Editors Note: This interview was done about a year ago and has been edited to reflect Cliff’s latest book Times of Tribulation formerly know as Timothy Phillips.
Our interview today is with Cliff Ball. Thank you Cliff for being here today and for agreeing to do this interview.
Question: Tell us a little about your “real” (Non-writing) life — family, job, church life. Does it give you inspiration for your writing? Does it get in the way of your writing, or are there times when you get help, from people or circumstances?
Answer: Occasionally real life helps inspire my writing. What’s going on politically in our country has helped me write The End Times Saga, and I’ve used towns where my relatives live as towns some of my characters are from. I’ve used a personal experience from college (although exagerrated) in one of the short stories. I’ve discovered that my pastor and his wife enjoy what I write, so it helps me write more. My family reads my rough work and makes suggestions to help me strengthen the novel or take out stuff they think is kind of objectionable.
Question: Tell us about things you enjoy — what you do for fun or personal satisfaction?
Answer: I read, play video games, hike, camp. I enjoy watching NASCAR and a couple NFL teams.
Question: Tell us about working with any people who help you create your books — Do you use Beta readers? Hire an editor or proofreader? How do you get your covers?
Answer: I use my family as beta readers, because they don’t hold back on what they think. If they think I need to change something or add this or that, they’ll tell me. As for covers, since I have a very limited budget, I look for copyright free public domain ones, plus I’ve used the KDP covers that they offer. As for proofreaders, as I started to write, I read all I could on formatting and editing, took as many high school and college writing classes as I could, and hired myself out as a freelance proofreader/copy editor to hone my skills. It was my third novel (I have 10 now) before I finally figured out how to do all of it correctly. Comes down to practice, practice, and more practice.
Question: Since you have several books out, tell us what you think works for promotion. What are your thoughts on ebooks versus print books and different ways to let people know about you and your books?
Answer: I honestly think what works for one person doesn’t always work for another. I’ve paid for ads on various books sites and had no sales, but I seem to get a lot of sales mostly from Facebook and Twitter posts. I think what works for me is word of mouth. As for print versus ebook, I think ebooks are easier to give out for giveaways and people seem to read them faster.
Question: Have you done anything writing-related, but besides your books, that seemed to get a lot of positive response? Something that encouraged you?
Answer: I wrote a short story in my Creative Writing class back in high school that won third in a contest for a magazine run by the Methodist church. Our teacher had us submit to various contests, so I wrote it, handed it in, and then I found I placed third during the summer. It encouraged me that I could write novels.
Question: Tell us about your newest book. Make us want to read it.
Answer: My newest is Times of Tribulation. It’s part of The End Times Saga, but can be read as a standalone novel.
The seventh and final novel in the Christian fiction series, The End Times Saga.
Times of Tribulation follows the entire seven year period as various characters survive the seven trumpet and seven bowl judgments.
In the North American region, which is one of ten administrative regions set up by the Patriarch, the former mayor of Dallas becomes the second to rule over the region after the first one disappoints the world leader. The Administrator hunts down new believers in Christ, makes the people in his region fear him, and deals with each disaster that affects his rule.
In Big Bend, some Doomsday Preppers try to avoid the forces of the Patriarch and the administrator of North America. As they survive the various judgments, they come across new Christians who help them to come to understand how Jesus died for their sins before His second coming.
Find out more in the final novel of The End Times Saga.
My Next work in progress is found here: http://wp.me/p3cVk9-2xC
Answer: My next project is extending The End Times Saga into the Tribulation Period, the first six were set before the rapture. While I don’t think I could do a better job than the Left Behind Series, I do think I can follow the Book of Revelation much better than they did.
Answer: 10 novels and 4 short stories
Question: Are their characters/stories/scenes/etc based on anything in real life?
Answer: Since I wrote Times of Trouble in first person, I based some of Brian Atwood on me, personality-wise. A couple of scenes in Xavier Doolittle, I based it on some stuff that happened to me while in college and dealing with certain kinds of people, but I exagerrated some for effect. Parts of The End Times Saga deal with that universes version of Obamacare, the U.N.’s Agenda 21, the TSA and DHS being oppressive, and conspiracy theories about FEMA camps.
Here are excerpts of reviews that Cliff has gotten for his books:
“I kept wondering if the author had some ‘inside information’ and Gregory Evans was a pseudonym for someone real.” – D. Austin, reader review”Pick up this book today, you will not be disappointed” – Shannon, reader review
“Times of Turmoil is an epic story of good vs. evil involving historical events taking place right here in America.” – D.P. Memory, reader review
“….was so believable that it made me wonder if it could really have happened that way.”Jan Hall, reader review
“Times of Trouble novel’s backdrop is on the End Times and all the other events leading to it. It is like a true story as most of the character sketches, circumstances, and plots are familiar and possible to happen in real life.” — Christian Book Review“Great end-time story. Fast paced and prophetic” – LaTawnia Kintz, Book reviewer
“….the story is quite captivating and intriguing…” Lisa Johnson, book reviewer
“Good read – always kept my interest”- Nancy Pardo, reader review
“Engaging with Biblical end time prophetic themes” — Valerie Caraotta, reader review“Times of Trial was entertaining and informative and very thought provoking.” — Jan Hall, reader review
“….a very insightful novel involving end-time prophecy and current events.” — LaTawnia Kintz, book reviewer
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