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The Moon Dwellers (The Dwellers, #1)
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Awesome Author Interviews > David Estes Live Interview!

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message 1: by Marie-Claude aka MC (last edited Aug 31, 2012 12:42AM) (new)

Marie-Claude aka MC | 343 comments We are very excited and happy to have David Estes as one of our AOTM for September! First, on behald of everyone here at Lovers of Paranormal, thank you for sharing your time with us! We are happy and so honoured to have you here! Now... Let's get started with this interview!

1- As a self published author, what are the most challenging and difficult steps in getting your books ready?

2- At what point in your life that you decided that you wanted to become a writer, and why?

3- Why did you decide to write Paranormal books?

4- How do you write your books, meaning, what is your creative process?

5- If you could have dinner with one author, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Again, thank you David for being here! And also, we appreciate the copy of your book your provided us with for a giveaway! One member will get very lucky! ;)

To all members, stay tuned as David pops in and answer this interview. Feel free to jump in and ask David anything that you'd like to know! He will be with us ALL month! And remember that The Moon Dwellers is one of our BOTM for September! =)


Mallory Heart Reviews (MalloryHeartRecommends) | 31 comments I'm so happy to see that David is an AOTM! I've read both Angel Evolution and The Moon Dwellers in chapter a day format with a couple of groups, and really enjoyed them. Additionally, David is just a sweet and generous guy and very quick to respond to questions.


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David Estes (davidestesbooks) | 84 comments Mallory- wrote: "I'm so happy to see that David is an AOTM! I've read both Angel Evolution and The Moon Dwellers in chapter a day format with a couple of groups, and really enjoyed them. Additionally, David is just..."

Oh my gosh, thank you so much, so sweet of you to say all that! *blushing* Now I have a lot to live up to! I'll do my best to answer the above questions first and then any other questions that anyone has, but first I need to meditate to get in the mood.....hummmmmm......hummmmmm....OK, enough of that, I'm ready!

1- As a self published author, what are the most challenging and difficult steps in getting your books ready?

Oooh, great question! I LOVE being a self-pubbed author because I get to be involved from start to finish in every step of the process. Plus I get to interact with my readers in forums like this on a daily basis, which I absolutely love, because I'm an obsessive reader just like all of you :) Many of my best friends are on Goodreads and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Now back to the question. The most challenging aspect for me is the aspects in which I don't have any control of. It's well known that I'm blessed (and cursed) with OCD. In fact, I even wrote a guest blog post about this titled OCD is my superpower, here's a link if you're interested:

http://www.readingangel.com/2012/06/d...

So I think that's why I like to control the publishing process, because of my OCD. So an area like cover art, where unfortunately I have zero skills with, I have to rely on someone else to deliver what I'm looking for within some pretty tight deadlines. Needless to say, it stresses me out when I'm waiting for me new cover to come back from my artist. Thankfully, I have a good friend who also happens to be a fantastic graphic designer/artist over at Winkipop Design, so I can rest easy at night ;)

2- At what point in your life that you decided that you wanted to become a writer, and why?

It was only two years ago. I hated my corporate job. I loved reading. I'd always wanted to write fiction for the YA and children's markets. I switched jobs and with three weeks off in between them, my wife, Adele, said "You should start writing that book you're always talking about." So on her suggestion and a whim, I started writing Angel Evolution. I caught the writing bug right away and the ideas started flowing. I finished Angel Evolution in six weeks, took a break to write my first chldren's book, Nikki Powergloves, and then wrote books two and three in the Evolution Trilogy. In exactly a year from start to finish, I published the entire trilogy. I've now written ten books, nine of which will be published by the end of September (5 YA and 4 children's).

I guess what I love most about writing is the opportunity to entertain people, particularly young people. I love bringing out emotion in people through my writing, and when I get a review that says someone laughed or cried or was on the edge of their seat, I get particular enjoyment from that. Plus being able to write anywhere in the world and provide for my family is awesome too!

3- Why did you decide to write Paranormal books?

