Based in Champaign, Illinois, USA, Ty was raised in a small town in central Illinois called Peru. His parents were big on making sure he was out being active or reading instead of watching too much television. He describes himself as always having a talent for writing and wanted to pursue it as he went to school. After obtaining a bachelor’s in journalism in order to have a career writing every day, he went on to take a master’s in English, writing a collection of short stories which became his thesis. Ty released his collection, A Monstrous Tomorrow, on Kindle and paperback in July 2018.
Firstly Ty, I would like to thank you for joining me in this conversation.
Tell me more about A Monstrous Tomorrow.
It’s a collection of short horror stories which interconnect by all being based in the same fictional town and time period. This is a fictional piece that falls between classical horror and dystopian science fiction. If you’ve heard of the genre New Weird, I’ve had a lot of readers say they feel it falls under that as well.
Imagine a world laid to waste to by nuclear war. The bombs created were made to destroy large cities while leaving the countryside intact so that man may continue to survive. Out of the destruction, a global government has taken control of the world and tracked down and killed those responsible. Everything seems to be at peace until a surge of weird creatures began to emerge from the nuclear wastelands of former cities. Theories have grown from these monsters, theories like them being aliens or created by the government. Some even believe they are divine. All of this leads to A Monstrous Tomorrow.
Is this your first step out into publishing?
Other than one of the short stories being published in an online magazine, yes.
What was the biggest challenge you faced in self-publishing?
The biggest challenge was getting the formatting right for Amazon’s guidelines, but then to market and advertise the book. One of the key things it needs is reviews and word of mouth, both of which are hard to get without seemingly being pushy.
So what are you doing to promote the book?
I’m do a lot of interactions on social media engaging with people and I write a blog about creative writing.
Can you also tell me about your experience with social media as a marketing tool for an author? Which have you had the most success with? Which is the hardest work?
So far it’s hard to gauge but I believe it would be Facebook which I have the most success with. Creating my own personal author page and running consistent content on there has lead to a lot of people engaging with my page, myself, and potentially my book. Facebook also allows for me to join various author groups where we all share what we’ve been doing in order to promote/sell our books. Right now, I’d say the hardest social media account to use is Instagram, mainly because there are only so many ways of taking pictures of myself writing or of my book. I’ve mainly turned it into a platform where people can either see a teaser of what I’m working on or fantastic photos of my dog.
What’s your overall strategy with social media?
It’s been to build myself as a brand. I’ve seen various things done by other authors, whether it is a page directly about them or one that focuses just on their book and in my opinion, I think selling yourself is half the battle. There is always the universal question when it comes to books as to whether or not the author exists with the book. When you go to read something, does the author matter? I used to argue in the past that they didn’t, but with the boom of social media and the ability for writers to be able to connect on a more personal level with their readers definitely changes things. So that is kind of what my strategy is based on. I just try to consistently engage with people on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WordPress, and Goodreads. I’ve found that the more I interact with people and pages, the more of a following I build. While that audience is nice, the main thing I have enjoyed is just getting to see what they have to say and being able to respond and hopefully while I’m doing this thing that I enjoy, an interest in checking out and reading my book will also just emerge.
I see on your Facebook page that you’re doing a book signing. Is this your first book signing?
This will be the first book signing I’ve ever done. This book signing was actually kind of easy for me. I had announced the release of just the Kindle addition of my book on Facebook and someone that knew my family reached out and asked me if I would want to do a book signing at her business. I agreed and passed her the information she needed and she did the rest of the work. From what I understand from other author’s is usually you or an agent reaches out to a place and requests to do the book signing. I may be doing something similar down in Charleston, Illinois. I lived, worked, and went to school there so I would like a way to be available to the people that have been supportive of me there as well.
Tell me a bit more about your blog, tynoelonline.com
At the moment it is mainly creative pieces but I do plan on expanding into the writing process and trying to teach people how to write as well.
It only leaves me now to thank Ty for joining me for this interview and to wish him all the best with ‘A Monstrous Tomorrow’ which is available now from Amazon. If you are interested in contacting Ty you can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter: @TyNoel, Instagram:tynoel91, goodreads: tynoel.
If you enjoyed this interview then why not follow my blog where I’ll be posting more interviews soon and where I regularly provide an insight into my own experiences as I work towards publishing my debut novel, In The End. If you’re an author, or you’ve just got an interesting story to tell and you’d like to be interviewed, just drop me a line to firstname.lastname@example.org