Friday, September 16, 2011

Interview with Poet and Author, Clayton Clifford Bye

Today is a bit of a switch as my featured author is promoting a book of poetry.  Clayton Bye, however, also writes novels and non-ficiton.



The mystery of the veil, of the dark curtain between this life and the next, between past and future or between mind and matter haunts all of us at one time or another. Yet... there is beauty in what we can?t see and must imagine.

Like most people, I’m certain my life won’t come down to /What I Found In The Dark:/ there’s too much light for that. Still... I peer through veils of the past and the future yet to be, and I take what glimpses come my way.

Share those glimpses with me. Some are sweet; some bitter; and some will hurt: my hope is you will find all interesting and instructive. Please answer at least twelve or more of the following questions.

1. Why don't you start with telling us a little about yourself? What genre do you write in and why?

I don't write in genres. I write books and stories that interest me, placing them in genres when I must. To date I've published non-fiction business, self-help and biography. There are also a fantasy novel and
a book of poetry.

2. Tell me about your current book which you are promoting.

My latest offering is a 70 page eBook of poetry entitled What I Found In the Dark. It is best described by the much respected author and teacher, John B. Rosenman...

John B. Rosenman | 5 out of 5 Stars!

By all means, be sure to read Clayton Bye's What I Found In The Dark. It's nice to see a poet with a sense of structure and restraint. When it comes to poetry, restraint magnifies freedom. The brief
introductory comments are great, too. They tell us just enough without spoiling it for us. I like their thematic tie-in with darkness, love, and related emotions. Most of all, this is a volume you can read
repeatedly without exhausting its richness.

3. How long have you been writing?

I published my first book in 1994.

4. What got you interested in writing, and what inspired you to write your first book?

I've been interested in writing for as long as I can remember--early in my 5th year, would be fairly accurate. Toastmasters inspired me to write my first book. My speeches trended so much toward motivation and achievement, another toastmaster and good friend suggested I had probably collected enough material to write a book. He was right.

5. Do you outline before you write? If not, what's your initial process?

Stephen King once described writing in terms of the archeological excavation of a dinosaur: you find an exposed bone or two (your initial idea), then you carefully remove surrounding dirt and rock until the structure reveals itself as a whole (the plot, the structure on which you hang your story), and you begin the fine, painstaking finishing work that reveals the fossil in all its preserved glory (the theme and completion of your story). It works for me.

6. What comes first: the plot or the characters?

If you refer to my previous metaphor, I think it's easily seen that characters (the mud, dirt and rock) may seem to come first, but in the end they are the flesh, muscle and sinews which cover the bare structure, the skeleton. You can't have the flesh without a skeleton on which to hang it.

7. Which of your characters do you love/hate/fear/pity the most and why?

I think it would probably be Richard Bartholomew, who appears in my fantasy novel, The Sorcerer's Key, and the as yet unfinished sequel, TechnoMage. He is the epitome of evil, yet he started out just like
you and I. His world and the people in it took away the opportunity to choose between right and wrong. He was forced to always make the wrong or bad or evil choice, until he came to a place where he did not care, where he made the evil choice because it was what he knew best. Then, so many years later that he has forgotten he was once very different, he goes through a rebirth of astounding proportions, one which leaves him with complete freedom of choice. I'm not certain what he's going to do, but I'm very interested in finding out.

8. What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The hardest part of writing What I Found in the Dark was that the poems focus on my relationship with a woman who could have been my wife and who has come back into my life. To write the poems honestly,
I felt sure my wife would finally understand my feelings for this other women. She did not respond well when she read the book.

9. Did your book require a lot of research? How long does it take to write a book for you?

No. Anywhere between 2 weeks and 3 months for the draft; the rest of the year is dedicated to clarifying on paper the vision I had in my head.

10. What are some of the challenges in your writing process?

They are the same as any author who works at something other than writing to earn a living. Although, there is one thing I did that helped to keep me writing late at night, every night... Each book is inextricably twined with life happenings at the time. This means that I can say "That's the car How To Get What You Want From Life bought." and "My Success Handbook was written in two weeks: I was in the midst a manic high."

11. Describe your writing space.

It's a large room with bookshelves overstuffed with books. I have a couch and Laptop, both of which are used for my many writing projects. Because the couch is low, I use a good sized pine trunk, which my
father-in-law made, for a desk. A full wall unit has storage cupboards. There's enough counter space for my "When I was single music system." as well as a couple of printers. Then we have a single sink, some more counter space and a stove. I somehow managed to squeeze in an elliptical strider.

12. What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I read. I'm also involved with 5 different Masonic groups.

13. What books or authors have influenced your writing?

Stephen King, John D. MacDonald an Louis L'amour are the three major influences.

14. What so you see for the future of publishing and e-books?

I think the current trend will continue. More and more people will buy books online. And whether or not it's a good thing, the bulk of those books sold will be a combination of POD (right on time delivery, yes?)
and eBooks.

15. What are your current books out right now and what are the books
coming up for release?

The following is a list of my books. All are available in print or eBook at, with the exception of What I Found in the Dark, which is available only in eBook format.

1. Getting Clear

2. How To Get What You Want From Life: Practical Techniques For Building The Future You've Always Wanted:

3. The It Can?t Be Done, No Way, You?ve Got To Be Kidding, Crazy Or Unbelievably Stupid To Try It, Handbook For Success

4. The Hundred: Actions That Make Dreams Come True

5. The Sorcerer's Key (A Fantasy Novel)

6. The Contrary Canadian: A Collection

7. Bare Knuckle MBA: What You Really Need To Know About Running A Profitable Business

8. What I Found In The Dark (Poetry)

9. TechnoMage: Not yet released (Stories)

16. What is your marketing plan?

Last year, after moving my entire business to the Internet, I took specific SEO steps to raise my profile (like submitting my website to thousands of search engines). When I could Google my name and get over 5 million hits, with the front page being all about me all me, I focused on a second step. I took up book reviewing and editing for a couple of high traffic companies. And my back list of books were sent
out to librarians, wholesalers, and every major online store. I also opened a new online bookstore (just for my stuff) and published a new eBook. Two Amazon aStores offer for sale my books and the many books I've reviewed. I'm currently looking at the possibility of publishing other writers. The message? Basically, I want my name in its various forms to be recognizable as an active force in the writing world. It's because of that last goal that I'm more interested at this time in Branding, rather than Positioning.

17. What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?

Make certain this is your calling. A writer, as any other worker, must write every day. A writer, as any other business person, must make sure, every day, that every part of his business is functioning as
expected. A writer needs to be entrepreneurial as a way of life. Unless you enjoy all of these things, on a daily basis, find another career or accept you'll never be anything but a hobbyist writer.

18. Where can people learn more about you and your work?

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