MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR EDDIE CLEVELAND!
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
I’m Eddie Cleveland. My books are contemporary romance and usually feature ex-military bad boys.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
For Riding Lil’ Red Hard, I continued on with the theme of men who had served with the same SEAL team trying to put their lives back together after a deadly deployment. I liked the contrast of the darkness that these men had experienced with the lighter tone of fairy tales. They all make beautifully broken prince charmings. I started with The Beauty’s Beast, then TinderElla and finished out the series with the reimagined version of Little Red Riding Hood.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I was in the navy for twelve years and when I sailed we often were cut off from society. We’d lose internet, satellite and had to resort to either watching dvds or reading. I found reading really relaxing, so it wasn’t long before I had devoured my ship’s library. I read the romance books too and was a bit disappointed by how unrealistic the military romances were. I dabbled in writing anyway, and it ate at me. I kept thinking I could do a better job of writing a military romantic hero. So, I gave it my best shot.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
For the fairy tale series I brushed up on the original fairy tales. I also always check out the areas I’m talking about. I research the towns, do a street view on Google maps, and all that. With TinderElla, I had to do quite a bit of research on immigration laws and what happens to people who are smuggled into the United States.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
I really enjoyed writing every book, but the one that I put the most of myself into was TinderElla. I am also raising a young, intelligent and sweet little girl and so I put a lot of little moments she’s had or things she’s said in there.
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
I really wanted to connect the heroes of the stories with a shared military experience. I kept thinking that they should have shared a deployment and seen the ugliness of war together so their healing and happiness would be more meaningful. That’s the kernel of an idea that started the ball rolling.
Was it always meant to become a series?
Yes, I planned this out to be a series right from the beginning.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
I get up ridiculously early. Usually between 4 and 5. After the coffee is brewed and I’ve gone through my messages and stuff, I try to get at least one chapter written before the house comes alive and the real world creeps in. Some days I get two written and then give myself a little pat on the back before the rest of the day starts.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
I do have a series of novellas planned out. They’re going to be Woodsman/Mountain Man themed, but I don’t have any titles planned yet.
Where do your ideas come from?
I’ve always had a very vivid imagination, and then, when you add in my military experience, I find the stories just come to me.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Getting started! Not just on a new work (which sometimes feels next to impossible) but actually sitting my butt in the chair and forcing myself to type those first few words. Once I get past that hurdle, I’m good to go.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I’ve had a few trailers for books now. I’ve made them all myself and even put a clip of video of myself in one just for a laugh. I think book trailers are fun, but totally unnecessary. They’re not something I would spend money on, but if you have the time to put one together, they can generate some buzz.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
The best thing about being an author? I feel like it’s hard to choose just one thing! I love that I can have a career based on art and imagination. I guess the thing I absolutely love the most is the time it gives me to spend with my family.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I hope I’m still writing and living my dream! It’s hard to make any “five year plans” in this business. With self-publishing, you never know what six months will bring, let alone ten years. However, that’s the ultimate goal for me.
Have you always liked to write?
I have enjoyed it since I knew how to scribble lines into letter and letters into words! I remember writing my first stories as a kid, to bring to campfires and sleepovers. They were the scariest things a young boy’s mind could come up as I was always trying to terrify the other guys. Most times it worked.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
I would tell them to definitely spend a bit of time reading what is out there, also see what other successful people in the genre you want to write are doing. However, don’t get stuck in “research mode”. You can study every type of social media, marketing, cover design and book on the market forever, but none of it will make any difference if you don’t put your butt in the chair and write.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
If I wasn’t writing, I would try to pursue pottery. Long ago I went to an art school for visual arts and pottery was just something that I took to right away. Even if I don’t do it as a job, I’d like to take it up as a hobby when I have a bit more time.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
After the initial “new release” period, I rarely read up on my reviews. I just check in during the launch to see if the book strikes the chord I was hoping for, or if there’s some glaring problem with it that I missed. I’ve had amazing 5-star reviews and brutal 1-star reviews, and I never respond to any of them.
I don’t think it’s my place to praise people or argue with them about their opinion. If someone loves my book, I’m happy it reached a reader who connects with me and my work. However, if someone detests it, I don’t worry about it. It just means it wasn’t the book for them. Now, I’m not going to say I was always so nonchalant about the whole thing. The negative reviews on my debut book were hard pills to swallow. But, I’ve grown and learned since then that you’ll never produce anything you’re proud of if you’re writing for the critics.
What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
Editing is always a little soul crushing. I find it tedious and difficult to go back through with a critical eye for errors. Luckily I work with some of the best editors and they make this a lot easier on me!
What are you working on now?
Right now I’m working on a series where the heroes are mountain men. I did this last year in the winter as well. I think there’s just something about slugging through a Canadian winter that makes me feel like an isolated mountain man! Maybe that’s why my mind goes there this time of year.
Where did your love of books come from?
I think it started young. I remember my grandmother reading to me and really valuing that time we got to spend together.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
When I’m writing a balanced amount, like two chapters a day, it doesn’t do either. It becomes a part of my daily routine. However, if I let it pile up and I need to go on some kind of crazy writing spree (I once wrote 9 chapters in one day!) then it wipes me out.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I try to toe the line between both. Most readers in my genre seem to want a spicy story with compelling bad boys and the women they fall hard for. I try to deliver that in every book while still telling a real story too.
Where can your fans find you and follow??
Thanks for asking 🙂 Here’s some places they can track me down, including checking out some free work on Wattpad.
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Eddie-Cleveland/e/B01G7GXG6A/
Free Reads on Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/eddiecleveland
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1316960575045995/
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview