On a sunny spring morning, when the birds were chirping and singing, Andrew Feder was born in Hollywood, California, looking like a cross between a Nordic and Asian baby. His father would later sarcastically say that he was adopted from Korea just after the war (like he was a war baby).
He grew up in a typical dysfunctional Jewish family in San Fernando Valley, a suburb of Los Angeles.
He later studied at San Diego State University.
He then went for one year to the University of Haifa in Israel where he lived on a kibbutz and met his ex-wife (he has three children from this marriage). He completed his studies at UC Davis in Viticulture and Enology.
Having lived several lives in one, during the eighties he lived in Israel first for a short period in a settlement on the West Bank and later on a Moshav near Haifa for six years as a grape farmer. There in Israel, he studied Kabbalah (jewish Mystics) under guidance of the renowned holy man known as “The Mo’ah.” During his religious studies, he was quite pious as an orthodox observant Jew.
After returning to the United States, for the next ten years, he was a contractor and owner of a construction company. Shortly after his return he continued his studies of Kabbalah and metaphysics under the guidance of renowned psychic, mystic and healer, Janeau St. Clair and her husband, Elliot Atlas.
In the nineties, he drove a cab and a limo during hiatus while working as an Assistant Director in the film industry.
At the end of the nineties, he moved to Las Vegas from Los Angeles which, for one year, he was (and hates to admit it) a “damn” telemarketer selling long distance, and for the past eight years he’s been a graphic artist.
During his college years, he wrote several editorials and short stories. Much later, during the so-called mid-life crisis, he evolved in his development to include writing both novels and poems along with subsequent screenplays.
He is also the host of the radio show “When Pigs Fly” on BBSradio.com.
He is the author of the novel, “When the Angels Have Risen” which you can check out at his site at www.andrewfeder.com. He is also the author of the novel, “The Heretic,” which you can check out at his site at www.andrewthehertic.com.
Welcome to Beyond the Books, Andrew, Can you tell us whether you are published for the first time or multi-published?
Both of my books were published by Authorhouse.
Can you give us the title(s) of your book(s)?
My first book published was “When The Angels Have Risen” in May of 2005.
And “The Heretic” was recently published in October of 2007 but released in December of 2007.
What was the name of your very first book regardless of whether it was published or not and, if not published, why?
My first book completed is called “Spirit” which was about to be published in 2001 but unfortunately due to 911 the contract was cancelled. I plan on having this book released in 2010.
For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it?
The rejections were many for “When The Angels Have Risen” because of the controversial content, but I also found that it was hard to have an agent and being first time published. This was of course due to the fact that most advances for first time published authors are less than ten thousand dollars, so the common commission of ten percent for an agent would make it economically unattractive. So I finally went it alone for my first two novels that were published.
How did the rejections make you feel and what did you do to overcome the blows?
At first, sort of down which is normal I guess… But I felt compelled to get it out no matter, and with great perseverance and patience it came to being.
When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them?
Authorhouse, because I had control from the get go. From design to content, I did not want nothing curtailed because of the important message within my book, “When The Angels have Risen.” This was not just a matter of economics, but what I felt needed to get out for the public to understand and take its content for what it is – a message.
How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?
One word – an adrenaline rush! Okay that’s two words and celebrated it with an exquisite dinner at the sushi bar with my daughter and son-in-law. And you got to love sushi. Well I do anyway.
What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?
First I would set up my website. Then Reviews… Reviews… Reviews… Get Reviewed! I started sending out hundreds of e-mails and then sending out my book to be reviewed.
If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?
My first book was a learning lesson of what not to do and to do. But when all said and done, I would have taken the route that I took for my second published book that is- first set up a website and then after it is up get reviews. And then after the reviews came in I would start my publicity campaign like events, postings, radio interviews, internet advertising and etc.
Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?
As I mentioned, I would have taken the same course of which I am doing for my second published book, “The Heretic” including testing my target audience and lining up my objectives while always allowing for adjustments.
Looking back since the early days when you were trying to get published, what do you think you could have done differently to speed things up? What kind of mistakes could you have avoided?
First I would have gotten my book properly edited from the beginning. Then I would have never taken the agent route. It was a big waste of time and energy. Who better to pitch your book than you, the author, right? So I would either get published from print-on-demand publisher or a self-publisher or any publisher who is receptive to my book. The easy part is really getting it in print. The hard part is publicity.
What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?
It has been a rewarding experience. From the many booksigning events, radio show interviews and general publicity, it has opened doors for new and rewarding endeavors along with the truly great experiences in meeting new and intriguing people on this path. So besides the monetary benefit it has been a spiritual reward in itself.
If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?
Like a duck in water, I would love to be a movie Producer and Director.
Would you give up being an author for that profession or have you combined the best of both worlds?
Since I enjoy writing and I also enjoy the creative process of making a movie, I would do both.
How do you see yourself in ten years?
Since its 2008 and ten years from now would be 2018, I would be hopefully meeting some enlightened ETs along with writing, lecturing, teaching and maybe making movies.
Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?
First as a writer you are an artist. Sculpture and stroke like an artist on canvass. You should always write from the heart. You have to have thick skin, because you will be cruelly criticize some will be just and some unjust. And lastly and most important – never ever and I mean never give up your dream no matter what others might say. You are you dream!!! So stay with it and make it a reality like a surfer on wave enjoy the experience of implementing your dream.