Today on Chase Connor Books, I thought I’d give myself a break from trying to think of unique and exciting topics to write blog posts over. Instead, I thought I’d answer my most frequently asked questions as an author.
On Twitter, on the website here, Goodreads, DMs, and emails, I respond almost every time to any question a reader or fellow author poses. As long as I have a helpful answer and I feel knowledgeable enough to give a decent answer–and it’s not too personal. However, not all questions get asked in the same forums–or even publicly–so some readers and peers might miss those conversations.
Why not compile them here? Readers will get some answers they want and my peers will get my take on certain aspects of the publishing world.
Let’s do this!
Q: When did you start writing?
A: I started writing when I was very young–13/14ish–and wrote my first novel at age 17/18. I can’t remember if I had turned 18 before I finished the first draft.
Q: Why did you decide to self-publish when you started out?
A: After researching all of the options out there, it seemed best for me. A bad experience with an agent and a publisher were the final nails in the coffin. Self-publishing fits my needs, desires, and sensibilities best.
Q: How are you so prolific? You started publishing 3.5 years ago and you’ve released 20+ books!
A: I wrote my first novel at 17 years old. I didn’t publish it until 9 years later. In those 9 years, I’d written the first draft of a dozen other novels. When I started publishing, I had a TON of work to draw from and develop. That’s how I was “ahead of the game” when I started. Additionally, I now do this for a living, so I can devote my entire workday to being in front of the keyboard. I also have no kids and my partner respects my workday, so I have no distractions other than what life will throw at a person from time to time.
Q: Which is your favorite book that you’ve written?
A: I hate this question just so we’re clear. LOL This is a Sophie’s Choice situation. I love all of my books for different, unique reasons. I’m proud of my first book because it was first. I’m proud of another book due to its message. I’m proud of another book because I feel my prose was *chef’s kiss*. Also, I hate choosing because I don’t want readers to think any of my books are not worth reading–I think they’re all entertaining at the least. However…if forced to choose…a book I have coming out in 2022, POSSIBLY TEXAS is one that I am particularly proud of at the moment. I can’t wait to share it with the world. I think 2022 is the year I show people what kind of author I can really be. This all sounds very egotistical, and I’m sorry, but I feel like I’m really starting to hit my stride as a writer–really discovering who I am as a writer. I think 2022 and beyond will really show that.
Q: Which of your characters is your favorite?
A: See the above answer for the requisite disclaimer. I can’t choose just one as my absolute favorite. However, recently, Davud from SENDING LOVE LETTERS TO ANIMALS AND OTHER TOTALLY NORMAL HUMAN BEHAVIORS (coming December 3rd, 2021) was a character I really enjoyed writing.
Q: Do you consider yourself an LGBTQ+ author or just an author?
A: I am an LGBTQ+ author. I am comfortable being referred to as Gay or Queer. Also, there are demisexual sprinkles on top if anyone cares (that falls under the “A” in LGBTQIA). Even if I write a book one day where the main character is not one of the letters, I am still an LGBTQ+ author. I’m not going to bristle at being labeled as such. However, I do hate that books need to be labeled as LGBTQ+ if they are not erotica or educational about LGBTQ+ issues/history. It seems like low-key censorship and high-key pearl clutching.
Q: What’s the best thing about being an indie author/small imprint author?
A: The community, sense of freedom, and unhampered creativity. The possibilities are only limited by your creativity, talent, hard work, and networking/marketing skills (with a nice dash of luck).
Q: What’s the worst thing about being an indie author/small imprint author?
A: There seems to be more competition and infighting in the indie world. A lot of people want to undermine other writers’ confidence. There is a lot of rudeness disguised as helpfulness or critique. There is still a big stigma about being indie because obviously, “you aren’t good enough for traditional publishing.” There are also baseless beliefs that no indie author can write as well as a traditionally published author. The lack of understanding of what goes on in the trad pub world and what happens in the indie world is mind-boggling at times. Everyone knows better than you. It gets frustrating sometimes.
Q: What advice would you give to new/unpublished writers?
Q: My spouse/partner/parents/friends won’t read my manuscript/book! Do you think that’s unsupportive?
A: Support comes in many forms. For example, my partner does read my books. If he didn’t want to, he’s still so supportive in so many other ways. He encourages me and is my biggest cheerleader. He tells me how proud he is of me. He gives me his love and respect. It would be fine with me if he didn’t want to read my work. However, if these people in your life don’t read your work AND they treat your dreams and goals and YOU with disrespect–that is something you need to think about at length.
Q: Do you like it when readers tag you in reviews?
A: I don’t read reviews anymore. Having said that, I don’t care if I’m tagged. I have an unspoken deal with my readers. You can write honest reviews and I won’t get mad at you if they are less than 5-stars, and I won’t read your reviews and you won’t get mad at me for letting you do you. LOL These are just my thoughts and feelings. I would advise readers/reviewers that you don’t know what type of day someone is having. Maybe they lost a loved one or pet. Maybe they woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Or they’re dealing with mental health or general health issues. Maybe they just don’t have great confidence or aren’t good with handling critique. Think really hard before you tag them in a scathing 1-star review. Today might not be the day to kick them in the teeth, ya’ know? However, if they’re like me, they wouldn’t know anyway. LOL
Q: Will you ever do signings or podcast/video interviews? Why are you so private?
A: Maybe in the future I will do signings, readings, or interviews (though, fair warning, I am not a great interview–I go off-topic A LOT). I’d certainly never say “never.” I’m private because I am selling my stories, not myself. I’m not a rare, luxurious commodity, but at the end of the day, I’m all I have that’s truly mine.
Q: Do you still enjoy writing? Do you ever get tired of it?
A: There are days when making the words move from my brain to the screen is arduous. Some days aren’t as easy as others. That’s any job, yes? However, I am still deeply entrenched in my love affair with the written word.
Q: Which of your books should I start with? There are SOOOOOOOOO many!
A: LOL! I get this one A LOT. Totally understandable. A SURPLUS OF LIGHT and BETWEEN ENZO & THE UNIVERSE seem to be readers’ favorites, followed closely by JUST A DUMB SURFER DUDE TRILOGY and A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF NORMAL. You can find all of my books listed here by genre.
Q: If you could choose one of your books to be made into a movie or T.V. show, which would you choose?
A: Hands down, A SURPLUS OF LIGHT. I think with the right screenwriter and director, it would make a great LGBTQIA coming-of-age movie. I have a book, THATCHER GRAVES AND THE DEMON’S CURSE, coming out next year. It’s the first in a planned series. It’d be a good Netflix or Amazon Prime series. JACOB MICHAELS IS… would be great, too. But I guess I can only choose one, so SURPLUS is the one.
I suppose that’s it for now. I’ll save other questions for another day when I’m feeling lazy and uncreative.
My next book, an LGBTQIA YA novel–SENDING LOVE LETTERS TO ANIMALS AND OTHER TOTALLY NORMAL HUMAN BEHAVIORS–comes out December 3rd, 2021. You can find it by clicking on that link and you can read more about it here.
Tremendous Love & Thanks,