Name: Ian A.O’Connor
Genre: Historical fiction /Medical Crime
Publisher: Pegasus Publishing & Entertainment Group
Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published. Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
Ian: I knew rather early in life that I wanted to write stories. My parents instilled in their four children a love for reading, so to me it was a natural progression to begin writing my own stories. The Wrong Road Home was a fascinating project from the gitgo. Here was a true story of a man who presented himself as a successful surgeon to the public for over twenty years on two continents until he was finally exposed as a fraud.
Is this your first book?
Ian: No, it’s my sixth published book. When people ask what I write, I usually reply, “thrillers,” but I also co-authored the memoir of a world famous U.S. Air Force aviator, which I really enjoyed doing.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Ian: I have published both with traditional presses and with Indie presses. Both have their virtues and their vices. But the publishing world is changing at the speed of light, literally, think digital, and that’s where using an Indie Press can be a win-win proposition for an author. The time it takes to get a book to print with one of the five major publishing houses can easily take two years or more from the time they accept a work to the time it hits the bookstores. That can be frustrating. An Indie Press can cut that timeframe down to six or nine months once the “go” sign has been given and a contract signed. Cover design, editing, printing, marketing and all the sundry things needed to launch a new book come together so much faster. And that’s why I went the Indie route with The Wrong Road Home.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey? The pros and cons?
Ian: My first book took me three years from the time I finished the manuscript to finding it a home. I remember the wonderful sense of pride and accomplishment I felt as I held a real book with my name on its cover for the very first time. The other books followed in intervals of several years. I spend up to two years researching my material and another year writing the story. Then comes editing, revising, more editing, and lastly, a professional edit. Only then I am satisfied the work is publisher-ready.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Ian: Being a professional writer is tough, and it’s not for the thin-skinned or fainthearted. Plan on rejection slips being your constant companion, but if you believe in yourself and your abilities, then never, never give up. Some authors are charmed, and lightning strikes the very first time they submit a manuscript. Such good fortune is very rare. So my advice is take comfort in the wisdom of Aesop’s Fable about the tortoise and the hare. I certainly did, and I have no regrets that my journey took a tad longer. I’m a much better writer as a result.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Ian: Working with an Indie publisher can be very rewarding. But it is not for everyone, so I would counsel authors to always keep an open mind and choose the publishing path that’s best for each project.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Ian: Write, write, write – but don’t give up your day job! And be sure to visit my website at www.ianaoconnor.com