Good Morning Everyone and happy Friday
Welcome to Inside A Beautiful Mind.
Go grab your coffee, tea or beverage of choice and come sit with me as we take a moment to chat with the talented Paul J. Coggins.
Good Morning Paul, thank you for agreeing to hang out with me and wanting to be a part of Inside A Beautiful Mind.
So let’s get right to it, can you tell me a little bit about yourself.
Hi, my name is Paul John Coggins, I write under the name Paul J Coggins. I live in Gloucester England, been here all my life. I’m a hydraulic engineer by day and an Author by night.
Can you give us an interesting fun fact about your book?
This was more luck than intent, but my book is about a government agency hacking into the public’s electrical devices to spy on people. In the news at the moment there is a scandal where it is actually happening in real life. So it actually came true. I am not saying it is a good thing, it was just funny that it happened at the same time as my book coming out.
Would you mind telling us about your experiences in getting your first book published?
This is my debut novel coming out at the moment. I knew I wanted to go self-publishing for my first novel, as it is easier to get a book out there on the market. The whole thing has been a bigger challenge than I first thought. Most people think it ends when you have written the story, but that is only the beginning. I had to a lot of advertising, even website designing when I first set up pauljcoggins.com.
Once I chose my publisher, I had to format my files and choose the front cover and get a copyright to it. Create a US dollar trading account and set up my taxes and get an accountant. Its been more involving than I first thought.
When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer?
It was at an early age, maybe 13 years old. I remember at school, writing stories as homework and finishing entire text books. The teacher even extended the time i had to hand it in to allow me to finish. That’s when I knew I wanted to write. To create adventures from my imagination.
Do you set a plot or prefer going wherever an idea takes you?
I did try the plot everything out to the last detail on one of my projects, but once i started to write I got bored as i knew the story already. I prefer to see where the idea takes me. At the start of Vengeance i just had the simple idea, two people meeting on the internet and going on the run. The rest i made up as i went.
What is your take on the importance of a good cover and title?
This is VERY important. It is the first thing people see when searching for a book. You must have something that stops someone walking or scrolling passed and thinks, wow i want to read that. Something simple yet eye catching.
Have you ever designed your own book cover?
Ever since i finished my first draft of Vengeance, I had an idea of what book cover i wanted. So i had to copyright an image of my own and passed it onto my publisher. Telling them what I wanted on the cover and spine. I think it does give it a more personal feel.
Any advice you would like to give to aspiring writers?
One word, advertisement. When I knew I had an intent to get published, I started to collect followers on social media as early as I could. You need to get your name out there before your book it out, not afterwards. Also use as many social media sites as you can. If you are going self-publishing, this is a must as you are the one that controls your media exposure. You could have the best story in the world, but no one would know it. Also do not be scared to ask other Authors and writers for help of advice.
Tell us about your writing style, how is it different from other writers?
I know people throw around the phrase action-packed a lot in films and other novels. I tried to make it as action orientated as I could, without losing the story to mindless violence. Keeping descriptions short so the reader can make the images themselves, rather than spend two pages on what a room looks like (as an example) rather than the story of what is going to happen in that room.
How much of yourself do you put into your books?
I do this a lot with my novels. For example, with Rylan Jones, one of the main Characters in Vengeance. I put that he has depression and social anxiety. Both of which I suffer from and could at least write from some experience. I also did study a little martial arts and Ninjutsu when I was younger and put that in for Rylan as well.
Is it true that anyone can be a writer?
I think anyone can be a writer as long as you work hard at it. I have had no training in writing and here I am about to release my published novel. The main thing is that the person has to believe in themselves and have a great passion to tell a story, whatever that might be.
Have you ever marketed your own books yourself?
I have been doing this ever since I finished the second or third chapter of my book, when I knew I wanted to go all the way and get it published. Back near the start though, it was more just my Authors name. As I never had a definitive book title. I think, no matter what route you go down, traditional or self published. Marketing is of huge importance and an Author/Writer has to take responsibility for this.
Have you ever taken any help from other writers?
