The following is an interview with me published in The Writer’s Life emagazine.
Q: Welcome to The Writer’s Life! Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process. Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning? Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?
Don’t you get a thrill telling a story that makes people laugh? Or gasp? Or wonder if you aren’t too crazy for comfort?
Imagine also being able to bring the beauty, creativity, audacity, genius, arrogance, sexiness, kindness, ruthlessness and insanity in the people you’ve met in your life into a story?
That’s what I tried to do, inspired by my life living in the mountains of Colorado and California, and years of starting and building high tech businesses in Silicon valley. So The Big Disrupter is present day, set in San Francisco, Silicon Valley and the mountains of Telluride, Colorado.
I wanted our young heroes be social entrepreneurs and start a “Red Bull” energy drink company with a conscience because I think it’s credible, a great idea, and a useful vehicle for the drama.
Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?
Learn by doing. I hired a great content editor (Caroline Tolley) with years of ‘Big Six publisher’ experience in my genre- Thrillers. She made me rewrite the book three times. By the end of those two and a half years I had a worthy product and my writing master’s degree.
A little late in the process an excellent copy editor (Nancy Russell) brought The Big Disrupter’s level of capitalization, punctuation and grammar to a professional level. Next book she gets it sooner.
Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?
I’ve never attempted to be published conventionally. For me today’s self-publishing opportunity is a dream come true. I get to spend much more of my time on the creative side.
Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?
I’m a little surprised at how obsessed I became with the tiny details– I mean really Paul, does the fleuron style between sections matter that much?
Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?
I’m doing a trilogy with my characters and am well into the second of the three.
Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?
I’m pretty conventional that way- Techcrunch, LinkedIn, Twitter. If you ever want to see the most amazing ski photos, however, check out Wicked Skiing on Tumbler.
Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?
My dream is some brave and wealthy philanthropists are motivated by the story and decide to fund their own billion-dollar prize for social entrepreneurs. In the end I think all of us want to make a difference, and there are a surprising number of uber wealthy who could put their imprint on something meaningful, if it suits their style and sensibility. I hope some tech billionaires create their own Big Disrupter award.
Q: Thank you again for this interview! Do you have any final words?
In addressing The Writer’s Life, I admire the way author Phil Cousineau, author of Wordcatcher and much more, put it–as an author you are joining the long conversation in history. For me that is a real privilege.