An Interview With Author Daniel P. Douglas

daniel p douglasTell us something about your book. The basics: what’s it about?

Truth Insurrected is a science fiction conspiracy thriller in which a former FBI agent, William Harrison, investigates a decades-old extraterrestrial cover-up, conducted by a secretive and deadly group known as the Saint Mary Project, while hired guns and an alien-human hybrid stand in his way of finding and revealing the truth.

How did you come to self-publish? Did you try to get published traditionally?

I actually wrote the book 20 years ago and, at that time, tried briefly to go the traditional route. There weren’t any initial takers and during that time I decided that I wanted to edit and rewrite portions of it. Took me 20 years to finally get around to doing that, and by that time, the self-publishing world was very different. I didn’t think twice about self-publishing and planned to do that. Then, I found Geminid Press, LLC, a small, new independent publisher in New Mexico, where I live, that wanted to work with me. It has been a cooperative, hands-on, and rewarding experience ever since. The arrangement has offered the best of both worlds because although Geminid is publishing the book, I am involved in every step, in every decision.

What self-publishing service did you use? Happy with the service?

We worked with CreateSpace/Amazon, as well as BookBaby, and it has been very successful. I’m quite happy.

What avenues have you taken to market the book? Have you gotten reviews, interviews, TV, print media coverage?

We are at the very early stages of marketing the book, so gaining reviews has been very important at this point. It has been reviewed by Kirkus, Reader’s Favorite, and others, and I have been very pleased with the positive commentary. With each favorable review, we are able to promote and market the book, and use social media heavily to do that. I’ve also done a book giveaway on Goodreads, which will occur again. I am just now lining up my first radio interview and Geminid Press, LLC, is about to issue a major press release, so I am sure there will be much more to come.

What drove you to write this particular book?

To say the subject of UFOs is controversial would be an understatement, but that makes it all the more suitable as the topic for a novel. For decades, perhaps even centuries, people have seen these unknown craft in the sky or even underwater. There can be a sharp divide between believers and non-believers, and controversy about what it all means, especially in the context of alleged government secrecy. That tension, blended with the fundamental question, are we alone?, makes for a great storytelling opportunity.

Is the book in any one particular genre? Is it a genre that’s familiar to you?

Kirkus has described it as “multigenre,” which I like. The genres include science fiction, conspiracy, and thriller, all centered around a decades-old UFO secret kept by a sinister, shadowy government organization. I would say all of this is familiar to me because of my own longtime interest in the subject of UFO’s and the related lore, including various conspiracies. People who follow the subject know it can be frustrating. Answers and accountability are elusive, so I think I wanted to write a story that was a catharsis, and hopefully entertaining and meaningful too.

Who are your greatest writing influences?

When it comes to storytelling that I enjoy, I always have to admit that my influences are cinematic, as well as literary. I came of age at a time when blockbuster films like Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and E.T. (just to name a few) seem to come out every summer. In fact, I saw the original Star Wars 45 times during the summer after its release in 1977. Yes, I’m a nerd and proud of it!

In terms of authors, without a doubt, my favorite is Charles Dickens. His characters are iconic yet very real. I try to aim for that in my writing. I also read my fair share of Dashiell Hammett, and especially enjoyed The Glass Key and, of course, Maltese Falcon. In the latter’s case, you can bet I’ve seen the movie several times too. For some reason, I also really enjoyed — and read many times — The Catcher in the Rye. There was something very magnetic about the turbulence of Holden Caulfield’s angst and alienation. Also, I would be remiss not to mention enjoying the short stories of Edgar Allen Poe and Ambrose Bierce. Although it’s been years and years since I’ve read such stories as The Raven, The Tell-Tale Heart, and An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, I think of them fondly to this day

What’s your writing regimen? Any tips for keeping focused?

My ideal regimen is setting aside time in the morning to write and edit. I try to save other tasks for the afternoon, but it doesn’t always work out that way. I try to stay focused by setting a word-count goal for each day. It gives me something tangible to aim for, but mostly I just try to make the most of what time I have each day to write.

Would you self-publish again?Truth-Insurrected

That is easy to answer: Absolutely!

Any final words of advice for those looking to self-publish?

When you self-publish you are not only serving as the writer, but you are also serving as the publisher. This means you’ll be taking on all of the tasks to produce and promote your book. This can be a lot of fun and you’ll learn a lot, but it is also a lot of work. Be prepared for that and recognize that you’ll be wearing two hats. If you don’t honestly want to do that, then find a publisher, but still be prepared to play your part in promoting your own book.