Jeff Lane ~ This Paper World
I met acclaimed author Jeff Lane through another Amused Now Featured Artist, filmmaker Aaron Thomas. Jeff and Aaron are working on a film project based on Jeff’s best-selling book This Paper World, the story of how 18-year-old Jim Hunt confronts his destiny.
When I asked how he and Aaron met, Jeff explained that Aaron reached out to him after hearing This Paper World podcast as a serialized audiobook. Aaron was listening to the book and fell in love with it. The two started communicating via email. When Jeff noticed that Aaron was a filmmaker, he checked out Aaron’s work. “It just kindda blew my mind. Here’s this very talented filmmaker who likes my art.”
The two stayed in touch and, eventually, Aaron said, “I want to do something with this book” and they’ve been working on the film ever since. I’ve seen a few of the trailers and the finished film should be fabulous.
Jeff studied Music and Video Business at The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. He worked 2nd shift in a bank call center. Jeff claims he wrote This Paper World to stave off boredom while working at the bank, so I asked him, “When did you decide to become an author?” At the time, Jeff worked at night and his wife worked during the day, so one day he went into his home office, opened a blank document and started writing.
Initially, Jeff didn’t really plan to write a novel. He didn’t have the entire story sketched out in his head. Jeff knew that he wanted to write a classic hero’s tale. The story grew organically as he started writing about Jim. What was Jeff’s inspiration? You’ll see Star Wars and Stephen King’s Dark Tower 1: The Gunslinger references with a little Highlander thrown in too.
Jeff has always been a fan of podcasts and always wanted to create one of his own. When he discovered that other authors were podcasting their novels, he dusted off This Paper World and decided to do his own podcast. “That was how it started and now I’m addicted!”
Jeff writes novels, novellas and audiobooks. “They’re all in the realm of speculative fiction. I have a hard time categorizing my books. They’re somewhat science fiction. They deal with people with powers or time travel, but they’re also very grounded in the characters, they’re real people.” The closest thing to true science fiction that Jeff has written is his novella Crush Depth, which takes place on a huge submarine. It’s a mermaid/vampire/werewolf tale.
As for marketing, Jeff hangs out in what he calls the “geek pop culture sci-fi realm.” He’s very involved with the podcast community. He narrates for some of the audio fiction podcasts, like Starship Sofa and Tales to Terrify. Because he’s a part of the community, he asks podcasters to play his promos and write blog posts about his work. “It’s all about the social media revolution, getting your name and your product out there.” Jeff also spends a lot of time on Facebook and Twitter making connections.
He tries to make real connections within these communities. It’s give and take. “I’ve met some great people that I’ve never met face-to-face. You form these bonds over the internet. It’s great. Aaron is a great example. He lives in London and I live in the States. We’ve never met face-to-face, yet we have a great collaboration.”
If you want to get involved with podcasts, iTunes is a great place to begin. You need some technical savvy or you need to find someone to help you get started. You also need servers to “serve” your podcasts. Jeff recommends, “Go out to Google and search: How do I start a podcast?”
If you are thinking about writing your own ebook, Jeff’s advice is “start writing today. Start with that first word and go! Don’t worry about how you’re going to market it or how you’re going to get it published or where your outlets are going to be. Just write. Write for you. Enjoy the process of writing and see where it takes you.”
Watch the video interview on YouTube: http://youtu.be/s7sxaujaDKI
Amused Now Featured Artist Series
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Cynthia Kahn, Founder of Amused Now