I'm pleased to welcome a writing duo on to the blog today to find out more about their journey to publication.
Check it out...
The writing duo of Geoff Habiger and Coy Kissee have been life-long friends since high school in Manhattan, Kansas. (Affectionately known as the Little Apple, which was a much better place to grow up than the Big Apple, in our humble opinion.) We love reading, baseball, cats, role-playing games, comics, and board games (not necessarily in that order and sometimes the cats can be very trying). We’ve spent many hours together over the years (and it’s been many years) basically geeking out and talking about our favorite books, authors, and movies, often discussing what we would do differently to fix a story or make a better script. We eventually turned this passion into something more than just talk and now write the stories that we want to read.
Coy lives with his wife in Lenexa, Kansas. Geoff lives with his wife and son in Tijeras, New Mexico.
ISBN: 978-1-932926-85-9 (paperback)
220 pgs, $14.95
Genres: Supernatural / Historical / Vampire / Thriller
Saul Imbierowicz had led a very unremarkable life until he was murdered by Al Capone and was then reborn as a vampire. Now Saul works for Eliot Ness, trying to take down Chicago’s most dangerous gangster. But only Saul, Ness, and Saul’s new partner, Agent Christian Wright, know the true danger that Capone represents.
As a vampire, Saul is stronger, faster, and his wounds heal rapidly, but he is also constantly fatigued, and he has a million questions about his new “life”. An offer from Al Capone to answer these questions comes with a price that Saul is unwilling to pay and, when the mysterious Mr. Brown reappears, Saul learns that there is a war brewing that will put any spat between human gangsters to shame.
While Saul struggles to keep himself from becoming a monster like Capone, he and Christian must work together, a task which is easier said than done. Christian sees Saul as an abomination, an affront to God, and would rather stake Saul than work with him, but understands that a war between vampires would be disastrous. This fledgling partnership must succeed, or Chicago may pay the price of its failure.
Who are you and what do you write?
We are Coy Kissee and Geoff Habiger, best friends since high school, game designers of RPGs and card games, sometimes herders of cats, and baseball fanatics. Oh, and we also write books. We have (currently) two series that we write. The Saul Imbierowicz series features an ordinary man who faces extraordinary circumstances when he’s thrust into the middle of Prohibition-era Chicago’s gang wars. While that’s bad enough, he soon learns that vampires are not just legends. There are currently two books in this series, Unremarkable and Untouchable, with the third book in the first trilogy currently being written.
Our second series is the Constable Inspector Lunaria Adventures, which are detective dramas in a fantasy setting of magic and monsters. In book one, Wrath of the Fury Blade, Constable Inspector Reva Lunaria is assigned a new partner, Seeker Ansee Carya. Together they must stop a serial killer who is killing people by cutting them in half with an enchanted sword. Book two, Joy of the Widow’s Tears, comes out in June of this year. In it, Reva and Ansee must deal with a double homicide where the victim’s bodies have disappeared. Before the investigation can get underway, Reva is suspended, and she and Ansee must stop a zombie plague from overtaking the city.
Where and when and how did the writing life begin for you?
We’ve both been avid readers for our entire lives, but the writing bug came late. While Geoff dabbled with some short stories in college, the real writing didn’t start happening until after we went on a vacation together to Chicago with our wives for a joint anniversary trip. That’s where the initial idea for Unremarkable and Saul Imbierowicz was hatched. We fleshed out the basic plot on the drive home, and the rest, as they say, is history.
How has the journey to this point been? Can you give us a basic rundown?
To date, the journey has been fantastic, although a bit slower than we’d have liked. It took us seven years to get Unremarkable written and published. It took only about five years to get Wrath of the Fury Blade written and published. Getting published was never a problem since Geoff also owns a publishing company, but getting both books written and to the point where we were happy with releasing them to the wider world took time. We’ve been happy with the responses and feedback that we’ve gotten from our readers on Unremarkable and Wrath of the Fury Blade and have been making faster progress on our follow-on titles. Now if we could just find a way to quit our day jobs and write full-time.
What's been the hardest part of your writing/publishing experience so far? And the most enjoyable?
From a technical/process perspective, the hardest part of our writing experience has been marketing our books. Marketing is always a tough nut to crack for many writers, and getting exposure as relatively unknown authors is something that we have to work hard in order to make it happen. That’s why we like doing interviews like this one.
The most enjoyable part has been all the great people we have met since becoming authors, from fellow authors (in many different genres) to the many great readers who have read and enjoyed our books. Meeting these people, and talking about the books that we write, the books that we like to read, and the entire process has been a blast. We hope that this will continue for many years to come.
