Hello everyone, so I had an interview with Mr. Phill who is the Author of Rise of a Phoenix. (here’s the link to my review on Rise of a Phoenix ) I met Mr. Phill while I was scrolling through twitter and he was really nice to send me a review copy of his book which I enjoyed. Anyway here is my interview with Mr. Phill. Hope you enjoy it and I’d love to hear your thoughts down the comment section.
Q: Hello Mr. Phill, thank you again for Accepting this interview request, would you mind telling us a little something about yourself
A: Hi Kenchi, thank you for having me here today. A little bit about myself, well I was born and bred in the West Midlands Great Britain, in a place called Wolverhampton. I am the youngest of three, with a sister and brother. I had a fun childhood with a few good friends. After school I went to college, and when that ended got my first job as a glass cutter. At the age of seventeen and a half, I left home and joined the British Army. During my service, I had traveled a great deal and met some fantastic people. After twenty-two years I left and got into security and writing mystery thrillers.
Q: what genres do you feel comfortable writing Mr. Phill? What draws you into those specific genres?
A: Eventually I would like to explore different genres, especially sci-fi or fantasy. For now, I love writing mystery thrillers. I love the twists and turns a story can bring. Not so much as to confuse a reader but merely keep them on their toes. Everyone loves a good crime book; that’s why Lee Child, James Patterson and Micheal Connelly are doing so well.
Q: Can you tell the viewers a little bit about your Book? Which is Rise of a Phoenix
A: I based Rise of a Phoenix in one of my favourite city is, New York. The story begins when a smart and savvy female detective SAMANTHA McCALL is brought in to investigate a murder of a middle-aged woman. As she hunts for the killer, more bodies start dropping. Her investigation takes a turn when a mysterious British detective comes on the scene to assist. There is a tension between the two; he admires her, and she wants to shoot him. It’s a fast-paced mystery thriller, with action, drama, romance and enough twists and turns to make you hate me.
I can’t give too much away, but as the cover tells us “Nothing is as it seems.”
Q: can you please tell us what made you want to write Rise of a Phoenix?
A: To be honest, it was just an idea that popped into my head when I was scribbling ideas in a notebook one day at work. It was a weekend at work and not much going on, so I started jotting ideas down. Next thing I know I have a beginning of a story. I showed what I had written to a work friend, and they said it was good. And so, I continued to write the story. I would love to say someone or something inspired it, but unfortunately, boredom and a lively wondering imagination are to blame.
Q: Please give us an Insight to your Main characters. What does these characters do that makes them special?
A: John Steel is the main character. In Rise of a Phoenix, he starts off as a shadowy character who remains in the shadows, to begin with, then later joins the investigation with explosive results. As the story goes on, we start to learn a little of his past and what drives him. He is the son of a British Lord who joined the forces as part of a tradition. Instead of becoming an officer he chose to become a regular soldier. He is tall, handsome and a body an athlete would want to have. But he is damaged goods. Haunted by the murder of his wife and family, he seeks the ones responsible. Steel is scared both physically and emotionally. But he is the man you want him watching your back when the poop hits the fan.
Here’s the picture of the book cover of Rise of a Phoenix
Q: The cover really got my attention, can you tell us how it came about?
A: What I wanted foremost was no characters in the covers, this was important because my whole concept of writing is let the reader’s imagination fill in the blanks. We each have a different image of what the characters look like, so putting a picture on the cover would give everyone has the same picture in their heads. Call it a personal view of a character. Everything in the covers from book one to book five has something relevant to them. For instance, the sunglasses represent John Steel; the badge represents Samantha McCall. The New York City backdrop shows where we are. The other books have reflections in the sunglasses, be it a boat, or bus. The other important thing was that the layout would stay the same, less for the weather background or other little tweaks, but they are all the same. This is so when they sit on a bookshelf; they stand out better. Book fives story is set in Malta, so the whole cover is different, but the layout is the same.
Q: Who designs your book covers?
A: The front cover was created by a talented lady at IndieDesignz.com. We found each other on a social media sight and heave been working together ever since.
Q: Do you think that the cover plays an important role in the buying process?
A: Absolutely. Good reviews help a lot as well. LoL. You have dull covers, good covers and great covers. If you look at book what draws you, the great cover. But the cover must also be as mysterious as the book itself. It’s like a movie trailer if you have too much information it may put people off, if you have a teaser, it will draw them in. They say don’t judge a book by its cover, however nowadays people do so you have to have the best cover you can.
Q: while writing your book, specifically Rise of a Phoenix did you encounter a “writer’s block”? If so, which part of the book?
A: Phoenix wasn’t a problem, for whatever reason, my imagination was like a steam train if anything I had too many ideas. Book five is proving a bit of a beast because it is out of my comfort zone of New York. Writer’s block can be a problem, but also distractions from outside are equally dangerous. Life tends to get in the way a bit. With that wall, all you have to do is keep at it, keep writing, even if it has nothing to do with that book.
Q: Rise of a Phoenix is part of a Series how do you feel on writing a series? Do you think writing a series is hard in some way?
