Interview with Tony Cooper

When did you first start writing?
I started writing as a small child. I was always coming up with fantasy and SF stories even then and was forever getting "is a daydreamer who needs to concentrate more in class" on my report cards.
But when you become an adult you are meant to stop all that silly stuff and knuckle down and study, do 'real' work, so that's what I did. Until about 2010 or so when, bored with work for some time, I let myself start imagining again. I kept a small notebook to write down ideas, some of which eventually became short stories.
After that, and knowing I wasn't getting any younger, I spent time coming up with story ideas I could make into a full length novel. Around the same time I discovered how you could self-publish instead of letting your work languish in a forgotten hard drive folder. When those two things combined, there was no stopping me!
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I can't remember the first *ever*, but the first I do remember, and the one I devoted some time to was 'Cockroach'. It was a novel about a radiation leak from a nuclear power plant in the UK mutating cockroaches to the size of sheep, and about the investigation by the local police and a reporter into the strange deaths they caused.
It was a 'full length' novel, probably about 40k words in retrospect, handwritten across two pink school jotters (remember them?), and I had a sequel planned too!
What is your writing process?
I start writing the parts of the book that most excite/interest me then move on to the next one. This means I write 1000 words in one chapter than ping back to an earlier one to do another 500, then forwards to near the end and so on.
This way I never get bored, and over time I start to flesh out the whole book, making sure references match between the parts I started writing first and the later ones.
It's all very organic and I don't constrain myself in any way. It's only towards the end that I come to chapters I 'have' to write there and then to link certain sections of the book together to finish it off.
Once that is done I will read it from start to finish, editing, re-writing and remodelling (moving chapters around etc.) as I go until I'm happy with it.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Seeing what my brain creates when I give it a limited set of options to work from.
I give it a start point, and end point, the location, the characters there, and any changes to them that need to happen while they're there and just let it go! Sometimes it takes longer that I would like to work it out, but often I'm surprised how it links things together and what it comes up with, so that's always fun.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The writing has always been there, I just became more serious and professional about it a few years ago. As for being 'indie', there was never any part of me that wanted to go through the traditional publishing gatekeeper process. As soon as ebooks and self-publishing became established, I knew straight away that that was how I wanted to do it.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Ebook forums and Google adwords have been my main marketing routes of choice.
Both have their pros and cons, but taken together they target both ends of the readers you are going for: those who love their ebooks and scour forums and blogs for new books and deals, and the more casual reader who might take a pop at a cheap book deal ad they see after a web search.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My alarm. The thought of the first cup of tea of the day. Not wanting to doze off and wake up and hour later feeling like I've been drugged.

I'm not a morning person, can you tell?
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I think the first one was some primary school reading program thing. The first one I remember deliberately reading, aged about 9/10 was The Lord Of The Rings. I remember being completely wrapped up in the story and characters, and I devoured it in a couple of weeks.
Funnily enough, I tried to read it again a few years ago and couldn't get into it at all.
How do you approach cover design?
I approach Harry and get him to do it for me! :)
Seriously though, I always have a definite idea for the cover, from the point when story ideas are forming in my brain. I already know what I want for all the covers of all the books I'm planning.
The cover has to match the feel of the book for me. I don't much care for using familiar 'set' designs for genres, even though they are supposed to boost sales. They just all look the same to me, blending into one another on bookshelves and Amazon. I much prefer to go with something striking or different, but still in keeping with the story.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I do have a Kindle, and often read short works on my tablet or PC, but I still prefer to read the dead tree version.
Describe your desk
Thanks for reminding me to tidy it up! :D
What's the story behind your latest book?
"Higgs & Soap: Galaxy Delivery" (out this September) is a SF comedy romp featuring car chases, killer cyborgs, genetically modified thieves and undeclared goods.

For myself, I wanted to write something completely different to my usual 'moody and serious' style, so I just went for it. I hope that unbridled madness comes across in the writing and characters and that people actually find it funny.
Published 2015-06-19.
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Books by This Author

Higgs & Soap: Galaxy Delivery
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 36,890. Language: English. Published: August 7, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
Join Higgs and Soap in a galactic romp featuring killer cyborgs, genetically modified thieves and undeclared goods, as they discover their latest cargo is valuable enough to die for. And they are all out of dying!
The Resurrection Tree and Other Stories
Price: Free! Words: 31,360. Language: English. Published: March 26, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
A collection of nine dark short stories about life, death and consequences. A mix of creepy, disturbing contemporary fantasy and science fiction stories in one book.
Powerless / Killing Gods: A Superhero Novel Double Edition
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 217,080. Language: British English. Published: November 16, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban, Fiction » Science fiction » General
This is a special edition collecting POWERLESS and KILLING GODS, the first two books in the 'Powerless' superhero novel series from author Tony Cooper.
Killing Gods: A Superhero Novel
Series: Powerless, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 94,690. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: July 22, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General, Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
When a physically mutated villain's son goes missing from protective care, he goes on a rampage to try and find his child. In his way stand a Child Protection Officer following her heart above her duty, a violent anti-hero group desperate for media attention, a seemingly benevolent hero-worshipping cult and Martin and Hayley struggling to work out who they can trust.
Powerless: A Superhero Novel
Series: Powerless, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 125,970. Language: British English. Published: January 12, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General, Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
When the best friend of a retired superhero is killed by another power, Martin must drag himself out of his self-imposed isolation to find out who is responsible. In doing so he finds himself digging up a past he would rather forget, risking exposing the secret of why the team split up and destroying all their lives in the process.
Making Gods
Price: Free! Words: 12,480. Language: English. Published: May 26, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
(4.00)
'Powerless' Chapters 1-3: a retired hero is dragged from his self-imposed isolation when an old teammate is murdered by another power and he is tasked to find his killer. 'Lord of Shadow': a small boy finds solace in the darkness. 'Making Gods': two linguistics experts find an awkward romance over ancient carvings. 'The Colours of Jupiter': a group of scientists investigate the nature of time.