Time for another author interview! I met Dom Sabasti through a kindle vella authors’ group on Facebook. I read his first three episodes (the first three are free on kindle vella) of Clysm Games: Dark Seeds in preparation for this interview.
How did you know you had this series in you? The seed of this story started when I was attending Full Sail University. I offered it as creative fuel to several classmates. No one wanted anything to do with it. So it sat. Several starts, many love letters, and a family later, my writings re-emerged with a vengeance. I had already nearly finished this concept, but it was under the industry minimum of 50k words. It was by pure accident (or fate) that I came across Vella. And it fit so perfectly I had to pursue it.
I think Vella is really helpful for those who have a complete idea but the length is less than the industry standard or who have a complete idea, but need a little to push to write regularly and complete it.
Why did you choose to use a series format? It chose me. I’m a bit of a minimalist at heart. My chapters ended up being on the short side, and each one is its own tangent. Even earlier on, I felt my style took on a persona of episodic disclosure. This became my jam. The chunky peanut butter became my characters. The bread is the world I was creating. Occasionally I’ll throw some sliced bananas on top, maybe some chocolate chips. (Did I mention I love to cook?) Now that the sandwich was made, I needed to feed it to people, bite by bite.
What is your greatest challenge in writing? I would have to say motivation. You need that sacred environment. The variables need to align. So many factors that end up becoming meaningless once you start typing and the flow becomes a deluge. Another challenge that has cropped up is the admin side of things, in particular, the dark shadow known as marketing.
Wouldn’t it be handy if the marketing just happened? I know my mindset can be either marketing or writing but seldom both simultaneously.
What surprised you in the writing process? As I mentioned, I am a minimalist at heart. As an artist that desires to make his work lucrative, and as a personal preference, I was surprised at how I was able to keep going, marking my way by the next thousand words, closing a chapter, going off on a new tangent, developing and redeveloping. This story came alive, and it was beautiful and weird and harsh and passionate. It was me letting loose after a lifetime of trying to fit into pre-fab molds.
This sounds amazing!
Is there something in particular that you found particularly helpful? Honestly, the best thing I have found to be of supreme importance is peace and quiet. I like to get into the zone. I like being in the zone. I don’t like when a random distraction has the power to put a mental speed bump on my flow. Sometimes you can take the bumps and keep driving. Sometimes you can pause the flow until the distraction leaves the room. Sometimes you just need to get up (ctrl-s) and take a walk outside, enjoy a vice or two, remember to feed the animals, but never lose that flow.
Oh yes, if I learned nothing else in middle school it was to ALWAYS save my work! And, I’m not sure about your animals but mine won’t let me forget them. lol
I know we tend to write what we know, but did you need to do research for this book?
Parts of the story take place in the Middle East, specifically Jerusalem. This prompted me to research, among other things, the local cuisine of Jerusalem. I got some great recipes out of that chapter.
Then your inner chef was made happy with the research. I love when our pieces come through the story, although they can distract the research sometimes.
What else can you describe in your writing process? The old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” from my authorian viewpoint, is backwards. Everyone is going to interpret a picture in their own way, with obvious similarities. The author paints a new picture, with creatures lurking in the shadows, smells and tastes wafting on a breeze (very important), and the feelings a character has. The unseen is often more important than the seen.
Sharing Your Work
How do you know your piece is ready to be shared/complete? You gotta read through something a minimum of five times. Then you try to feed the story to friends and family, which usually leads nowhere. Then you continue writing, going back and tweaking, finding another typo, adding a new word to the dictionary. It stares back at you, sometimes. Other times it wanders off toward something shiny. But there comes a moment when you can look at each other and smile, knowing it is the right time.
It may lead nowhere but we do try to feed it to our family and friends, don’t we? Sometimes our peers are the most help for a new set of eyes and an unbiased opinion of whether it even makes sense.
Who is your expected audience? Demographics is too much like/into marketing. My story is all over the place. I have refined my keywords countless times. I have rewritten my blurb/description no less than three times. Is it romance? Is it erotica? Is it fantasy or dystopian? The elements and genres blur along the ley lines. And then there’s the Vella cover, and FB images, and Twitter and Instagram. Trying to fit into specifics is exhausting. There is something for everyone.
Having something for everyone is great. I struggle a lot with cover design but that is the one fun thing with social media, that you can try out a bunch of related images and see what reactions there are. Those and key word searches can really be a rabbit hole that suck you down for days, though.
Who has been your strongest supporter? My son, Zak, is by far my biggest supporter. He may be an air-headed genius, but our creatively symbiotic relationship is a true gift.
What a great bio – I love it! lol
If you could have any author (alive, dead, or fictional) read your book, who would you like to read it? Neil Gaiman, Christopher Moore, and Terry Pratchett.
Hmm, I’m not sure who Terry Pratchett is. I think you just added to my TBR.
What author, or book, or series most influenced you? Everything written by the above mentioned authors. But, throughout my life, there have been countless things that have influenced me in some way or another: making my first origami crane; the transformation from An American Werewolf in London; doing acid in the eighties; falling in love and having your heart broken; finding pride in raising three children on my own.
Oh my goddess, we make hundreds of those paper cranes! And raising children in an amazing feat of its own, there are no words that can describe that adventure.
Tell Us More
I love getting to know you. What is something else about you that you can share with our readers? I love coffee. I love making coffee. I love experimenting with coffee.
I love coffee, too, but I seldom take the time to experiment. Maybe I should try that during one of those writing lulls when I am waiting for distractions to dissipate.
What else is important to share about your book? I have painstakingly sought to avoid the cliche, the trope, the stereotype. But I might slap you in the ass with one of them at any given moment. I had fun writing this, and I continue to wallow in the bliss.
We Need More
Where can we find your book? “Clysm Games: Dark Seeds” is available exclusively on Amazon Kindle Vella.
When can we expect more from you? Something is always brewing. Can you smell it? Is that a second book, a sequel? Is that a new story concept? Within this month, I will offer a new indulgence.
Where can we find you? I’m a Floridian born in Chicago raised in the Air Force. But as far as links are concerned: FB https://www.facebook.com/domsabastidesigns/ ; Twitter https://twitter.com/DominickSabasti ; Instagram https://www.instagram.com/domsabasti/ .
Dom Sabasti is my creative name. Try searching that in Amazon…
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