Guest Interview with Best-Selling author Andrew E. Kaufman

Andrew E. Kaufman is an award winning journalist and author who this year became one of the highest-grossing independent authors with combined sales of more than one 150-thousand e-books in just three months. The Lion, the Lamb, the Hunted: A Psychological Thriller was on Amazon’s Top 100 for more than one-hundred days. It became their seventh bestselling title out of more than one million e-books available nationwide and number one in its genre. Andrew’s first novel, While the Savage Sleeps, made the Top 100 as well and was number one in its genre, passing up Stephen King’s two most recent titles. Both books are bestsellers in the United Kingdom and Germany.

Andrew was also a writer for Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Cancer Book (Simon & Schuster/2009) where he chronicled his battle with the disease.

After receiving his journalism and political science degrees at San Diego State University, Andrew began his writing career as an Emmy-nominated writer/producer, working at the CBS affiliate in San Diego, then in Los Angeles. For more than ten years, he produced special series and covered many nationally known cases, including the O.J. Simpson Trial.

Andrew lives in Southern California, along with his Labrador Retrievers, 2 horses, and a very bossy Jack Russell Terrier who thinks she owns the place.

Welcome Drew, you clearly have had great experience in the writing game. Can you tell us a little about what motivated you to write thrillers?I worked for quite a few years as a television news writer but eventually decided that the confines of reality were too restrictive for my creative flow. So after being at a new job in LA for about four months, I packed my bags and headed back home to San Diego, where I decided to change my course and delve into fiction. Since then, I’ve never looked back and have never been happier. I’m finally living my dream. I’m able to make a living doing what I love.

Website: http://www.andrewekaufman.com

Give us the elevator pitch about The Lion, the Lamb, the Hunted. (Great cover by the way!)

Nearly thirty years after 3-year old Nathan Kingsley mysteriously disappears from his home in broad daylight, Patrick Bannister unwittingly stumbles across evidence among his dead mother’s belongings. It paints her as the killer, and her brother, a rich and powerful senator as the one pulling the strings.

 

Tell us about the protagonist and antagonist in the story – what do you like about them?

Patrick Bannister is a deeply flawed but extremely likable protagonist. He’s a journalist trapped by his own words. He suffers from OCD and is compelled to make lists, writing the same words over and over. He’s also a bleeder, which makes him physically vulnerable (in addition to being emotionally so as well).

Bill Williams is an unusual antagonist in that he doesn’t actually appear until the end of the book. For most of it, the reader only sees what he wants them to, and he spends most of his time playing mind games with Patrick and freaking him out. It’s good fun, but pretty creepy.

How do you work on a story to bring the components like character and plot together into the final product?

I’m what you would call a pantser. That is to say I write by the seat of my pants. I’ve never been one to do outlines–they feel too restrictive and only confuse me. I go on my intuition when I create my stories, letting the characters dictate the story. It seems to work well for me.

 What is one thing that has helped you develop as a writer?

I don’t know if there’s really any one thing. I think it’s a number of things. My training and experience as a journalist has certainly helped me develop good writing skills and habits. My passion for reading has shaped my love for the written word. I also think fear is a good motivator and I use it as such. I’m always worried my current work won’t  be good enough; that keeps me in line. It also keeps me stretching and trying to improve.

You’ve been incredibly successful, and perhaps a model for Amazon’s KDP Select. What is the most successful thing you’ve done to market your book(s)?

I spent years building my audience one person at a time, and I treat my readers with the utmost respect and gratitude (which they completely deserve). I know that sounds very elementary, but it’s worked for me.  I actually know many of my readers by name and communicate with them on a regular basis. I genuinely care about them, appreciate their support, and I show it in every way possible.

Link to Andrew’s book here:

http://www.amazon.com/Lion-Lamb-Hunted-ebook/dp/B006HWXKD4/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1323072308&sr=1-3

4 Replies to “Guest Interview with Best-Selling author Andrew E. Kaufman”

  1. Thanks Jen and Jodie.

    Next: I’m currently working on Darkness and Shadows, the sequel to LLH, and I couldn’t be more excited. I can’t say too much about the plot yet, but I will say this: Patrick is headed for serious trouble and the tension is going the get about as heavy as any book I’ve ever written.

    I’m also simultaneously at work on Killing Rain, another psychological thriller with A.K. Alexander, which I’m having a ball writing. Both of us are.

    As for horror–gotta keep those fans happy a well, and they’ve been patiently waiting. I’ve begun development on one. So far, I’ve fallen in love with the concept–which is a great sign.

  2. Excellent interview, Ian and Andrew! Wow, Drew, I knew you were successful, but I didn’t realize the extent of your sales on Amazon! Way to go! I really loved The Lion, the Lamb, and the Hunted, and Patrick has got to be everybody’s favorite character! So what’s next? It seems you’re working on a few novels…? I can’t wait for your next thriller to come out! I know you have fans also waiting for another horror novel, but I’m kind of hoping the next few will be thrillers! What do you say? Huh?

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