Today, I am delighted to welcome talented author, Jason Zandri! Jason is on tour from July 26th until August 14th, and is promoting three of his books. To see his other tour stops, please click HERE. On today’s stop, he tells us about Another Sunset, and talks about some of his processes as regards to writing and being an author. Take it away Jason!
Another Sunset was my first work of fiction and I learned so many things from writing it. There is a saying that goes “if you could go back and change…” Most of the times when I am presented with this “option,” I answer with, “I wouldn’t change a thing.” With respect to the book, not the core of the story, but the book itself, I would change things.
I am happy with the end result of “Another Sunset”. It certainly ended up “on paper” being the story that has been in my head, in one form or the other, over the past decade and then some.
What I never considered when deciding to write it was the idea of making it a small series. With the backstory of David before he came to Westville, his time in Westville, and the events of his life prior to getting there, I technically had enough material, had I wanted to expand on it, to write at least three stories without impacting “Another Sunset” in any measureable way.
I had very little appreciable knowledge of the writing or publishing landscape when I worked on “Another Sunset.” I didn’t understand at the time how a series of books that, even loosely tied together, drove reader interest into the other volumes of the series or even into other series by the same author. Now that I do, I am looking at the new efforts I have on the table in that manner. For those that are really paying attention in “As Life Goes,” you’re in for a treat. Sorry, no spoilers, but there will be more hints on that when that book series goes on tour in a couple weeks.
The decision to write multiple books with the same characters isn’t an easy one, in my opinion. There are some readers that can be overly critical of the process. A few will complain that the author is only breaking up a book for the express purpose to sell more units. I can’t speak to every author’s intent, but I can see the readers’ argument because I am sure some will do it only for that reason. If I had 400 pages of content, but a legitimate way to have a beginning, middle, and an end in the first half of a book and the second half too, knowing what I know now, I might be inclined to make two books. The issue really comes down to “are there really two, parallel storylines, or is one artificially created with the sole intent to break the book into two?” Only the author can honestly answer that.
The critical issue is how the author handles their work. If it really is one big story, the only way, in my opinion, to not alienate readers (or potential ones) is to say PART I and PART II in the titles of the book. This way, the reader understands that the beginning of the main conflict will be in book one, build up, and then cliff-hang. From there, the conflict will continue and be resolved in book two. If it’s not handled in this manner, I really feel many readers will be upset. On the other hand, if there is a legitimate beginning, middle, and end to the story, and book two is another situation of its own, then that is a different story as they would be two, separate, beginnings, middles, and ends but with the same cast of characters.
Many of us are familiar with the Harry Potter series of books. When the movies were made, the studio capitalized on the popularity of the books, and the movie series, by splitting the movie version of the final book into two parts. Rather than have a four and a half hour movie grossing about ten dollars a ticket, they made two parts of the same story and took in twice as much. Would they, if they could, make one movie and charge twice as much? Likely not; the studios understand peoples’ attention spans are limited and most cannot sit for that long for a single movie. Two movies are more appealing as it builds excitement, even though many people knew the ending of the tale as they read the book series first. Also, any time that someone sees one movie in a series, especially when it doesn’t pull so hard on other movies in the series that you cannot follow the movie as a stand-alone creation, then they are likely to be interested in others to follow the characters throughout the full storyline.
It had never dawned on me prior that the same could be true for the stories in my head. Now that I am thinking more like an author, I am realizing that if there is more story to tell, I should find ways to tell it. If that’s a longer book, or a series of midsized ones then, I should just tell the tale and let the reader discover it.
About Another Sunset
David Stephenson is a kind drifter who comes to settle in the small Texas town of Westville. His sense, empathy, and awareness are well received by the residents of the failing town as they welcome and befriend him. During his stay he helps a small local girl try to realize her dream and while doing so excites and energizes the whole town to help out. Lives change as fate takes a critical turn. The local would-be reporter, tasked by David’s longtime friend, takes off on a mission to unravel the mystery of his travels, where he came from, and discovers why he is on his journey.
Another Sunset Reviews – http://amzn.to/1RHrdES
“The author has a nice way of weaving together a touching story that definitely tugged at those heartstrings”
“Endearing characters, well-paced dialogue, and valuable lessons…all the components of fantastic book”
“Instead of the fast pace of stories that tell too much, too soon, Another Sunset moved its pace along with detail that helped really form its characters. It gave plenty of time to delve into the story and not be able to fully discern where the story was going (which I like – I don’t like to be able to script out what’s going to happen! Surprise me!)”
Another Sunset – Three Chapter Excerpt – http://www.zandri.net/PDF/Another_Sunset_8_9_15.pdf
Books and links
Before Another Sunset (The Sunset Series Book 1)
Another Sunset (The Sunset Series Book 2)
I Hero: The Beginning
I Hero: Nathan Returns
As Life Goes: Elementary
As Life Goes: The End of the Innocence – (expected November 2015)
As Life Goes: The Reunion – (expected April 2016)
As Life Goes: The Wedding (expected July 2016)
As Life Goes: The Funeral (expected October 2016)
I Hero: Untitled Book 3 (Expected first half 2016)
I Hero: Untitled Book 4 (Expected second half 2016)
I Hero: Untitled Book 5 (Expected first half 2017)
Social Media links
Twitter – @GUNDERSTONE https://twitter.com/gunderstone/
Facebook Author page – https://www.facebook.com/jzandri
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/jasonzandri
Google+ – https://plus.google.com/+JasonZandri/
Author blog – The GUNDERSTONE Review https://gunderstone.wordpress.com/
ABOUT JASON ZANDRI
Jason has been working in the information technology field in one form or the other since 1996. He is currently employed full time at Bloomberg LP as a Systems Engineer in the R&D group. Jason lives in Wallingford Connecticut, with his wife Renata. He is the father to four children, three boys and 1 girl – 11 years (Andrew), 9 years (Angela), 7 years (Adam) and 6 years old (Alex).
This tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com.