Speculative fiction author A. C. Hachem attributes his passion for science fiction and fantasy to a childhood immersed in video games and cartoons. Following the death of his father he began writing poetry, eventually turning his hand to science fiction. With his debut novel now on the shelves he fills us in on the importance of confidence in your work and the motivation of badly written fiction.
Please give us a brief overview of your work.
My formal relationship with the written word began roughly nine years ago. After spending a couple of years studying, reading, and writing poetry (a.k.a. Alex Soska), I decided to turn my attention to another passion of mine. One more commercial in nature—Speculative Fiction. I independently published my debut science fiction novel in January of 2017, and have since been loving connecting with sci-fi enthusiasts spanning multiple mediums, age-ranges, and nations.
What made you want to be a writer?
I fell in love with the ability to connect with people using written text a very long time ago. I matured as the internet did, and as a result, spent far too much time behind the Qwerty keyboard. Little did I know it would all be training for my future craft.
What inspires you to write?
Good genre-fiction does, as much as bad-genre fiction. The belief that perhaps I can do it just as well, if not better. Mankind’s character flaws. The unknown. All the good and all the bad which we are capable of as a species. The near-future, the far-future, and all the questions science has yet to answer.
Is there any particular incident that has happened along your writing journey that you’d like to share?
My father became terminally ill and passed away several years ago. And although he and I were not close, the experience as a whole was the catalyst that led me into the world of poetry. One thing led to another, and here we are, shaking hands, kissing babies, and talking sci-fi shop via digital channels with people from all around the globe!
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Several years into this game and I’m still learning new things every day. Network as much as you can. Ask for help wherever you can get it. Reach out and touch somebody (metaphorically speaking, of course.) Always remind yourself that perception is reality. In this saturated, competitive landscape, every single thing you can do better than somebody else, gives you an edge. Writing well simply isn’t enough.
Any advice for approaching publishers?
Absolutely. Get rid of the fluff. Trim the fat. People are very busy, and have limited attention spans these days. Be short and to the point. This is who I am. This is what I do. And this is what I can bring to the table. Confidence is key!
What do you think is the biggest marketing challenge for new authors?
I’ve been selling a lot longer than I’ve been writing, and I happen to have a background in print advertising as well as digital marketing. Does this come in handy as an author? Definitely! Don’t waste your time, money, and energy attempting to fake the funk. If your creative side is much stronger than your business sense or digital savviness, do you, and recruit help for the rest.
What methods of book marketing do you find the most effective?
It’d have to be a toss-up between Amazon Marketing Services and Instagram. I haven’t quite yet finished my plans for a guerrilla marketing campaign that’ll be sure to make the evening news, but rest assured I’m working on it.
How do you handle rejection as a writer?
My skin is very thick and my head is very big. I remind myself that every No brings me one step closer to a Yes, and that organic developments are richer than forced ones. If you build it, they will come!
How do you deal with isolation, as writing is an inherently private exercise?
Connection is merely a mouse click or text message away. Isolation? Isolation is the gift.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with aspiring writers?
Make friends that are in the same boat. But also try to make friends with the folks in the bigger, shinier boat. Do you have a particular talent, ability, strength, or experience set you can offer in exchange for something you need or want? Leverage it to its fullest extent.
You can find out more about A. C. Hachem via his website and social media channels: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and GooglePlus. You’ll also find him curating sci-fi pop culture fandom blog Nanofleche. His debut novel Dawn of Legaia is available for purchase via Amazon.