We welcome today Kevin Hopson, author of the YA dark fiction, The Landfill. Prior to hitting the fiction scene in 2009, Kevin was a freelance writer for several years, covering everything from finance to sports. His debut work, World of Ash, was released by MuseItUp Publishing in the fall of 2010. Kevin has released several other books through MuseItUp since then, and he has also been published in various magazines and anthology books. Kevin’s writing covers many genres, including dark fiction and horror, science fiction, and crime fiction.
Thank you for this interview, Kevin. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
I’ve been writing in some capacity for roughly 15 years now. However, I delved into the fiction scene only a few years ago. My first story, World of Ash, debuted in 2010.
Can you tell us briefly what your book is about?
I believe the official book description (below) is best at summarizing the story without giving too much away.
“Billy, a high school senior, has lost a lot in the past year, including his younger sister, Sara. Billy lacks excitement and purpose in life until his curiosity takes him and his best friend, Connor, to an old, abandoned landfill along the river. Connor would rather forget the experience, but Billy can’t help but feel invigorated by their findings. Taking it upon himself to uncover the mystery, Billy finds his life coming full circle – but is that a good or bad thing?”
Why did you choose your particular genre?
Dark fiction is one of my favorite genres to read, and it’s one I’m very comfortable writing. Prior to The Landfill, though, I had never written a piece aimed at the Young Adult market. As a result, I thought combining the two would be a refreshing experience for me, and it definitely proved to be the case.
What was your greatest challenge writing this book?
Familiarizing myself with how high school kids speak and behave nowadays (being that I only have a toddler at home). Fortunately, I have experience coaching high school sports, so it wasn’t as difficult as it could have been.
Are you published by a traditional house, small press or are you self-published?
My publisher, MuseItUp Publishing, started out small but has grown significantly the past few years. I’ve been with them from the very beginning (2010).
Was it the right choice for you?
Without a doubt. MuseItUp helped jump-start my writing career, and the company is run by some of the brightest, friendliest, and most resourceful people I have ever met.
How are you promoting your book thus far?
Through a combination of social media (Facebook), author/reader groups, and this blog tour.
How is that going for you?
It’s going pretty well. The book has received solid interest overall.
Can you tell us one thing you have done that actually resulted in one or more sales?
I held a pre-release giveaway. I’ve noticed through experience that giveaways can sometimes lead to sales. For example, if someone doesn’t win a free copy of the book, they might be inclined to buy it if you’ve generated enough interest in it.
Do you have another job besides writing?
I’m a stay-at-home dad, which I like to think of as another job. In fact, it takes up most of my time. It limits how much I can write, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
If you could give one book promotion tip to new authors, what would that be?
Avoid overkill, especially if you’re reaching out through social media. You’re not going to pick up readers by constantly begging people to buy your book. I’m very selective when it comes to promoting. For example, I’ll do it around release dates or times when I want to hold special giveaways. I also try to help other authors by reading their work and spreading the word. Some writers perceive others in their profession as competition, but this doesn’t have to be the case. It can be a tight-knit community where we help one another.
What’s next for you?
I have a science fiction novella, Shifting Alliances, due out this fall by MuseItUp Publishing.
Can you tell us where we can find you on the web?
My blog is http://kevin-hopson.blogspot.com.
My Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/worldofash
My Amazon author page is http://www.amazon.com/Kevin-Hopson/e/B006XVDMT6/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1