I am the author working on the Pink Panthers trilogy series, including the first novel “The Greatest Thieves in the World”, which was published globally in June this year. I am a logistics specialist having worked for large international organizations and corporations such as the United Nations, Halliburton/KBR, or DynCorp, being stationed for twenty years working in areas consumed by ferocious civil wars in Bosnia and Serbia or the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq.
What inspires you to write?
I have some stories to tell… as an author who lived and worked in 4 continents and witnessed 4 wars, walking the paths of my characters, therefore being able to turn my extensive experience into inspirational and instructive fiction and non-fiction narratives. I am telling stories about paradoxes of the modern world where evil reigns while chivalry yet survives and write only about real-life stories which have it all, a powerful blend of real-life situations and crime thriller, shaking family experience and shocking war and political drama.
Tell us about your writing process.
I have a rich imagination and create whole dialogues and scenes, even chapters in my mind before writing them down. Then I add the narrative and descriptions according to my objective and themes I want to describe and convey.
If you have a story inside you that you need to tell – just start writing, initiate the process with some ideas, and put them on the paper. Don’t worry about the grammar or dialogues, it will be done later during the editing process. Blank page can’t be edited, so just start doing it. It will be hard, but you can do it and you know that story must be told! So, just keep writing. If you do just one page a day – you’ll have your first draft completed in a year. One page by one page, your book will be completed, and you’ll be so proud of your accomplishment.
If you have a creative block – go back to editing previous pages. When it gets rough and self-doubt comes crawling up your spine – ignore it and go back to editing, dive in your previous work until it’s gone. It shall pass… then you move on, write on…
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I obsess about my characters, as an infatuated lover, mixing up fantasy with the reality, my own experience, and reflections with ideas I mean to convey. I dream of them, I think of them day and night, observe them telling me their stories, talking and listening to them.
Who are your favorite authors?
I love the raw style and brisk observation of all the dark and decay in human nature and society as brilliantly portrayed by Bukowski of the modernists and Dostoevsky of the classics. I admire Dostoevsky as a writer with the natural talent of scanning through depths of the human mind, as well as skill to infect the reader with the lucidity and passion with which he writes of his views and ideas. I love Bukowski, the dirty nihilistic realist with unquestionable talent and an unrivaled passion for writing as sheer pleasure. Despite all of the ups-and-downs of his disturbed life, constant intoxication, loneliness, misogyny, and personal problems, Bukowski actually wrote. His novels and poems are so simple — simple words, sentences, and ideas — and yet so lively, deep and relatable. The writing style I tend to be developing is based on that premise – digging deep into characters and write lively and relatable true-life stories.
War and Peace by Tolstoy… a thousand-page exposition on how people’s hero projects form the fabric of society and history, which is a theme I tried to dive into my novel as well.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s powerful meditation on meaning, morality, and faith, The Karamazov Brothers.
Ham on Rye, Bukowski’s novel, recounting the crude brutality of life growing up under the Great Depression; and partially explaining why Bukowski comes to reject mainstream culture and depict survival in a corrupt, blighted society.
The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho’s charming fable, will enchant and inspire an even wider audience of readers for generations to come. “My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer,” the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky. – Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams.”
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Whatever path you choose, don’t let rejection or lack of support stop you! I used to be shy about my writing, which I have been practicing as a hobby for some 25 years or so, writing essays and stories predominantly about the war experience. Then I was too absorbed with everyday life, family, and business, and couldn’t stand exposure to the creative side of my personality. Slowly, I’ve completed the novel and pitched it with traditional publishers in my homeland for almost a year with no success, nobody in Bosnia and Serbia offered to publish it. But suddenly, in March, I found myself locked down, with nothing but time, a notebook full of notes and complete novel in Serbian language and a chance to make some sense of this crazy moment in time. So, I had it edited and translated into English and self-published it via KDP/Amazon in the USA first before my homeland. Only after that, the publishing offers from my homeland started popping up. Nothing is impossible!
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
If you distribute your books through Draft2Digital (as you should, unless you’re exclusive to Amazon), you’ll have received an email from them back in late April during the corona lockdown: “Currently, ebook sales are doing incredibly well on all retailers, including Barnes & Noble. In fact, ebook sales have never been higher than they have in the past month."
The audiobook market has been growing rapidly, for example the independent author Penny Reid, since producing and publishing her first audiobook in 2014, she has sold over 150,000 audiobooks across all of her titles, and her audiobook sales now account for 20% of her gross income.
The future is self-publishing. With traditional publisher I am giving them 85% of my royalties. What exactly are they doing for me?
Also, one other big reason that James Altucher recently wrote about on his blog – I get to say YES. Whenever I used to pitch a book to publishers, they had all the power to say yes or no, and usually it was a no without even reading my pitch or excerpts. Now I have the power. I get to say YES to me. I won’t reject myself. That means sometimes I’ll probably write a bad book. Who cares? Nobody will read the bad book. But the more books I put out there, the better chance I give myself for a breakout book that is truly great.
What about the stigma of self-publishing? Don’t bad books get self-published because the author can’t find a publisher? No. Here are some books that were originally self-published: The Martian by Andy Weir. And yes, one of the biggest books of all time, 50 Shades of Grey. Write a book and publish it. Nobody asks who her publisher was. But she sells books and makes money.
What genres do you write?
Thriller, Action and Adventure, Drama
What formats are your books in?
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All information is provided by the author and is presented as it was submitted so you the reader get to hear the author’s own “voice” in their interview.