This week the Enquiring Hitchhiker is proud to bring you the New York Times bestselling author of the Monster Hunter series Larry Correia…
Question 1. You broke into writing by self publishing your first book. How did you market the novel and what experiences positive and negative did you have with that first book?
After getting rejected everywhere I decided to self publish. Since I was already well known in the internet gun community, I concentrated my efforts there. Specifically on a couple of gun forums, including one that I’d been a moderator on for a really long time. I posted some free online fiction serials (that way people could see that I could actually write) and then I put in extra gun stuff to appeal to my target audience.
It blew up huge. Then a big independent bookstore (Uncle Hugos) picked it up, and then my little self published book wound up on national bestseller list (Entertainment Weekly). Then I was picked up by Baen and I’ve been there ever since.
Question 2 . What is your advice to our readers if they are trying to make it in self publishing?
Don’t do it unless you are a self promoting son of a gun. With the state of the industry now and the ease of e-publishing, you need to differentiate yourself from a whole lot of competition. You need to be a really good writer, tell a really good story, and figure out how to get it in front of your target audience.
I always tell aspiring writers that there are really only two steps to having a successful writing career. 1. Get good enough that people will give you money for your stuff. 2. Find the people who will give you money for your stuff. Self publishing isn’t any different.
Question 3. One of the things I find refreshing about you books is that you write about killing monsters. I am a huge fan of the old Hammer monster flicks from the 60s and 70s and I am so tired of the misunderstood vampire and all the angst ridden BS that comes with it. What is your take on the current state of fantasy/horror fiction genre?
I think that a lot of monster fans have gotten incredibly bored as the romantic misunderstood sexy vampires took over. There is a big market for urban fantasy and horror with actual real bad monsters. I think a big part of my success is because of the timing of the anti-Twilight backlash. We want our monsters to be monstrous. We don’t want monsters that want to date you, we want monsters that want to eat you. If a monster is sexy, it should only be because that is how it attracts it prey like a lantern fish or something. People are sick of this wussification of our monsters.
Question 4. Your work contains many Lovecraftian elements however they seem to be much more over the top than anything Lovecraft wrote and your heroes seem to have a much better grasp on their sanity. Do you think that our society has become accustomed to the idea of monsters, aliens, and other horrors? For instance I have friends who are preparing for the zombie apocalypse as we speak.
Those are good friends to have.
Serious answer, I love and grew up on Lovecraft. However, most Lovecraft stories are well mannered New Englanders telling each other stories and getting scared of noises in the dark. Now as much as I enjoy that, it simply isn’t my writing style. I’m an action adventure pulp writer masquerading as an urban fantasy author.
Plus, my audience tends to not be the “victim” type. They don’t want to read about the people who scream, and run, and get eaten, but rather those that take care of business. This has worked out really well for me.
Question 5. Your books are noted for their accurate depictions of firearms and tactics. I have also read the article you wrote about gun control. We always ask one political question but you covered your anti-gun control feelings so well in the article I think I will merely ask what are your current thoughts on the state of this nation?
I think we are in a bad place, with people clamoring for a government big enough to take care of everything, but not realizing that a government big enough to do everything is also big enough to take everything away. I think that America is at a crossroads, with more and more people realizing how endangered our freedoms are.
Thank you for the Interview and we look forward to seeing more from the Monster Hunter Nation.