I have reached out and asked other writers and Authors for help and advice. They have been in the business and know some of the things to avoid or can offer advice on many things. Everyone I have talked too have been kind and helpful. Some people think its a dog eat dog world in the publishing world. That maybe true for the publishing houses or the shops selling the books, but not for the Authors and writers, who are always happy to help each other.
Is writing book series more challenging?
For my style of writing it is very challenging. I write as I go with little to no forward planning. I did originally start with the idea to only write a single book, but as the story progressed and I developed as a writer it will become three. I think some planning is necessary when you write a series. That I will do in my next series of novels after the Dark Agents.
It is often said that in order to write something, you must believe in what you are writing. Do you agree with that?
I totally agree with that. Even if it is fiction or sci-fi, you still have to believe what you are writing. The world you create with words has to be so real to the reader that they can picture it. If you do not believe your own world you create, how can the reader?
Does it get frustrating if you are unable to recall an idea you had in your mind some time earlier?
This happens a lot to me, sometimes I am at my normal job or even out shopping, sometimes in bed as I am about to fall asleep and I get an idea for a great scene and as I get distracted or fall to sleep, its gone. Very frustrating indeed. Which leads to the question below.
Do you pen down revelations and ideas as you get them, right then and there?
I try to if I can, I do not always have a pen and paper handy when I am out. So I got an app on my phone that takes notes. Admittedly I do have notepads all around the house that I use and try to find one if an idea hits me.
Have you ever written a character based on the real you in some part?
I said before about Rylan Jones in Vengeance in some part as me with the depression and such. But what I tried to do is not just make a few things the same. As he went through these action-packed scenes, I tried to think how would I react if it was me. So in a strange way, Rylan is very much how I perceive myself. Even though I do not know if I could be as brave in reality.
Have you ever turned a dream or a nightmare into a written piece?
I will do just that in the third instalment of the series of Dark Agents. I had a dream of me running in a field and a passenger plane flew close over my head as it got struck by a missile. Very odd dream, but true. So when I woke up I quickly wrote down the dream on paper and thought it was so massive that I wanted to write it in the Dark Agents series.
How active are you on social media? And how do you think it affects the way you write?
I try and use social media daily. I never used it much before becoming a writer, now I use it as a great publicity tool. I found other writers and sent bits of my work off to them and got feedback. As an example, another Writer had a great idea for a plot twist in Vengeance, can’t say what for obvious reasons. But it was good enough for me to alter bits to put that plot twist in.
Are you working on something new at the moment?
I have already written the second instalment of the Dark Agents series, it’s going to be called, Sovereignty. I am currently editing it at the moment and once that is done, I still have to write the third and final book. So its all go at the moment. Even after the Dark Agents series is completed I already have my next project in mind, one that will span more than three books.
Here is a little bit about Paul’s book:
Every day, computers increasingly control our personal and professional lives. But what if someone began using them against us?
This is precisely the Dark Agents’ plan. This shadowy organization is scheming to take control of humanity through advanced technology and artificial intelligence. Only one person can stop them.
Rylan would never believe he could take down a government conspiracy. He spends his days struggling with depression and mental trauma stemming from childhood abuse. To ward off his loneliness, he tries to connect with others over the Internet.
Then Rylan meets Sophie. Sophie is a hacker who tried to access government secrets from across the globe, prompting the Dark Agents and their AI to try and stop her. She needs his help to save her life. Rylan agrees, and suddenly, he finds himself an international fugitive on the run from the Agents. He and Sophie agree to meet up in Japan. When he arrives, Rylan discover that Sophie has a secret of her own.
In this fast-paced thriller about the dangers of modern technology, Rylan and Sophie team up to take down the conspiracy and reclaim their autonomy. pauljcoggins.com
Alright folks, it is that time again but I would like to say a heart felt thank you to Paul J. Coggins for letting us spend some time with him today and see inside his creative process. And a big thank you to all you readers out there for taking a moment to support your Authors.
If you or any of you know of someone who would like to be a part of Inside A Beautiful Mind, please send me a message.
Enjoy your Friday folks, you are awesome and please remember to be kind to your Authors, leave a review. See you in a couple of weeks, Peace!!