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Interview with Kevin V. Symmons, author of SOLO #womensfiction #interview

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Kevin Symmons 2Kevin Symmons has a BS and an MBA. He has attended the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music and studied in France. After a successful career in business management and consulting, he returned to his first love: writing. His first novel, a spell-binding paranormal romance titled “Rite of Passage” is set in the chaotic period after World War II. It’s received dozens of great reviews and was a RomCon Reader’s Crown Finalist for 2013. His second effort is a contemporary romantic thriller set near his Cape Cod home, titled “Out of the Storm.” Like his first novel, it is an Amazon Best-Seller and received many 5-star reviews. “Solo“, an intense and ambitious women’s fiction work, has been released from The Wild Rose Press, his award-winning publisher. It explores the devastating effects of privation and domestic violence on the beautiful and extraordinarily talented young heroine.

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About the Book:

Solo 3Title: Solo
Author: Kevin V. Symmons
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Pages: 353
Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Jessica Long has the voice of an angel. But Jesse’s cold beauty masks a brutal past filled with privation and cruelty. As the talented soprano approaches her final year at New England Conservatory, she is faced with a choice: stay with her striking young lover or accept the offer of a successful Broadway producer. She chooses the latter only to discover that fame can exact a cruel price. After years of yearning, the lovers meet again – at Jesse’s ragged homestead on the Maine Coast.

Matt will reveal the benefactor who’s followed and protected Jesse as the lovers face a confrontation with the jealous pursuer who’s tried to destroy her. One final choice awaits that may cost Jesse both Matt and her life. The Broadway impresario, a mysterious crime lord, and Matt’s stunning literary agent head a cast of absorbing secondary characters. Filled with unexpected plot twists, Solo is a classic, leading the reader over a bittersweet tapestry spanning fifteen years.

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

I’m multi-published. I have three novels in release and am beginning edits on my latest contract on February 1st.

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?

I signed with what I would call a traditional small press, New York’s Wild Rose Press. Traditional meaning that they have gatekeepers (editors) who screen submissions and they pay me an advance and royalties (I do not pay them!)

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

I signed my first contract on September 27th of one year and my novel was released on August 27th of the following year or exactly 11 months.

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

My publisher had won many awards and was respected so I suppose I felt as if I’d been drafted into the “major leagues.” We celebrated with a family dinner at a fine local restaurant where my children treated my wife and me!

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

I had contracted a website when I signed my first contract. But I was generally not a social media person so thanks to the diligent efforts of my publishers Marketing Director and savvy friends I put up a FB page and opened a Twitter account. Today I have 1600+ friends and fans on FB and 2000 followers on Twitter. But FB and my website (just recently improved) are my main tools for communication.

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

Writing is a craft and though I’d spent years working on projects I’ve tried to attend as many craft sessions and conferences as time and $ permit. I feel I had the ability to write but had to learn so much more about how novels are “built” and come to the understanding that writing is a business and my work is a product so I try to make my work as engaging as possible. I’ve been a major award finalist and my second novel hit #6 on Amazon for a time so I hope I’ve achieved my goals of offering a fine novel.

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

Frankly that it is first and foremost a business and can at times be very competitive and in some cases difficult, even insensitive to the writer. By that I mean that many start out thinking that their story is great because it means so much to them and they’ve spent perhaps years fine-tuning it. But if it has little interest or value in the reader’s eyes it will die a slow death. And perhaps as important all the time I’ve had to devote to promotion, social media and events… and unless you’re one of the few top authors this is true no matter what your publishing choice.

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

Meeting readers and reading reviews about your work from people you’ve never met! I don’t mean pure ego gratification but rather that your work has entertained, educated, amused or evoked emotion in them and perhaps made their lives a little more enjoyable or helped them escape the day-to-day routine. Also I teach at the JC level and I love helping aspiring authors hone their craft.

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

Always be working at your craft. Take every opportunity to learn and refine your work. And never give up… be tenacious in finding that editor or publisher who will fall in love with your novel(s). It takes time… usually years but many of my friends have accomplished it so never believe that you can’t get published. Self-publishing has been a worthwhile alternative but don’t give up seeking a traditional publisher just to get your name on a book. Make sure that book is worthy of your readers! Best of luck!

 

 

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