Interview with Joe Plocki

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes. It was a hand-written short story entitled "A Red Christmas" that I wrote in my senior year of high school. It was an awful little story about Santa Claus being shot down over Cold War-era Soviet Russia. It had a small cult following among my friends that were avid fans of Tom Clancy and the like. I intend to rewrite it as a novella later this year.
What is your writing process?
I think of my story, or even a scene, and just write it, with total disregard for style, grammar or cheesy dialogue. Then I fill in gaps and improve the quality of what I previously brain-dumped. Somewhere along the way, everything ties together, and I send it to my editors.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Hunt for Red October - This is the book that made me want to write. It was vastly interesting to me as a teenager in the final years of the Cold War.
It - This book terrified me. Aside from the incredible storytelling, I could lay the book on the coffee table, and Pennywise would look at me anywhere I stood in the living room.
Alien - Also terrifying, while also incredibly interesting. I was too afraid to watch the movie as a preteen, but I read the book dozens of times. It would be ten years before I could watch the movie all the way through, even though I knew what was going to happen when.
Animal Farm - Great book about the October revolution of 1917. Soviet/Russian culture has always fascinated me, and this was a interesting insight into the rise of communism.
The Lord of the Rings - Great fantasy read. More epic than I believe I will ever write, but a very good read.
What do you read for pleasure?
Science fiction and fantasy.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I use an iPad with the Kindle reader app installed. Sometimes my iPhone.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Haha...none, so far. I've done paid ads on Amazon.com, and paid/boosted posts on Facebook. I think that combined between the two efforts, I've spent about 100 times more money than I've made in resulting sales.
When did you first start writing?
The first time I ever wrote something that wasn't assigned to me in school was in my senior year of high school. I wrote heavily for a few years, and sporadically since then.
What's the story behind your latest book?
A lifelong adventurer by necessity--a way to escape the streets after being orphaned as a child--finally acquires a treasure that he is certain will bring a price that will please his future father-in-law. When he returns to civilization, he finds a dragon destroying his fiance's home and her entire family. As an extra kick in the pants, the dragon kills his best friend and adventuring partner as well. He sets out on a quest to find the dragon and exact revenge. Obviously, it doesn't go as planned, and he ends up learning a bit about himself and teaming up with an unlikely companion. That's about all I can say without story-killing spoilers.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I've had these stories, well one anyway, in my head for twenty-five years. I've tried to write it over a dozen times. When it finally all came out this time, I realized that I didn't have the patience to deal with the traditional publishing process. After twenty-five years and a dozen tries, I finally finished it...no way I was going to let the traditional publishing process stop it from seeing print. So I self-pubbed, for better or worse.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Getting the stuff out of my head and finding that other people actually like it.
What are you working on next?
The second book in the series. The Dragon's Bane ends with the revelation of a greater evil in the world than Rayle's simple quest for revenge--an evil that affects Rayle's newfound friend and companion. Rayle agrees to help her, partially because a person he has known most of his life is behind it.
Who are your favorite authors?
Stephen King, Tom Clancy, J. R. R. Tolkien, Arthur C. Clarke
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My wife and family.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Boating, working on cars, camping, watching American football. Fly Eagles, Fly!
Published 2016-10-18.
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Books by This Author

The Dragon's Bane
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 75,180. Language: English. Published: October 18, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
Thwarted within sight of his goal, Rayle Fahr, professional adventurer, is forced by a previously unknown nemesis into a new quest--one for revenge. Follow him from the ashes of his ruin as he seeks to avenge his blackened heart and fills the abyss that has become his soul.