Featured Author – Tom Conrad

???????????????????????????????The very private Tom Conrad is joining me today. (I had to pester him into sitting down and telling me stuff. Things he never thought he’d share with the public, but I’ll let him spill the beans. 🙂 )

Hi Tom, what is it about you that you’d like to share with the readers?

Well, I was born. Wrote many an ebook (continually delighted people actually read them)… Not dead yet!

Hahahaha! The best bio I’ve read in ages! Oh, what secrets you reveal! 🙂

But I get it, you wan to talk shop, right? So, what is the title of the book you would like to talk about?

That Coxom & Blondage Affair

Promo Cover 507 by 676AMAZON 

Did you have difficulty coming up with the title?

YES!

Like all my titles I spend days, turning into weeks playing around with the construction; wondering how it sounds to a reader and whether it communicates exactly what I hope it to communicate. In this case I debated two key-points:

1: The starting point for my new rom-com, That Coxom & Blondage Affair, was the creation of two internet dating profiles; two usernames for my pair of would-be lovers.

Beatrice Cherry aka Blondage (Blond•age [blon-dij] noun (of a blond) one who likes kinky goings-on.)

Frankie Drake aka Coxom (Cox•om [cok-suhm] adjective (of a man) full-cocked.)

You can see my blog for a full run down but essentially I’ve coined the word Coxom. I needed both names to be suggestive and playful, and having decided to use Blondage, at an early point in development, I needed a suitable name for my male protagonist – a moniker that really grabbed a reader’s attention. I hope people find the title and name both fun and playful. Also, it means, if I die tomorrow, largely unread and unloved, I will have at least attempted to bring a word into currency – albeit a lewd one

2: I once again debated whether to use “that” instead of “the”. A kinda trivial consideration but one that kept me awake at night… fretting. I opted for “that” in the end because I wanted to create a set of books each opting for this colloquial term opposed to the formal use of “the”. I’ve noticed more and more it’s how we speak: did you see “that” idiot on TV last night, have you met “that” gorgeous girl in Accounts yet?

If you had to change the genre in order to publish it, what would it be then? I.e. would you conform to the market?

I have published it and am really happy with it. In terms of publishing with a “traditional” publisher: yeah, I’d do whatever they wanted if they paid me the big bucks… BUT I’d rather just write a new novel. I think I’m pretty capable of changing my tone of voice. It’s why I’ve written different genres to illustrate the point: crime/thriller, modern fantasy, mild erotica, realism and rom-com. I’m still experimenting as a writer (and human).

Can you tell me how you celebrate finally getting that tricky chapter (or paragraph) right?

Oh yeah, that feeling is great. I usually do a little dance, pace about the house feeling excited and having a strange pep-talk/conversation with myself.

It goes like this: ‘that was the final stumbling block, Tom; now there’s no stopping you. THIS WILL BE A SUCCESS!’

Then I probably make more tea and get on with the next chapter… because there’s always another chapter.

Right, with that out of the way and to confuse you we’ll take the alternative route now.

What don’t you like about writing?

How long it takes to get a story exactly right and do it justice. I think it’s why I keep writing short stories in-between longer novels because I need that fix of completion. I’ve currently three shorter works on the go, and I think I’ll release them before my next (third) full-length novel.

What do you do marketing wise and what do you think generates the most attention to your books?

I think perhaps I’m the worst individual at marketing ever, so I’ll hesitantly answer this. The thing is, you’ll find several blog posts on my personal blog describing how NOT to market your ebooks.

And believe me, this isn’t cunning reverse psychology but me genuinely fumbling about in a half-arsed manner. That said, I have sold some ebooks so I must be doing the occasional thing right – like contacting you and appearing on this wonderful blog 😉

Why thank you Mister Conrad! Hahahaha. Tell me, when you’re on a roll, the muse is in the house and happily guiding your pen, what would seriously drive her/him away?

Noise. I’ve recently started listening to music to block out the noise, but sometimes music distracts me even more. I live on a noisy road; I’ve always lived on noisy roads, and so I dream of having a quiet house away from the distraction of city life.

Do you ever speak to your characters and do you get along all the time?

My latest work is told from the POV of both characters and I’d certainly say I couldn’t help but feel I was falling in love with myself at times, which people who read the novel may realize has a deeper meaning.

Is there any food or beverage that is a constant factor in either your books or life?

Tea. 

What is your favorite dish and can you give me the recipe?

I can give you the local takeaway’s number but I think you may need the international dialing code? Actually I can and do cook… but I don’t cook “dishes” as such. I will when I have my nice quiet house with a nice spacious kitchen.

Bugger! Erm, I mean, what a shame. 🙂 

Would you be able to come up with a credible excuse why you haven’t written for a whole day? Remember, I have to believe it!

I often do write for a whole day. Usually only my day job, dating or exercise gets in the way. The past three years has seen me devote most of my spare time to my writing. I’ve become somewhat obsessed.

And finally why would you ever want to live life behind a keyboard slaving over a manuscript?

I’d say my writing is the one pursuit offering me a sense of real achievement in my life. I’m in control and I create something. Creating something is important to the spirit of mankind. I believe all this creating and feeling a sense of achievement are the things everyone truly need in their lives; a sense of pure attainment to keep them sane in this mad, mad and noisy world.

Okay now that we have the mandatory questions out of the way, shoot your mouth off. Tell me whatever you want to blab about. But please no cats, dogs, or children. Make me laugh, or cry, or even envious. Tell me something no one has ever heard before from you – hehe, I love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe 🙂

To be honest, I don’t really have secrets… I’m as open as an ebook 😉

WHAT! No secrets? Well, you’ll just have to come back then when you’ve gained some to share with me. 🙂 Is there anything you would like to share with me and my readers in the mean time?

Big THANKS to Lucy for questions that truly made me think, and to all of you who’ve read this far. Your support is very welcome, and very much needed; so if you can share this post with 100 people and buy my ebooks, well, that’d be awesome! Thank You!

Let’s make that our mission then. Share this post and your thought about it, and I’ll share where people can find you and your books.

Ton has a page on The Book of Faces (aka Facebook), he is a little bird that Twitters as @tomconrad1980, or he can be mailed direct at tom(at)heindiepedant(dot)com

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