You've got to write what you love to read, and I personally love paranormal, dystopian and fantasy, so I knew right away that's what I wanted to write. With paranormal, the challenge is coming up with a new concept, or putting a new spin on an old concept. It's extremely rewarding when you come up with a unique idea and people tell you it's original. Like with Angel Evolution, I was able to completely flip the angel genre on its head by removing any religious aspect and making my angels and demons the result of an evolutionary fluke of nature.

With dystopian, it's fun because you can create a new version of the world, but still have it feel really real. I want my readers to feel like they're in the world I've created, imagining every scene vividly. Although I still read a lot of paranormal, dystopian is my favorite genre at the moment.

4- How do you write your books, meaning, what is your creative process?

Awesome question, because every writer treats the writing process so differently. I keep a huge list of all my book ideas (probably 30 or so) in order of which I'm most excited about. When I finish whatever series or project I'm working on, I go to the list and weigh up the ideas and choose the one I feel the most passionate about at that specific time.

First I flesh out the idea in my head, make sure I have enough ideas, a complete plot, and the right characters for a complete series or book, depending on what I'm thinking. Then I jot down a few notes and potential scenes in the general order I want them to appear. I do NOT outline at all, mostly because I hate doing it. I want writing to be something I enjoy, not a chore or something that feels like homework/work.

Once I've got enough bullet points, I just start writing, without worrying too much about order of events or the details of the story. The vast majority of what I write is just off the top of my head, with bullet point triggers for each scene. As I write, new ideas for later in the book pop into my head and I jot them down as I go.

After the first draft is complete, I do a complete read through to clean up typos, do a few rewrites, and make sure there are no plot holes. Then it's off to my AMAZING team of 12 beta readers, who provide me with positive and constructive feedback which I then use to finetune the story and characters. The last step is the copyeditor, who cleans up my technical errors and helps improve the overall readability. My copyeditor, Christina LePorte, is awesome and has really helped me add a professional touch to my books. After that (and once the cover art is done), it's time to publish and then start the next project! End to end, it usually takes me 3 months for a single book.

5- If you could have dinner with one author, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

My answer to this question probably changes on a weekly basis, but currently, I'd go for Veronika Roth, author of Divergent. Her dystopian series is incredible and was named Goodreads book of the year in 2011 and I'd love to ask her about her writing process, how she came up with the idea, where she gets her inspiration from, etc. She just seems like a really cool person with an awesome imagination!

I want to say a special thanks to the mods of the group for having The Moon Dwellers be the book of the month for the group and giving me the chance to answer some questions. The Moon Dwellers is now available everywhere ebooks are sold or in print via Amazon.com (links below). Also, I pledged when I started writing to always respond to my readers, and I love getting comments and questions, so please contact me using one of my favorite social networking sites below. As always, happy reading!!

Where you can find David Estes hanging out:
My blog/website: http://davidestesbooks.blogspot.com
My Facebook page/s: http://www.facebook.com/pages/David-E...
My Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/davidestesbooks
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/davidestesbooks

Where you can buy The Moon Dwellers:
Kindle Ebook: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008FJV8SQ/r...
Amazon Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Moon-Dwellers-S...
B&N Ebook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-m...
Smashwords Ebook: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view...

Other YA Books by David Estes!
The Dwellers Saga:
Book One—The Moon Dwellers
Book Two—The Star Dwellers
Book Three—The Sun Dwellers (coming in December 2012!)

The Evolution Trilogy
Book 1- Angel Evolution
Book 2- Demon Evolution
Book 3- Archangel Evolution

Children’s Books by David Estes
The Nikki Powergloves Adventures:
Nikki Powergloves- A Hero is Born
Nikki Powergloves and the Power Council
Nikki Powergloves and the Power Trappers
Nikki Powergloves and the Great Adventure
Nikki Powergloves vs. the Power Outlaws (Coming in 2013!)


Toni | 80 comments David, First off I must say I LOVED Moon Dwellers and am anxiously waiting for the next book! My questions is do you have a favorite character out of your books and if so who?


