Indie Author Interview: J A POLLO, Chicken Town
Congratulations! Your novel, Chicken Town is now available on the Amazon bookstore. How did it feel to see it there for the first time?
I had quite a few emotions firing off when I saw Chicken Town for sale on Amazon. My very first reaction was “wow!”. It was difficult to believe that, after a year of work, the book was on sale. Then I started to feel just a little anxious, knowing that the whole world could see the book, judge it and judge me. I still pinch myself and check to see if it’s still there!
It’s an emotional experience and so very exciting! Have you always wanted to become an author?
My English teacher was a guy called Stanley Middleton. I mention him very briefly in the book. He was the first person to win the Booker prize. He told me, when I was eleven, that I should “have a go” at writing. I think that was a seed that remained dormant for half a century. I think he said that to all the pupils!
Oh, what a story! I love that! So what made you take that leap and write the book?
I have a career where, as part of my work, I examine the life of people that I meet with. I realised that I had never examined my own life. I can’t remember who said “A life not examined is a life not worth living”, but one day I started to make some notes of my “timeline” and the life I have led. This process led to me writing notes. The notes grew and grew, eventually taking on a life of their own and turning into a novel.
That’s great. I always love to hear the catalyst behind people writing their books. Why the punk genre?
I guess it’s the cliche of write what you know about. As I had played in a punk band in the early days of punk, mainly as a support act to the main headline acts of the day, I felt that was the most natural thing to do. Also, people seemed to be genuinely interested when I said I was in a punk band, even young people, so I think that also gave me the impetus to have punk music as one of its themes.
Yes, it’s good to write about what you know because it does cut back on the amount of research you need to do. Would you encourage other aspiring authors to self-publish their books? What advice would you offer them?
Yes. I would certainly encourage anyone to self-publish if they feel they have a book inside them. Any advice comes from my experience, not as an expert. Write what you know about, and if you are writing about the past, do some research. The internet is a great place to find out how much a pint of beer cost in 1977. Do it for love and don’t set out to make it a business venture. If the book gets written, then, only then, consider how to market it. Get help, and depending on your budget, you might want to get several people to proofread or suggest editing. If you have the budget, then get professional help, particularly with layout and cover design. I am not great at technology, so I decided to use my budget to get a professional to create the layout and upload it to Amazon, which was a great help to me.
Great advice. Thanks very much, J A POLLO! and all the best with your book! It was fascinating and a real pleasure to work with you.
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