Would you go back and change anything?
Would we change anything with our books? Probably not, although we’ve often wondered how Unremarkable would have turned out had we written it in third person instead of first. We’ve been very happy with how it’s been received, so we probably wouldn’t change anything. If we could go back and start writing sooner, or even finish up the process on writing Unremarkable in fewer than seven years, I think we would do that. In that case, we’d probably be ready to start on our next trilogy instead of getting ready to finish the first.
Where would you like to be in 5 years time? And 10? Or, what are your plans for the future?
In five years, we’ll have completed the first Saul trilogy and should be wrapping up the next trilogy. We’ll also have a few more Reva Lunaria adventures written as well. In 10 years, we’d love to be writing full time and hopefully have a couple of new series started. Maybe if we can land a movie/TV/streaming deal that will happen. Hey, Netflix, look over here!
What's one piece of advice you'd give to new writers just starting out?
We always tell new writers that the first thing they need to do is read. Know your craft. The best way to do that is to read a lot of books, written by a lot of different authors. Whether the writing is good or bad, you will see what to do, or what not to do. And don’t worry if you don’t write every day. We took seven years to get our first book published. It’s not a race. Work at your own pace, write when you are inspired, and don’t put pressure on yourself to hurry up and finish.
And most importantly...
Ketchup or Mayo?
Coy: Both. But the real question is Mayo or Miracle Whip, in which, the answer is clearly Miracle Whip.
Geoff: Depends on what I’m eating. Ketchup for burgers, French fries, etc. Mayo (well, Miracle Whip) for a sandwich.
Night or Day?
Coy: Night. I am a night owl, not an early bird.
Geoff: Day. I have always been a morning person.
Inside or Outside?
Coy: Inside. That's where all of my favorite things are. Plus, there's A/C in the summer and heat in the winter.
Geoff: Outside, though it makes it hard to write. But I like to go hiking, camping, etc. and that’s always better outside.
Dogs or Cats?
Coy: Cats. I don't dislike dogs, but I'm just not a fan of them.
Geoff: Both. I love cats and dogs, though I currently only have two cats. If I had more time to devote to puppy training I’d get another dog.
Twitter or Facebook?
Coy: Facebook. Yes, I'm old. Now get off of my lawn!
Geoff: Both. I do Facebook to stay in touch with family and friends, but I hang out on Twitter to connect with authors and readers.
Ebook or Paperback?
Coy: Physical book. See previous comment about my age. Although, I have been getting more ebooks lately.
Geoff: I prefer a physical book, but sometimes I get ARCs only as ebooks, so I read them that way. I understand the appeal of an ebook, but I like the feel of reading a physical book.
Sun or Rain?
Coy: Inside. That way neither of them impacts me.
Geoff: Sun, but not too much and not too hot.
Keyboard or Pencil & Notebook?
Coy: Keyboard. When I write by hand, my words and letters take shortcuts from my head to the page.
Geoff: Pen and notebook. Specifically, a Pilot G-2 gel pen with blue ink and a college-ruled spiral notebook. I write all our first drafts that way.
Comedy or Drama?
Coy: Both, but they have to be quality.
Geoff: Both – and I agree with Coy, they have to be good.
Chips or Chocolate?
Coy: Both, but not together. Chocolate chips are good, but no chocolate-covered chips.
Geoff: Chocolate, though I like my chips too. So maybe both is a better answer.
ISBN: 978-1-951122-01-0 (paperback)
ISBN: 978-1-951122-02-7 (ebook)
344 pgs, $17.95
Genres: Fantasy / Action & Adventure / Police Procedural
An ancient evil returns to Tenyl, threatening the city with an undead plague.
Constable Inspector Reva Lunaria’s boyfriend has returned home after a long voyage, bearing gifts and important news, but their reunion is interrupted when Reva is called to the scene of a double murder. The case takes an unexpected turn when Reva discovers that the victim’s bodies are missing from the crime scene, but solving the mystery of the missing corpses falls to her rival, Constable Inspector Pflamtael, when Reva is suddenly suspended. While Reva tries to enjoy her forced time off, her partner, Seeker Ansee Carya, investigates a missing person report, and unexpectedly finds a connection between the two cases. As Reva's boyfriend gets arrested for murder, Reva and Ansee must rely on the chaotic assistance of a halpbloed cleric and the reluctant support of Constable Inspector Pflamtael if they hope to clear his name and stop a zealot from turning all of Tenyl’s citizens into an unstoppable undead army.
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