Today Paris based author Douglas Warren is my guest talking about his writing journey.
By nmurray, Mar 20 2020 09:49AM
A warm welcome to you Douglas. I hope you are well and are coping and doing ok in these troubled times. Writing and reading forms a much wanted escape from everyday life. Please let everyone know about your writing journey.
What made you want to write a book?
I’ve been tinkering with writing for many years. Because of my theatre background my natural inclination was to write plays. Co-incidentally not long after my divorce from 20 years of marriage I suddenly had time on my hands. I wrote three or four plays. Luckily I was able to have two of them workshopped, but neither were produced. It’s very difficult to get a play produced, especially a new one by an unknown playwright. At that point I stopped writing plays and started writing short stories. I sent several out to literary magazines, but none were published. You really have to have thick skin to be a writer.
Seven years ago I retired from my day job and left my home in Manhattan and moved to Paris. But even at that point I hadn’t decided to start writing books. I’d been in Paris for a year mostly as a tourist and decided to take a trip to Morocco. It was there, inspired by the Mediterranean Sea, that I began my first novel, Montmartre Stairs: A Paris Love Story. For some reason, that I haven’t bothered to analysis, it was easier for me to write about Paris after leaving. For a year after finishing the book I tried to find an agent. Finally I checked out publishing on Amazon. It was fast and relatively easy, so that’s what I did. I continue to use Amazon. To answer your question, one day while walking along the beach I said to myself, ‘you’ve always wanted to write a novel, so now’s the time.’ I’m currently working on my sixth novel titled 'The Trickster'. It’s due to be released this November.
Tell us about you and where you live.
As mentioned, I gave up my apartment in Manhattan in the theatre district and moved to Paris. My friends thought I was nuts, but now after seven years they’re very jealous. I haven’t spent the entire seven years in Paris though. I was in Morocco for three months and also visited Ireland, England, Italy, Spain and Albania. After those trips I’ve always returned to Paris, where I live now. In September I plan to spend a few months in the south of France staying in a small village near Carcassonne. I’m certain I’ll always return to Paris, if only for visits.
How do you market your books and do your promotion methods work?
I have tried many different ways of promoting my books including on Facebook and Instagram. I regularly write asking for reviews, particularly from those interested in independently published books. But by far the most effective marketing so far has been offering some of my books for free on Amazon. I also have an author’s page on Amazon. Here’s the link:
I have written one non-fiction book: 'How To Retire In France'. The book is written for Americans primarily. It’s focused in on the visa process. One can live in France a year at a time by obtaining a Visitors Visa. It’s also renewable. I had an arduous time getting my first visa, even with the help of a lawyer, so I thought it would be a good subject for helping others. I had a hunch the book would do well, and it has. Although I can’t prove it, I believe the book has helped to stimulate the sale of my fiction works. I’m always on the lookout for ways of promoting my books, including this type of interview.
Thank you Douglas and I am sure that your new book, due out shortly, will be a great sucess.
If you would like a review copy of Douglas' new book, leave a comment below and I am sure that Douglas will be in contact soon.