Zack Metcalfe is a 22 year old author and journalist currently working as a reporter on Prince Edward Island, Canada. As an Ontario born, he grew up in the rural agricultural communities of Huron County, where he began his writing career. He's been putting pen to paper for nearly a decade, with six completed novels to his name, countless articles and many opinion pieces. He entered the world of journalism officially in 2010 and has since become a freelance environmental columnist. He's a dedicated reader, writer, runner, environmentalist, and dabbles in both film and photography.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The more I learned, the more indie I became. My publishing history began with a few words of wisdom from my father. As he always said, "invest in yourself." Writing my books was one thing, but how I chose to publish them was quite another.
I learned first the percentage of book that were published in the 21st century. Only 0.5 per cent of books written these days see mass publication. Publishers didn't have the money or time to pursue every promising book handed to them, so good work inevitably falls through the cracks. I didn't like that. I saw the indie book revolution, and knew I wanted in.
My first five books, Abel being the most recent at the time, were published in my attic. I collected some huge old printers from businesses who were either going under or upgrading. I bought a few heavy paper cutters, enough paper to sink the Titanic, found a glue gun, and built the rest of my equipment. I founded Metcalfe Family Publishing, the name recognizing the love and support I received from my brother and parents. Only a few months out of high school and I had a printing press. I'd pass entire weeks in there, the fans running to keep me from overheating, a gas mask on to protect me from the glue fumes, an audiobook playing to fight off boredom. Those were the glory days.
I started with small local bookstores, but when my journalism career picked up, and when I moved to Prince Edward Island, I had to get someone else to do my printing. Their printed books were of much better quality than the ones I wrestled together, but it was a good experience. Again I hit up the local businesses, and it's been going very well. I was interviewing a self published author one day for a story, and he told me about this wonderful indie publishing resource called Smashwords.
Now, over a year later, here I am. It would be nice to sell a few books, but I'm content knowing I've done everything possible to get my work out there. Smashwords is a wonderful resource.
What is your writing process?
I'm an organic writer. I sit down, start punching the keys, and see what happens. It works for some people, and not for others. I like to be surprised by my story just as much as my readers. My writing is necessarily mixed with a healthy dose of the outdoors. I go for long thoughtful walks somewhere quiet, often listening to music. I let my thoughts wander, and that's generally when my best ideas come to me.
I write like a madman, trying to keep up momentum, until I can finally call a book finished. I try to edit in the same way, and cut out as much as I can before handing it to my first battery of editors. Most of my modern editing style came from Stephen King, and his suggestions in On Writing, a book I recommend for any writer.
Abel Orion has spent his entire life defining the difference between madness and genius, the fine line between inspiration and hallucination. In spite of his shortcomings, Abel leads his small family through the silent expanse of space to their last shred of hope, a place from ancient times, a place shrouded in painful memory...a place called Earth.