Author Interview – Pres Maxson
Pres is an old friend of ours. His book, Pigeon was one of the first we reviewed, and he won the first-ever Lady Godiva Award for the very same book. We have also interviewed him in the past. Today, he wants to share some new things going on, and a new book.
Pres Maxson is a career copywriter and an award-winning mystery/humor author. Most notably, his latest novel, Pigeon, was recognized with the Lady Godiva Award as the Naked Reviewers Book of the Year in 2018. Pigeon was also a finalist in the Indie Book Awards and received honorable mention in both the New York and Paris Book Festivals. Pres’ novels are available in select bookstores across Europe and America, and most major online booksellers. To keep up with everything Pres, follow his Amazon Page, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Interview Conducted By Sherry Terry
TNR: How long on average does it take you to write a mystery/humor book?
Pres: It depends. My first book, Bender at the Bon Parisien, took two years. But back then I didn’t know how to write a book at all. I had no good system yet. Pigeon took a year. My third one, which is currently being shopped to publishers, took about a year and a half. But the one I’m working on now is different. When it’s released on Black Friday, it will have only taken a few months to crank out. It’s a little different from my other books in that it’s a direct commentary on 2020. It’s a novella, and it’s meant to be timely and a little urgent—but mainly funny. So… look for me on Black Friday
TNR: That sounds great! If you could only write in any other genre but your own, what would it be?
Pres: I’m really not good at autobiographical stuff, or really anything op/ed. I write for fun, and I’m looking for an audience that’s reading for fun. But it would be cool to feel good at telling personal stories that might be insightful or look at the world in a new way. I just can’t get around the idea that no one wants to read about me personally.
TNR: You never know. Your travels sound interesting. What are you currently working on and what is it about?
Pres: As I mentioned, I’ve got something coming out on Black Friday. It’s the story of an extraterrestrial who comes to Earth on a study abroad internship. But he arrives on January 1, 2020, expecting an even-keel year of relaxing and partying. I think it’s obvious that he’s in for a real surprise.
TNR: I love the sound of the book! When you develop characters, do you already know who they are before you begin writing, or do you let them develop as you go?
Pres: Definitely a little bit of both. I go in with a good idea usually but always find something along the way that shapes the characters in a much more vibrant or rich way.
TNR: Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
Pres: Isn’t it proven that the cover is important? I think of the cover art and title like an ad. It’s the first impression for a reader. And if they’re attracted to the plot description—and it helps if they’ve heard of the author and their work—they’ll dive in on the story. Katie Flegenheimer (katieflegdesigns.com) recently re-did my cover for Bender at the Bon Parisien, and it looks so great.
TNR: Do you write with a specific reader in mind?
Pres: No. I think I heard Ricky Gervais say somewhere that he set out to create his own favorite show when he was in the early stages of dreaming up The Office. So in that spirit, I really write just for my own entertainment. I write something I’d want to read. But after I’ve done that I get in marketing mode. And I ask myself about my audience. I think about who might like it, and how best to reach them. So, in that sense, I do a lot of thinking about my specific reader
TNR: Would you or do you use a PR agency?
Pres: I have a great PR agent. He gets my book in front of people I wouldn’t stand a chance with alone. He really put a spotlight on Pigeon, and I’m grateful. But that’s not the best part by any means. He’s one of my most trusted creative partners for marketing books and myself in general. He also reads early drafts of my stuff (including this interview). Shout out to Josh. Couldn’t do it without you, man.
TNR: Do you respond to reviews, good or bad?
Pres: I’ve never responded to a review, but I read them all. If I know the reviewer personally, and if the review is good, I’ll thank them privately. And bad reviews definitely bother me. But if I’m getting enough good reviews and positive feedback, I usually forget about them.
TNR: Where was your favorite reading spot as a child? Where is it now?
Pres: I can’t remember any specific spot. I don’t think I considered myself a reader when I was young. But I look back now, and I do remember reading a lot. I just remember getting so hooked on biographies. Oddly, I wasn’t much of a comic reader as a kid, but I do a little of that now. But in the last few years, I’ve done most of my reading in bed.
TNR: What is your guilty pleasure?
Pres: Maybe naps. Maybe doughnuts. And the Spice Girls in small doses.
TNR: Thanks for updating us on all the latest and greatest going on in your writing and life. I can’t wait to see the new book. I had a blast!
Take a look at Pres’ catalog:
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