"When it comes to authors,we may hide ourselves from others but within our pages, our true souls emerge." - Nicole Hill
"I want a Vampite of my very own. Until I find him, I'll just keep writing him into existence." -Nicole Hill
" I write like people talk. It may not be perfect but it's damn entertaining." - Nicole Hill

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

#IndieSpotlight of Jeffrey Littorno @JLittorno author of The Most Uncommon Cold I: Life in the Time of Zombies

Jeffrey Littorno 

The Title of Your Work or Group: 
The Most Uncommon Cold I: Life in the Time of Zombies 

Where are you from?
I grew up in a little town named Kenwood in Northern California wine country. All things considered, it was a darn good place to grow up. Lived around that area until I graduated college and took off for foreign parts. I spent time in Australia, South Korea, Kuwait, Mexico, Saipan and a few other places I can’t remember .

 In what genre do you write?
I have always been a fan of horror in both books and movies, so that seemed the most natural genre for me.

In your own words, what is your book about? If you were not the author and trying to explain this awesome book you just read to a friend, what would you say about it? 
My book is about a world turned upside down. Your loved ones no longer recognize you. The most basic laws of society are ignored. And the dead do not remain still. I would tell my friend about a great new writer named Jeffrey Littorno. His book The Most Uncommon Cold really makes you feel like you’re in the middle of the action. But instead of creating characters who just start fighting to survive, Littorno describes more realistic characters who question their own sanity upon seeing the dead begin moving. The book makes you wonder how you would react in the same situation.

What is your writing style? Do you follow all guides and rules? Synopsis, outline etc. or do you just sit down at the computer and type to see what happens. 
Most of the time I have some thoughts and notes scribbled about where I plan to go in the story. For Bloom’s Desk, my first book, I tried making an outline and organizing everything. As soon as I started, the outline and all the notes went out the window. I soon realized that the story had a mind of its own and would show me where it wanted to go, where logic said it had to go. So usually, I reread the last 10 or 15 pages of what I have written and go from there. 

Have you ever written anything and thought; " The world has got to see this!" ? 
 I think that with everything I write for publication!

Do you have an editor and Cover Designer or do you do this yourself? 
 I designed the covers myself. But I do have a great editor named Nancy McCaslin. I did not take me long to realize that I need a set of fresh eyes to look at my writing and catch the things I miss.

Who is your favorite author. Not just someone that you read allot. I wanna know whose book you read that made you suddenly know that if you didn't do this for the rest of your life then you would never be happy. 
Like most if not all horror writers, Stephen King is tops. I have to say that King’s writings really showed me that stories in any genre must be rooted in well-developed characters. Horror stories only work if readers care or at least feel like they know the people caught up in the situations. I don’t know that I ever felt like I could not be happy unless I was writing for the rest of my life. I had some pretty happy times before I started writing. I remember a night on the Greek island named Ios that was pretty incredible. But I digress... I like writing and would love to keep doing it. 

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
The thing I find most challenging in my writing is getting started. I typically have a swarm of story ideas swirling around in my head. Just forcing myself to sit down at the keyboard and letting some of them out is not easy.

Do you write your characters or do they write themselves through you? 
I think I always start by writing my character, but then they take over. The best characters always have the strongest voices to tell me where they should be going.

Do you ever write yourself into the characters? 
Every character is some part of me. Usually, the part of me that gives birth to a character is not entirely recognizable. However, other times it is easy to see me in my characters. Glen Davis in Bloom’s Desk is probably the most similar to me. He taught abroad. I taught abroad. Glen got married in South Korea. I got married in South Korea. Glen sees the ghost of a serial killer. I see the... Well, you get the idea.

Is writing your full time job or are you "Keeping your day job"? So to speak.
Writing is certainly a full-time job. Unfortunately, it doesn’t pay the bills (yet). I have to keep another job until it does. I pay the bills by teaching at the prison in Folsom, California.

If you could go back in time and meet one famous person or legend in history, who would it be? 
If you could go back in time and meet one famous person or legend in history, who would it be? I would like to meet Mark Twain. I can imagine sitting on a porch in rocking chairs, drinking a cold beer, and talking about anything other than writing.

There are millions of new books released every year. What in your mind makes yours stand out from all those millions in your genre? 
My books are written so as to put readers into the mind of the main character as much as possible. I think this psychological intimacy draws the reader in and makes them live the story rather than simply reading it. Many books in the horror genre seem to focus mainly on horrible images or occurrences. My books focus more on the reaction to those images and occurrences.

In the world of Indie, marketing is very difficult, especially if you don't have the funds to pay for it. Have you found a great free way to market your work that you think other Indies will benefit from? 
I am still struggling to find the great tool for marketing. I have seen some benefit from getting as many book reviews as possible. I have to admit that most of my marketing has been something of a shotgun approach. That is, I try to spend at least some time every day getting my book noticed. That usually means posting the link to my books on different websites. I started this campaign yesterday: Win a Kindle Fire! Buy The Most Uncommon Cold I' & leave a comment on Amazon. Drawing September 7th

Today, I ran across a post about The Book Referral Network. It sounds promising. We shall see.

Twitter: @JLittorno