Sorry for the long silence on the blog, folks. Lots of exciting things happening and some revealing posts coming this week.
I want to introduce you to the newest author in Heart Ally’s line-up. I met Daniel Ottalini at a publishing conference. We were both a little overwhelmed by all of the folks at the first social, both a little shy — Daniel less so. He came and sat down next to me and we started chatting. I quickly came to respect and admire this young man. For many of the sessions, we sat together and talked about the industry. I may have said what I do, but I doubt it. I don’t advertise for new clients.
Daniel was doing great on his own. He had a book up for an award that year, another one just about to come out, and more in the works. At the final banquet, where he won the 2013 EPIC award for Brass Legionnaire, I was surprised to discover that he was looking for a publisher to take some of the mundane work off his hands so he could focus on writing.
That moment was like a school of sharks with raw meat thrown into the water. The publishers were circling, fighting over who would get him. I sat back and watched in horror.
And yes — this is me bragging.
We’d already exchanged contact information, so after the conference I sent him an email suggesting that he should check out what they had to offer and then review my program and if he was interested…email me. I already knew Daniel was a smart writer. Guess who he signed with?
For the last few months, we’ve been hard at work on Antioch Burns, a novella that takes place in his Steam Empire Chronicles.
It is my delight to introduce you to Daniel Ottalini.
HA: What made you decide to go indie?
DO: I’m an impatient person! Honestly, I wanted to be done when I was done, not wait around for submission letters to be reviewed. Also, with all the new ebook technology, I figured I should give it a try. I had heard horror stories about traditional publishers, but I also liked having the control that being an indie provides.
HA: Congratulations on winning the EPIC award for Brass Legionnaire. How did that feel?
DO: It was pretty amazing! My mom sorta spoiled it for me in that she called me on the first conference day to tell me a package from EPIC had showed up at the house (that’s something she does) but it was definitely a surprise and an honor.
HA: You knew the whole time and didn’t tell me! I noticed that there were publishers hovering after you won. Why did you decide to stay indie?
DO: Well….I suppose in the end I am a control freak. I like being in charge of things, and I really challenged the very nice editor who was looking to acquire BL & CC – Plus, as the novels are really my second income stream (and primary one during the summer since I’m a teacher), it would be hard for me to lose them while they went out to be ‘retrofitted’.
HA: Tell us more about your books and the themes you are focusing on. You have said that Brass Legionnaire was an inside joke — care to elaborate?
DO: It was an inside joke between my girlfriend and myself about how and what people from a merger of our two backgrounds would look like – her Brazilian and my Italian – Britalian, which lead me to think about Romans in modern times, which lead me to Brass Legionnaire. Not very coherent brain processes for me, but there you have it.
HA: Anything else you’d like to say?
Thanks so much for having me, and why aren’t you bragging that you signed me for Antioch Burns, a novella set in the world of the Steam Empire Chronicles?
HA: Thanks, Daniel. And thanks for your patience with me for delaying this interview — because I wanted to brag with product to sell!