I am delighted to introduce to you Andrew Price, the author of the exciting, new crime fiction novel Without a Hitch. Andrew has a blog where you can comment, and a website for Without a Hitch, where I know that – after you read his book – he would love it if you visit and leave a comment about it, or maybe about this interview. You can also check out his Amazon page for more information about him or his books, or write him at andrewpricebooks (at) hotmail.com .
If you didn’t read my review of Without a Hitch you can find it here. Now on with our interview –
Andrew, I am pleased to be interviewing you. To start things off, please tell us a little about yourself.
Thanks, Lynn. I’ve been a practicing attorney for seventeen years now and I’ve done a bit of everything in that time. I worked for the government, for large firms, and finally struck out on my own. I’ve spent most of that time litigating.
When did you first know you wanted to be a writer? Who or what inspired you? or discouraged you?
I think the first time I knew I wanted to write was in eighth grade when I realized that I wasn’t very satisfied with a lot of the films I was seeing and I wanted to see if I could do better. But I never did more than dabble until a few years ago. So in a way, I was inspired by the films that frustrated me.
As a writer, do you do much reading? Who were/are your favourite authors or books?
Believe it or not, I don’t read much anymore because I do so much reading professionally that it’s hard to sit down and read for fun. In the past, however, I’ve done my best to work my way through the classics. I did that when I realized that I wasn’t well read, so I set out to change that. My favorite authors are Tolkien and Shakespeare.
Have you ever felt like giving up? When did you finally believe in yourself so you can say “I am a writer”?
Nope. I started writing “Without A Hitch” to prove to myself that I could do it, and as I got into it, I found that I loved the process. I loved the idea of creating this world and these characters. So I’ve never wanted to quit.
On being a writer, in an odd way, I’ve always seen myself as a writer because that’s been something I was good at throughout my education and my professional career. But in terms of seeing myself as a professional writer, I still don’t feel that. To me, it still feels like a hobby.
Do you have a motto or Bible verse or quote that you try to live by and that helps to keep you going?
Live and let live.
What do you remember about your very first time to be published, how did that happen?
I self-published, so it’s been a bit of a different experience because I’ve done most of it myself. What I remember most though was when people started sending me e-mails telling me their theories about my characters. It was really great to hear that these people had been so affected by the book that they kept thinking about it even after they finished reading it.
What have you had published thus far? Of those, what do/did you most enjoy writing?
So far, I’ve only published two legal thrillers (“Without A Hitch” and “Wrongful Death”), but I’m dying to write some science fiction.
What process do you go through when writing and perfecting a book or article?
I’m more of an editor than a writer when it comes to writing, so I start with an outline and then try to get the book done in a rough form. To me, that’s when the writing begins as I go through the book and edit it until I get it where I like it. That often means completely re-writing the whole thing eight or nine times, but I find I’m much happier editing it to where I want it than trying to write it the way I want it the first time. I also find this helps me understand the characters better because I know their story from start to finish before I start tweaking their dialog and their quirks. The downside, of course, is that you get so deeply into individual parts of the book that it’s easy to lose perspective, so I often step away for a few weeks so the story is fresh to me again when I take another pass at it.
What inspired you to write Without a Hitch?
I used to read a lot of legal thrillers by guys like John Grisham. Being a lawyer, I always found myself scratching my head at how completely unrealistic these books were. That drove me crazy. One day I decided I wanted to see if I could write my own legal thriller while following a set of rules that prevented me from doing the things I consider cheating in other legal thrillers – like letting the reader into the protagonist’s mind for most of the story but then withholding that access to create suspense, or using ludicrous legal procedures or solving plot problems with lucky coincidences. I wanted to see if I could avoid all of that and still write a good story. That was my goal.
How long did it take you to write Without a Hitch? Did you have to do any research? And how did you come up with that title?
It took me nine months to write “Without A Hitch” and another year to decide I wanted to try publishing it. I originally just wrote it to see if I could do it without intending to publish it, but then an author friend convinced me to publish it. In terms of research, no, I didn’t really do any research because this book is based on things and people I’ve encountered in my profession. I actually have no idea where the title came from, it just came to me one day.
