Friday, February 4, 2011

Interview with author Dawson Vosburg

At the same age I was dancing around my room and singing into hairbrushes, Dawson Vosburg was busy writing--and publishing--novels. This teenage author loves good books and good writing, and is already well on the road to producing both. Dawson took the time to answer some of my questions, plus share a new idea: sponsor a writer.
Take a look:

Tell us a little about your writing process.

I do NaNoWriMo every year, and usually it produces something usable. Double Life and upcoming Incognito were both written during NaNoWriMo. All of my first drafts are written in less than two months. Sometimes I'll procrastinate, then write the rest in a few days or weeks (like with my second book Terminal Velocity, also published now). Then I let it rest, read it, then edit the heck out of it several times till I like it (really, it doesn't get any more organized than that). Send it to an editor, read it over one last time, and there you have it!

Tell us a little about your influences.

The biggest influence on the Josiah Jones books has been Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl series. That really made me think that a secret agency book can be better than the typical and have a different feel to them. I really love Artemis Fowl, especially the early ones, because the characterization is so spot on.

I think, though, overall, my favorite influences are in the arena of fantasy. C. S. Lewis, J. K. Rowling, and J. R. R. Tolkien are the three Great Fantasy Writers in my mind. They all have the initials--I always wondered what was up with that. (laughs) Maybe I shoul be D. P. Vosburg.

What made you take the self-publishing route? Is there anything you would do differently?

I found out about self-publishing by web searching, long long ago. December of 2007. It was amazing to me that you could just put a book out yourself, with none of the submission crap I saw in the traditional industry. So I jumped on board faster than you could say "Lulu." Which was my first publisher.

There are lots of things I wish I would have done differently. Of course you always want to go back and fix things in your story, and there's plenty I'd like to fix. But as far as publishing goes, I wish that
1. I had discovered earlier,
2. I had given myself more time, and
3. I had more of a network to go with and had taken the time to attain all the knowledge I have now.

Tell us a little bit about this latest project (sponsor a writer). How did you get involved with it? Who's idea was it? How's it going so far? What is your goal?

I'm using (mentioned above) to raise funds for my next big book project called Incognito. Kickstarter is where people can back creative projects by pledging money for a project they like and support. If the project attains the money goal within the set timeframe, they receive the money. If they don't, no money changes hands. I heard about it from my (amazing) older brother David, who is himself in the creative industry of design. I decided myself to use it as the way to fund my next publishing venture.

I've really been locked down in the past as to how much I could do because of limited funds. I went into debt to my parents to buy books and barely made back enough to pay them back, and I really couldn't go that much further than that. Everything I wanted to do had a pricetag. Now that I've found Kickstarter it looks like that problem is pretty much solved.

The goal is to raise $3,000 total. It's been slow to start off--I didn't really have a convenient way to convey the message. Recently, though, with a video my brother David helped me produce, I've been getting new pledges every day for the past few days. We'll see how that gets going.

Thanks so much, Dawson, and best of luck to you!

To sponsor Dawson, please click here.


Dawson Vosburg said...

Thanks for the interview, Elisa! Really enjoyed it.

We're doing pretty well on the Kickstarter--10% funded already. It's exciting to see that progress.

Elisa said...

Thanks to you as well -- and keep up the good work!