He is a global executive in training and channel development. He is also an established author who has published numerous works, both fiction and nonfiction. His name is Hans M Hirschi who resides in Sweden. We interviewed Hans to find out about his writing background, his fictional work, and about his latest novel entitled The Fallen Angels of Karnataka. Hans also kindly shared some top tips for all you budding authors out there looking to go down the indie publishing route. Read on to find out what Hans had to say.
1. Can you please tell us about your experience and how you got into writing?
I’ve been writing ever since I could hold a pen. I still have cherished pieces from my childhood with super heroes and creatures from ancient Greek mythology. Back then I also illustrated my stories.
At university I studied literature (among many other things) and that kind of drove the love of books out of me. That happens when you’re required to read 30-40 books a week under an extensive period, particularly as many of those books were dull reads.
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However, in my corporate career, I wrote two non-fictional books, one about e-learning pedagogy and one about my management philosophies (the second revised edition of which is my next project.) In the end, it was a coincidence that led me back to writing fiction, the impending birth of my son and a time window of three months during which I had nothing else to do. Turns out I never stopped writing…
2. What different types of writing have you published in your career?
I’ve always been writing, and on top of the two non-fictional titles mentioned before, I’ve also self-published a little book with poetry and a seasonal short back in the early nineties. The latter will be republished in English next month as part of a holiday anthology. I’m glad this story gets a second, proper, chance.
Beyond that, I’ve been writing many articles in my professional career, and I’ve been blogging for almost a decade in various forms and shapes. The blog is a great way to express yourself on a great many topics and my blog has always been about everything between heaven and earth. Based on my blog I published a free e-book earlier this year documenting our road to parenting in India. Blogs are great, but since they are cumbersome in terms of reading ‘after the fact’, the e-book showcases the posts, in a lightly edited form, and presents them in chronological order.
3. You’ve published 4 novels so far. Can you please tell us about the genre(s) you write in and about the messages you like to convey in your fictional work?
My writing is contemporary gay fiction. Although “gay” isn’t at the core of my writing, it’s the social issues. My main characters just happen to be gay, and for some reason this is still, sadly, something people want to know before buying a book. As a father, I often write about parenting, I write about relationships and the challenges we face these days, and – in the most recent novel – child abuse, trafficking etc.
4. Your latest novel is entitled The Fallen Angels of Karnataka. Could you please tell us a bit about this story, and how much India inspired it?
I set out to write a travel novel, showcasing the personal growth of my main character through his travels. However, as I was working on the book, an incident among friends of ours, shifted the focus of the story from a ‘simple’ travel novel to something else, the plight of children in modern slavery and how they’re being used by pedophiles.
As we know there are 60 million children living in slavery in India alone, if we were to include the numbers from other parts of the world, the number would be even scarier. We’ve spent a lot of time in India, our son was born there and we have some very close friends who live in different parts of the country. I love India, and that is why I feel compelled to do my part in highlighting the many issues plaguing the country. I’ve blogged about female infanticide years ago when no one else would even mention the subject and with this novel, I hope to raise awareness for the plight of these children around the world.
The title of the book is directly inspired by the part of the story which plays out in Bangalore, and in hindsight, it’s almost eery just how many resemblances Mahender Chitragar has with this year’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Mr. Kailash Satyarthi. I’m very happy that he and Ms Yousafzai were awarded the prize.
5. Could you please share 3 top indie publishing tips for writers who want to take up independent publishing?
I think that indie publishing is great if you want control over the creative process, and you feel that you won’t get that from a traditional publisher. We often say that the grass is greener on the other side. Weigh pros and cons carefully.
The second tip would be editing & cover. This is something that even traditional publishing houses treat casually these days. While a great story is written with imagination & talent, it won’t be a great book unless it’s properly edited, proof read and made complete with a great cover. Humans are visual people, and the cover is the first (or last) thing people will know about your book! Make sure it’s the best possible.
Finally, marketing. Authors often believe that publishers will do all the marketing work for them. That may be true for their best sellers, but not everyone else. In indie publishing, you have to do it all. Make sure you have a good and solid marketing plan, and, if you’re not marketing savvy, get professional help.
6. How can people find out more about you?
I’m easy to find. Just google my name and take it from there… I have a website my publishing house has one, I’m quite active on social media, I have a blog, I’m easily found on Goodreads or Amazon. You could just have a look at my about.me page. I welcome dialogue with readers, it’s most inspiring.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/hv1.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Hiten Vyas is the Founder and Managing Editor of eBooks India. He is also a prolific eBook writer with over 25 titles to his name.[/author_info] [/author]