Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
Edward G. Talbot is actually the pen name for two authors, Ed Parrot and Jason Derrig. We’ve written three novels, a novella and a variety of short stories, plus co-written two novellas with other authors using their characters.
The whole author thing started back in 2002 when Jason and Ed had the idea for a conspiracy thriller based on climate change. This became our first novel, New World Orders. After a long road to self-publishing, we followed it up with 2012: The Fifth World in 2011.
Both of us are extraoverts, the opposite of the stereotype of writers. We’ve been friends since college and we met running at a cross country championship race. We still ride our mountain bikes together every chance we get.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The book is Liberty. The inspiration for this one is simple. Author David Wood asked us to write a novella using his popular characters Dane Maddock and Bones Bonebrake. The book is really almost as long as short novel. We came up with the idea of a lost document associated with the Constitution, and a chase through history to find it. Sort of like the movie National Treasure, complete with one-liners. If you want to find out more, you’ll have to read the book!
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Almost certainly, because we write as a duo. This is unusual. It’s even more unusual in that Jason comes up with most of the plots and does a lot of the early editing, and Ed does most of the writing. We outline, then Ed writes a chapter or two and then Jason gives immediate critical feedback. Because Jason hasn’t actually written it (usually), he can give a fairly objective analysis early on. This has meant that when we complete the book and submit it to our beta readers and editor, we get very few necessary revisions. And we catch plot holes quickly!
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Clive Cussler is the thriller author who inspired us the most. Cussler proved that you can write a thriller in simple language with outlandish plots and create something special. That’s what we try to do. Early Tom Clancy influenced us as well. Ed is partial to Robert Ludlum, who definitely had a big influence on the writing.
These days, Lee Child is one of our favorites, along with indie author Mark Dawson. BUt I wouldn’t say they really “influenced” us the way those earlier authors did.
What are you working on now?
We’re working on several things. Front burner is another book with David Wood. When that’s done, we probably will write Book Three in the James Robb/Terrorist Chronicles series. But we also have two in progress works that we will complete at some point – a mountain bike murder mystery and a humorous end times thriller that is a cross between Carl Hiaasen and the John Corey books by Nelson DeMille.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
That’s easy: co-write books with more successful authors. We sold thousands of our own books in 2011 due to a collaboration with Jeremy Robinson. Certainly a lot of other promotion tools are important. But the organic success of a collaboration can’t be duplicated any other way.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Our advice is not to take our advice!
Seriously, the main thing is decide what your goals are. Then hang around places like kboards.com and learn how people are going about fulfilling them. A lot of folks have learned things the hard way and you would be a fool not to use that knowledge. But it all starts with knowing your goals. That sounds easy, but I find most authors don’t actually act in ways that are consistent with their goals.
Here’s an example. A lot of new authors feel they can only produce one quality book a year. They say they want to eventually try to make a living writing. When told that they vastly increase their chances by writing at least four books a year, they say they don’t want to do this and sacrifice quality. What they don’t realize is that this is an additional goal which at least to some extent conflicts with the goal to make a living. They sort of see it as just a variable. You have to be brutally honest with yourself about things like this.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
from Stephen King and others: (paraphrasing) – use adverbs sparingly 😉
What are you reading now?
Quantum lens by indie author Douglas Richards.
What’s next for you as a writer?
After a couple years where Ed’s job was so stressful that writing was difficult, Edward G. Talbot is finally cranking up again. We’d like to have the novella with David Wood and three more novels done by end of 2016. And get back into promotion.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Sick Puppy by Carl Hiaasen
At least one Lee Child novel, can’t decide which one
The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo
The Eight by Katherine Neville – this thriller is the favorite book of both Jason and Ed. So it’s great!