s next adventure, tentatively called Butler’s Island, is in the works. It takes place in Matthew’s home town of Mobile, Alabama. We’re going to learn a few things about his past, largely from a couple of old girlfriends. There is an evil plot, pirate treasure, a wedding, a desperate escape, and of course, the dog. Should be fun!
Thanks for your time Sally! Please share this Authors.com Spotlight Interview with friends and fans by linking to it, Tweeting it, Digging it, sharing it on Facebook and generally shouting about it anywhere you can. Fellow members, please support Sally by doing the same.