Carlos Harleaux Kickstarter Interview
For anyone not familiar with your work, can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Carlos Harleaux. I’m a poet, novelist, blogger and the CEO of 7th Sign Publishing. I have been writing poetry for about 15 years. I self-published my first book, Blurred Vision, in 2011. Around that same time, I started blogging heavily on music and inspirational topics. I started 7th Sign Publishing in 2013, which has released 7 books to date (including my own and 3 from 2 other authors – John Patrick Adams and Shirley Thomas).
You’ve just launched a Kickstarter. Can you tell us a little bit about the book you are looking to fund?
Yes! My new book is called Stingrays and it’s my fourth collection of poetry. These are poems that I have written over the last year and a half. There are also 10 essays and a sneak peek into my upcoming novel, No Cream In The Middle (the follow up to my first novel, Fortune Cookie). The concept behind the book is the feelings we have when we are stung by different situations in life (love, forgiveness, self-esteem, death, etc).
(You can visit the Kickstarter here)
What were the reasons behind you choosing the Kickstarter route?
I chose Kickstarter as a creative means for selling advance print copies of the book. Stingrays will be available in ebook form only on the official release date, February 4, 2017. However, the Kickstarter will help me create exclusive, special edition print copies for those who prefer the physical print. Also, I’ll be able to have the means for more effective and diversified marketing/advertising.
What kind of perks are available to anyone looking to get involved in your project?
Anyone who backs the project will have the chance to have their name printed in the book, get some exclusive Stingrays branded T-shirts and even signed cover art from the graphic designer for the book. Also, there is one tier that includes a pre-order for my second novel No Cream In The Middle (which will officially be released in July).
When does the Kickstarter end?
The Kickstarter will be over at 11:59 pm CST on December 13, 2016.
What deadlines have you set yourself for completing the whole process of publishing your work?
Stingrays and No Cream In The Middle are both completely done. No Cream In The Middle is currently in the editing phase, which will be done by March. Stingrays is actually ready to print now. I’m just holding out for the potential backers’ names to include in the book
Now, more generally speaking… Where do you like to write?
I can pretty much write wherever the inspiration hits me. However, I love sitting in a Starbucks alone, listening to music and just observing people. That is one of my favorite places to write for sure.
Is there anything you must have in order to write?
I don’t have any must haves, but it depends on my mood. Sometimes I like to have music, while other times I may want to be in a completely silent environment. I have a sketch book that I write some of my poetry in as well. Sometimes I prefer to actually write out my poems, as opposed to typing them.
What books have influenced you most, both as a person and as an author?
Quitter by Jon Acuff, Milk In My Coffee by Eric Jerome Dickey and Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. Quitter and Blink are great reads from a psychological perspective and following your passion. Milk In My Coffee is one of my favorite novels and I love how the story moves with such easy and believability.
What is the one thing that has helped you develop most as an author?
Being open to how life intertwines with art. Life has a way of influencing my writing, whether it’s through conversations with other people, going to seminars or picking up creative energy from different people and places.
What do you want to achieve most from your writing?
I want people to be inspired to follow their own dreams from my writing. I also want to encourage readers to think outside of man-made barriers and realize that you can make your dreams reality with persistence and determination.
Is there something specific you do to improve your writing?
I love being around like minded writers in the sense that we have similar passions for writing, but different approaches and styles. Feeding off of those differences that are so similar at their core motivates me to become a better writer.
What is the ideal relationship between editor and author?
The author has to not wear the feelings on their sleeves (which is sometimes hard to do). The editor should provide guidance that is constructive and conducive to the improvement of the author’s work. Both parties should be able to respect each other’s space, but still be able to agree on something that is grammatically/conceptually correct and creatively liberating for the author. However, in order to present a quality book, sometimes the editor has to override what the author may think is best.
If you had a direct line to someone who loves or hates your writing, what would you say?
Hmmm, that’s a tough question. I would have to honestly say thank you either way to that person, though. Of course, as a writer you only want to hear the good things about your work. However, the person that may hate it can give insight on what improvements can be made.
If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
Never give up and always evolve in your craft.
What does your writing future hold for you?
I’ll start my third instalment of the Fortune Cookie trilogy at some point next year for a 2018 release. I think I’m close on a title, but I’ll have to play with it a bit. That will mark my 7th book and I’ll be focusing more on publishing other people’s books after that, through my company, 7th Sign Publishing. I prefer to let the inspiration lead though. I’ve learned to never say never. I’m open to writing 10 more books, but only if I feel inspired to do so.
Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Best of luck in the future.
Thank you! I really appreciate it.
Visit the Kickstarter here