Interview with Douglas Dorow

Douglas Dorow

Interview Date: 5/4/2012


Douglas (Doug) Dorow lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife, two kids and their dog. The Ninth District is his first book. He has started the second in the series and the first in a new series. You can often find him writing in a coffee shop in Minneapolis after he's dropped his son off for soccer or hockey practice.
Dorow rhymes with Zorro. People have a hard time spelling my last name; adding 2 R's, or an A or a U. And they're never sure how to pronounce it.

Kev's response: I'm proud to have somehow been thinking of your name the same way you rhyme it.

When did you start writing, and was there a significant event that prompted you to do so?

I started writing shortly after my daughter was born 18 years ago. I'd always been a big reader, enjoyed creative writing in college, and always had the itch to write a book. I took a couple of classes at a local literary center and started writing. Two summers ago, I was just getting ready to start querying agents when I read the announcement that Amazon was opening up for indie ebook publishing with 70% royalties. I never queried an agent and zeroed in on getting my book done, edited, cover created and learning how to turn a word doc into a mobi file. That's the event that reinvigorated my writing.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? (Assuming said power would be reasonably "powerful.")

I think flying would be cool. I love watching birds swoop around and marvel at their ability to fly.

Do you have a favorite superhero from novels, comics, or movies?

I liked them all. The idea of using brains, brawn and a team of good against evil was always appealing. When I was young I played Batman with friends, watched the Green Hornet on TV, and Saturday morning cartoons with super heroes.

Where do you get your inspiration for writing? What motivates you?

I write thrillers and it's kind of that same thing that I like about superheroes... good against evil. The inspiration for a particular story comes from snippets I hear or read and I start to put together a story around it.

Do you pre-plan your stories, or are you a by-the-seat-of-the-pants style writer?

I pre-plan with a scene outline, not too detailed and use that as a guide as I write.

Do you write only when inspired, or do you have a set schedule where you sit down to write?

My schedule is around my free time. Sometimes I don't have time when I'm inspired or I'm inspired and don't have the time. I often write at a coffee shop while my son is at some athletic practice hoping the inspiration will coincide with time, a cup of coffee and music from my ipod to lay down on story on the keyboard of my laptop.

Do you have a favorite genre to write in? To read?

Thrillers and Action Adventure are what I usually read and what I'll write.

What do you enjoy the most about writing?

Getting into the story, visualizing it, having it come alive. Kind of like getting in "the zone" in sports. That's what I like.

Kev's response: I love it when I'm just seeing the story as well, and simply documenting what I'm visualizing.

Is there any part of writing that you don't enjoy?

I don't like editing very much.

Can you tell me something odd about yourself?

My family thinks I have an odd sense of humor. :) I grew up in North Dakota, that might make me odd, or unique.

Kev's response: Oh. Well ... we understand now. :)

Do you write one story at a time, or do you have several novels in the works at one time?

I try to stick to one at a time, but new ideas keep coming and I'll sometimes capture ideas and scenes from them for future projects so I don't lose them. This is especially hard when I'm in the editing phase of the existing book, the part I don't find fun. I'd rather go off and explore the next story idea.

Are you for, or against, evil plots to take over the world? (Not saying I'm doing that, but thought I'd ask, just in case....)

All for it so my Protagonist has something to battle and I have something to write about!

Kev's response: Oh, sure. I'm sensing more than a little bias in favor of your protagonist!

Where do you see the future as far as paper books versus digital e-books?

As a reader, I always thought I'd be a die-hard paper reader, until my wife got me a kindle for father's day a few years ago. Now, I'd much rather read the ebook version. Ebooks will rule. Ease of use, syncing between devices, price, ability to explore more authors then simply what's carried on the shelves at the local bookstore, the writer being able to write and sell what they want and finding a reader for it rather then being shoe-horned into what the publisher thinks will sell the most copies. It's all slanted to the ebook winning in the future.

Kev's response: I'm finding the same thing. People who swear by paper books get a Kindle, and then swear by it instead.

What are your current projects?

I'm working on the second book in my FBI Thriller series. And try as I might, I've not been able to keep from starting a couple of other projects as well. I have started a novella series from the first book, taking a minor character forward in a series of novellas and I'm working on planning an Action/Adventure book ala James Rollins.

Do you have any advice for others about self-publishing?

As a writer, you need to figure out what you want in the end. In almost all cases, self-publishing will get you there quicker. If you think that traditional publishing will save you from having to do any marketing, think again. If your goal is to be on the shelves of the local bookstore or super market, then the traditional route may be for you. Indie publishing has been the best route for me. I'm having fun writing, connecting with other indie writers, connecting with readers and learning about social media, markeitng and publishing as well. I never dreamed I'd go from publishing to reaching the #1 Police Procedural or top 10 thriller on kindle in less then a year. But I did and had a blast along the way.

Do you have any online sites where readers can find out more about you (and your books)?

Twitter @DougDorow
Douglas Dorow Facebook author page
Goodreads author page
Independent Author Network page
The Ninth District : Kindle

Kev's response: Doug, thanks much for joining me, and good fortune on the FBI series.

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