Paul Hook Interview
The Indie Book Butler Interview.
Indie Book Butler: Let’s start things off with an introduction. Tell us a little about yourself for those not already aware of you and your work.
Paul Hook: What to say about myself without sounding weird? Here goes nothing:
I love to laugh, I enjoy the outdoors, I read and write every day and am happy to be alive. I have a great family that brings me joy and makes my crow’s feet around my eyes get more defined every day. I try not to be too serious, but sometimes can’t help myself. I have a knack for forgetting things, I start projects with all of the gusto in the world and some stick while others are left like skeletons in the desert.
I am currently working and living in Israel, but only temporarily. I’m Canadian, eh! I was born in a beautiful country, lived in two other countries before leaving home to join the Canadian Armed Forces and have been loving life ever since.
I married the best woman in the world. She also happens to be my best friend, honest broker, part-time editor and that person who makes you laugh when you need it most. My two girls keep me young, and are the inspiration for some of my novels.
IBB: You’ve got twenty words to tempt us to read your book(s). What would you say?
PH: Humour, intrigue, action and emotions are the cornerstones to life. Reading is your passion, writing is mine.
IBB: Where do you like to write?
PH: I write in front of the window, looking at nature. If I’m travelling, I like to sit in public places and take in everything around me – sights, sounds and smells – and incorporate them into the novel or short story in my hands.
IBB: Is there anything you must have in order to write?
PH: No musts. I’m simple. A desire, though, is an antique typewriter. I want to hear the tangible sounds of progress as my story is creating one keystroke at a time. My wife got me the Hanx app for my phone so that I can ‘type’ on the go. It’s great motivation.
IBB: What books have influenced you most, both as a person and as an author?
PH: That’s an easy one. The Complete Sherlock Holmes (I love the mystery and deductive reasoning), The Alchemist (man’s journey to find gold leads to him finding himself. In a word: perfect), and anything by Amor Towles (A Gentleman in Moscow is one of my top 3 books).
IBB: What is the one thing that has helped you develop most as an author?
PH: Support and honest critique from my wife. Probably one of the best unknown editors in the world!
IBB: What do you want to achieve most from your writing?
PH: I want someone to read what I write and do one of two things, immediately search for something else I’ve written, or to tell a friend that they just read something amazing and that it is a ‘must-read.’
IBB: Have you received a favorite review of your work?
PH: Any review is great for me at this point as I am relatively new. My favourite review, though is, “You have a talent for crime stories and imagery.”
IBB: Were there any particular parts of the writing/publishing process that you struggled with?
PH: As an independent author, publishing is definitely difficult, but marketing is the hardest. I just want to get my work out to people and that takes dedication on numerous platforms.
IBB: Is there something specific you do to improve your writing?
PH: I accept healthy criticism from my beta readers and critique group. I don’t always take the advice, but I read it and try to see my work from an outside viewpoint.
IBB: What is the ideal relationship between editor and author?
PH: I think that the editor has to understand an author’s voice so as not to stifle the creativity for each work.
IBB: If you had a direct line to someone who loves or hates your writing, what would you say?
PH: I would say that I appreciate you taking on a chance on me. No hard feelings.
IBB: If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
PH: Never stop improving your craft. Dare to be bold.
IBB: What does your writing future hold for you?
PH: My future at the moment consists of honing my skills, editing two completed crime thrillers in the hopes that they can be sent to a literary agent (fingers crossed), and writing daily, whether that is flash fiction or short stories.
IBB: How have you set about the task of creating enticing cover art?
PH: For my shorter works, I created my own cover art. For novels, I found a brilliant artist – emilys_world_of_design. I will definitely use her skills for my upcoming novel: Limestone City Murders.
IBB: How often do you read? What genre?
PH: I read every day, it’s an addiction. Genre, hmm. I read everything and anything, to be honest. I’m currently reading a biography but always come back to historical fiction and crime thrillers. I throw in a nonfiction book every now and then to get a dose of reality!
IBB: Before we let you escape, it’s your chance to name-drop. Anyone who you feel is deserving of more recognition at present or someone whose writing you have recently enjoyed? Now is your chance to spread the word…
PH: I have to name drop Amor Towles. Rules of Civility and A Gentleman in Moscow are fabulous books that I consider must-reads. His prose is wonderful, his stories make you want to be a supporting character. I aspire to write like him.
Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Best of luck in the future.
For more on Paul and his writing, please do visit him at: