Kennebec Publishing – Author Spotlight – March 2017 interview
This author interview features RP Ruggiero who is the author of the Brushfire Plague trilogy, a chilling account of society’s collapse after a deadly virus wipes out a large percentage of earth’s population. RP, a writer who pursued the traditional publishing approach, talks to us about his experience as a writer and a published author.
How long have you been a writer? I’ve been writing since elementary school. Heck, I even won a few writing awards back then! As an adult, I became seriously devoted to the craft around 2010. The spark for me was reading Novelist’s Boot Camp. That book changed my life!
Why do you write? To tell a story. Writing is the ultimate act of creativity. As an author, you are able to invent a world, fashion characters from scratch, and sketch a plot. The most amazing thing is throwing all of this together and you seeing what happens! Inevitably, it all—the world, the characters, the plot—goes in different directions than you originally thought. I can’t describe the excitement—the rush—you get from that as a writer.
How much time do you spend writing each week? Writing is not my full-time job, so I write about six hours a week. Mostly, it’s early mornings on the weekends before my family is up and about.
Why did you decide to use a publisher rather than self-publish your works? I wanted the assistance of experts in the field of publishing. Also, quite frankly, I wanted to be able to spend my time writing and not on the publishing side.
What has been the most challenging aspect of publishing your works? Marketing is, without question, the most challenging part on the publishing side. It’s tough to catch the eye of potential readers in a crowded marketplace.
What did you like about using a publisher? Its simplicity and ease. I can focus on writing and I get a lot of input with my publisher. So, for me it feels like the best of both worlds!
What mistakes have you made? Lessons learned? If I could do it over again, I would have written the entire trilogy before ever publishing. I believe it would have been easier to make a bigger splash in the market and grab the attention of more readers.
What advice would you give to someone about to embark on their publishing journey? Would you recommend traditional publishing or self-publishing? I think that depends on the person. If you have the time and some expertise, self-publishing may be a good route for you. However, if you lack either, I would pursue a traditional publisher. There’s also just something great about someone else thinking your novel is worth investing in!
What do you wish you had known before you were published? How to deal with the fawning crowds of fans showing up at your home constantly. It can be exhausting. No, seriously: I wish I had known more about the marketing side of publishing before my first novel was released. Write for fun and for it being about who you are. But, publish and market to expose the world to your story!
Where are your books available? The Brushfire Plague trilogy is available on Amazon and BN.com in paperback, Kindle, and Nook (respectively). You can also visit www.brushfireplague.com for more information, reviews, pictures, and my boys’ favorite part, Meme Madness.
Favorite author and/or book? Les Miserables by Victor Hugo for how finely it is crafted. The Road by Cormac McCarthy for the emotional depth of the father-son relationship. Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank for turning me on to my love of apocalyptic fiction all the way back in 6th grade!