I write stories where things happen and there is a lot of tension. Characters make hard choices and endure the consequences. I'm most well known for my bestselling Iron Dragon series, which is high fantasy, but I've sold a lot of short stories and a few novellas in that are sci-fi, horror, alternate history, and steampunk. I like stories that make the reader feel something. Hope. Fear. Horror. Wonder. Sadness. Victory. I used to have the goal of making the reader cry in every short story I wrote, but I don't always do that now. Sometimes I want them to feel horror, or hope, but I always want them to think about the story for a long time after reading it. I never phone in short stories. I obsess over them for weeks.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I was four years old. I told my mom I wanted to be a writer and she encouraged me to create stories with my toys--as writing was not an option, though did color a lot. Never on the walls. The storytelling all went from there. I would create elaborate scenes with my Star Wars toys or my army men, or Medieval soldiers. Eventually that turned into Dungeons & Dragons games with my friends, and finally novels.
What do you consider the most influential book you've ever read?
The Hobbit. It changed my world forever in 4th grade. I read it four times in a row. I hope people today have books like The Hobbit that rock their world.
What other authors are you friends with, and how have they helped you become a better writer?
I'm friends with literally hundreds of published authors. I'm close friends with a few dozen. They are my tribe. A few of them are my first readers and they constantly challenge me to improve my craft. Without them, I would never have grown as much as I have. I owe the writers around me a great debt, which is why I help them whenever I can.
What’s the best way you've found to market your books?
Form solid relationships with fans and readers who then tell their friends about my books and stories. I wish I knew the secret of selling a ton of books now. Ten years ago, I knew the online tricks and my first novel, The Golden Cord, book one in the Iron Dragon Series had seven printing in the first year it was out, but those tactics don't work as well anymore.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
It depends on the book or short story. Most short stories require several hours of research, especially the alternate history ones. I often spend 50 hours or more on a short story total. My ghost story set in Heian era Japan, "Onnen" in the Shared Nightmares anthology, was told from the point of view of the ghost. That took me about one hundred hours to research and write. I also went to the Imperial Palace in Kyoto Japan--but that was not required. The story is packed with true events and visiting the palace inspired me to write it.
Any last thoughts for our readers?
Find books that you love and read them. Don't waste your time reading books that don't grab you within a chapter or two. Life is too short. If you are a writer, write what you love.
Paul Genesse, Author and Editor
Visit my Amazon.com Author Page
Author of The Iron Dragon Series
The Golden Cord: Book One
The Dragon Hunters: Book Two
The Secret Empire: Book Three
A Walk in the Abyss
"Of the Earth, of the Sky, of the Sea" in
Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters
The Crimson Pact Volume 1
The Crimson Pact Volume 2
The Crimson Pact Volume 3
The Crimson Pact Volume 4
The Crimson Pact Volume 5
Author Website: http://www.paulgenesse.com/
Author Blog: http://paulgenesse.blogspot.com/
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