Raven House Interview: Gary Jonas

Q: The most exciting news from Gary Jonas in 2014 was regaining rights to your novels. How did you come to do this?

A: I was tired of not making any money from my writing.  I looked around, and I kept seeing that writers who controlled their work were making good money.  I realized that no publisher would ever care as much about my success as I did.  I’d gone with a publisher because I felt doing it myself was a bad thing (it used to be, but times have changed).  So I cast a magic circle, drew up all kinds of power, and blasted the publisher with a special charm to get them to relinquish the rights.  I also tried to get a million dollars, but that part of the spell didn’t quite work.  Seriously, it was a simple negotiation as it was a small press.  I’d laid some groundwork in advance, which made it easier, and the owner of the press was and is a friend.  We had some back-and-forth, and came to terms without any bloodshed.  They kept the audio rights to four books because production had started on two of them, and the rest of the rights reverted to me.

Q: What’s the best thing about writing full time?

A: Knowing I’m responsible for my own success or failure.

Q: The worst?

A: Knowing I’m responsible for my own success or failure.

Q: What does 2018 hold for your fans?

A: I’m hoping to ramp up production in 2018.  I know, I’m already pretty fast, but I know I can do better without sacrificing quality.  I want to break through the limitations I’ve placed on myself.  One big change for 2018 is that I’m going to take my books wide (meaning the ebooks will be available on all retailers, not just Amazon).  For the last few years, I’ve had most of my books in Kindle Unlimited, which requires the books to be exclusive to Amazon.  That was a simple business decision because I knew I could make more money there.  The markets are shifting to a more international audience, and now it’s time to position myself for that growth.  I have more Jonathan Shade books to write, more Kelly Chan adventures to collaborate on, and I want to start a new series.  In addition, I’m going to make time to write a few stand-alone books.  I know those aren’t likely to make as much money, but they’re books I’ve been wanting to write so I’m going to work them into my production schedule.  One of the nice things about being in total control is that if I choose to write something, I know it will be published so I don’t have to worry about wasting my time the way I did with traditional publishing.  There’s no guarantee anyone will want those books, but at least they will be available.

Q: Tell us one thing no one knows about Gary?

A: In my spare time I paint pictures of butterflies in flight above erupting volcanoes.  The butterflies’ wings are always on fire, but they’re paintings so they don’t feel any pain.  As soon as I get the 13th painting finished, an interdimensional doorway will open and I’ll get to return to my home world.

No?  Okay, I’m actually a demon named Nomed (yes, that’s demon spelled backward), and when I first crawled from the pits of Hell, I helped a woman get a kitten out of a tree and I’ve been trapped on Earth ever since.

You’re not buying that one either?

Tough crowd.  Okay, something few people know about me.  I would love to write some media tie-in books, but they’d be for old shows from when I was a kid like Kolchak: the Night Stalker, Man from Atlantis, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, or The Six Million Dollar Man.  As far as current shows go, I’d find it hard to say no to writing a Supernatural novel.

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