Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!
I am Jack Huber, author of the Pat Ruger Mystery series and several books of poetry (and photography), and blogger. My wife and I are also a full-time RV’ers. I just published my 7th Pat Ruger novel, “Music City Mayhem” and have begun to have some of my blog articles picked up by national travel organizations, such as BoondockersWelcome.com and Escapees Magazine.
What is/are the story(ies) behind your book(s)?
Pat Ruger is a retired detective and private investigator whom trouble seems to find regularly. In book 6, “Oblivion Highway,” he moves into a motorhome and begins to explore America and that theme continues in book 7.
What inspires/inspired your creativity?
I have written stories and poetry all my life, it seems. I am a creative person and have even collaborated on a couple of songs, providing lyrics to a songwriter. Life around me has always been inspirational.
How do you deal with creative block?
I haven’t struggled with creative block much over the years. Once I get on a keyboard, ideas usually flow easily.
What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?
Being predictable and not staying true to a character are two large mistakes I try to avoid.
Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?
You must know your genre. Interestingly, I struggled with covers (and I knew it) until I wrote my 4th novel. I asked well-known authors I respected and Nick Russell provided the name of his cover artist. I contracted with her, Elizabeth Mackey, and have been thrilled with her artwork.
How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
Negative feedback and reviews are some of the downsides of putting yourself into public view. Besides the usual “haters,” there will always be people who don’t like your work and will tell the world why it’s bad. I try to remind myself this fact but as a writer, I suffer from the usual doubts and uncertainty most authors share. Thoughts of “maybe they’re right” can certainly creep in. I just have to keep myself focused on the positive reviews, which are the majority of what I receive.
How has your creation process improved over time?
I think the experience of completing a few novels has let me know what works and what doesn’t. I am much more confident and organized now, and switching to Scrivener after book 3 was a big help. Besides it’s nice publishing utilities, Scrivener has allowed me me to more easily storyboard my plots and subplots for a new book.
What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book(s)?
The worst experience was my awkwardness trying to get my first book finished. I wasn’t sure how I was doing or how good it was, and I kept asking other writers for helpful hints on going about writing it. The best experience was finishing not only book 1 but book 2, meaning that book 1 wasn’t a fluke. I just finished book 7, so I have a lot of happy moments in the process. Most surprising was how difficult marketing was once the books were completed and published. It takes a significant investment in time and money to properly launch and sell a book, and I haven’t always been able to spend enough of either to be as successful as I would like.
Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
I think I do both rather equally. One without the other is less than ideal, so I strive to be consistent and innovative with each book in the series, keeping both aims in mind.
What role do emotions play in creativity?
Emotions affect plot and dialog in my novels, and even more so in my poetry. I believe being a proficient poet was a great benefit to my becoming a capable novelist.
Do you have any creativity tricks?
Like many writers, I enjoy people-watching and often some characteristics that I observe make it into the looks, personality or speech patterns of characters in my books. I think a great title can sometimes inspire a great plotline and in some of my books, the title came first
What are your plans for future books?
Though not carved in stone, my current plan is to write books 8 and 9 of the Pat Ruger Mystery Series, completing its third trilogy, before moving on to another genre, perhaps science fiction.
Tell us some quirky facts about yourself
I’m the oldest of seven siblings, I’ve been singing karaoke for over twenty years and my wife and I have been on the road full-time in our 5th wheel for over a year.
Amazon page: amazon.com/author/jackhuber