Author Interview Questions
1: Hi, and thanks for joining today. In your own words tell us about yourself, not you the author, but just you!
A: I grew up consuming and loving stories. In games, in TV, in books. I’m that guy that needs to watch a bad movie to its conclusion just to see if there’s anything redeeming about the writing. (Spoiler: Usually there isn’t, but I’m a slave to the craft.)
2: Why did you decide to become an author and what’s the best part? Yeah, it’s a double-whammy of a question. So unexpected!
A: Aside from my childhood aspirations, I actually forgot about the author thing. I worked at a successful video game developer as a programmer for a decade and was doing well for myself, but there were parts about my career that didn’t bring me enough satisfaction. I contributed to story and design elements whenever I could but game dev is often very design-by-committee. It didn’t fully scratch my itch.
When I left the company and rediscovered writing, it seemed like my purpose in life came flooding back to me. And that’s the best part of being an author, I’d say. Being fully in charge of your creation. Being the one on the hook if something works or not. I love the crushing pressure of it.
3: So, tell us about your work. Sell us on it! Why should we read it and why it will capture us?
A: I’m a plot junkie. My work doesn’t have the don’t-worry-it’s-just-action hand-waving that you see in so many stories these days. I’m not after a quick book. I take time plotting, make sure every character has a believable motivation, and do my best to keep the reader guessing. I want to knock your socks off, but I want to do it in a way that feels like I didn’t pull a fast one on you. There’s no sleight of hand with my books. Every shocking twist has deep meaning.
4: Why did you choose the genre you write in over others to start your publishing career? Did others appeal to you more and you chose this? Was there a bit of choice weighing or was it rather simple?
A: Fantasy was a no-brainer. There’s such a rich tapestry to draw inspiration from, and human emotion in the face of the impossible fascinates me. That said, I’m a big fan of crime novels and police procedurals and action-adventure movies ranging from Indiana Jones to Jason Bourne. I like to think my work mashes all of that together.
5: So far, what would you say has been the hardest part of being an author?
A: Brutal self-assessment. If you’re gonna be your own boss, you need to point out your own failings and figure out how to improve. If you don’t advance you fall behind. This business is competitive and takes a lot of motivation and savvy. You need to be that boss or teacher you hated but in hindsight realized helped you become a better person.
6: Now for the ever-so-shocking follow-up question. What’s the best/easiest part, if there is one?
A: I feel like you already asked this question in the double-whammy above! A triple whammy!
7: Tell us about what your experiences in the author life have been like. I don’t mean the writing aspects. I mean the daily human life. Tell us what it’s like to live the day life you do and be an author at the same time. What’s it like when people in your life and, the people you come across, find out you’re an author?
A: Everybody that finds out what I do is incredibly interested. It’s great. A lot of the people I know are creative professionals so I guess it’s natural. That said, living the author life is a little lonely. I get out of the house and see groups of friends less often. One of the downsides to working at home is you need to then work to find downtime.
8: Writing is a hard craft and a harder career. What are the things that keep you going, both in improving the craft and enduring the downs/lows of the career?
A: I think a lot of authors make it harder on themselves by trying to keep up with the Joneses. I mean, there will always be someone writing faster, better, making more money, getting more fan love, etc. The business requires you to be aware of similar authors and books and fan bases. That’s fine. Study the market, but don’t hold yourself hostage to it. Everything else needs to take a back seat to focusing on your personal author journey. Trust me, that’s the part of this gig that’ll give you the most satisfaction.
9: What do you love about the genre/s you write and what others appeal to you?
A: My tagline is “Fantasy is serious business.” I love exploring deep and complex themes in the face of magic. I go dark, too. If everything was all unicorns farting rainbows then the genre wouldn’t appeal to me. I blame the influences of noir and crime fiction.
10: Tell us about the plans for your series and body of work.
A: Black Magic Outlaw is my hit series and it’s basically a necromancer in Miami’s revenge story as he protects his family. It’s like Taken and The Count of Monte Cristo rolled up into one (except with double-dealing supernatural baddies). I’ve constructed a world that I intend to revisit with spin-offs and other series. That said, I’m not trying to connect all my books together like Stephen King. If I need to write something else, something disconnected, so be it.
11: The writing and publishing world has changed a lot. Self-publishing, small to medium presses popping up, and things like becoming a hybrid between indie pubbing and traditional. What are your thoughts on that? Any predictions on what the future might hold? What would you like to see, both as an author yourself, and, as a consumer/reader?
A: I’m a do-it-yourselfer so I love the fact that I don’t need approval to write books. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if indie author collectives started forming, like minds pooling their resources and power to play on a bigger field.
12: The always done and asked question. Who are your favorite authors? What are you favorite books? What are you reading now? Tell us. Tell us!
A: Style influences would be Michael Connelly, Robert Crais, and Jim Butcher. Growing up I read a lot of Weiss/Hickman and Piers Anthony so that stuff is sort of stamped on my soul. And (perhaps surprisingly) I’m a fan of Victorian contributors like Arthur Conan Doyle, HG Wells, and HP Lovecraft.
13: I’ve got to know…what’s your favorite word to use. Every author has one. What’s the word you catch yourself using a lot? We’ve all got those as well. What’s your favorite word just to say? Something where you like the way it sounds. What’s your favorite curse worse, if you’ve got one and or use them?
A: Real writer talk here. I probably use “just” too much and I strip out as many instances of “that” as I can. I like making up verbs like strobed and steepled, spell check be damned. As far as curse words, I’m an equal-opportunity profaner. And yes, I fucking use them.
14: Tell us about your latest release. Or, when can we expect your next one? What are we in store for?!
A: FIRE WATER is a great release for me because it closes the 5-book story arc that birthed the Black Magic Outlaw series. Questions: answered. Mysteries: explained. Plot Threads: tied up. You don’t get a lot of closure in urban fantasy these days. It’s been an amazing ride and I’m so proud to see it out there in the world, standing on its own.
15: Lastly, where can we find you? Facebook? Twitter? Website? Links to your material. Go on, don’t be shy. Share!
A: You can’t go wrong with DominoFinn.com. That’ll give you links to my books in digital, print, and audio.
Follow me on Facebook here:
And if you just want a shortcut to Amazon, check out my Black Magic Outlaw series at:
It bears pointing out that Domino Finn is the man behind the innovative and now widely used first person blurbs by many in the urban fantasy genre, at least as far as I am aware. Prior to him, I’ve never seen an urban fantasy character narrate their book blurb. And you know what? It works. They may be all over the place, but this is the man with the genius behind it. A true innovator. If you haven’t checked out his works, you might want to.
And the first two novels in the series are on sale at this moment for 99 cents. Here’s the blurb to book one with links below to those as well.
I’m Cisco Suarez: necromancer, shadow charmer, black magic outlaw. Sounds kinda cool, doesn’t it? It was, right until I woke up half dead in a dumpster.
Did I say half dead? Because I meant 100% dead. Full on. I don’t do things halfway.
So here I am, alive for some reason, just another sunny day in Miami. It’s a perfect paradise, except I’m into something bad. Wanted by police, drenched in the stink of dark magic, nether creatures coming out of the woodwork, and don’t get me started on the Haitian voodoo gang. Trust me, it’s all fun and games until there’s a zombie pit bull on your tail.
I’m Cisco Suarez: necromancer, shadow charmer, black magic outlaw, and totally screwed.