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L.T. Suzuki

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Blogs by L.T. Suzuki

Kenneth Hoss Interview
9/22/2012 8:54:31 PM    [ Flag as Spam or Inappropriate ]

Crime fiction author Kenneth Hoss discusses his Kelli Storm series and the writing life!
LTS: For today’s feature, I’d like to introduce you to the talented writer Kenneth Hoss, author of the crime/mystery thriller Storming Rising – A Kelli Storm Novel. I’d like to begin by having you share a little information about yourself with our readers, Ken. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

KH: If I’m not writing, which I haven’t done a lot since completing the second Kelli Storm book, I like to just relax and hang out with friends, or just read.

LTS: With such a rich and varied background, when did fiction writing become a part of your life and becoming a published author a lifelong dream?

KH: Writing became part of my life when I was in High School. I started writing mostly Science Fiction and some Fantasy. I read a lot of Bradbury and Heinlein growing up, and they were a big influence.
Becoming a published author crossed my mind back in the 80’s when Fantasy was big and I wrote a full length, 180,000 plus word Fantasy novel. It took me over three years and then I lost it when I made the mistake of sending it to a Vanity Press. C’est la vie.

LTS: Your debut novel, Storming Rising – A Kelli Storm Novel has received many wonderful reviews! What was the inspiration behind this story and can you tell us a little bit about your protagonist, Kelli Storm?

KH: Well, the inspiration to write about Kelli came from Kelli herself. However, what got me started on writing again was an ex-girlfriend from High School. We connected after many years, and I won’t say how many, on Facebook. She asked me if I was still writing, and when I said that I wasn’t, she asked why. Apparently, my answer wasn’t satisfactory and she goaded me into writing again. She sent me a few starter lines and I ran with them. Of course, it was utter garbage and got scrapped, but it did get the juices flowing.
Kelli is a little complicated. She has many different facets to her personality. Some have described her as a real bitch, while others describe her as a loving daughter and fierce friend. She has been through a lot in her life, but she toughs it out.

LTS: Without giving away too much, can you reveal what’s in store for the readers when they crack open Storming Warning – A Kelli Storm Novel?

KH: More thrills and twist. Kelli gets in even deeper this time around and it takes everything she has to get out.

LTS: The road to publication is difficult at the best of times. What made you decide to take the indie route and self-publish this novel?

KH: I originally tried the traditional route when I finished Storm Rising. I wrote my synopsis, drafted a query letter and when it was all ready, I shopped agents. Over a six-month period, I sent out over one hundred queries. I did get some replies, most of them stating that they either weren’t taking on new clients, even though their site said they were, or they were too busy. Out of the hundred, I may have received fifteen responses. Then one day I was on a writers forum and someone mentioned Smashwords. I asked about it and went to the site. It all seemed easy and straightforward, so I tried it. Eventually I wanted to have my ebook available on Amazon and in paperback, so another friend told me about Kindle Direct and CreateSpace.

LTS: What is the very best and very worst part of being an indie author?

KH: The very best, at least in my opinion, is that I have full control over my books. From the title down to the cover art. The worst? Marketing. It took me a very long time to learn the ropes of self-marketing. Even now, I find that I learn something new almost every day.

LTS: What is the most important lesson you’ve learned on the road to publication?

KH: Stick to it.

LTS: Still on the subject of writing styles, are you a plotter or pantser? The readers would like to know if you tend to plot out your story line in great detail or if your writing is more organic with the characters and events unfolding as you write.

KH: I had the complete series or at least the first three books of the Kelli Storm series planned out before I started to write. With Storm Rising, I outlined the entire book, though it didn’t go that way after a few chapters into the book. I think the reason for that is that at first Kelli and I were still getting to know each other. She wasn’t very forthcoming, and I didn’t know what questions to ask. As we worked together, she started taking the lead, guiding me in the direction she wanted to go. I didn’t bother with a full outline on the second book, just a skeletal one, along with some brief bios on the new characters. So, I guess that would make me a punster.

LTS: Some authors meditate, others need to fuel up on coffee or listen to music. Do you have any rituals, ones that can be shared with the readers, that you must do before you hunker down for a writing session?

KH: My escape is putting in my ear buds and opening up iHeart radio, tuning to Q104.3 in NYC and listening to Classic Rock. What helps it that Kelli loves Classic Rock, so there’s never an issue over music.

LTS: At one time or another, most writers hit the wall and their work stalls because of the dreaded writer’s block. What do you do to get around or over this mental wall to resume writing?

KH: I either go for a walk or head down to my favorite neighborhood pub and have a few. Of course if I go to the pub, I always take my notebook and a pen with me, just in case Kelli wants to get something down.

LTS: Who is your favourite author and how has he/she inspired you to write or influenced your writing style or choice of genre?

KH: There are several authors that I consider my favorite. If I have to narrow it down to one that really influenced me, I have to say that it was Joseph Wambaugh. While his books are true crime, one in particular stuck with me. Lines and Shadows, which takes place along the border south of San Diego really struck a chord with me. For those of you not familiar with the book, it’s about an elite unit of San Diego Police Officers, the Border Task Force, who went undercover along the border disguised as illegal immigrants. Their goal was to protect the innocent illegal’s from the bandits, unscrupulous men that would rob, rape, and murder those crossing the border.
I lived in San Diego at the time, and worked on a local Police Department, so it naturally caught my interest.

LTS: What do you foresee in your future over the next five years and do you hope to branch out from crime/thrillers into other genres? Can your fans expect the sequel to Storming Warning – A Kelli Storm Novel in the near future?

KH: There will be one more Kelli Storm Novel, and depending on Kelli, possibly more. Readers can look forward to seeing her next book sometime in the fall of next year. I would like to strike out into the Mystery side of the genre, where I can write about something other than Cops and Robbers. I do have another character bugging me to get out, the Sheriff of a small Texas town who worked for the San Antonio PD for several years. He tells me that the Chief is calling him and wants his help in finding a serial killer.

LTS: Thank you so much for taking time out to discuss your novels and the writing life, Ken! For more information about Ken Hoss and his novel, check out:
Website: http://kenhoss.blogspot.com
Follow Ken on Twitter: .kennhoss
Where to buy the book:

http://www.amazon.com/Storm-Rising-Kelli-Novel-ebook/dp/B0053GAWYU/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

http://www.amazon.com/Storm-Rising-Kelli-Novel/dp/1467985430/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/storm-rising-a-kelli-storm-novel-kenneth-hoss/1103391061?ean=2940011314278

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/storm-rising-a-kelli-storm-novel-kenneth-hoss/1103391061?ean=9781467985437






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