Featured Authors Talk About It
ATAI: Tell us a little about you.
Andrew Salmon: I was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec but now live with my wife in Vancouver, BC. I’ve got a B.A in Creative Writing and have been a voracious reader most of my life. Now I’m a voracious writer! My stories have won a couple of awards and have been nominated for a bunch of others they didn’t win. I love old movies and TV shows – Game of Thrones and a handful of modern shows are the exception to this. I’m interested in history, literature, and hope my work can shed some insight into the human experience while taking the reader along on a breakneck adventure.
ATAI: How long have you been writing?
Andrew Salmon: I’ve been writing for years but have only seen a variety of things get to print in the last 10 years or so.
ATAI: What was your most recent release?
Andrew Salmon: QUEENSBERRY JUSTICE: The Fight Card Sherlock Holmes Omnibus is my most recent release. It collects the 3 bestselling books I did for them in one volume. It also includes 3 new short stories, essays, art galleries and everything else we could think to throw in.
ATAI: What do you love most about writing?
Andrew Salmon: The whole process! That moment of inspiration with the plot, the characters revealing themselves through the first draft, revising to get to the heart of what the tale is about, working on the finished manuscript and cover artist to create a beautiful book – it’s the best job in the world!
ATAI: What do you find most challenging?
Andrew Salmon: Promotion. The great thing about today’s publishing world is anyone can be published. The worst thing is that… anyone can be published. There are just SO many books out there with more and more coming on a daily basis. This makes it hard to be heard over the din. Promotion takes up more of my time than the writing does! Ha! Comparatively speaking, the writing is a piece of cake compared to the promotional hoops one must jump through. It’s a challenge and can be rewarding but it’s a ton of work promoting a book.
ATAI: Where do your ideas come from?
Andrew Salmon: Anywhere and everywhere. Historical research, something I see while out for a walk, a song lyric, an overheard conversation. A writer never knows where the next inspiration will come from and that’s part of the fun.
ATAI: What is your writing process?
Andrew Salmon: The initial inspiration leads to a fleshing out of the plot. As I usually write historical pieces, the research comes next – LOTS of it, which I don’t mind because I love to research. Then I make sure the characters are interesting as I begin to hammer out that first draft. I really don’t know what my stories are about until I’ve finished that first draft. This makes pitching to publishers a real headache but I struggle through. I leave myself completely open during the first draft. Let the story find its way. Revisions will tighten things up and then I toss it over to the editor to see what he/she can do with it.
ATAI: Do your characters (or message) ever seem to have a life of their own or an agenda of their own?
Andrew Salmon: As to the first part of your questions, the answer is a resounding yes. I’ve written 9 Sherlock Holmes stories to date and I can’t tell you how many times Holmes and Watson have carried on conversations in my head whenever they feel like it. I wind up being a fly on the wall and just write down what they say. There is a reason why this dynamic duo has captivated readers for more than a century. They truly do spring off the page, in the case, into the writer’s mind. I like having them around.
ATAI: What’s your favorite part of your book (or one of your books)?
Andrew Salmon: For the latest, QUEENSBERRY JUSTICE, the highlight has been my Victorian female boxer, Eby Stokes. Since her debut I’ve heard from many readers who are, at first, stunned to learn there really was a thriving world of women boxers in Victorian times (they were not covered by the press back then who deemed their efforts not worthy of coverage) that has fallen through the cracks of history. But the reaction to Eby Stokes has been truly heartwarming. While creating her a dear friend of my wife’s and myself passed away suddenly and as part of our grieving I decided to name my female fighter after her – our friend’s maiden name was Eby and thus Eby Stokes. So you can see how she would be near and dear to my heart right out of the gate. But to hear how much of an impression she has made on readers has been wonderful! She is someone Sherlock Holmes can work with on an equal basis as she is widely travelled with a ton of life experience. But she can also drop you on your behind if you want to get rough. When I first created her I felt she would be great heading up her own book series and planned to do so before anyone had read her first appearance. At the time, this was mere wishful thinking. After all, what if no one liked her? Eby Stokes was an instant hit, which is why she’s standing front and center on the cover of QUEENSBERRY JUSTICE and appears in 2 of the 3 books collected in the omnibus. The collection also features her first appearance without Holmes and Watson. I’m working on her debut solo novel now for a Christmas or spring release depending on how the writing goes. The Eby Stokes phenomenon is definitely the highlight of the current work.
ATAI: What are you working on next?
Andrew Salmon: As mentioned above, Eby Stokes will be kicking off her own book series soon. I’ve got plots for the first 4 or these and am writing the first now. Her boxing career behind her, she works for Special Branch under Mycroft Holmes and leads a team of operative against enemy agents in England and abroad. Creating her world for this via research and imagination has been great fun! I hope readers will enjoy this first of, what I hope will be, a long series.
ATAI: Where can people find you online?
Andrew Salmon: Still working on my own website. That said, I have an amazon author page. Note: there is another Andrew Salmon who writes non-fiction about the Korean War – that’s not me. This Andrew Salmon, me, writes fiction.
ATAI: Thank you for sharing with us and our audience.
Andrew Salmon: Thank you! It was a pleasure. All the best!
*NOTE: ATAI does not edit the responses of the authors.
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