It’s a great title, very fitting. Did you write a little of yourself into any of the characters? Do you have a favourite?
There are pieces of me in several characters. The hard part was making sure I used different parts of me in the different characters because I wanted each to be an individual and not just a reflection of me. In fact, one of the things I wanted to do was to let the characters act the way they really would according to their own personalities, rather than forcing them to act according to the plot idea I had. Several times, this led to the characters simply refusing to do what I needed and I had to write around that, but it made the story better.
My favorite character is actually Molly. I have a lot of sympathy for her.
When you wrote Without a Hitch, did you have any concerns about having your characters using profanity?
Yes and no. Yes, in the sense that in my experience, profanity is a substitute for good writing. Too often, people who don’t know how to convey what they want to convey will use profanity as a way to create tension or emotion. I certainly didn’t want to fall into that category – plus I don’t personally use profanity in real life because it just strikes me as rude. But then I realized that I needed to be true to these characters and some of them, in my experience as a lawyer, simply talk this way. Beaumont, for example, is very, very typical of what you find in the criminal justice system.
My second book, “Wrongful Death” has a lot less profanity because the characters in that book aren’t the same type of people who would use profanity. And I expect that there would be none in my science fiction books.
It felt as if you planted leads into another book – examples: the ending (for sure!), the “mystery man” (new guy in office). I see such potential there for a follow-up book. Have you considered writing a series or a sequel to Without a Hitch?
When I originally wrote “Without A Hitch,” I had no thoughts of a sequel. I did think it might be interesting to write another story involving Molly, but I really didn’t think there was room for a sequel involving Corbin. But since I’ve published the book, I’ve gotten about a dozen requests for a sequel and, the more I think about it, the more I am intrigued by the idea. It won’t be my next book, but I am very much thinking of writing a sequel.
I look forward to it! How did you go about finding a publisher? an editor? did you consider getting an agent? And why did you decide to not go the traditional publishing route?
Originally, I didn’t even think of publishing. I just wanted to see if I could write the book. Then an author friend of mine read it and convinced me to publish it. I started looking for an agent and even spoke with a couple, but then I came across a series of contracts with professional publishers and I saw that they really didn’t do anything for their authors. Under these contracts, I would do the work, I would promote the book, and if I was successful, they would benefit. That seemed like a bad deal to me. So if I was going to do it all myself anyway, I decided I would rather work for myself and see what happened. So far, I’m quite pleased.
Do you have a job to go to every day?
Sadly, yes. I still do the lawyer thing, though I’ve stopped litigating to save my sanity.
What other interests do you have for a change from writing?
I write a political blog and a film blog – which take way too much time. I also love watching football.
How do you consistently write? Do you have writing goals – daily? weekly? monthly? long-range?
I do write every day, but I can’t force myself to write a certain number of pages or hours. I’ve learned my mind simply won’t do that and I’ll end up writing garbage. So I basically take what I can get out of my brain whenever it’s willing to give it.
Do you have another project in the works? Any hints you can share with our readers about that?
I’ve got too many projects in the works! LOL! One of the problems I run into is that when I write something all these ideas for other projects come to me! Right now though, I’m working on two science fiction books. One is a spaceship/alien sort of story and the other is something I always wanted to try: a science fiction comedy. After that, I plan to do another legal thriller about an attorney at a big firm who gets brought onto a rape case and doesn’t know if their client is guilty or innocent.
Finally, is being a writer/author all you had hoped or thought it would be? Do you have any advice for hopefuls?
It’s so much more than I expected! I absolutely love it. My advice would be to love the process of creating the world and the characters. Everything else will follow when it becomes real to you.
That is great advice! Thank you, Andrew, for this enjoyable and interesting interview.
Thanks for the interview!
Now, my book-loving friends, author Andrew Price has kindly agreed to mail a copy of Without a Hitch to one of you who leaves a comment here about something that stood out to you in this interview. You have until Tuesday, September 25 at 7 PM EST to get your comment in. Then one name will be drawn out of the basket and I will contact the winner via email. So, add your comment and then watch your email on Tuesday!
Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!