Anton: Be professional when trying to submit your work. Publishing is a business, and although your secret heart is poured out on your manuscript pages, you can't take things personally. If you get a form rejection, don't rage and scream against the industry. If you get a more personalized rejection, take any advice you get in it and give it careful consideration. I've heard too many stories about aspiring authors getting caught up in feeling like their precious baby has been kicked in the teeth that they forget that they SHOULD be trying to make their manuscript better! Serve the story. Even published authors are always learning new things to make their work better. You should be too!
I have heard so many rumors about how important it is to wait to buy a book on the release date. How true is it that sales are only counted after a book is released than before? If I buy a book before its release date, does that mean I am a bad person and that it won't count toward the total sales of the book?
Anton: It depends. Generally, it works best if you pick up an author's work in the first 8 weeks or so after the "street date" of a book. Why? The stores that carry these books are looking to see what the strong performers are during that time period and those sales will affect how many of your NEXT book they will take. It's also a crucial time for trying to get an author onto the bestseller list. By buying a book early, there is a chance that those early sales won't get lumped into the first week sales that are reported and crucial to a books performance. I believe some of the online retailers do factor this in and report the sales as one rolled up figure, but it's not a constant.
How did you come up with the character of Simon?
Anton: Is it strange to say that he decided to show himself to me over time? There was no initial inspiration for him that I can remember, but when I started writing the protagonist of this story I wanted to tell, the situation's kind of help to build him. Simon strives to be a badass hero that we're all used to in the genre, except he's not. He's a fairly normal guy who simply wants to get his shit together, date, and do something a bit more good and meaningful in his life. But all of this only came to me as Simon walked up to situation after situation. It was only then than he revealed how he'd handle it.
You made New York City come so alive that it seemed like another character in Dead To Me. Did you do any type of research on the city or just make it up along as you wrote since you work there and live close by?
Anton: I lived in Manhattan for about a decade and about six years in Queens, so I am very familiar with most of New York City. It IS a character all its own and I set out to portray the lively creature that it is. I researched a lot of my locations within the story and if I didn't have the time I would Wiki some of the history of those locations. It's such a fascinating city! I have little videoed bits on my camera where I would act out certain scenes at locations, which drew some stares. The Lovecraft Cafe, for example, is based on an East Village coffeehouse/movie theater I used to go to. I'm almost afraid to go back there because my fictional version of it has so taken over that I might be disappointed by the reality of it.
What does the future hold for Simon?
What is your definition of Urban Fantasy? Do you see this genre exploding even more? What other authors should we look forward to?
Anton: I have a very loose definition. I think that to qualify as urban fantasy you need a modern day city and you need something fantastical... magic, vamps, you name it. That's it for me. A lot of it can wander into the paranormal romance category, which generally speaking constitutes more emphasis on the boning and less on the plot. Julie Kenner gets away with sub-urban fantasy, with her soccer mom demon slayer, so there are of course exceptions to these rules... I'm doing humorous urban fantasy, sort of in a Whedon-esque vein, and I'd love to see even more of that. I miss Buffy and Ghostbusters.I think the genre has grown about as much as it will, but I think we'll be seeing changes in what specifically is being dealt with in urban fantasy. Vampires were the initial trendsetters... shape shifters are big now... I'm gonna predict that dragonkin will be next. Not in my work, mind you, but hey, it could happen!As far as other authors, I can always recommend my colleagues over at the League of Reluctant Adults... and also this new author at Ace, Jes Battis, who is doing my kind of stuff only with a more serious edge and a paranormal CSI squad.
If you were stuck on a desert island, what 5 books would you want with you? Also, what 5 characters would you want living in your hut?
Anton: Hmm...again with the tough questions! I tried to come up with all kinds of erudite answers, but you'll have to settle for these...
If you could have any superpowers, what would they be? Who is your favorite superhero if you have any?
Anton: These are tough questions to ask a self-proclaimed comic book geek. I've given too many hours to thinking about this in my life. Spidey has always been one of my favorite heroes and I'd probably want his powers. I don't need nigh-invulnerability or anything grand like that... I'd be happy to settle for webslinging, clinging to walls and super strength. Although I always used to play Tony Stark driven Iron Man clones back in my RPG days... I'm also a huge Batman fan, but other than his smarts and wealth, he doesn’t really have powers... which is keen in its own right. Now please to be putting on this Wonder Woman outfit....
Not only was Anton nice enough for me to "pick his brain", he is giving away a signed copy of Dead To Me! All you have to do to win is post here by Thursday. But to make it interesting, I want to know:
"If you could have any super power what would it be and why?"
Katiebabs, who would want the power to fly! :D