Meet Sci-Fi Author Jeffrey DeMarco
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Author Jeffrey DeMarco owns a writing and editing business that specializes in industrial technical writing. A former US Army Field Artillery officer and veteran, Jeff’s immersion in the profession of arms and a lifelong passion for science fiction lend the characters in his richly layered apocalyptic military sci-fi unparalleled authenticity.
A family man, Jeff hangs his hat in the thumb of Michigan, along with his wife and three kids. He enjoys writing (of course), fishing, cycling, and backpacking. For updates on upcoming novels and projects, come visit at demarcowriter.com.
My questions and comments are in bold, Jeff’s follow in plain text.
How did you get started writing?
I learned different elements along the way, but my writing career really kicked off when I was in the military. Officers write stuff. It’s just part of the job. I found myself writing hundreds if not thousands of operation orders, briefings, speeches and other fun (boring) stuff like that. After deploying, I left the military for a manufacturing leadership job. Once again, writing was my strong suit. After working consistently excessive hours, I thought to myself, “hmm… this sucks a bit. Think I’ll start my own business.” So, I did.
As for the creative, inspirational part of writing fiction: life experience and an active imagination.
What does a typical day look like?
I wake up pretty early, make coffee (of course), take a peek at different freelance job postings. Usually, I get a query or two written, then get the kids up for school. After that, either my wife or I drop them off, and I either am working on a technical (or marketing, or content, or whatever… bills gotta get paid) writing job or working on a novel.
What is one thing you have learned from being successful?
Make opportunities. No one owes you anything. Don’t ever live guided by comfort, pride or fear. (I guess that’s 3 things)
Is there a mistake you have made starting out that you wish you could change?
There are a million people out there that’ll try to tell you the “right” way. Listen to them, but at the end of the day (assuming you’re a writer or entrepreneur), it’s your business. Make your own decisions, based on your own understanding, intuition, and experience. You’re the one that’ll have to live with the decisions you’ve made; the “master of your destiny” so to speak.
What advice would you give someone starting out?
Don’t be afraid (or be really afraid and just do it anyway). Writing a book is a little like bearing yourself for all to see; your heart, mind, soul, fears, hopes, all written into the pages. You’ll find people that will judge your work harshly. Taking that criticism, accepting it, is almost an exercise in resiliency and humility. professionally what are you most proud of? My words have been used to lead, instruct, improve and inspire. Specifically, some of the work (operation orders) I performed while deployed to the middle east that I’m not at liberty to discuss.
Looking back on your career, is there something you learned from the industry that you found surprising?
Yes. I don’t have the patience to enter into a traditional publishing contract. I started sending query letters out 9 months ago and am still getting responses, despite self-publishing 5 months ago.
What advice would you have for people that are having difficulty making it as writers?
Get on Twitter or Facebook, ask questions. Writers are a squirrelly bunch; we tend to be introverts (not always), but we’re usually more than willing to help. Especially if you’re new. If you’re having trouble with the actual writing part, ask around and find an editor (like me).
Do you have any tips for people trying to make it as a writer?
I read about as many “how to” books as I do fiction. This is a craft, an art. Study your craft, hone your skill, practice.
If you could recommend one book to help people be more successful?
Structuring Your Novel – K.M. Weiland
Any upcoming projects you are working on?
I am re-releasing Into Armageddon; Ruler of Ashes series Book 1 with Indies United Publishing House. I am publishing Born of Chaos; Ruler of Ashes series Book 2, (as soon as my cover art is finished). I am working on a second (yet unnamed) postapocalyptic thriller series currently, and a short story as part of an anthology with the #WolfPackAuthors on Twitter.
Can you tell us about Into Armageddon?
The Order, a mysterious and powerful organization, has infiltrated the U.S. government at the highest levels, bent on remaking humanity in its image. Deep in their underground genetics facility, they’ve created a new race of enhanced humans, among other deadly creations. As an infant, Erica escaped the facility, but will she ever be able to escape her fate? In hiding for over 15 years, she’s been hunted. Her desire, to live free and in peace.
Now the world has changed. A viral outbreak manufactured by The Order, human apex predators roam freely, humanity has bound together in pockets of resistance. The children of The Order have turned on their masters in a race for supremacy; spread out across the country, systematically taking over key military installations. Though not entirely human, Erica may hold the key to humanity’s survival. Will she run, as she always has? Will she stand, one against many and risk losing all she holds dear – Her freedom, her family, her very existence?
What does your social media strategy look like, any tips?
I lead a group of 35 authors on Twitter #WolfPackAuthors. We read one another’s work and help promote one another through custom promo’s and reviews.
Any mistakes you see people routinely make with social media?
You need copy (A little blurb about what your book is about), a link and a photo (usually a cover). Oftentimes people miss one or two. Another mistake I see is people using their author page like their personal page (i.e. arguing on threads, supporting controversial topics, etc.). Writing (the back end – marketing, sales) is a business, and I treat it as such.
Where can people connect with you online?
Do have any apps, books or tips that you use to be more productive?
K.M. Weiland – Structuring Your Novel
How do you manage time?
I set a weekly word count (10,000 words). If I haven’t met that by Friday, I work at night on the weekends.
What is the best advice you have received?
Before publishing, I reached out to one of my favorite indie authors (Top 10 indie authors on Amazon). My question was related to marketing, specifically what he posts to get his books noticed. His advice: “Paying customers want books.
People who like your opinion will want to talk to you, but they won’t buy books.”
Do you have any advice for people that may feel discouraged about reaching their goals?
Assess why you’re pursuing your goal. For writing, I would love to be the next Dean Koontz, but that’s not why I do it. If you write for the purpose of being rich and famous, I suggest finding another profession. I love writing. If ever I feel discouraged, I recommit myself to the practice of writing and doing (and enjoying) the work of crafting my story.
How important is fitness in relation to success?
It’s important to get up and walk around once an hour.
Do you enjoy working out? If not how do you get motivated?
Yes, I’m an avid cyclist (cyclocross), and hiker.
Do you have anything you would like to promote or tell us about?
My current novel is available on Amazon: Into Armageddon: An Apocalyptic Science Fiction Thriller (Ruler of Ashes Book 1)
What is the one thing you wish everyone knew?
I wish everyone knew just how close we are to living in one of the postapocalyptic scenarios I’ve envisioned.
Thanks, Jeff, for your time and sharing about your upcoming projects. It certainly sounds like you are dedicated to your craft!
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