IndieView with Alfred Cool, author of The Hottest Place on Earth

BC, rural Vancouver Island and then Vancouver. What made you decide to go Indie, whether self-publishing or with an indie publisher? Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you? Nanaimo BC
What would you like readers to know about you? I began thinking about this novel in 1975 and have been doing so ever since, so it is fair to say that the conception has been decades long and the practical writing side 3 years. Were there any parts of the book where you struggled? Indie has always appealed to me – I do have freedom from word count pressure, story line pressure, reader targeting pressure, that sort of thing, and I get to write for me and produce for my readers what I feel is my best, original, from the gut work. I debated with myself about allowing the novel to traverse across genres, fiction-to-nonfiction if you will, but I am happy with the outcome. When did you start writing the book? I read and reread the classics and dabble in some modern mystery reading, but when I want to drift off I read outdoorsy stuff about sailing, mountaineering, that sort of thing. I have a solid marketing plan that has room for inspiration and serendipity. I want silence while I work. I blast out the first copy and then edit voraciously. If so, do you do so extensively or just chapter headings and a couple of sentences? Did you hire a professional editor? I hope it will raise our consciousness about nuclear waste and reach a younger, wider audience. About the book
What is the book about? Yes, many, a few years ago, but I stopped. Get your copy of   The Hottest Place on Earth from Amazon US or Amazon UK. In the end, the reader is left with the question, which I won’t answer here, why and how to carry on? Enjoy some part of every day and find a way to get that into your writing. The proofreader is the penultimate step to publishing. I edit my own work extensively but find that I cannot stop writing when it is only an editor that is required. The first edition is for me; I often type with my eyes closed and visualize the scenes as I write them. Marketing is a work in progress, perhaps by definition, that affords me time to write without too many of those necessary for sales and exposure distractions. Writing … no. I have borrowed from real people, but in this novel, there are also composite characters and a couple of fictitious characters, and one nasty wolverine. The first, A YA novella, The Silver Glove, is set in the late 60s. If yes, what gets the fingers tapping? This novel is somewhat autobiographical, which I think lends credibility to the story, so my inspiration comes from having had my boots on the ground in the mining camp. But thinking about the characters, yes, music helps me sometimes to find deeper emotional soup which helps me as a reference when I want to write love/humour/sadness/anger/outrage into the passages. What are you working on now? I am also inclined to use a proofreader. I wanted the novel to be historically accurate, however, it developed into a fictionalized version of what happened, how I felt, who I met, and remains in every way true to those components. This is my 3rd iteration. Was it a particular event or a gradual process? I also wanted to bring the humour and day-to-day struggles of isolation to my readers, so they could experience the same feelings we felt in that camp. And I cheat at the game. Where did you get the idea from? My marketer and I strategize every couple of weeks to ensure we are taking advantage of any momentum generated by our process and to expand my readership. I wanted the novel to be historically accurate, however, it developed into a fictionalized version of what happened, how I felt, who I met, and remains in every way true to those components. We were supposed to be mining for silver, but I found myself transported instead to the center of my nation’s uranium lie. I care about them and think about them all the time. Yes. This book is about the origins of uranium mining in Canada and the coverups, the lies, the corruption, what I call “the Canadian uranium lie.” But this story is also about the men and women who worked in the uranium mines unaware of the sacrifice to their health they were making. It is about coming of age in a difficult time in life and in the world and living in a dysfunctional family. It is difficult to do. I try to put them in the seat beside the main characters, so they feel and see what I am writing as well as what the characters feel and see. A good-humored, if rebellious, adventure seeker, I took a summer job in a remote mining camp on Great Bear Lake. I had a few nibbles but nothing concrete came back. I am savage with my editing and search each scene for the perfect time to not say something or say the opposite or drop hints and carry the correct meaning. This is a page from the story of Canada’s nuclear gambling addiction, our ground zero– Port Radium, NWT. Do you have a target reader? We all know how important it is for writers to read. How long did it take you to write it? About You
Where did you grow up? I plan to publish two more novels by summer’s end 2018. Any advice that you would like to give to other newbies considering becoming Indie authors? It is set currently and explores the phenomena of conspiracy theories. Believe that rejections are only a single step on this right of passage. I admire the American romantics, Poe & Hawthorne, but I am a fan of Steinbeck, Sinclair Lewis, poets from Charles Olsen to Albert Huffstickler, a horde of Canadian writers (Mowatt, Moodie, Burton, Laurence, Atwood, Richler, Cohen), most British comedic writers in general, and am a student of Robert McKee. Did you get your book cover professionally done or did you do it yourself? I outline only by chapter titles; they sometimes change but not as often as one would think. Alfred Cool – 11 May 2018
The Back Flap
A silent world war began in Canada’s Arctic. Do you listen to music while you write? I began writing this book in 2014. I have to trust my readers. About Writing
Do you have a writing process? It is a necessary step in the process. Developing true to life sketches of the people I met came naturally. Do you outline? Well, I was having none of that! Do you have a marketing plan for the book or are you just winging it? Studying history helps us not repeat, so I thought it important that the timeline is dated but still within reach. The second novel is an action thriller in its 4th iteration, The LA Project (and the 2nd, titled Distraction, and a 3rd in the series in development). Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished? End of Interview:
For more from Alfred, visit his website and like his Facebook page. It’s a global romp that is action packed, has a romance theme, and peels back layers of deceit, exposing the corruption surrounding nuclear waste disposal and the impact of corporations and corrupt politics in our lives. Myself, so far, but that may change, too. Grow thick skin and believe in yourself. I also pay homage to the Golden Age of amateur boxing in BC. If so can you please describe it? Write whatever makes you laugh or cry or angry or happy. Where do you live now? Be professional, work every day (the pros do), finish every sentence properly, get at it and stay at it because this is not easy. Don’t be afraid to experiment with form and style and genre, and don’t worry so much about branding – read to others, be kind, generate beta readers (not family – we love them, and they love us and that’s too close!), know that to succeed in this endeavor, you will have to work very hard. Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know? About Publishing
Did you submit your work to Agents? The best is yet to come. Yes, anyone who has gone to sleep about nuclear power or believes nuclear power is safe and that we Canadians or any other nation can safely dispose of nuclear waste. Then it’s on to a murder mystery series set in BC, which, as of this date, is not yet titled. During the process of honing my story and writing skills (expressing emotions), I’ve found the work flows after I have established the narrator’s voice, but no part of this gig is easy. What came easily? After the first version is complete, I have been known to flesh out the chapter titles with a few key events to ensure the scenes and chapters ring true and contain the conflict to deliver the impact I intended. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) When the landscape and characters, story and conflicts are developed, I want my characters to be free and am curious to see where they take me. All my novels are edited by a professional. After that version, reality sets in, and it’s edit, edit, edit until I feel it is a product, I hope still alive with inspiration, that I can send to my professional editor and then my proofreader.