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What made you want to become an author and do you feel it was the right decision?
I can’t say for certain if I wanted to become an author, or it just happened. But I ended up writing and publishing stories. I love books and I love reading them. I also love music and movies and I wouldn’t mind if I was a small wheel in these industries too. Creating is a beautiful thing. Having the gift and ability to make something new and share it with others who appreciate it is rewarding. I like to give a part of me to others that way and share with them the things I love. Whether it was the right decision, time will tell. It will be as long as I enjoy it and it makes me happy. If I can live from my writing, that is another thing. For now, I can’t. What will happen in the future? I don’t know.
A day in the life of the author?
While I was writing or translating years ago, it was me locking myself in my private world and telling everyone to leave me alone. I had breaks for eating, drinking and other stuff you have to do lol. At the end of the day, I was so exhausted that my bed was my best friend.
A day in the author’s life today is not as much about the writing, which seems to be the easiest part. It is also about producing your book (formatting it by yourself and collaborating with your editor and designer) and marketing it. Marketing is the most challenging part for me because I am still learning it and experimenting with what works and what doesn’t work. Not all authors are born for marketing nor they are equally successful. There are lots of online courses and webinars to attend, social networking, blogging, collaborating with other authors and supporting them in marketing their books, which is what I like best. I prefer helping other authors in promoting their books rather than doing that for myself. It may sound weird, but this is me.
When I am not present on social media (which is a rare thing) or browse for new reviewers or do my Amazon ads or write posts and update my website, I go to the store or to the movies or visit my friends to clear my head and rest my eyes from staring at the screen all the time. Later in the evening is my reading time. I enjoy the company of other authors while reading their books and it is a perfect way to relax before bedtime. I don’t watch much TV lately.
Advice they would give new authors?
Writing a book is easy. Publishing it is harder. Marketing is the hardest thing. Keep that in mind before you sit to write a book. It’s a long road with thousands of authors out there dreaming the same dream. But go for it if you feel that writing is your call and not something that will last a week or two. Arm yourself with persistence and patience, don’t be afraid of failure, and be ready to help others. Then you may stand a chance to make your dream come true and find happiness in doing what you love.
Describe your writing style.
What can I say about my writing style? A mix of descriptive and narrative? Lots of emotions, passion, realistic characters, vivid dialogues, a cinematic experience while reading a book. A story is important, and I like to make myself and my readers feel, laugh and cry. Poetic prose, sometimes deep thoughts. I am a cross-genre and multi-genre author so expect anything. Be ready for an emotional experience of watching a tearjerker in a movie theater.
What makes a good story?
A capturing plot, believable characters, natural and entertaining dialogues, emotions, passion and honesty in writing make a good story. Readers will recognize which story is written with heart and which is written for money.
What are they currently reading?
Currently, I am reading Hades Forrest by a new talented young author Simon Elson and The Great Centurion: Punic Wars 3 by Angelus Maximus aka Angel Ramon Medina. After that I will read Weathering Old Souls by James J. Cudney & Didi Oviatt.
What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?
My writing process depends on the length of the book I am writing. For two of my novellas, I had nothing. Everything was in my head and the words just poured out of me. For my two novels, January River and especially Cruel Summer, I had notes for the whole story which I broke down into chapters as I was writing it. I was rearranging and moving sections from here to there with new ideas popping up. Fun time, right? 😉
What are common traps for aspiring writers?
Maybe the most common trap for aspiring writers is to expect to become successful and famous authors the moment they publish their book. Be aware! Life doesn’t work that way.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I am cursed by originality. I can write any kind of book under the sun but the readers will recognize if it is not honest writing. I write about the things I feel about, stories that carry a message or are an eye-opener. Stories that beg me to write them and share them with others. I didn’t explore the pulse of the market when I wrote my stories many years ago. They came as a natural extension of my intellectual and emotional being. I can only hope that readers will want to pick and read them, and I will be grateful to those who recognize and embrace them.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Be smarter, learn the tricks of the business so you won’t have a hard time selling yourself later lol.
What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
I guess it is experiencing them, their mindset, emotions, expectations. But when you get to empathize with your characters from the opposite sex and feel and think like them, it shouldn’t be too hard. Besides, we are not just this or that, we all have some of both sexes in us.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
From three days (A World Without Color) to six months (Cruel Summer). If I remember well.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
What is that? I’m kidding! I know life can get in the way and it’s not always easy to deal with your situation and write a story. But I wouldn’t call it a writing block. I never had it. When I felt like writing a story, I wrote it. When I didn’t feel like writing, I didn’t write. I know it is a popular belief that we shall write every day, but it is not me. Writing every day will improve your writing skills, no argument about that. But I am not a man of discipline when it comes to writing, I am inclined to listen to how my mind and body react to a story. Then I write. Writing should be fun and creative. When it becomes a burden, maybe it’s time to take a break and enjoy other things in life. Like reading other authors and helping them achieve their goals and dreams, perhaps.
“There is no greater joy than to share what you love with those who appreciate it.”–Bernard Jan
My pen name is Bernard Jan. I am an award-winning novelist and a poet from Croatia, and I have released four books in English. I am Readers’ Favorite Gold Medalist 2020 and Readers’ Favorite Bronze Medalist 2019.
“A World Without Color” is a true story of the last three days I spent with my cat, while “Look for Me Under the Rainbow” in a unique and gentle way sheds light on the plight of harp seal pups in Canada. It warms the heart of all readers concerned about our planet and its treasures. “January River” is a heartwarming cross-genre novel about five friends, one dog, and one river carrying a secret. “Cruel Summer” is a gripping young adult cross-genre novel about an abused teenager from New Manhattan who only wants to skate, but they have other plans for him.
My first two books were written at the beginning of the war in Croatia in 1991 amidst air alerts and illusory attempts when I wanted to believe and think that life is normal, that everything is all right with the world. I have published five novels, two novellas, and one book of poems in Croatian. Four of my books, including the book of poems, were translated into English.
My passion for music and entertainment resulted in my becoming a partner of Tom’s Music Place, which was established in 2009 by my friend Thomas Carley Jr., whose objective was to raise the respect of music.
My desire to help others came to the fore during my years advocating environmental protection and advocacy of animal rights. I did volunteering work for the refugees, because suffering does not know any borders. When it comes within your reach in your home, you simply have to do something. As part of my animal advocacy activities, it has been a great honor and pleasure to translate “Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust” by Charles Patterson into Croatian.
Would you like a chance to win? Cruel Summer paperback – 1 winner, Cruel Summer eBooks – 2 winners, January River eBooks – 2 winners, Look for Me Under the Rainbow eBooks – 2 winners, A World Without Color eBooks – 2 winners, $10 Amazon gift card – 1 winner Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!