Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
Decades ago, it was Star Wars that got me into writing. Who else would write a book on politics with multiple Star Wars references in the first chapter?
While I never forgot my dreams of becoming a writer, professionally, I became a software engineer. From working in IT at UCLA to coding on billion-dollar e-commerce systems for multiple Fortune 500 entertainment companies, I worked in technology for almost a quarter century.
When I finally combined my creative writer self with my analytic engineer self, my writing began to click. I wrote screenplays and then switched to my first novel, The Internet President: None of the Above.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest novel is called "The Internet President: None of the Above."
I can't tell the full story of what inspired the book without giving away spoilers, but it's included in the "Fact Versus Fiction" section in the novel. I'll give the first half of what inspired the book and leave it to readers to see if they can figure out the rest:
Back in the days before cell phones could fit in a pocket, people with new landline phones had to pick a long distance provider. There was a rule that the phone company had to give you whatever company you asked for as a long distance provider. Some scammer had the bright idea to create companies with names like "Whatever" and "I don't care." People who said the wrong words got stuck with the scammer's companies for long distance. I saw a news report warning about them.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
If the toughest moments in my novel aren't enough to make me cry, why would I expect a reader to ever cry? It has to be real for me. I have to endure what the character does.
For the most emotional sad moments in the book, I worked myself into an emotional frenzy by playing music videos that move me. I watched the music video for Lana Del Rey's "Born to Die" in a loop for hours. I latched onto every ounce of death, sorrow, and regret from my life and infused them into my words as I sang along.
I kept the tissues I wiped away my tears from in a labeled ziplock bag, as a keepsake. Life begins and ends in tears.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
The top books every author should read: Writing Screenplays That Sell by Michael Hauge, Story by Robert McKee, The Art of Dramatic Writing by Lajos Egri, and On Writing by Stephen King.
I've been heavily influenced by reading hundreds of screenplays and writing my own. It's why my novel is so cinematic and fast-paced.
What are you working on now?
I was on a high for days when a reader told me they would "now expect more from books" after reading my novel. I love hearing stories about readers staying up until 7 am to finish the book because they couldn't put it down, or starting their second read through. Those great moments come at a price. I have to market my book before I can begin the next one.
I'm also working to get the paperback and audiobook versions out.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
That is a secret I don't yet possess.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Don't wait for a muse. Sit your butt in the chair and write.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Most overnight successes take about 10 years. Success has its own schedule, which may not be the same schedule you're on.
What are you reading now?
I'm reading books on marketing because writing a great novel isn't enough.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I barely finished my first book and readers are clamoring for another book in the series. So, I've been thinking about the plotting for book 2, The Internet President: Hot Nights and Cold Wars.
What is your favorite book of all time?
Tough call. Wuthering Heights is up there. I'm big on love that transcends the grave. Great Gatsby and Farewell to Arms are classics.
The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Hobbit meant a lot to me. They were a Dungeons and Dragons campaign come to life. Without those books would there be D&D? The books spawned 2 great series of movies (cartoon and live action).
Dune, David Brin's Uplift series, William Gibson cyberpunk, I could go on. Science Fiction is core to my very being. The novel version of Star Wars changed my life. Well, that and the Star Wars Storybook that even included the deleted scenes with Biggs.
Author Websites and Profiles
P.G. Sundling Amazon Profile