I’m very pleased to be host to Best Selling author of Just Remember to Breathe, Charles Sheehan-Miles today who is here with a brief interview and information on his latest release, A Song for Julia.
Charles is on a blog tour and giving away a digital copy of Just Remember to Breathe. To win, you need to leave a comment here on my blog. There’s a grand prize of $250 that Charles will pick from all the comments from all the blogs. You can check them out by following the tour! I’m picking my winner on 12-24-12, so be sure to post your comments before then!
Without further ado, here’s Charles:
“What is the most inspirational thing a reader has said to you about the impact your writing has had on their life?
A long time reader, and probably the only person on earth who has read all of my books, told me recently that he’d first stumbled on my first novel, Prayer at Rumayla, and that it helped him understand his dad, who suffered from PTSD from Vietnam.
Reading something like that makes me break out in chills, because it reminds of the responsibility that writers have to their readers. Whatever the genre, I think it’s critically important to tell the truth about the human condition. I’ve written in multiple genres: a war retrospective, political thrillers, now romance. But the common thread in everything I write is trying to hold to the truth about humanity, at least as I understood it at the time.
You write about emotionally charged subjects. How much of your own personal story goes into your books?
Probably too much of my personal story ends up in my books. I pour my dreams, my nightmares, my fears into them. It’s one of the reasons why my wife generally won’t read my books: we share a lot of the same dark fears, and I tend to rake those over the coals in my stories. PTSD, trauma, dealing with a kid with Aspergers, fears about our future – these are all subjects which are pervasive in my writing. But so is hope for the future.
What’s interesting is when I look at how my writing has progressed from when I was in my twenties, I’ve become far less cynical and jaded as I’ve gotten older. My first novel didn’t sell very well, probably less than 2,000 copies over the ten years since I published it. But that’s because it really represented the way I felt after the Gulf War: a lack of hope, a lack of any feeling of resolution. Now, hope, love, understanding are things that are essential to my life and find their way into my stories.
You’ve become an Amazon Best Selling author! And you are an Indie author. What advice can you give other authors to achieve the same sort of success?
Keep writing. Focus on telling a great story instead of marketing. There are literally a million books out there, but success comes if people love your storytelling.
Honestly, I credit one single reader with the success of Just Remember to Breathe. I never expected it to do nearly as well as it has, but I floated it to a number of blogs right after it was published. One reviewer really connected with it, so much that she started telling her friends about it, and they read it, and told their friends. I had no idea this was happening at the time, and I’d sold maybe a couple of dozen copies the first two weeks the book was out. Then one day I sold fifty. The next, a hundred. I was stunned. And the thing was, no marketing tricks, or advertising, or hawking your book on blogs, or anything like that, can accomplish what a single reader who loves a book can accomplish, which is get word of mouth going.
And now presenting – A Song for Julia
Everyone should have something to rebel against.
Crank Wilson left his South Boston home at sixteen to start a punk band and burn out his rage at the world. Six years later, he’s still at odds with his father, a Boston cop, and doesn’t ever speak to his mother. The only relationship that really matters is with his younger brother, but watching out for Sean can be a full-time job. The one thing Crank wants in life is to be left the hell alone to write his music and drive his band to success.
Julia Thompson left a secret behind in Beijing that exploded into scandal in Washington, DC, threatening her father’s career and dominating her family’s life. Now, in her senior year at Harvard, she’s haunted by a voice from her past and refuses to ever lose control of her emotions again, especially when it comes to a guy. When Julia and Crank meet at an anti-war protest in Washington in the fall of 2002, the connection between them is so powerful it threatens to tear everything apart.
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