Sunday, 6 January 2013

Author Interview: Paul Secada

About the Author:

Paul Secada is a pseudonym. If you’re lucky enough to get my real name out of those letters, my hat’s off to you!. I’m a Canadian of Portuguese decent and I was born on June 1, 1981 in Hull, Quebec, Canada. I live in a suburb with my wife near Ottawa, Ontario. I have a bachelor’s degree in communications and work in the field. My most prized possessions are my big and vast collections of DVD’s and blu-ray’s. Dark is my first novel.

Do you plan everything of just let the story flow?

A little of both. With Dark, I wanted an outline to guide where the character would go. At the same time, I wanted Samuel, the main protagonist, to just follow the tide. I didn’t want to force him into a situation that wasn’t organic. So by mapping out most of the story, it allowed Sam to just integrate himself and move along with it.

Do your characters ever want to take over the story?

Actually, with Dark, the character IS the story. It’s written in this sort of diary style that offers the reader the point of view of the main guy. You get to see everything through his eyes and feel every detail through his emotions. It was important for me to have a relatable character yet somehow a little out of touch with reality. So basically, Samuel literally takes over every word and page.

What is my favourite food?

I actually talked about this recently with my wife. She ADORES pasta and I’m more of a steak and fries kind of guy. But if you would ask me what I could eat everyday for the rest of my life? A good old fashioned burger. No doubt.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

I despise waking up super early to go to work and hate it when people start conversing with you 30 minutes into the day. So I would say I prefer the night.

Where do you dream of travelling to and why?

I actually lived that dream this past summer. I finally went to Hollywood. I’m a big movie buff and going to the city where movie magic happens on a daily basis was unbelievable. Not only did I get to live this dream, I also experienced it with my wife on our honeymoon. It couldn’t have been more perfect!

Do distant places feature in your books?

I’m from Canada and the book is set in New York and New Jersey. I guess this somehow qualifies as distant if you take into account where I’m from.

Do you listen to music while writing?

To be honest, rarely. I love to listen to music when I’m driving because it throws me into another world. While I’m writing, I like to concentrate on the world I’m creating. I want to fully invest my thoughts on it and not get distracted by another medium. However, I will sometimes listen to a little hip-hop and house music when I feel like the writing process is getting nowhere.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?

Dark is the story of a man who has the misfortune of being the person he is. Growing up, he was this outcast kid that got harassed on a daily basis by his schoolmates and father. As he got older, he discovered certain vices that would numb his feelings. However, being a smart guy, he worked his way into becoming a best selling author despite his personal issues. After a certain situation causes him distress, he isolates himself in an old family cabin to write his new novel. Once there, he will come face to face with the biggest obstacle of his life and be forced to discover his true self.

What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?

That it’s a difficult process. Not only is it hard but it can sometimes be discouraging. Writing is the part where the ideas have to flow properly and make sense. Publishing is where you can get overwhelmed. Today we have all these tools helping us out with publishing. Everybody can self-publish now. But once you have your book on or Barnes & Noble, what’s next? You have to promote it and sell copies, and I think that’s the harshest part. The best advice I can give is not to let a day or two or a week of non sales dampen your spirits. Just keep tweeting or facebooking or blogging about your book. It takes time to garner sales but when you do, even if it’s only one copy, by God does it feel good!

Is there anything you would do differently?

Yup, I would have started earlier. I’ve always liked writing but never gained enough courage to put it out there. Now we live in an era where everything is DIY and it becomes easier to put out your stories for others to read. If I would have been man enough, I would have started a long time ago.

Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?

I have two particular books that inspired me deeply in writing Dark. I fell in love with the stylistic approach of House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski and Savages by Don Winslow. The fact that these books are far from being conventional is what really captivated me. They read like experimental novels. House of Leaves barely makes sense but its so engrossing in a way I’ve never experienced before. Same goes for Savages. They’re stories told by an almost like comic book approach, unrealistic, very visual, almost like a movie. They’re conventional that way but ignore the rules of usual storytelling. They’re the Quentin Tarantino of books. I might add that Tarantino is somebody I look up to as well.

Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?

Since I’m starting out myself, I would have to say: I know the feeling. It’s not an easy process but when you finally submit that book, man, you will feel like a million bucks. Keep pushing for your dreams and you never who might be reading your story.

What are three words that describe you?

Funny, annoying, childish.

What’s your favourite book or who is your favourite writer?

You know what? My favourite book is actually a comic book, Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan. I think there is no better piece of pop culture in the past twenty years that can come close to the genius of that story…except for maybe Lost or Entourage.

Blurb of your last release or coming soon book

Samuel Dean is an accomplished novelist. His career has skyrocketed to unheard of heights. However, his personal life is a different tale altogether. When a super storm menaces the city of New York, his story gets turned upside down by a darkness that has followed him most of his life: himself. Told from the perspective of the character, Dark takes the reader into a twisted world filled with sex, drugs and an ending you won’t see coming…

Any websites/place readers can find you on the web.

 and Twitter at @bakerboy209

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