As you may know, October is a special month for me as most of my projects were made during this month. For instance, three years ago, I created this blog and had the opportunity to interview Arnie Cantarero for the first time. But this was not the first contact I had with Arnie. Indeed, he trusted me enough to ask me a review in 2015, when I only had an account on Instagram. He was the very first author who sent me his book in exchange of a review. It was the beginning of a big adventure and I definitely couldn’t celebrate my 4th birthday as a reviewer and my 3rd birthday as a blogger without Arnie.
This is why I decided to do a new interview with him. Three years have gone by and Arnie has lots of things to tell us! Let’s discover it!
Three years ago, I had the opportunity to ask you some questions about you, your writing, and your novel Emotions. Could you tell us a little bit more about what you achieved these last years as a writer?
That’s an excellent question, Aly. Aside from Emotions, I finished its spiritual sequel to emotions, Sins of the Fathers, along with a prequel story for Stephanie (spoilers). I also started a screenplay about the government trying to weaponize the supernatural.
The lion’s share of my time though has been spent writing and re-writing Sins. It’s a passion project you might say, and it’s almost done (closer now thanks to your help). I can’t wait to see it in print (traditionally published this time).
You now have some experience in self-publishing. Would you recommend it to new authors?
I would beyond a shadow of a doubt, but with some caveats. The advantage of self-publishing is that a book that normally wouldn’t make it to an agent (for whatever purpose) can make it to the public thanks to self-publishing. The martian is a prime example of this.
I would warn those that want to head that way that when it comes to self-publishing, you don’t have to spend any money to actually see it in print (digital or otherwise). There are a few companies that promise editing, graphics, and everything you’ll need. All of this you can get elsewhere for a better price and higher quality.
If you’re going self-published, Amazon is still best along with KOBO, both of which you can upload everything yourself and ask any question you like along the process. Remember, they don’t make money unless you do.
However, like traditional print, a self-published book must be edited by a good editor, and beta readers and reviewers are invaluable. There’s a saying “Kill your darlings” I didn’t know what that meant until I got some beta readers.
With self-publishing, you also get a chance to get noticed by one of the big five. Do your sales and marketing properly, and they will be knocking on your door. Again, I can’t emphasize enough how important a different part of eyes is, especially when self-publishing.
Jason Ariaz is the main character of your book Emotions, but also of the novel you’re currently writing. It has been a while now that you are working on this character, and he certainly has a unique place in your heart and your mind. How do you feel when your readers make comments about him?
I have to admit, he and I share a lot of qualities (I’d like to think so, anyway), so I can take it a bit personal. I wrote him from my Own Voice perspective, so he’s easy. Any faults I might share, they go along with him in those pages.
I have to say, it was also a voyage of self-discovery as I’ve put Jason in situations I’d never find myself in and start thinking “how would I react if I had nearly unlimited power.”
When someone once called Jason spoiled, I took it to heart, but I didn’t change a word. Given the place and circumstances, I feel I would’ve done the same, albeit I don’t have a sentient computer in my head or have aliens watching over me.
Your books are particularly visual and could be adapted into movies. If you could choose, who would you want to hire to play your characters?
I’ve always said I wanted my books to be star makers, not star vehicles. The one thing I would insist on is that the characters be true to their characters. Ariel must be played by a French actress, Jason by a Hispanic actor and so on. More opportunities should be given in Hollywood, especially if they want to match the ever-changing landscape that is the human condition.
What are your plans for the next months and years?
I already started work on books three and four (untitled as of yet), and I’ll finish the Stephanie book along with the screenplay I was working on. If there’s enough demand, I’ll even rewrite Emotions to act more of a prequel to Sins, since I do like the age of the characters to be younger (high school age, not college) and go from there.
I also have a budding acting career so my ideal situation would be to be on a tv show for ninth month and then book tour for the next three.
A huge thank you to Arnie who took the time to answer my questions, with such honesty and lots of details. If you want to know more about Emotions, his first sci-fi novel, I recommend you to read my review. You can also visit his website and follow him on social medias: Facebook + Twitter + Instagram + Goodreads.