IndieView with Jake Craven, author of Marooned

Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished? Jake Craven – 3 November 2018
The Back Flap
Isaac is an enigmatic man. He resides with his family in Southeastern North Carolina. I think that he did an amazing job and I hope he continues to work with me in the future. Not particularly. Often, depending on the scene I’m trying to write, I’ll listen to what I imagine would be playing within the scene. About Publishing
Did you submit your work to Agents? I feel that despite the genre, if a story draws interesting characters, readers can all find something in common with them. “Jake Craven was born in the South and raised on a former plantation property. It was considered, but no. Were there any parts of the book where you struggled? A loner covered in scars, each with its own story, he’s the go-to guy for Charleston’s criminal underground when they need something done right the first time. I’m currently revisiting a previous story I’d written several years ago about a couple of teenagers in the late ‘80s who find themselves in a precarious situation with a dangerous criminal racket. How long did it take you to write it? Wilmington, North Carolina. About You
Where did you grow up? I attempted to do a physical outline, though it just didn’t come naturally to me. It’s not always easy, but it is always worth it. Instead, I would mentally picture specific scenes that I wanted to occur, and would mold the story in such a way that it would ultimately lead to said scenes. Rocky Point, North Carolina. We live in an era where the arts are no longer dictated by agents, managers, and corporate dregs who have no concept of anything but profits. I reached out to the brilliant Ariel Zucker-Brull, a New York illustrator who’s most well-known for his album covers for musicians like Perturbator and Trevor Something. Fans of classic noir will likely be especially intrigued by this story, but efforts were made to make it accessible to the casual reader. It’s a neo-noir story set primarily in Charleston, SC; however, the book consists of two stories told in parallel which ultimately meld into one. I’m still figuring out the in’s and out’s of Amazon’s marketing services, social media ads and positive reinforcers like bloggers and reviewers. By seeing the success of other writers, such as Shayne, as well as the boom of indie filmmakers, musicians and artists, I figured that the paradigm has shifted in the writing world – rather than facing potential rejections around every corner, writers now have the capability of sharing their work directly with readers, which is really the dream of becoming a writer. He is a longtime musician, former nuclear contractor, and graduate of Arizona State University. One strategy that helped to move the story along was an emphasis on momentum. Where did you get the idea from? Establishing interesting characters was paramount to the story, so keeping them in line with what felt natural to their development was of constant scrutiny. Certain elements of the flashback sequences were based on experiences of my father, who had a somewhat rough upbringing. But when tasked with protecting the daughter of a powerful druglord, everything goes wrong – the girl goes missing, people turn up dead and he’s left with his back against the wall. Cormac McCarthy and Raymond Chandler have been particularly influential on my interest in both reading and writing, especially in style. We all know how important it is for writers to read. This tends to help very much with getting ideas out of my head and onto the page. So, rather than harping on something I wasn’t entirely happy with, I’d instead make note of it, and keep the story going with the intention of going back and tweaking the problem area. I’m sure I’m not alone in my crippling self-criticisms, something that can set a writer back to the extent that he or she is never able to finish something. About Writing
Do you have a writing process? Combined with McCarthy’s use of archaic language and gritty style, I’ve been keen on telling my own stories for a number of years. That said, I’m exploring every facet that becomes available to me so that I can find my audience. Collectively, it took just over two years, as I had to juggle my writing with a school and work schedule. Fans of classic noir will likely be especially intrigued by this story, but efforts were made to make it accessible to the casual reader. Was it a particular event or a gradual process? What came easily? What would you like readers to know about you? After the first draft was complete, I re-read the entire story numerous times, fixing small errors; I also reached out to a few trusted people who were able to read and respond with their own feedback before submitting the manuscript to my editor, Carol, who’s amazing at doing quick turnarounds. Some ideas were spawned from my own history, as well as my father’s. I’ve had an intense fascination with the crime genre since I was a kid; however, after reading No Country For Old Men over ten years ago, I’ve been especially interested in how terrifying the consequences of criminal behavior can be. I believe that because of this, we live in a very exciting period for the arts. Did you get your book cover professionally done or did you do it yourself? Others were inspired by many years of reading other authors and watching films by people such as the Coen brothers as well as crime films from the 1970s and ‘80s. Don’t be afraid, ever. Do you listen to music while you write? Marooned is his first novel.”
What are you working on now? 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) His interests include, but are not limited, to film, literature, vintage cars, and an endless supply of music. She’s truly amazing at what she does and I can’t thank her or Shayne enough. What made you decide to go Indie, whether self-publishing or with an indie publisher? About the book
What is the book about? Also, keeping the story going at a pace which felt appropriate while taking the time to flesh out the characters was a concern (the dual timeline seemed to aid the story in that regard). I’m a music junkie, which readers would likely be able to guess by reading the many nods to bands in the book. I feel that despite the genre, if a story draws interesting characters, readers can all find something in common with them. Do you have a marketing plan for the book or are you just winging it? Sometimes, yes. If yes, what gets the fingers tapping? If you’ve got a story in you just pushing to get out, just sit down and let it out. Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know? Do you have a target reader? Do you outline? Any advice that you would like to give to other newbies considering becoming Indie authors? If so, do you do so extensively or just chapter headings and a couple of sentences? There’s something so gritty yet beautiful about his work that draws me in – I was actually shocked when he responded to my business proposal! I’m open to the idea of it, but for now I rather enjoy being my own boss with this venture. It’s then that he’s forced to do the one thing he’s good at – raise all hell. The book began in the summer of 2016 as a single opening scene with no real idea for a story in mind. If so can you please describe it? Did you hire a professional editor? Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you? The protagonist character came very easily to me, as his background and personality are somewhat mirrored from my own. For instance, in Marooned, there’s a club scene where electronic music is pumping and a fight breaks out – during this, I’d listen to albums by Boy Harsher or a synthwave artist like Perturbator. When did you start writing the book? I did a fair bit of editing along the way, especially regarding plot holes and such. Where do you live now? Shayne Silvers, author of the well-known Nate Temple series, recommended a freelance editor to me. End of Interview:
Get your copy of   Marooned from Amazon US or Amazon UK.