It’s hard to believe it’s been over two months since the Two Navy Guys launched Weapons of Mass Deception. We’ve completed sending out the Kickstarter campaign rewards and the book selfies are starting to show up from around the world. Here’s one from the UK!
And Then There’s Marketing
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a marketing guy. I love figuring out how to position a product and find new readers, but it’s a slow process in the world of books. For the WMD launch, we felt like we had a book that has broad appeal to a mass market so we’ve stretched our outreach into radio.
Neither JR nor I quite knew what to expect from the experience, but here are our three takeaways:
The host is going to talk about what the host wants to talk about.
If that sounds negative, it’s not. Your interview is not really about you or your book. It’s a vehicle for the host to talk about what they feel their audience wants to hear. WMD is a story about a fictional cache of nuclear weapons that were smuggled out of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq to an Iranian hardliner splinter group. Three of the four nukes are used to try to disrupt the Iranian nuclear agreement. The fourth is placed with a Hezbollah sleeper cell as a backup.
So with that snippet of plot, what do you think Roshini Rajkumar, our first radio host, wanted to talk about? Veterans issues.
That’s okay. Our book has veterans in it and JR and I are both veterans, so we talked about veterans issues (and our book).
Having an interview partner is great
Overall, the entire co-writing and co-publishing experience has been a great process for both of us. Sure, every relationship and project has bumps in the road, but we have far more positive than negative things to say about the process.
Here’s one positive example: what if you are asked a question by an interviewer and you don’t know the answer? Pass it on to your partner!
That’s what I did in our interview with Al Malmberg last week. Al asked us what the military is carrying as a standard issue sidearm these days. I had no idea, so what did I say? “I’ll let JR take that one.”
Learn to Thread The Needle
I don’t think I’m breaking new ground when I say that talk radio can get political. While neither of our hosts were overtly so, some of the questions had a political flavor to them.
We write fiction. While JR was a naval intelligence officer for twenty-one years, neither of us consider ourselves experts on Middle Eastern politics, the Iranian nuclear negotiations, or some of the other topics that crop up in our books.
But we will invaraibly get asked a question like: Could Saddam Hussein actually have had nuclear weapons that we didn’t find?
The answer is yes, that’s what makes it a good story. In the world of thrillers, the potential for a thing to be true makes for better fiction. That said, despite the fact that we wrote a damn good book, we don’t have any special insight into that real-life question.
Click on the cover to find out more about Weapons of Mass Deception.
If you’re hungry for more thriller action, check out the companion short story Death of a Pawn, featuring terrorist Rafiq Roshed creating mayhem in South America.
JR and I have started the plotting for Book Two. If you’d like to stay updated, please join the Irregular Newsletter.
David Bruns is the creator of the sci-fi series The Dream Guild Chronicles, one half of the Two Navy Guys and a Novel blog series about co-writing a military thriller, and co-author of Weapons of Mass Deception, a story of modern-day nuclear terrorism.