Book Savvy Spotlight on Jeremy Lousada
Enjoy the interview.
Q1. Can you tell us about yourself and your book 'Two Dachshunds at Troy'?I'm seventy, have been married for forty two years; have never not owned a dog and love boats and water. The book is the true-life story of two of my dogs and their travels, making, of course some allowances, for occasions on which we might have misinterpreted each other.
Q2. What inspired you to write 'Two Dachshunds at Troy'?Love. Some famous author once said that anyone who writes a book does so to make money (and by inference to get it published). This book was the exception. I wrote it as a present for my wife and because I wanted to do it while events were fresh in my mind. I never tried to publish it until re-reading it some years later I thought it might be enjoyed by others who have loved a dog.
Q3. What emotion do you seek to evoke in your readers as they read this book?I think that I hope that they will feel they know my dogs and that it will remind them of good times they had with dogs they loved. However, originally of course I wrote it for myself.
Q4. Have you always wanted to be a writer, why did you start writing?Yes - don't we all. Over the years I have had a number of magazine articles published and have written a few novels - fortunately for the public no-one would publish them!
Q6. What would you like people to take away from reading 'Two Dachshunds at Troy'?I hope simple pleasure untainted by violence, sex or bad language.
Q7. Are there any favourite authors who have had a strong influence on you?Nevil Shute Norway, one of the most underrated writers I know. He was really the last of the story-tellers, no pages of furniture description or deep rumblings of the hero's mind - you can infer them. As sparse with his language as Hemmingway, and the best of all for pointing a moral simply through the story. In more modern times the best novel I know of for its superb imagination and undecorated language is Meg Rosoff's "How I live Now".
Q8. What are your interests when you are not writing?At the immediate moment none as I run a small convenience store and work 7 days a week, but boats are my passion, we have a small barge in France which we have spent a lot of time on, I have also been studying Hugo's "French in 3 Months" for five years, oh - and trying to teach myself to play the ukulele as I thought 70 was a good time to learn a musical instrument!
Q9. What steps have you taken to promote your book?Made everyone I know buy one! The book is aimed at a niche market - people who love dogs and more specifically people who own dachshunds. Dachshund owners are a breed in themselves. I have worked on the water dripping on a stone principle and have targeted every site on the internet I can find involving the breed. For example I have the book on the Dachshund Club of America site, on the Dachshund walkers of New York. In England the Dachshund club very kindly gave me a full-page advert in the year end magazine and I donated an autographed copy as a competition prize.
Q10. If you had to pick just one book marketing tool that you've used to promote your book which would you say has been the most effective?
Q11. Do you do more promoting online or offline and which do you prefer?Online, as I said I target every site I can find about Dachshunds. Obviously I also stick flyers in every veterinary practice I come across, got my local Waterstone's to take some (which I keep having to go and put in more visible places) and try and sell a few myself.
Q12. What kind of reactions and reviews have you received about your book?I have been lucky to get some excellent reviews on Amazon and most people seem to have enjoyed one aspect of it or another. Of course those who don't like it probably don't tell me!
Q13. Are you concerned about the effect of eBooks on traditional books?
No. There will always be a place for the printed book, I have a Kindle and there is a huge market for e-Books with many advantages, so it is certainly going to change the printing and publishing industry.
Q14. Do you have any other books in the pipeline?Yes, my wife and I are at present re-writing a travel book which I would hope will be finished sometime next year.
Q15. What advice would you give aspiring writers?I wouldn't be so impertinent, except perhaps to say that it does take a gift and practice to write pure fiction, better to start with something you really know and care about, nearly every first book is semi-autobiographical.
Thank you for your time. We wish you every success in your writing career.
*Jeremy Lousada was born in Somerset in 1941. He grew up in Italy, Austria and Tanzania. He is married with two daughters and four grandsons. Two Dachshunds at Troy was written initially as a present for his wife.
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