Interview with author Quentin Cope
Q: What is your take on the importance of a good cover and title for your book?
A: An eye catching cover and title that accurately reflect the fiction or non-fiction story-line of your book are essential. One point to consider is that the cover must transmit information to the potential reader in seconds ... and this must be legible not only as a full high definition artwork but also as a very small thumbnail object for catalogue listing.
Q: Writing can be an emotionally draining and stressful pursuit. Any tips for aspiring writers?
A: If you want to write successful fiction you need to have the right IDEA! You need to be INSPIRED, DETERMINED, ENERGIZED and AMBITIOUS. You will, without doubt, become 'drained' and 'stressed' if you attempt to tackle such a monumental task without the security of these essential creative foundations to build upon. An unfortunate fact is that 97% of writers never complete their book or novel project!
Q: Many people are unsure about the writing process seeing it sometimes described as an ‘art’ above all else. What are your thoughts on that?
A: Writing is simply a skill and one you can train yourself to master in the same way you would train to improve any other kind of skill. A wordsmith is not born … a wordsmith learns his or her craft over a period of years. It starts with having a complete knowledge of the language you are writing in of course.
Q: Do you consider fiction to be a difficult start for the first time writer?
A: Writing fiction is a very orderly process, so you need to start in an orderly fashion. Firstly, you will need to create a new folder on your PC specifically for your book. Give it a title, maybe the working title of the book itself or simply 'My Book'. Everything, and I really do mean 'everything', to do with your book will go into this folder. This may sound a little trite, but the first stage of getting organized to write your book is very important, because whatever you are planning to write, you will need to 'plan' the writing of it. Fiction is built on a mixed platform of fantasy and reality … so if you have a mind filled with fantastic ideas and a plethora of real experiences, then writing good fiction is no more difficult than any other genre.
Q: Can real people become part of the mix in the fantasy world of ‘fiction’?
A: Most who write fiction do so by referring to a memory bank of people, places and events needing to be recalled in order to mix with a set of fictional circumstances that actually make up the story. A fiction writer is simply a 'story teller' who will often admit that many of the characters, some of the places and an embellished set of events, have been gathered together from real memories of real people in real situations.
Q: From your point of view, is there any real secret to the process of simply writing?
A: There is no secret other than planning … and then sticking to the plan. However, you do need help, no matter how good you think you are as a writer; help from family to give you the time to write and help from friends to provide sensible critique.
Q: Once you have finished your book, is self-publishing a good option or should a new writer persevere in the laborious task of finding a traditional publisher.
A: In the midst of this rather frantic 21st Century, self-publishing with a good name like Amazon will cost you nothing, give you a worldwide shop front, provide you with excellent quality paperback and hardback product at cost, help you with free marketing initiatives and always pay you on time. Compared to many of the other options available who ply their trade under the shady banner of 'publishing' ... what’s not to like about that?
Q: Considering the broad selection of books you have published over the past years, do you have a particular favourite?
A: No. My most favourite book is always the last one to be published … and this is the little something that drives me on to write the next one … and the best one!
Quentin Cope - Bio.
Serving time in the Royal Air Force during the sixties and surviving the uncomfortable consequences of Middle East conflict in the eighties and nineties, author Quentin Cope MA.MSc., was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Directors (F.Inst.D) in September 1983 and went on to finally complete his Masters in Applied Arts/Science during 1995. Having a pilot's licence in his pocket, Quentin has been fortunate enough to enjoy a life of travel and real adventure; some of it remembered as wonderfully exhilarating ... and some of it not! His writing leans heavily upon many of the amazing stories he has listened to over the years, told to him by real people describing real situations. These have been, in the main, courageous people and magnificently alive characters continually searching for new experiences and adrenalin fuelled excitement. As a diligent writer Quentin's award winning style can sometimes be seen as punchy and often quite direct with similar approaches to story-telling as Jack Higgins and Glover Wright. With more than thirty books in print, Quentin is a prolific and experienced wordsmith. His books sell worldwide on all AMAZON platforms and on-line through major International book stores.