Monday, October 27, 2014

Interview with Tony Taylor, author of The Darkest Side of Saturn

Title: The Darkest Side of Saturn
Author: Tony Taylor
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 492
Genre: Science Fiction
Format: Ebook

Purchase at AMAZON It’s 1997 at a mountaintop observatory in Southern California where spacecraft navigator Harris Mitchel and astronomer Diana Muse-Jones discover a dangerous asteroid which may hit the earth within two decades. As the asteroid tumbles through space towards an uncertain impact, Harris and Diana fight bitterly over how to announce their discovery. When Harris goes public to a skeptical world—at the cost of his and Diana’s careers—he sends their already turbulent relationship into a blaze of conflicting passions. As his notoriety builds, a fanatical preacher and his unhinged followers stalk him while an obnoxious radio personality provides disruptive help. Harris becomes an unwilling Pied Piper for his own overzealous followers hungry for belief and eager for guidance into an uncertain and tumultuous future. In this science fiction drama the characters battle each other in contests of Damn your world view! against a background of hard science, religion, romance, metaphysical speculation, and the forces of nature versus human passions and dreams. Meanwhile an asteroid hurtles through the solar system and global salvation or disaster hangs in the balance. “A courageous and visionary work … an instant classic.” —BlueInk Reviews


Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

Counters was my first novel, in 2008, and this (The Darkest Side of Saturn) is the second, released in July.

When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?

Both books were published through iUniverse, so I think that makes them self-published, although I’m not familiar with the distinction between “vanity” and “self-“ published. Certainly I did not intend these books as merely for family and friends; I am seeking wide public acceptance for them.

How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?

I signed the contract for The Darkest Side of Saturn in February of this year, and it was published in July, so altogether about five months was required. Part of the delay (about a month) was due to my withholding of a go-ahead to publish so that I could incorporate last-minute reviews into the first page of the book. Counters took a little less time, but my memory of the events is hazy.

How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate? 

I was elated and giddy for the first one, and sober and blasé for the second . . . well, not quite, but for the second one I didn’t have a lot of time to celebrate between the release and the beginning of activities for promotion. I’d like to say that the ecstasy of finishing both my novels led me to get rip-roaring fall-down drunk, but it didn’t. Mostly it caused a sigh of relief and a few days of self-back-patting and catching up on everything that had been put aside—until I had to put everything aside again, and begin the harder task of promotion.

What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

Very little was done for promotion of the first book, and for that reason sales were not high either. I’m working to avoid that mistake for the second book. Now I’m in the middle of a promotion campaign. I contracted for ads on Kirkus and Google, contracted with Smith Publicity, and also had a virtual blog tour set up for me. Smith has come through with several interviews on radio and TV, and I’m hoping for ignition and liftoff in the near future. It’s expensive. Is it worth it? That answer’s not in yet, but I hope to know in another month or so.

Tony Taylor spent a long career navigating NASA spacecraft—including Voyager, Cassini, Mars Polar Lander, Galileo, and MESSENGER—to every planet in the solar system. He graduated from the United States Air Force Academy and earned an MS in physics from the University of Arizona. Tony and his wife, Jan, live in Sedona, Arizona.

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