Name: Sally Fernandez
Book Title: Climatized: a Max Ford Thriller
Genre: Political fiction
Publisher: Dunham Books
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?
Sally: I’m not an English Lit major and never considered a writing career, although I did write technical manuals and user guides in my prior business career. But writing a novel was a bit of a fluke and started with a challenge during the lead-up to the 2008 presidential election. As the endless pap rained down from the media, I began to question some of the frightening possibilities. According to my husband, who is now my editor, my questioning was more reminiscent of a rant. That is when he suggested I write about it instead of incessantly talking about it. So in a stream of consciousness, I sat down at the computer, grabbed one news event that was repeated ad nauseam and attempted to create a “what if?” mentality and ended up with a fifty-page scenario. It required a shift from business writing to turning out fiction and in the process I discovered I loved it. I equally enjoyed the research, and employing factual details, weaving them into the plot…all very much to my surprise.
The storyline for Climatized, my latest release, came from the research I conducted for my third and fourth novels that touched upon the topic of global warming. I discovered at the time that the scientific data did not coincide with public policy. I felt it would be the perfect scenario for Maxine Ford, my female protagonist, to debut as a private investigator.
Is this your first book?
Sally: Climatized is my fifth novel, the first in the new “Max Ford Thriller” series. My prior series, “The Simon Tetralogy” is comprised of Brotherhood Beyond the Yard, Noble’s Quest, The Ultimate Revenge, and Redemption.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Sally: Climatized is published by Dunham Books, a boutique publishing firm. But that is not how I started out.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey? The pros and cons?
Sally: After a year and a half from inception to completion of my first novel, Brotherhood Beyond the Yard, I was finally ready to publish. I weighed my options between self-publishing or waiting it out with the big houses and accumulating a pile of rejection slips. Finally, I opted to go with CreateSpace, a self-publishing company under Amazon, an experience that was nothing but positive. Then the unbelievable occurred. Four months after publishing my first novel, I was approached by David Dunham of Dunham Books who offered me a contract to republish my novel under their brand. They have published all my novels since.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Sally: It’s a minefield and almost impossible to navigate unless you have massive amount of time, money, and patience. While self-publishing has been tarnished with the vanity press label, it afforded a great opportunity to learn the publishing process step-by-step; from copyediting to formatting to cover design to book trailers. When Dunham came along, I was well prepared.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Sally: My situation was extremely rare, so for any first-time author I wouldn’t hesitate to use a self-publishing firm. Forget the vanity label…the quality of your book will stand on its own.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Sally: Write, write, and write. Don’t get caught up in grammar, editing, and organizing along the way; that is why cut and paste was invented. I have lots of great narrative and dialogue I have stripped out of my manuscripts and have saved for another day. Let your thoughts flow, they can be shaped later.