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David Estes (davidestesbooks) | 84 comments Aww thank you Toni!! You made my day ;)

Tough question because I have such an emotional attachment with all of them!! But if I had to pick just one, I'd go with Tristan. He's got such a good heart, and he really wants to do the right thing. Plus he's totally awesome in a fight and is willing to die for those he cares about. That being said, Adele is one tough young lady with a great personality, so I really enjoyed writing her character too. And then there's Roc, who, much to my surprise has become a big fan favorite and a number of my female readers have developed character crushes on him! I think you'll all be pleased to see where his character goes in The Star Dwellers and even more so in The Sun Dwellers :) Thanks! Awesome question :)


Marie-Claude aka MC | 343 comments Thanks David, I was looking forward to your answers and you did NOT disappoint. I haven't read any of your books YET... Yeah I know, I'm so behind... LOL But I've been wanting to read the Angel series for such a long time, but wasn't too sure about it because I am not a religious person, and I really don't believe in any religions at all (I have my own beliefs, nobody hates on me please! :P). Now that I know that your series isn't religious at all, for sure I'll be reading it!

And yes, I will be reading The Moon Dwellers this month!!

But anyways, all I meant to say his, thank you for such a great interview!! =)


message 7: by David (new) - added it

David Estes (davidestesbooks) | 84 comments Thank you so much MC!! I really appreciate everything you said :) I've had a few people react somewhat negatively to my non-religious angel story, but most people just view it as what it is: entertainment. I'm certainly not trying to preach that there's no such thing as angels in a biblical sense. To me, everyone deserves the chance to believe or not believe whatever they choose, as long as they aren't hurting other people. I've come a long way since Angel Evolution, but I hope you're entertained by both of my series. Thanks for all the support and happy reading!!!


Michele Miller (Chelemybelles) | 821 comments Hey David, I know your kinda a nomad..where you hanging your hat currently? (she types with complete jealousy!)


message 9: by David (new) - added it

David Estes (davidestesbooks) | 84 comments Lol that's so funny you put it that way Michelle, because my wife and I were just talking about our nomadic ways. My travel insurance is even called World Nomads!

First off, thanks for the really nice review and all the positive encouragement. I saw your message too and will respond tomorrow morning when I can get my eyes open again lol.

You are exactly right, my wife, Adele, and I started traveling 3 months ago and have a full two years planned, during which time I'll be writing (I've got lots more ideas that absolutely need to find their way onto my laptop :) and Adele will be writing and taking photographs. So far, we've spent two months in Hawaii, a week in Nashville, 3 days in LA, a week in Reading Pennsylvania, and another week in Pittsburgh, where we're currently visiting my family for the first time in two years. We'll be here for another month or so as I finish the third book in The Dwellers eSaga, The Sun Dwellers, which I expect to have ready for my beta readers by the end of this month.

Then it's off to Mexico for 3, 4, 5 months, who knows?! Being nomads and all, we can be completely flexible when it comes to how long we stay in each place :)

Thanks again for everything Michelle, and for the question, I loved it!


message 10: by Toni (new) - rated it 5 stars

Toni | 80 comments David I am so jealousy!! The only traveling I get to do is in my books! lol My question is do you have an idea as to what your next book or series will be about?


Marie-Claude aka MC | 343 comments Gosh, can you come over here in Montréal and I'll jump in your luggage?! I wish I could travel like you guys are doing... So lucky!!!


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David Estes (davidestesbooks) | 84 comments Toni wrote: "David I am so jealousy!! The only traveling I get to do is in my books! lol My question is do you have an idea as to what your next book or series will be about?"

Hi Toni, I'm so glad you asked as I've been waiting for the right time to reveal what I have planned :)

OK, so my first project is to publish The Moon Dwellers sequel, which is all written and edited and ready to go (other than the cover):

The Star Dwellers (The Dwellers, #2) by David Estes

I'm also working on the third book in the saga, The Sun Dwellers (38,000 words in), which I plan to have ready for my beta readers by the end of September.

But that's not the end of The Dwellers! I also have planned a sister book (or maybe 2 :) titled Fire Country. It will also be YA dystopian but will have different characters than The Moon Dwellers and a different story (of course). The Fire Country storyline and characters will then connect with a 4th Dwellers book which will bring it all together and finally end the series :) I expect to have all 5 or 6 books published by the end of 2013!

