|The debut novella by Justin Carroll|
Tell us a little about Everything’s Cool…
Everything’s Cool is a dark, paranoid and occasionally funny story about a strange, paranoid and obsessive man called Stan and his efforts to prevent an apocalypse he has dreamt of for most of his life. He’s totally insane, but does that mean he’s wrong?
Who are your main influences and who are your target readers?
In general terms, Neil Gaiman inspired me to write again, which you certainly wouldn’t get from reading Everything’s Cool, though perhaps you would from other things I’ve written. When it comes to this novella, I think I was pretty heavily influenced by Easton Ellis and Vonnegut, and I think readers would likewise be interested in the psychological, the darker side of the human mind, though not necessarily the violent, immoral side as such.
Everything Cool is a novella – do you think digital publishing is opening a lot of doors for books that are non-traditional in length?
Absolutely. Digital publishing, the internet in general, and the increasing ‘ease’ of self-publishing, mean people are able to experiment a lot more – from novellas to tweet-length short stories. Of course, the rise of the novella in mainstream fiction (On Chesil Beach, for example) is also a great step forward for those of us who might write in these less traditional formats.
What made you decide to go down the self-publishing route?
A couple of reasons: I grew tired of agents telling me that novellas simply cannot be published, regardless of how good they might be, if they responded at all. And I promised myself I’d be published in 2012, so I decided to make that happen.
Your book is in hard copy and digital – why did you decide you wanted to do both?
When I first thought about self-publishing, I thought about hard copy only. I have a Kindle, I love my Kindle, but I’m still someone who thinks of books as paper and ink. So, if I was going to have a book I wrote out there, it had to be paper. Only, when I told people I was going to publish Everything’s Cool, every single one of them asked if it would be available on Kindle. So, I figured why not have both?
What advice would you have for other indie authors who are just starting out?
The internet is your friend. In fact, it’s vital if you want to get your book out there. I’m not particularly gifted when it comes to making the most of the internet, but Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads etc are all valuable tools in getting people to read what you write.
If you decide to self-publish, read a lot about it first – there are a lot of hurdles I didn’t know that I found out the hard way.
And, as advice to authors, I’d pass on the advice I was given by my literary hero: ‘Finish Everything’.
What’s next for you?
Apart from continuing to spread the word about Everything’s Cool, I’m writing a children’s Victoriana-Steampunk-Mystery, which I’m hoping to have completed in the next couple of months.
Author bio: Justin Carroll graduated with a degree in English Literature and Language from King’s College, London in 2004. In between writing and marketing, he fritters away his time doing all sorts of geeky things. Shortlisted for several short story competitions, Justin was a finalist in the 2010 British Fantasy Awards. Everything’s Cool is his first published novella. You can follow Justin on his blog or check out his Goodreads page here.
Everything's Cool is available on Amazon here (the Kindle edition is only 99p!)