Our interview today is with James DiBenetto. Thanks for being here today James and for agreeing to do this interview.
Answer: I love the opera, and I listen to it over the Internet radio every day, and attend whenever I can. I’m a big sports fan – I live and die with my New York Giants (mostly it’s been dying this season, so far!). I spend time with my wife, and with our cat, who basically has us completely trained. And I enjoy cooking.
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 have several regular beta readers, and one close friend who’s a perfect critique partner; we’re sending each other chapters all the time.
My covers are done by a local artist, Ami Low. She used to be the graphic designer at the company I work at, and she’s now a freelance artist.
I’ve been working with a narrator to record my books as audiobooks, Heather Jane Hogan. She’s done several audiobooks, as well as commercials and training films, etc.
Everyone I’ve worked with has been professional and helpful and I really haven’t had a bad experience with anyone who’s been a part of helping me create these books.
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 wish I knew what works! I’m still learning as I go, and I think most of us indie writers are. And, as far as I can tell, most traditionally published writers are, too.
For my personal experience, I’ve sold almost entirely ebooks. I’ve only sold a handful of print copies, and they’ve almost all gone to family members as far as I can tell. I’ve mainly been promoting the ebooks, because they’re cheaper and easier and faster, and I assume that’s what most readers will want.
I’ve also been trying to figure out how to promote the audiobook editions of my books, and I wish I had the first clue how to do that!
Question: Tell us about your newest book. Make us want to read it.
Answer: My newest book is the fifth book in the Dream Series, “Waking Dream.” My heroine, Sara, has used her talent for stepping into other people’s dreams to help catch two murderers and stop a corrupt politician and a mobster in the previous books. But she’s got a whole new problem now. Someone is stepping into HER dreams. Someone who shares her talent – but not her sense of right and wrong. And, even worse, anything they do to each other in their dreams will happen to them in the waking world, too. They can hurt – or even kill – each other.
Answer: I haven’t written these books with the intent of having a message, but I think they do, anyway. Especially in the last two books I can see my beliefs coming out a lot more clearly. If these books have anything to say, it’s that it’s important to follow your conscience and do what’s right even when it’s difficult – ESPECIALLY then.
Question: Tell us one place you want to visit, or person you want to meet, and why.
Answer: I want to go back to Paris, and bring my wife with me. I visited there once, for four days, before we met. But I want to go back, spend more time there, and share it with her.
Question: What’s your next project? Tell us so we can’t wait for it to come out!
Answer: My next project is the continuation of the Dream Series. I’m working on book #6, in which Sara goes back to college for her ten-year reunion, deals with the fallout from the events of the previous book, and learns a couple of hard lessons about herself and her limitations.
Question: What is your current WIP?
Answer: A short story set in the Dream Series, starring Sara’s parents. It’s called “Betty & Howard’s Excellent Adventure” and it’ll be out by the end of November. AND, it’s being recorded for audiobook by British actress Nicola Bryant, from “Doctor Who!”
Question: How many books do you have out?
Answer: So far, there are five novels and, coming soon, one short story.
Question: What is your favorite book/character?
Answer: “Winter’s Tale,” by Mark Helprin. It is, hands down, the best-written book I’ve ever read. Helprin’s use of language is just breathtakingly beautiful. And the story is sprawling and deep and wonderful and magical. It’s also a giant, 800-page love letter to New York city, which is where I’m originally from, so obviously that adds to it for me.
They’re making it into a movie which will come out next February, which I’m both anticipating and really dreading, because I simply can’t imagine how it can be turned into a 2-hour movie. But I’ll be there to see it the day it comes out.
About the Author:
J.J. (James) Dibenedetto’s fans would swear he’s got a sixth sense when it comes to seeing into the minds of others and often wonder if his stories could possibly be fiction. He enjoys suspending disbelief with suspenseful paranormal tales that are a perfect blend of reality meets fantasy.
His popular Dream Series continues to delight readers with each and every exciting installment.
Born in Yonkers, New York, he currently resides in Arlington Virginia with his beautiful wife and a cat he is sure has taken full advantage of its nine lives. When it comes to the cat, he often wonders, but then again it might just be his imagination.