Also, I've recently published the first two books in my first children's series, Nikki Powergloves, Nikki Powergloves- A Hero is Born (Nikki Powergloves, #1) by David Estes
Nikki Powergloves and the Power Council (Nikki Powergloves, #2) by David Estes and the third and fourth books will be published in the next week or so :)
Nikki Powergloves and the Power Trappers (Nikki Powergloves, #3) by David Estes Nikki Powergloves and the Great Adventure (Nikki Powergloves, #4) by David Estes
Kids 6-10 seem to LOVE them (at least my beta reader kids do!) I plan to publish the 5th and 6th books in the series in 2013 too!

So that pretty much fills up my schedule until the end of next year, but after that I have a number of book ideas which I'll have to decide on. One's a standalone YA dystopian titled A Rose for Rosalita, which follows the story of an American boy and a Mexican girl, separated by borders and stigmas and racism, who fall in love through barbed wire and an electrified fence.

Thanks again for the question, I can't wait to see what you all think of my future projects!


message 13: by David (new) - added it

David Estes (davidestesbooks) | 84 comments Marie-Claude aka MC wrote: "Gosh, can you come over here in Montréal and I'll jump in your luggage?! I wish I could travel like you guys are doing... So lucky!!!"

LOL!


message 14: by Gabby (new) - added it

Gabby | 1306 comments Hello, I haven't gotten to read your books, yet! But i want to read them soon :)

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors like me? and do you have a favourite quote, (Either from you books or not)?


message 15: by David (new) - added it

David Estes (davidestesbooks) | 84 comments Aww thanks Gabby! If you haven't read any of them yet, if you do decide to I'd start with The Moon Dwellers. I poured my heart and soul into it and I can promise you the series gets better as it goes on too (or at least that's what my beta readers say!)

I'll start with my favorite quote. It's by JRR Tolkien from The Fellowship of the Ring. 'It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door,' he used to say. 'You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

Bilbo says it to Frodo and I just love how relevant it is to so many aspects of life. I always here people say they never thought they'd be where they currently are if you'd asked them ten years earlier. It's pretty cool/scary how unpredictable life can be. I mean, two years ago just before I started writing my first book, if you'd told me I'd be a full time writer 21 months from then, I would have told you you're nuts!

On your other question, I get so many questions from new/aspiring authors, which I LOVE, that I answer this question all the time. The three key pieces of advice I wish I knew when I started writing are:
 
·         Write every day.  Even if it’s only a couple hundred words, it keeps you in your story and makes it easier to pick it up and continue writing.  Plus, you’re less likely to forget something and change the storyline or details partway through.
 
·         If you can’t afford a copyeditor (which I couldn’t when I first started), get a few eagle-eyed people to review for silly errors.  Read it yourself at least five times too!  No one likes a book they paid for to have a bunch of typos.
 
·         Use independent beta readers!  This is something I didn’t do for Angel Evolution and now wish I did.  I asked friends and family to read and provide feedback and I made some good changes from it, but it wasn’t enough.  Make friends on sites like Goodreads and ask people to read your unpublished manuscript to provide feedback, particularly around character development, the beginning, the ending, what annoyed them, etc.  I wish I would have done this so I could have avoided some of the negative reviews from my readers. Seek to get better everyday and don't shy away from feedback, both positive and constructive, embrace it.

I hope this helps although I'm always happy to answer more specific questions about writing and publishing, just send me a GRs message :)

Thanks for the questions Gabby!


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Gabby | 1306 comments David wrote: "Aww thanks Gabby! If you haven't read any of them yet, if you do decide to I'd start with The Moon Dwellers. I poured my heart and soul into it and I can promise you the series gets better as it go..."

Thank you, so much! And i'll read the Moon Dwellers soon :)


Michele Miller (Chelemybelles) | 821 comments Great advice David! Gabby read Moon Dwellers you will like it girl! David I remember the one thing that I didnt like about Angel Evolution was the character development..I loved the story line and I still need to read 2/3 but you jumped leaps and bounds ahead of where I expected you to be with Moon Dwellers. I can't wait for Star Dwellers.

So fun question..how do you decide on character names/ looks? I know some writers actually write with a certain persons looks in mind. Do you have pictures of what you think your characters look like?


