1. When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I would read everything I could, even cereal boxes and billboards when I was a kid. The first books I read were by Edgar Allen Poe. I always wanted to be a writer as far back as I can remember. When I was twelve I wrote and finished my first pamphlet book, and illustrated the book, called Birthday on the Moon: Boy of the Future.
- How long have you been writing? How many books have you written?
In my thirties, I wrote a financial column, called A Walk on Wall Street for the Beverly Hills Post, Beverly Hills, California. I began writing novels full-time about 15 years ago and I have written and self-published four novels; Jenny and the Hummingbird Faeries, Following Huck, The Red and Purple Murder Mystery, and recently finished and published The Red and Purple Cruise Murder. I am revising my fifth book, Crematory Lady
- What made you want to self-publish?
With self-publishing I have better control, I can publish my books faster, and retain more of my royalties.
- Would you recommend new authors self-publish, and would you recommend Gatekeeper Press?
I would highly recommend Gatekeeper Press for self-publishing. They have been professional and kept their word. I am pleased to be associated with them. New authors should consider self-publishing in today’s marketplace. It has grown and is acceptable and accessible. Each author, though, needs to make their own decision based on time factors and what they feel comfortable with.
- What do you do marketing-wise to help announce and sell your books?
I am on all the social media platforms; I have a website. I am fortunate to have a Manager. We sell direct at conventions, book festivals, and writer’s conferences, and I do readings at Independent Book stores, like Copper Cat Books in Henderson, Nevada, and at Barnes and Noble. We have traveled to the Isle of Wight in England, and Catalina Island in Southern California to sell Jenny and the Hummingbird Faeries.
- What advice do you have for a new or fledgling author?
They might consider joining a writing group, or two. A critique group in person or online is helpful. Do go to writing conferences and socialize. Do pitch your book.
- What social media platforms are you on?
I am on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Book Tock. I have my website, stanleyzalesny.com (The Silver Fox Author)
- What is the one piece of advice you wish you had known when you first started out?
There is a lot, a lot, of editing and revising that must be done. Write the first draft of the book as fast as you can, then edit and revise. Don’t rush that process.
- What do you feel is the biggest challenge authors are facing going into 2022 (and beyond)?
There are too many self-published books that have not been edited and revised thoroughly. The biggest challenge is to realize the Big Publishers are trying to merge and are most restrictive for new writers. Don’t give up.
- Have you won any awards or contests that you would like to mention?
Following Huck received the 5-Star Medallion from Reader’s Favorite. It received an excellent review from Kirkus. It was featured in the Las Vegas Weekly Magazine, one of only four for summer reading in 2022.
Jenny and the Hummingbird Faeries received the Gold Medallion from the Independent Readers Association, the B.R.A.G award.
The Red and Purple Murder Mystery received an excellent review from Midwest Reviews and was added to their reading list.
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