AUTHOR: Doug Solter
BOOK TITLE: Rivals
GENRE: Young Adult
PUBLISHER: Indie published
Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?
Unfortunately, I have to keep a day job to pay the bills so that forces me to be a part-time writer. I write four to six hours a day on my three days off. But on my ten hour work days I can only write for about two hours or do my promotional and/or author business tasks during those days.
What was the toughest criticism given to you? What was the biggest compliment?
A review on Amazon said I wrote like a child. Given I write young adult fiction, I should take that as a compliment.
The biggest compliment was from a female reviewer who thought I wrote the inner thoughts of a teenage girl very well. Being a man in my forties, I took great pride in that compliment.
Do you ever have writer’s block? If so, how do you get through it?
I don't personally believe in writer's block. There are times when creativity is higher or lower on any given day. Yet, you still must force it out. In my opinion, writer's block is a resistance to something. You must drop all of your resistance and go where the muse is telling you to go. You can evaluate and judge it later on, but when you're writing, all that matters is getting something down on paper.
Did you learn anything from writing your book, and what was it?
I learned not be afraid when things go off the rails during the writing process. This novel was originally 156,000 words and I faced a big decision. Gut the middle of it to bring it down to a reasonable word count. Or rewrite the structure of the story arc and turn it into two books. I decided to rewrite the structure and I'm so happy I did. Rivals feels like a complete book in terms of its own story structure, yet it feeds nicely into the next book of the series Legends.
What are your current projects?
I'm working on Legends the third book of the Skid series which will finish the story arc created in Rivals. The book should be out by the summer of 2015.
What do you plan for the future?
I plan to return to my paranormal romance series My Girlfriend Bites and write the next two books of that series together to finish it off. Then I have some exciting new book projects I want to work on in 2016.
How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.?
You can find out a lot by going to www.dougsolter.com. There you will find links to all my social media platforms. My twitter handle is @DougSolter.
What genre do you write in and why?
I write in young adult fiction because I love the fresh point of view of teens. They see the world differently. As an adult, the genre stirs me out of my complacency about the world that most adults fall into and never climb out of. To me, that complacency can kill your creativity as a writer. I also want to help teens cope with this crazy period in their lives as best they can. For me it was hell.
What influences your writing?
Movies are a big influence so I like writing big, epic stories full of escapism. The more a story strays from reality, the more I'm attracted to it. I want teens to read my books because they want to escape from their own situations and connect with characters who show them life from a new angle.
What do you hope your readers will take away from this book?
That no matter how talented a person is, they still need help from others. We all need a support system of friends and family to keep us grounded and focused on what's important. Success can be bitter if one has no friends to share the glory with. And difficulties can be made far worse when one has no friends to lean on.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Thinking of a satisfying ending after I chopped the original story arc into two books. Legends received the original kick-but ending, but then I had a problem with the ending of Rivals. The mid-point of the main story arc wasn't strong enough to support the ending of a book. So I decided to strengthen the romantic sub-plot of the story arc and make the ending of that sub-plot the actual ending of Rivals. When I did that, I found it fit perfectly with the main-story arc continued in the next book Legends.
Do you outline before you write? If not, what’s your initial process?
I always outline. I find it essential for me getting through a first draft. Without a guide that prompts me forward, I tend to get lost in my own story, writing in circles and getting absolutely nowhere while becoming very frustrated.
What do you look for in a book when you sit down to read for fun?
I look for an intriguing story concept. A setting or a subject that interests me. Now having said that, there are certain sub-genres like spy novels which I love and will generally pick up even if there's nothing particularly unique in the author's approach to them. But then the main character becomes more of a factor. But if I love the character, I'm hooked.
What, if anything, bugs you when you read a novel?
Exposition done poorly. Information dumps are particularly annoying. I read one novel which did a great job sprinkling necessary bits of information throughout the book...until I ran into three entire chapters composed of info-dump. It dragged the novel to a screeching halt and I had to stop reading.
Synopsis for Rivals:
Last season seventeen-year-old Samantha Sutton shined as the hottest new racing star of Formula One, but her rise to the top takes a hit when her boss steals her arch-rival Emilio Ronaldo away from Ferrari and makes the sexist jerk her team's number-one driver. This sends Samantha's perfect life into a tail spin that threatens to destroy everything she's worked so hard for.
Besides her six wins last season, the best thing Samantha won was Manny, the cute German boy who saved her from herself. But Manny chafes against the self-absorbed racing star rising above the ashes of the simple girl he fell in love with. Can he save that simple girl from destroying herself again?
While Samantha's performance on the track suffers and her status on the team plummets, Emilio rises within striking distance of another championship. Is this the final wake-up call the girl needs to beat Emilio and win the world championship? Or will the pressure break her.