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David Estes (davidestesbooks) | 84 comments Aww wow thanks Michele!! My biggest goal as a writer is to improve each and every day, so that my readers get an even better experience with every book I write. So it's extremely rewarding to hear you say that you noticed a big improvement between series :)

Good question, I like it!! When it comes to character looks, I sometimes am inspired by real people but I never have a specific person in mind. For key characters, I try to think of attributes that will stand out in a reader's mind, as well as be appropriate to the setting and to their personality. For example, with Adele in The Moon Dwellers, she should obviously be pale due to the lack of sunlight. I went with dark, long hair because she's a tough girl but still very much a young woman, so shorter hair wouldn't fit quite right. Once I've developed all my character profiles, I put them up side by side to ensure they fit together as a cohesive group.

For names, it generally depends on the world the characters are in. Since The Moon Dwellers is set in the future but in a very different world, I wanted their to still be names we have today, but not necessarily the most popular or typical ones from today, like Adele, Tawni, and Tristan. But I also wanted to throw in some unusual names that might have arisen over time, like Roc and Rivet. Sometimes the names come to me right away, and other times I have to use temporary names until I come up with the right name. Occasionally the names change, too, sometimes as late as a few weeks before I publish. When you read The Star Dwellers, you'll meet a character named Aiden, who becomes quite important to the story. Well, Aiden wasn't always Aiden, he was Trevor, until one of my beta readers suggested I had too many T names in the book. I agreed and came up with Aiden which fits the character much better.

Thanks for the question Michele!!


message 19: by Toni (new) - rated it 5 stars

Toni | 80 comments David wrote: "Toni wrote: "David I am so jealousy!! The only traveling I get to do is in my books! lol My question is do you have an idea as to what your next book or series will be about?"

Hi Toni, I'm so gla..."


WOW you have a busy year David which is a good thing! I am glad to see that there will be more than the 3 books to The Dwellers.. dystopian is my favorite!!I have a 6 year old so I am going to check out your childrens books! Good luck and keep bringing us your amazing books!!


Marie-Claude aka MC | 343 comments This interview is QUIET!! Come on guys!!! David is waiting for your questions!!! =)


message 21: by Gabby (new) - added it

Gabby | 1306 comments Do you have other ideas for other some series you might write in the future?


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David Estes (davidestesbooks) | 84 comments Toni wrote: "David wrote: "Toni wrote: "David I am so jealousy!! The only traveling I get to do is in my books! lol My question is do you have an idea as to what your next book or series will be about?"

Hi To..."


Aww thanks Toni!! I'm loving every second ;)


message 23: by David (new) - added it

David Estes (davidestesbooks) | 84 comments Gabby wrote: "Do you have other ideas for other some series you might write in the future?"

Thanks Gabby and MC ;)

Great question! I have so many ideas the hard part is deciding which one to write next! In addition to a sister series to The Moon Dwellers, I have a new children's series in planning on writing about an awesome (and incredibly loony) superhero in training, although I have to finish my Nikki Powergloves series first :) Then I have an idea for a new dystopian series about a futuristic world where the countries are extremely segregated and separate. A boy will become very interested in a girl in another country in which communications is strictly prohibited. Working title is A Rose for Rosalita.

Those are the ones I plan on focusing on for the next couple of years while also finishing my current YA and Children's series.

Thanks so much for the question!!!


message 24: by Gabby (new) - added it

Gabby | 1306 comments And I also have another very random question :D
I've been trying to figure it out for a while; How do you pronounce your last name?


message 25: by David (new) - added it

David Estes (davidestesbooks) | 84 comments Lol I've never been asked that! It's a long E at the end, so est ees. I got a lot of telemarketing calls that ask for David Estez, like I'm Spanish lol. That would be cool but I'm not :)


message 26: by Gabby (new) - added it

Gabby | 1306 comments Lol, thanks :)


message 27: by David (new) - added it

David Estes (davidestesbooks) | 84 comments You're most welcome!


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Books mentioned in this topic

Angel Evolution (other topics)
The Moon Dwellers (other topics)
The Star Dwellers (other topics)
Nikki Powergloves- A Hero is Born (other topics)
Nikki Powergloves and the Power Council (other topics)
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