An Interview with Author G.E. Merritt

Tell us something about your book. The basics: what’s it about? The 98 Percentile

Chester Herman, Sheila Maddock, Jimmy Martin… three people born decades apart. Three people who all suffer from the same affliction. The migraine headaches that mysteriously started when they were all the same age. With the pain came a gift, a gift that only two percent of the world’s population possess. Once they awaken they are suddenly gifted with exceptionally high IQ. They soon discover that they have unlocked parts of their brains never accessed before and develop special “gifts”.  Can they adapt to their new found powers or are some things better left in the dark recesses of the human mind?

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

I decided to self publish initially because it takes so long to get an agent or publisher to even look at your work. Most publishers do not even accept unsolicited material. I still have sent my novel to literary agents but I wanted to get my work out there and see what people think.

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

I published with Bookbaby.com and Amazon Kindle, too soon to tell how it will all go, but at least my work is out in the public eye.

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

My book has only been out for a week. So far I am relying on bookbaby promotional tools and social media to get the word out. I honestly believe if your work is good, word will get around. So far I only have one review on amazon but I have only sold three copies to date so that is not bad.

What drove you to write this particular book?

I have always enjoyed Stephen King’s work. I have “dreams” that are pretty bizarre sometimes and this book is a product of one of those. I decide to try my hand and once I started to write I couldn’t stop. I spent fourteen hours a day for three weeks. I would go to bed and I had scenes playing in my head, I would get up and write them down. It was sort of an obsession.

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

I always find it hard to answer this. This book is not really horror, not really thriller. It is kind of like Steven Kings “The Stand”. Not sure what genre that really falls into.

Who are your greatest writing influences? 

JRR Tolkien and Stephen King. Both have amazing imaginations, just different genres.

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

Write something that excites you. When I was writing “The 98 Percentile” it was like I was reading it for the first time and I couldn’t put it down. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next.

Would you self-publish again?

I am writing my second novel now, “The Heinrich Maneuver.” It is set in WW2 Nazi Germany.   I would really like to be print published by a known publisher but if that doesn’t happen before the next is done I will probably publish it myself. The hard work is in promoting it. I am a writer not a salesman.

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

Don’t expect to put your book up for sale and watch the money roll in. It is hard to even get your friends excited about your book. Everyone these days is so busy. The first person that read my book was someone who I went to high school with and  haven’t seen in twenty years. She loved it but so far not many of my friends have made the effort. Try to get the word out BEFORE you finish it and get people excited. That is about all I can offer. This is my first go around but I have learned a lot in three weeks.

Barnes & Noble

also available on ibooks (itunes)