Interview with Derek Haines

Who are your favorite authors?
Without a doubt, Douglas Adams is at the very top of my list. But after him, it's a mixed bag of delights, with Jasper Fforde, James Clavell, Erich von Daniken, John Pilger and Enid Blyton along with many more of course.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Being told what to do is something that I am not very good at, and probably why I have been self employed for most of my life. When it came to my writing, I had this same attitude, and struggled with the idea that if I used a publisher, I would be signing away not only the rights to my books, but also my freedom to write in my own words. So, self publishing or Indie publishing suited me far better. My books stay my books, and no one tells me that I have to write in a certain genre, or certain way, to suit the marketing department.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My students. While I have the small author label, most of my time is spent teaching ESL English to business professionals. It is the best job one could have, so I need no more motivation at all to start my days.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes. It was absolutely awful. Luckily though, because of self publishing, I was able to take the dreadful monster down by unpublishing it and saving myself a lot of embarrassment. A few years later, I revisited this book though, and after a long re-write and lots of editing, I found that there was a good story hiding inside. I published this book some time later under a new title, and it has done quite well over the years since then.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Being chronically lazy. Slothic in fact. But I like to read the news and keep abreast of how badly our world is going.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have been through a few devices over the years, but now I have settled on my iPad mini. It's light and the screen suits my old eyes. As well as this, an iPad lets me read on a number of platforms using different reading apps, so I am not locked into one retailer's walled garden.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
By far the best book marketing for me is metadata. It may sound odd, but I do believe books and ebooks sell by discovery, and not by advertising or promotion. Good metadata is what allows readers to find my books, so I work on my books' metadata continuously trying to improve their search discoverability.
Describe your desk
Easy, I don't have one. I hate them with a passion.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Perth, Australia, and although I was a dreadful student and an obnoxious teenager, I quite liked my English teacher at high school. She was a stunner, so I never missed a class. I'm not sure if she influenced my writing, but at least she taught me what verbs, nouns and adjectives were. It was a start. She also like John Lennon's writing at the time, so that made her quite cool.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Control. It's been a theme through quite a few of my books. Who controls those who we believe control us? Well, anyway, I solved this vexing question once and for all by using salmon and swedes to explain it all.
Published 2015-10-04.
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