About the Author:
Bo Bissett (1976) was born in Durham, NC but spent most of his childhood years closer to the coast in New Bern, NC. Bo attended East Carolina University and then worked for his father as a Stock broker for a few years before deciding to leave America. Since then he has lived in the Czech Republic, Taiwan, Vietnam, Mexico, and now resides in Spain*.
A rainy Wednesday greets us, dear readers. I'm surprised I even made it out of bed. Nothing more sinful than lying in bed all day long with the sound of raindrops cascading down your roof. And it's too cold. My age is catching up with me. I feel positively decrepit.
And it is in that decrepit state of mind that we begin our author interview of the week. We take the G5 of our imagination from the boonies of Chicago to the rice patties of Vietnam. I'm guessing it's a little damp there too since it's pretty close to where I live.
Let's all welcome to Reads, Reviews, Recommends our guest author who has a wonderful case of wanderlust. Please state your name, occupation, and cocktail of choice for our readers.
Bo Bissett, Author and Entrepreneur, favorite cocktail without trying to snob the boys with small glasses with minimal cubes of well shaped ice; a cold beer.
Keeping it simple with the drink of choice. I like it! Barkeep, a round of Budweisers for all. Now, let's get this puppy started. What is your favorite quote from a book and why?
"F*ck me, Jesus!" I'm not 100% sure that is a quote but I would bet on it. Why? Being from the bible belt, I really enjoy looking at all the hypocrites that seem to gather as they age. Religion is a funny thing, in the fact that it's a funny way of keeping skeptics in place. No matter how ironic that sounds, I've seen it in full practice at the Episcopal Church in ***** NC, USA.
I'm actually reading a book right now that shows the main character having a problem with her very religious grandmother. Okay, let's step away from dangerous territory with this question: If I were to stare at your bookshelf (assuming you hadn't sic the dog on me) what kinds of books would I find and why?
My book shelf would look very empty in comparison to what you might expect of an author. I travel every 6 months and priorities comes first (underwear and socks).
I hear you. Books are heavy. And I learned that lesson the hard way. Went to Malaysia and ended up buying ten books. It doesn't seem all that heavy when you carry them out of the bookstore, but once you start packing...sigh. Okay, the writing. When did you decide to start?
I began writing as a kid. I always have kept a notebook handy and before last year had only scribbled down a few plot ideas, loose thoughts, and general poetic ramblings. I have always been known as somewhat of a freak with my notebooks. I didn't attempt anything serious until last year when I got the idea for John Hancock. I was overwhelmed at first at the idea of writing a novel, but I did a lot of research into how to actually go about writing a novel and once I broke it down into manageable chunks, the fear of writing 50 to 100,000 words disappeared. I wrote the first half of the book last November and then moved from Taiwan to Vietnam. Life was pretty hectic the first part of this year and I finished the book in October after I moved to Spain and got settled here. All in all it took me about 2 and a half months to write.
I walked around with a notebook, too. There's almost always a direct correlation between writers and notebooks. I find myself still purchasing them, despite the advent of technology. What genre is John Hancock under and why did you decide to write it?
John Hancock is a fiction/fantasy book. The idea popped into my head and I went with what kept coming. I like where I go when I write about John. I have a pretty vivid imagination and I enjoy the ride I'm on when I start pushing the pen across the paper. It's wicked fun! I am writing the second book now and it's even more fun than the first. I see now that I could have continued on and made the first book even longer, but that's hindsight. The first book sets up a second one perfectly.
We can never really say that a novel is finished. I think this is why many authors don't read their books once they are published. They always want to change or tweak something. As we order one more round of beer, tell us a little about your road to publication.
The publication part was the easiest. I published first with Amazon. They were a breeze to publish with. The only issue I had was my own fault. I did all the editing in the book and this bit me in the butt. I have since first publishing, uploaded a newer version that a lot of my readers helped edit. The next book will be clean from the start, since I now have three or four people willing to read it first and help me with the editing. I also published with Smashwords to get into the Apple ibookstore. Both of them were a pleasure to work with and I look forward to doing more business with both of them.
Always having a fresh set of eyes to look at your work is a great help. I've declared a war on typos and if I didn't have all my critique partners and beta readers, it would be an uphill battle. It's nice to see that you're willing to ask for help, too. So, what advice can you give other aspiring authors out there?
Like I said in the beginning, my biggest initial hurdle was the thought of writing a novel. Break it down into small pieces and then write each piece at a time. Like Nike says, just do it! I realize this is very cliche but it's the truth. The book doesn't write itself. Don't worry about trying to iron all all the kinks in the beginning. That is another self imposed barrier. If you write more than you need, you can always leave it out, but you can't fill up a blank page with nothing so, pick up the pen or start hammering away on the keyboard.
In one of the interviews I've done, I've mentioned that cliches are alive and well because they resonate with people. And I totally agree with you, Bo. "Just do it" is an appropriate cliche to use for writers. If we didn't sit down and write, nothing would get done. Let's move on to some life questions. How do you deal with stumbling blocks?
I kick them as hard as I can. If they don't move, I take the next best route. I climb over them and laugh when I'm on the other side.
That's actually a good way of thinking about it. Thanks, Bo! I may take that one to heart. Dear Stumbling Block, be afraid, be very afraid. If you could have been born on a different year, which would it be and why?
007. Shakin' not stirred. Need I say more.
Nope. I think you've summed it up right there. But I have one last question for you: If you could spend the day with anyone famous (living or dead) who would it be and what would you do with this person?
Antoni Gaudi. I recently had the privilege of viewing his architecture in Spain. If you think you have an imagination, take a look at what this guy did in the early 1900's. This guy had vision!
Great choice! It's actually a dream of mine to see Sagrada Familia. To travel like you do is something I envy, Bo. Thank you so much for allowing us to catch a glimpse into your writing and life. Dear readers, please raise your beers. A toast. To a journey of a thousand miles that begins with one step. Cheers!
Tomorrow, dear readers, you and nine others stand a chance to win a copy of John Hancock. If you want to learn more about Bo and his writing, you can always visit the links below:
What about you, dear reader? What journey are you on?
*Bo has since moved back to Vietnam.