The first stop on the Lloyd Tackitt blog tour is… Novel Ideas. I borrowed Lloyd for a few minutes to ask him a few questions. Now, how can you borrow Lloyd? Easy! You just wander up to him and ask nicely if you can talk to him for a few minutes. Lloyd is one of the most down-to-earth people I have ever met. A bestseller? Sure! Just don’t expect him to tell you that…
Let’s go and see what Lloyd had to tell me about the ingredients of a bestselling book.
Q) Let me start by asking you, Lloyd, when someone uses the word “bestseller” to describe you, how does that feel?
A) It feels disconnected from me. When I started writing my first book a little over two years ago, I had hopes of selling a couple of thousand books at the most. I thought that was a fantasy, an over the top kind of hope. When I published it I was happy just to see it up for sale. When I got the first paperback in my hands it felt like a dream, and it still does. It’s crazy how the book sold–far, far better than I was ever willing to let myself hope for.
Q) What is the ultimate for you as a writer? The publishing process? The last line? What makes you contented and happy?
A) There are a series of high-points along the trail. Writing the first line, finishing the first draft, finishing the final edit, seeing the final cover art, getting the book published and out in the public. But I think the very best is the first positive review. Then, and only then, can I tell myself that at least one person enjoyed it. If one person enjoyed it, then it’s a success to me. I push myself to write because I enjoy spinning a story out and entertaining readers. I guess that’s because I am such an avid reader myself and enjoy a good book more than just about anything else in the world, so it’s a thrill to be able to give someone else that reading pleasure.
Q) Do you believe all writers can be as successful as you?
A) I would really like to say yes to this, but I’ve read quite a few self-published works that tell me otherwise – at least initially. I believe that with persistence and practice ninety-percent could, even if it comes to them only after writing several books.
Q) Is it a case of practice makes perfect? Can writing be learnt by trial and error?
A) There is quite a bit of scientific study that suggests that it takes ten-thousand hours of practice to become a master at any craft or art. I don’t know how many hours I have in, but it is in the thousands, several thousands. I’ve seen, and the reviews that readers have left for me say, that I’m getting a bit better as I go. I hope to be writing for years to come and hope that I grow as a writer with each step. So, yes, I think most writers can be successful if they persist and grow.
Q) What has been your worst experience as a writer?
A) It’s that period of time when I’m editing…I’ll start getting doubts about the story. It’s a bad feeling. I think it comes from living with the story for so long that it has ceased to hold surprises for me. This is generally after completing the first edit and before the final edit. I’ll have gone over the text dozens of times looking for errors, finding better (hopefully) ways of writing certain passages, then I start to feel a doubt that anyone will find this story interesting. I eventually come out of it again, generally about the time I send it off for professional editing.
Q) You are on a desert island… Which three books do you choose to take with you?
A) What a question! Okay, 1: To Kill A Mockingbird; 2. Simplified Boat building Techniques And Tricks; 3. Astral Navigation For Dummies. Yeah, I think that would work.
Q) Okay, Lloyd for a million dollars answer this one– What do you think is the main ingredient to a bestseller?
A) I have no idea. It’s not like I have a detailed roadmap or game plan. I think all you can do is write to your best ability and put it out there; then immediately start on the next book doing your very best with it. Then repeat, and repeat…
Q) Wise advice!
A) Thank you, I hope I won the million dollars.
Q) Well, let’s see if you get the bonus question correct, first. Why do you think the “Eden” series has been so successful?
A) My guess? My guess is that it’s mostly the niche within which I tell a story. I think that all thinking people give at least a passing thought, every now and then, to what would it be like to live through an apocalyptic event, survive it, and live on in that post-apocalyptic world. I’ve tried to think through, in a logical and consistent way, what that world would be like, what it would take to survive, and how it might turn out – and I try to make it an interesting story along the way. That’s what I think – but I don’t know that for certain.
Q) Thank you for your time, Lloyd.
A) You are most welcome, Nick.
With that last question, Lloyd left with a smile. I think we can all learn from the answers given by a true, bonafide bestselling powerhouse of a writer. Let me know how the answers worked for you…
Get your copy of Lloyd’s latest bestseller “Eden’s Warriors” now!