Today my interview is with Texas based writer Bobby Ozuna. As a Redskins fan, I usually wouldn't allow a Dallas Cowboy fan on my blog since there should never be a reason for anyone to Google Dallas Cowboys and get to MY blog. Unless I write something like Dallas SUCKS. There...now I feel better. Where was I?
Seriously though, Bobby also has a blog that gives tips for other writer's trying to market their books. It's very helpful! He even featured my blog on there which shows he has good taste! (Other than his choice of sports teams...)
So without further ado, here is my interview with Bobby Ozuna-the uncut version:
On a scale from 1 to 10, how awesome am I? No excuses about how you hardly know me…
Haha…straight and to the point Melanie…that automatically earns you a 10 in my book!!!
I see from your website, that you focus a lot on marketing. Would you agree that asking various people to rate your awesomeness is a good marketing technique?
Hmm, another deep methodical question from the world of Melly’s Spot…not sure how to respond, but let me say this: I am not sure if asking people to rate your awesomeness can be considered effective book marketing, but it does (at the very least) get people talking about you—which is a good thing. I would say anything that makes people aware of your dukedom will surely help in the long run. It’s truly worked for me and my Mojo is through the roof these days!!!
What advice can you give me? My newest idea right now is to make a t-shirt saying, "I'm with Awesome" with an arrow pointing to the right (where I will presumably be standing). It will be part of my fall Mellywear line. What do you think?
I think it reminds me a lot of a shirt I wore as a kid (early 80’s) that said something like: “I’m with stupid.” Again, if anything positive were to come from this T-shirt idea (which we know is sparked from true genius…the same way Forrest Gump (the one people call Forrest Gump) helped that man sale t-shirts that said, “Have A Nice Day”—I say go for it! I think it’s ironic that today we are conducting this interview and all week leading up to this moment I was working to determine my Fall fashion for this coming season. Problem solved! Thanks!!! Can’t wait for my shirt!
I see from your website that you are the father of four children. Are you crazy? Err…I mean, that's great! Are any of them interested in following in their dad's footsteps and becoming a writer?
Not crazy for having four children…just getting crazier as the days and nights go on!!! My children are wonderful and I am very fortunate to be part of their lives. They range in age from my 13 year-old volleyball/softball player Elizabeth (Stay away boys!!!), to Lazaro my 12 year-old soccer player, followed by Mini-Me—Dominic—who plays baseball like his Daddy and lastly, Damian, my very big 2 year-old. I think he will be a wrestler when he grows up. Oh! And I have a wolf-hybrid…his name is Akai.
Both Elizabeth and Dominic have shown interest in writing with my daughter already writing a couple of short-stories; Dominic contributed to a school book where he wrote some text and illustrated a picture of the “Sneaky Snake.” I have learned [that] when you include them in your passion for the (or any) arts, you show them the power of creative and free thought and the relationships which seem to lack in so many households is fortified when you give them time…which is all they really want from us. Our time.
Now for the hard hitting question… Are you ready? What is your favorite website to visit?
Oh that’s easy! Melly’s Spot!!!! (Do I win a free “I’m with Awesome” T-shirt or something for that???) Seriously? Is this an adult only website? Careful Bobby…careful. Okay, I’ll keep it clean. Well, I don’t have a favorite. I subscribe to roughly 20 different blogs ranging from writing, editing, publishing, marketing and technological aspects of blogging, to cooking sites (yes, I cook), money/tax tips and (of course) the Dallas Cowboys. If the content is good…then I am all over it…responding…commenting, etc…and if they post new material frequently enough…I subscribe. (Like I want my fans to do with my blog!! Hint, hint!)
Your book Proud Souls seems very deep. If I was to read it, are there any big words that might trip me up?
Big words huh? No, nothing to fear here…Proud Souls has a little bit of everything a reader could possibly want from a book…I know…I was a reader long before I became a writer… How about a summation? A quick list of key words found throughout Proud Souls??? Consider this your literal book trailer…
Accident…Wife… Son… Lost… Buried… Forgotten… Fart… Bar… The Hawk’s Nest… cheap whiskey… old pickup truck… masturbation… balcony… bath time… reputation… alcohol… arguing… love me? Ignore me? Leave me alone! Understand… God… answers… giving up… tearing down… kicking in… leave him alone… Why? Pebbles in the pond… choice… Life… Death… grocery store… church… cabin… naked… sex… leave me alone… push me away… fall to sleep… hold me… wake me… it’s hot…it’s raining… he’s horny… cemetery… closure… defend… gunshot… NO!
I see a lot of people write to you for advice on writing as well. I have a friend who is having a hard time writing. This person (who shall remain completely anonymous) is blonde and can't seem to get the characters to speak to her-uh-this completely anonymous person. What can I-uh-they do about it?
Well, the first step towards getting past any form of writer’s “block” is to write—daily and often. I know you post content regularly on your blog site (or rather, if she were just like you, she would be posting content regularly) but that isn’t necessarily enough. We write one way when we blog—informative—and another way—creative—when we are drawing a story. I make it a habit or goal to try for five new pages of (creative) content per day.
If you want the characters to begin speaking to you, you have to start working with them like an artist. Give them personality traits, like you would a stick figure on canvas. Give them hair, arms, legs, movement, speech, and most importantly—a background and some history into their life. The more you focus on them—in the stillness of your life—the more they will reveal themselves to you. Take what you learn from them and write it…create it…and then as I say, draw their story…with words.
I see you help coach PONY baseball. I love pony’s as much as the next girl, but I didn’t think they had very good catching skills. What is PONY baseball?
Well it’s hard to get them adjusted to wearing cleats but after hours of practice, they adjust…
Honestly, PONY stands for Protecting Our Nations Youth and what started out (long time ago) as an organization to help protect children and keep them active with sports, has become one of the nation’s largest youth baseball organizations in this country. Essentially PONY baseball is “Little League” baseball, but “Little League” baseball is its own regulated association. I have been coaching since 2006 and I love it as much as I love the game of baseball.
Now it’s your turn to say whatever you want…promote, etc. I’ll be over here brushing my My Little Pony’s hair.
First I want to say thank-you…thank-you for giving me this opportunity to entertain your audience. I hope I have made an impression. Here is my closing argument…my final thoughts…for all your fans…
I am the author of the novel, Proud Souls, which you can read for FREE (well, 90% of it) online via the Search Inside feature on Amazon.com. My website and blog URL’s are listed below. I pride myself in helping as many writers as I can on their journey, whether it’s advice on marketing, book and author promotion, writing and publishing, being I am an independent author. I answer every reader’s questions with relation to my writing career as I can and I post many of those “reader interviews” on my blog as part of my “PS: We Wanna Know” category.
I can be found on Facebook, MySpace and The Book Marketing Network (among a few others). If you have questions about this literary business, ask me, I’m not reclusive. On the contrary I think an artist should be available to any other artist seeking their help and advice and especially the fans. I don’t know everything about the literary/writing world…but I’m resourceful enough to help you find the answers…
I look forward to hearing from each of you!
Blog: “Drawing Stories…With Words”
Bobby on Facebook
Bobby on Myspace
Proud Souls on Amazon