Dane Cobain (High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, UK) is an independent poet, musician and storyteller with a passion for language and learning. When he’s not in front of a screen writing stories and poetry, he can be found working on his book review blog or developing his website, www.danecobain.com. His debut novella, No Rest for the Wicked, was released in the summer of 2015.
Welcome to the first installment of our author interview series! I am excited to bring this to Writely Me because it is a great way for aspiring authors to get an insight on how other authors have done it as well as receive great tips and advice! As a writer myself, I am super stoked about the opportunity of interviewing author Dane Cobain. Dane Cobain is known for his publications "No Rest for the Wicked," "Former.ly," and "Eyes Like Lighthouses when the Boats Come Home." Here we go!
When did you realize that you wanted to be an author?
I guess when I was younger, I always wanted to be a rock star. And then when I got old enough to realize that being a rock star was unachievable, I set my sights on being an author.I’ve always been a big reader and started writing seriously when I was sixteen or so. I suppose I started taking it seriously just before I went to university – I’d applied to study web development, but I switched to Creative Writing at the last minute. Best decision I’ve ever made.
How long have you been writing? What is your writing routine? Would you consider yourself a night writer or a morning one?
I’ve been writing seriously for just over ten years – for me, writing is just a part of life, and I can’t imagine ever stopping. As for my routine, I multitask a lot and try to squeeze in as much writing as possible. In particular, I adhere to something I call ‘the schedule’, where I rotate through activities – from doing stuff on the computer to tidying to writing, and then looping back round again. It’s an unusual system, but it seems to work – at least for me!
Out of your three published works: "No Rest for the Wicked"; "Eyes Like Lighthouses:When Boats Come Home"; and "Former.ly"; which is your favorite and why?
That’s a tough one because I love all of them in different ways. No Rest for the Wicked was my first release, and so I have a lot of love for it because of that – it’s also the one that’s sold the most copies. I usually say that if No Rest for the Wicked is my heart then Eyes Like Lighthouses is my soul – I’ve actually memorized all 101 poems in the collection and I perform them at spoken word nights. Former.ly is the most recent one, and it was three years in the making, and so it’s a relief to finally have it on the market. Overall, though, I guess I’d have to pick Eyes Like Lighthouses When the Boats Come Home.
What inspired your book "No Rest for the Wicked"?
No Rest for the Wicked was actually born as a dream; the basic idea of the evil Angels who hated sin was the germ that the rest of the book grew from. I let it stew in my head for a while and then built upon it until I had enough ideas to tell the story that I wanted to tell.
What would you say is the most challenging thing about self-publishing? Any advice for writers looking to self-publish?
I like to think I have a fairly unique insight here because I self-published to begin with – but only made the books available to family and friends – and then got picked up by a publisher, which eventually folded and left me self-publishing again. I think the main problem that I see time and time again with self-published books is that the author still tries to do everything themselves; it’s worth investing a little bit of extra cash to work with a professional editor and cover designer, and potentially to get some help with the layout if it’s needed. There are simply so many books out there that if you want your book to be noticed, it’s no longer just about how good your writing is – you need to think of the whole package. Not to mention that a thorough edit is absolutely vital for any author, regardless of whether they’re self- published or signed to Random House.
Tell me about Social Book Shelves. How did your blog come about? When did you start blogging and why?
I started blogging seriously after I left university. I work in social media marketing, and so a blog is a great way for me to practice and to test out ideas that I might not get away with if I proposed them to my clients. That said, I remember when I was in secondary school, and our English teacher told us we had to write a short review about every book that we read as part of our homework. All the other kids just avoided reading so that they didn’t have to write book reviews, but I was writing three or four per week because I read so much. I liked writing them, too.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
All of the writers I know are aspiring writers, and some of them have published bestsellers. It never stops, and you need to be prepared for that – being a writer is a lot of work, and it’s often unforgiving. Sometimes you spend two years avoiding social events so that you can finish writing a book that never gets released. You just have to keep going and to never give up. Devote your life to reading and writing.
Check out all of Dane Cobain's books here.
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