A: I love writing this series. You see the characters grow and their stories unfold. The problem with a series is, of course, ideas for more stories. It is a joy for me; they are fantastic stories and each time I write one I have to outdo myself the next time. For the reader a series is brilliant, especially if they have a strong bond with a character; be it Jack Reacher, Harry Bosch or Jason Bourne. If it is Games of Thrones you’re screwed because they seem to get bumped off the more popular, they are. LoL.
Q: What are you working on at the moment? Can you tell us what’s it about?
A: At present, I am working on book five of the series. A nice little story set on the beautiful Island of Malta. Steel goes there to help out a friend whose daughter was found dead in the ocean. This story is the first of many of the John Steel solo missions, in truth, he wasn’t meant to be part of a team, so this is his breakaway mission. I felt while he stayed in the NYPD he would be stuck in a rut I may not have been able to get out of later. Steel was always meant to be a lone wolf, like Bond, Bourne, etc. However for all McCall fan’s I am also working on the start of her series. This will be her genesis novel as you will. How she got to be a detective and how she met the captain.
Q: How are you publishing this book? And why? (Indie, Traditional or both)
A: All my books are on Amazon, either through CreateSpace or Kindle. I found it is quick and easy to get your books out there. It is all pay-on-demand. Sure I would love to see my books on the shelves, but that will come one day. As a new author I have to get my name and books out there, Amazon seemed the best choice for what I needed at that time. But I am still waiting for that phone to ring. LoL.
Q: What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?
A: For a new author like myself self-publishing was always going to happen. 320 agents rejected the Rise of a Phoenix. They all said nice things, but there was always the “It’s not what we are looking for.” Now I could have put my tail between my legs and quit, but I went self -publishing. It was an instant hit on Kindle, and the other books took off as well. However, the downside of self-publishing is you have to do everything, advertising, social media sites, writing selling. The works. Now if you are working full time, this can be a pain, if not almost impossible to do. I think each has their ups and downs; the main thing is you believe in what you are doing and why you are doing it.
Q: When did you become a writer?
A: I started writing at school. However after I joined the army I never wrote again, that was until I retired from the forces and life got a little less chaotic.
Q: When did you decide to be a writer?
A: I don’t think that is something you decide yourself. I wouldn’t say chosen, but it is more a feeling you are meant to do it. When does an artist choose to be an artist? I think the first time you write a story you get the feeling that is what you are meant to do. There’s no beam of light of heavenly voice or anything, just a feeling it’s the right thing for you.
Q: Why do you write?
A: Why do I write? Simple, I love it. It gives my imagination a release. Also, people seem to enjoy my books, so it’s a win-win situation.
Q: Was there a particular Book/ Author that inspired you to write?
A: No not really, in truth I don’t read that much, even though I should. The time I have is spent writing and that time, due to a full-time job is tiny. Besides, if you have time to read you have time to write. Lol. However, the books I have read and have to be, not inspirational but a joy have to be Lee Child, Rachel Amphlett, Micheal Connelly, James Patterson, To name a few.
Q: What was the hardest thing about writing Rise of a Phoenix?
A: Time to do it. One thing I learned writing Phoenix was how much time it took. Now people may laugh and say “Well yeah you’re writing a book,” but it is more than that. You have to write the first draft, then the second. You have to edit stuff in or out, you have to do that again until you are happy, you have researched such as Google maps for places. You have to research that what you are writing about is feasible, weapons, vehicles and so on. All this and working twelve hour days. You have to find time for family and the other things in life. That was the hardest part of all. Time.
Q: Why do you think other well written books Just Don’t Sell?
A: It is all about marketing. You may have the best book out there, but if people don’t know about it, then it’s pointless. Like I said before I am new at this. I started writing end of 2014, in that time I have brought out four books and working on number five. Before I did anything I splashed my name on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, you name it. I have done a radio interview, a couple of interviews such as this one, had my ugly mug in a forces paper. It is about selling yourself not your books. The books come later; you have to get a name first. Who’s, novel are people more likely to buy, Lee Child or Mr. Nobody? People go with what they know.
Q: What do you think of “Trailers” for books?
A: A brilliant idea. People, essentially are visually orientated. Video games, films, cell phones. They love shiny things; that’s why a good cover is essential. This is a great sales pitch that gets your book out there.
Q: Do you have a Trailer or do you intend to do one in the future?
A: A trailer is something I have been looking into and will be investing. I just have to find the correct company with which to hire.
Q: In what formats are your books available?
A: They are available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Both paperback with Createspace or Kindle.
Q: If you could have been the original author of any book. What would it be and why?
A: That’s a good one. To be honest, I am quite happy with what I have done. I am the original author of the John Steel mystery thriller series, and proud of it. People ask me what author am I like, I reply “I am like me, I don’t need to be like anyone else.”
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
A: Keep writing, have love what you do, always carry a notebook because you never know when an idea will pop up. Be yourself, don’t be like anyone else, you have to be original. And most of all, don’t give up, keep trying. It’s not an easy game, and it sorts out the authors and the people who think it’s about the money.
Here are the links to Mr. Phill’s Social Media Accounts and websites.
Thank you again Mr. Phill for accepting my Author Interview Request. Thank you for the exciting book and hope I can review one of your books in the future and hopeful have another Author interview as well.
If you enjoyed this author interview please comment down your thoughts and if you have any other questions that you’d like me to add on the next interviews that’d be lovely.