Today I welcome author Claude Bouchard, who has taken some time to answer my seven Author in the Spotlight questions about his journey as a writer.
I was born in Montreal, Canada, where I still reside with my spouse, Joanne. I completed my studies in human resources, accounting and management at McGill University and worked in various management capacities in the fields of HR and finance for a handful of firms for what seemed like decades, because it was. I should also mention I love pizza, but who doesn’t and, in my opinion, nothing rocks more than cooking on the grill.
My first stab at writing was in 1995, the result being my first novel, Vigilante. This was subsequently followed by The Consultant (1996) and Mind Games (1997), all of the same series. Professional obligations and other creative interests led me away from writing for a number of years but I found myself busy at the keyboard in 2009 with The Homeless Killer after having finally published my first three novels. I then followed up with 6 Hours 42 Minutes in 2011, also part of the VIGILANTE series born from Vigilante. In July 2011, I released ASYLUM, my first stand-alone novel and Discreet Activities, my sixth Barry/McCall crime thriller was published in January 2012. In October 2012, I penned and released Something’s Cooking, a faux-erotica parody and cookbook under the pseudonyms Réal E. Hotte and Dasha Sugah. My eighth novel and seventh installment of the VIGILANTE series, Femme Fatale, was released in late February 2013. I think I’m really starting to like this writing thing.
Besides writing, editing and promoting my work, I also spend some artistic energy with my five guitars, oil paints and watercolours. Other passions include cooking (big time with fine wine to go with it, of course), reading, traveling and working out just enough to stay fit. It should also be noted that following several years of practice, I now excel at being cat furniture for Krystalle and Midnight, or so they tell me.
SEVEN SPOTLIGHT QUESTIONS:
#1: Why do you write?
Although my previous life was in the corporate world, I’ve always had a penchant for the arts. I’ve painted over seventy works in oil, produced hundreds of pieces with watercolour and have been playing guitar for years. Writing is simply another facet of my artistic expression. My brother-in-law recently commented on how he was pleased to see me earning my living by writing as he had never understood why I had worked all those years in management, regardless of my success at the time.
#2: What was your earliest writing experience:
I take your question to refer to creative writing and respond accordingly. I vaguely remember some writing back in school but that related to assignments so it doesn’t really count. The first work I undertook was Vigilante in the summer of 1995, inspired by the O.J. Simpson fiasco. I got to thinking of someone who would deal with criminals who went unpunished and my story was born. Eight weeks of feverish typing went by and the first draft of my manuscript was complete. Over the two following years, I edited and revised my first novel and wrote The Consultant and Mind Games, the second and third installments of the series, then all three went into hibernation until I published them in 2009.
#3: Describe a day in your writing life:
My days range from organized chaos to spontaneous order. All days involve writing and/or writing-related activities including promo and cross-promo efforts, website maintenance, interview responding, etc. I try to get some writing done daily and generally do so more in the afternoon. In recent months, I’ve been fairly successful at reducing my work activities on weekends in an attempt to dedicate some time to that thing called life.
#4: What authors influenced you and how?
My earliest influence was Alistair MacLean. I just loved his tight writing style, uncluttered with unnecessary filler. Other authors who have influenced me or whose work I enjoyed over the years include Lee Child, Michael Connelly, Jeffery Deaver, John Grisham, Steve Martini, Robert Crais, Dennis Lehane and many others. They know how to spin a tale.
#5: What are some things you learned to help with your success?
Constant evolution and change with the indie publishing industry have made the learning curve almost endless so it’s never time to lay back to simply reap the reap the rewards. Continuous promotional efforts are required and one must keep in mind that what worked yesterday might no longer be effective tomorrow. One thing which is certain is that non-stop “buy my books” campaigns on social media networks don’t cut it. There’s no magic solution to making it as an indie author but minimum requirements include quality works and sustained visibility. Multiple books, particularly of a series, are also a plus.
#6: Describe your writing method:
Step 1) Get a story idea. Step 2) Write. Step 3) Revise, edit, fix, correct, polish. Step 4) Repeat Step 3 as required.
#7: Tips for aspiring writers:
Make your work as perfect and professional as possible and if that means getting help, do it. Build your audience and establish rapport. Grow thick skin. If you have another job, don’t quit it. Fasten your seatbelt because it’s a rocky road.
Montreal . . . the long, hot summer of 1996. . .
. . . and in the dark of night, moving like a shadowy wraith, a vigilante prowls the city’s streets.
The targets of his bloody rampage: the worst of the worst.
Murderers. Gangbangers. Rapists.
Six months. Sixteen murders. The harried police are still without a clue . . .
. . . until the day they receive an email from the assassin himself.
Lieutenant Dave McCall, head of Montreal’s Special Homicide Task Force, needs help to crack the secrets of the killer’s taunting message. He calls on an expert–Chris Barry, who runs a security firm specializing in computer communications.
Together, McCall and Barry launch a grim quest to track down a man who preys on predators–an urgent quest to bring this remorseless killer to justice.
But whose justice will prevail: theirs–or the vigilante’s?
Where you can buy Vigilante:
Kobo: Coming soon, hopefully.
More about Claude and his books:
Fan email address: firstname.lastname@example.org