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An Interview with Ian D. Feldman, author of The Vortex

feldman

Ian D. Feldman writes page-turning, apocalyptic fiction that explores Christian themes in the real world with unique characters who challenge common thinking and shed light on issues we all face. Because no life is free from catastrophe, the apocalypse is a useful meme to explore the impact of disasters on our lives while being entertained along the way.

Ian, an avid student of history and tourist at heart, lives in California with a grateful heart for the many blessings of God in the world.

You can learn more at authorianfeldman.com.



Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I wrote my first short story (one page and did that take forever) when I was five. My parents saw my genius for what it was and promptly set to nurturing my obvious talent by teaching me how to take out the trash and pull weeds. Fast forward fifty years (yes, fifty. To some I’m ancient. To others just getting started. Perspective matters.) and numerous attempts at writing something more than a one-page story, I committed to writing a novel—fifty years to the day, almost, of the golden anniversary of completing my first story. If I knew then what I know now, I probably would have pressed the delete key on the whole thing. Thank God for ignorance.

I really enjoy John Steinbeck’s work. So, in my ignorance, I set out to write a story based loosely on Of Mice and Men (which I have read more than fifty times and get choked up without fail despite knowing the outcome. Steinbeck is just that good). After three years of writing when I could find the time, four hundred pages of text resided in the silicon haven that is my laptop computer. That’s when the fun started. Do I publish? How? Faced by these and other questions, I did what every first-time novelist does—complain to my spouse.

Turns out that getting published is harder than getting your first date or accepted to college. People actually get accepted to college. I decided to spend some money and approach a hybrid publisher, one of those where the author takes all the risk by covering the costs for the ego-building sensation of holding that first copy of manuscript become book, a triumph of diligence, patience, and a touch of masochism. The publisher promptly rejected my book.

By now, most people would get the hint that maybe writing was not in the cards. As I noted above, if I knew then… Instead, I doubled down. I searched the internet, took courses, signed up for seminars, joined social media platforms, and many other ways to set money on fire. Another year passed. Older, but no wiser, I published my now edited and suitably polished piece-de-resistance on Amazon and waited for the dough to roll in…and waited…and waited…and… Well, you get it.

Here’s the punchline. I write. Everyday. One thousand words. Everyday. No exceptions. I published my second novel on Amazon on February 7. I have three novellas set to publish over the next couple of months. Writing is the second job for which I don’t get paid much. Yet, I’m a published author. I entertain myself creating plots and characters who get into trouble that I didn’t expect and solve their problems in ways I wouldn’t dare. It’s fun. My stories have touched people, something I never expected. Yes, there are trolls who derive pleasure from denigrating my work just because they don’t like it. But having someone tell you that your story gave them hope or helped them in some way—wow. You can make a difference. It may not be the difference you wanted when you started. The Big Man upstairs gets all the credit. The journey couldn’t make sense in any other way. But making that difference in someone else’s life, even a small one, means a lot and makes the whole thing worth it.

What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?

I got my bachelor’s degree in history and turned immediately to banking for my living. My day job is accounting now. Who knew fun with numbers would lead to fun with words? I’m a tourist and try new things. You might be surprised how much fun numbers can be.

Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?

Finding the right title for my first book was difficult. In fact, it wasn’t until after the whole story was written and I’d read thousands of words on marketing that I finally found the title that made the most sense. The Vortex—check it out and see if I’m right.

How did it feel when you first saw your book cover? Or when you first held your book in your hands?

Seeing the right cover for the first time—like falling in love. I knew. Sadly, it is not the cover I kept, though I still think it is the best one. For marketing purposes, I bowed to genre expectations. I like the new cover less well. The first one will always be special. Like my first love, I learned a lot from it.

If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?

“Street With No Name” – U2; “Adagio for Strings” – Samuel Barber; “Bad to the Bone” – George Thorogood and the Destroyers; “La Grange” – ZZ Top; “Hotel California” – The Eagles. A diverse range of songs to cover a wide range of emotions. Remember, when all else fails, add more electric guitars.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

There is always hope. When the going gets tough, ask for help.

What new writing projects are you currently working on? Or, other projects that are not writing?

Book 2 of the End Is Here series, Fracture (disaster-led apocalyptic fiction) just published. Book 3, Inferno, is in the works. Novellas providing character backstory for the novel series are coming as well.

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