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Interview with Gordon Gumpertz: ‘The journey is worth the effort’

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Gordon Gumpertz brings fiction readers another exciting action/adventure experience in his new novel RED HOT SKY. This is the author’s second book, following his highly acclaimed novel TSUNAMI.

In addition to writing novels, Gordon has won gold and silver awards in national and regional short story competitions. He is a member of the Authors Guild, the Palm Springs Writers Guild, a UCLA graduate, and an instrument-rated private pilot. He keeps his website current by blogging on natural disasters and natural phenomena.

Gordon and his wife Jenny live not far from the San Andreas fault, where the Pacific Plate thrusts into the North American Plate, building increasingly high levels of faultline stress which, the seismologists say, may soon produce the Big One.

Visit his website at www.tsunaminaturaldisaster.com.

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About Red Hot Sky

CO2 buildup in earth’s atmosphere reaches a tipping point. Global weather destabilizes, turns chaotic. Ice storms, dust storms, floods, blizzards, hurricanes, tornadoes pummel the earth nonstop. A secret computer model reveals that the frantic weather will peak out, and transform world climate into an alien environment devastating to human survival.

Scientists Ben Mason, Claudine Manet, and Bertrand Short are developers of the computer model. Ben and Claudine are lovers as well as lab partners. While they work frantically to head off the approaching catastrophe, a disgraced Russian general hacks into their model and sees earth’s bleak future as his opportunity for ultimate world power.

Ben, who had left the CIA to develop the computer model at the national lab,  is reactivated by the Agency and sent on a perilous mission to block the rogue general’s plot. Claudine, not realizing that Ben is on a secret mission, misunderstands his absence, putting their relationship on thin ice.

Claudine is placed in charge of a massive NASA project that, if completed on time, could stop the approaching doomsday climate change. But her project is stalled by bureaucracy. Ben is on the run in hostile territory. The climate change calamity steadily approaches.

Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Gordon.  Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

Red Hot Sky is my second novel.

Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?

My first novel, Tsunami, was published with a small press. I had been contacting agents with query letters and sample chapters for several months, with lots of encouraging responses but no offers. When I received a call from a small press saying an agent had passed along my material and they were interested in publishing my book, I signed a contract with them. They published the book, but the experience was disappointing. The publisher was underfunded and did not follow through on the publishing schedule or the amount of promotion agreed on. By the time the book finally came out in the fall of 2008, the housing bubble had burst, the recession was starting, and book stores were hurting. Several thousand copies of the book were ordered and shipped, but about half were returned. I never saw a penny of royalties. Since then, I had the publisher return the rights to me, and have been quite successful in selling Tsunami direct on my website, mostly the Kindle ebook version. www.tsunaminaturaldisster.com.

Q: How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?

It took three years eight months from the time the contract was signed to date of book release.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

It felt wonderful to finally see my book in print. My wife and I went out to dinner to celebrate.

Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

I contacted a website designer to help me launch my website and blog. All my novels are on natural disaster themes. For my blog, I research and write articles on natural disasters and natural phenomena. The traffic to the site has been excellent and keeps building.

Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?

In writing Tsunami, I learned a lot about character development, refining the plot, setting the scene and mood, using the senses, and keeping the reader turning the pages. I think I’m a more accomplished writer now, although I learn something new every day.

Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?

The first surprise was how difficult it is for a first time author to land an agent. In the action/adventure fiction genre, I was competing with big brand-name authors like Tom Clancy, John Grisham, etc, etc., so it shouldn’t have come as a big shock that agents, though they seemed to like my work, were not all that anxious to take on a no name beginner. But the most amazing thing I’ve witnessed is the upheaval in the publishing business brought about by Amazon, Kindle, and digital publishing. I bypassed the traditional route with my new book, Red Hot Sky, and published with CreateSpace. I plan to sell mainly through my website. I’m working with Pump Up Your Book to build traffic to my website and increase awareness and demand.

Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?

For me, it’s the feeling of accomplishment.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

Like any other endeavor in life, there’s a learning curve in the craft of writing that all new authors must go through, regardless of degree of natural talent. Stick with it. Never give up. The journey is worth the effort.

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