R. S. Guthrie has been writing fiction for several years. Black Beast is the first in a series of Clan of MacAulay books featuring Denver Detective Bobby Macaulay. The next book in the series, Lost, is due out on Sunday. Both books are available here.
Mr. Guthrie was nice enough to join us and answer a few questions on writing, marketing and whether he is a dog or cat guy.
How would you describe your book to someone who has never read it?
My books are meant to be fast, engaging reads. For me, as a reader, there are a lot of books out there I feel could be a lot better if they were shortened by about half, so I try to write in a way that the words are necessary, not just there to bump up word count! “A real page-turner” is something I see in a lot of the reviews for my writing, and in my opinion, it’s one of the highest compliments a writer can be paid.
What writer has inspired you the most? How?
John D. MacDonald. In my opinion, he is the father of the character-driven serial mystery. He wrote twenty-one books in the Travis McGee series. He was an amazing writer. James Lee Burke is my contemporary hero. He is a poet of a mystery writer, creating eloquent, hard-boiled mysteries with great, human, memorable characters. If you’re writing mysteries, you better have read these two!
How do you market your work? What has been most successful for you?
This is the number one question that independent writers are asking themselves, each other, and anyone else willing to share experience. I am on Twitter a lot. I blog about writing. I’ve purchased some key advertising for the Kindle and eBook market. By far the biggest challenge for a burgeoning writer is to find his or her audience. They’re out there, particularly if the writer has a great book. But finding them can be like searching for a needle in a nearly infinite stack of needles. With the explosion of self-publishing, there are millions of new books out there, which can make the consumer choice very difficult. A writer needs to build enough of a presence that people start talking—spreading the word. Word of mouth is the best advertising a writer can get. But you have to find the mouths first.
What are you working on now? Can you share with us?
I just finished up the second book in my Denver mystery series featuring Detective Bobby Mac. The digital version releases on Sunday, January 1st. The paperback will be out a couple months later. After that, I am about two thirds finished with my contemporary western cop story, Dark Prairies, based in Wyoming—it’s based in a fictional town that resembles the one where I grew up. Dark Prairies is the book I can’t wait to get out there—that book has been in my soul for a long time.
Dogs or cats?
I like cats a lot, but I am a dog person through and through. Grew up with them—they are like family to us. We currently have three Australian Shepherds (three years, two years, and fourth months). We also have a one-year old Chihuahua who thinks she is a full-blooded forty-pound Aussie! Our dogs sleep with us, hang out with us, and pretty much want to be attached to our hips, which is fine by me. At this point in our lives, they are most definitely our kids.
Is there anything you would like to say to your readers?
Thank you to each and every person that has given my work a chance. I care about each and every one of you! You are the reason writers write. Without you, the voice we have would never find listeners. I have one request of you. When you really enjoy a writer, or a particular book, you have the power to make sure that author writes more of what you love: write reviews, tell your friends, keep an eye on your favorites and help them spread the word. By supporting your favorite writers, you literally help them continue with their art. When even a few readers take the time to pass along a recommendation, they can make a big difference for a writer.
To find R.S. Guthrie and his books:
Black Beast link: http://amzn.to/n0g5Vn
LOST book release: http://robonwriting.com/?p=924