Thursday , April 25 2024
Success to me means getting my book into the hands of as many readers as possible. You don’t write a book to hide on your bookshelf.

Interview with Erna Mueller, Author of ‘K-9 Cop’

Erna MuellerErna Mueller was born in Austria and moved with her family to the USA for a few years. She was living the bi-continental lifestyle until she could finally make the USA her home. She works as a mild mannered accountant by day but is a passionate writer by night. Her book K-9 Cop was adapted from her award winning screenplay.

About K-9 Cop...

When surly cop Spencer is killed on a cyber crime case, he finds himself stuck outside the gates of heaven. He can only redeem himself through the J.R.P. (The Jerk Redemption program.) His task is to return in the body of his K-9 Partner and help Justin, a troubled teenage boy and his dysfunctional family.

But, when he learns that the cyber crime gang is framing the family, Spencer must, with the help of the teenage boy, take down the gang once and for all.

Congratulations on the release of your latest book, K-9 Cop. When did you start writing and what got you into Young Adult? 

I thought a Young Adult book would be a great idea to write for a first time novelist. I always loved family orientated books and movies and was searching for a story that depicts the human condition with all its splendor and frailties. What better way than through a surly cop who has to go back to earth in the body of his K-9 partner? The cop needs to help a troubled teenager and his dysfunctional family in order to be redeemed.

What was your inspiration for K-9 Cop?

I love animals and their relationship to humans. I also love the story of redemption and second chances, which is what K-9 Cop is all about.  Dogs are amazing in their drive to please their masters. They overcome obstacles like a Navy Seal and do the job for the joy of it. 

Who is your target audience?

Since this is a young adult book, tweens and teenagers. But keep in mind K-9 Cop is definitely not adult repellent. Readers of all ages seem to enjoy my book. Ever since the dawn of Harry Potter adults have also grown to love coming-of-age books. The more readers the better. 

K-9 Cop 2Many writers experience a vague anxiety before they sit down to right. Can you relate to this? 

Yes, but there is help on the horizon. The Internet is filled with writer’s help websites and an assortment of books and software to kick start the imagination. I have tried a few and found them very helpful, although it’s ultimately up to you to fill the page.  After your idea, the empty page is the worst hurdle to overcome but once the words fill the void it’s easier to rewrite. In fact, writing is mostly rewriting. I am not the most organized being in the universe, so I sing praises of the keyboard with back buttons and delete functions.  Writing is just rewriting – there you have it. How did writers years ago work without MS Word?  I bet Hemingway would have killed for the cut and paste function. 

What was your publishing process like?

Once the novel was completed I sent out numerous query letters to agents and publishing houses and no one wanted to read a chapter of a first time novelist. I can start a bonfire with the rejection letters I’ve received. And get ready to hear from Literary Agencies that their roster is full and can’t accept any new authors, and the majority of publishers do not accept any unsolicited manuscripts. For me, self-publishing was the only way out of this maze. Then I heard if you have a self-published book with somewhat decent sales, publishing houses are more apt to take you seriously. No company wants to gamble with their capital anymore; they want you to do the marketing for them.  Your start-up costs for Self-Publishing can be as frugal or pricy as your credit card limit will allow. So if you have the “I don’t have a contract blues,” SELF-PUBLISH!

How do you define success?

Success to me means getting my book into the hands of as many readers as possible. You don’t write a book to hide on your bookshelf. You want people to read the book. And financial gain doesn’t have to be tied to greed but it’s more of a necessity. How much extra time would you have to write if you didn’t need your 9 to 5 job?

What do you love most about the writer’s life?

I love the creativity, unearthing a new world with your imagination. Breathing life into your characters and giving words a heartbeat. Although this creation mirrors the real world, it rests in the palm of your hand and you determine its fate. 

Anything else you’d like to tell my readers? 

Use your imagination when writing. Albert Einstein hit the nail on the head when he said, “I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

Wow, that gives me goose bumps and makes my knees wobble.

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About Mayra Calvani

Mayra Calvani writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults and has authored over a dozen books, some of which have won awards. Her stories, reviews, interviews and articles have appeared on numerous publications such as The Writer, Writer’s Journal, Multicultural Review, and Bloomsbury Review, among many others. Represented by Serendipity Literary.

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