Michael Di Gesu! His theme for last year’s Challenge was introducing fellow bloggers’ novels in his own, original way – through flash fiction. What began as something fun morphed into an opportunity though, as he is now doing them professionally.
Your theme became more than just a fun thing to do, didn’t it?
Yes. For over a year I had witnessed cover reveals and thought they lacked imagination. A cover reveal should be special, exciting. Something EVERYONE will remember. When yours had come up I decided to have a bit of fun with it. Create a FlASH FICTION intro to make it special. That’s how it all began. After those first few, blogger buddies approached me. That is when I decided to use my “intros” for the A-Z theme.
What was the response of the authors you featured?
When I “announced” my theme and asked for books to feature, the response was OVERWHELMING. After the featured authors' intros were published, their responses where almost one in the same … they were excited. Many even wrote me and told they had wished the scene I had created was part of their books. I was very humbled and touched by their gratitude.
How difficult was it to find books to fit all of the letters?
As I had mentioned before, the response was “OVERWHELMING.” I received many requests for the same letters, so I picked those who had contacted me first for their choice. Only two letters I had no books, so I had created a “Joker’s wild” pick. The two authors I had featured were picked randomly from those who wished to be featured whose letters were already taken.
Which book was the most challenging?
That is hard to say. Each intro created had to be in the style of the author, so it would be believable. But one particular book’s subject matter was a tough challenge. Kittie Howard’s, RINGS OF TRUST. The subject matter catapults the reader into a world which sadly is still part of our society. White supremacy.
Which book was your favorite?
Oh, man, Alex …. you are sooo bad. You really want me to choose only ONE! Well, if I must … I’d have to say Nicki Elson’s “D” Double header. Since I had the exclusive for her cover reveal with DIVINE TEMPTATION before the A=Z Challenge, I had created an intro for her first book, THREE DAVES. This book brought me back to the 80’s which was a very special time in my life. The music. The fashion. The people. It was the most fun intro I wrote for the challenge.
How long did it take to prepare each post?
As most of my blogger friends know, I usually escape to Florida in March and April. Once I arrived to my usual destination, there was NO INTERNET SERVICE. So, for the first time I HAD to write many of the posts in March and schedule them. I am usually a pantser, so this almost killed me. I HAD to PLAN ahead. LOL. Something I rarely do. Each post took several hours. First I had to read each author’s blurb/synopsis and study the cover. I take my intros very seriously and each must be unique and special. I don’t just rush through them. On average, I would say about four - five hours to research and write, then another hour to post to blogger. Many I had used special fonts and colors which took additional time.
Where did you get the idea to introduce novels?
As I had said in my answer. I was bored with the usual cover reveals. I totally understand the time restraints of writers, but if a an author asks me to reveal their cover, I couldn’t just slap up the cover and the author’s blurb and info. Many of the reveals I feature are the author’s first books. This is a VERY exciting time for an author, so a reveal has to be memorable!.
If you do the Challenge again this year, what theme will you tackle next?
If I decide to do this year’s challenge, my fourth … I honestly don’t know. I know my theme was very successful, but since the challenge, I now offer intros as part of my author services for hire. So I would have to come up with another unique and exiting theme. If I commit, I want to give 150 percent to the challenge. We’ll just have to see where my life is in April. I am currently working on rewriting my second novel with an editor from a publisher. But I hope to have that all wrapped up before April 1st.
Thank you so much Alex for the interview. This challenge in all honesty changed my life. It opened up new opportunities for me.
Thank YOU for doing the interview, Michael. You rock!!
Co-host Ninja Captain Alex is the author of Amazon Best Sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm. He is the founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group and his blog can be found HERE