Interview with Donovan Sotam

Donovan Sotam

Interview Date: 6/19/2012


I'm Portuguese by origin, but my pseudonym is definitely british, or at least he think he is. I like writing (well, to tell you the truth what I like more is thinking of writing. I started writing when I was sixteen, but only at the age of 26 did I publish something worthwhile, or at the least I think it's worthile - Working for Heat - my first book, a collection of short humorous stories. And although I delved head first into humor, I definitely plan to broaden my horizons.

When did you start writing, and was there a significant event that prompted you to do so?

I started very early. With a little english poem, that I have lost forever in a computer. Then I went for some fantasy, in Portuguese, with two friends of mine. It didn't really take off, although I really wanted to see it published. But what got me really into writing was one of those "Challenge Accepted" events. So, I went and wrote 3 very short stories and published it over at KDP amazon. It was called Working for Heat. Humor and a satirical view of our working world. I intend it to be a on-going series.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? (Assuming said power would be reasonably "powerful.")

Uhh, nice question! I love the series Heroes and of course X-Men. I guess I would have to go with kinetic power/mind power. Just like Professor X or Jean. But I promise I wouldn't go crazy with my superpowers. Just the occasional mental slap on people doing/saying stupid things. I guess, then I'd be a very occupied man. haha.

Kev's response: Hey, rumor has it that I intend to take over the world, so I'm okay with you going crazy. Besides, I might need some powerful henchmen. >;)

Do you have a favorite superhero from novels, comics, or movies?

Supervillain? Perhaps? I love Magneto. But superhero I would go with the all mighty Goddamn Batman! He's pure evil, well, not evil, evil. Cool, good evil! He's just a regular man. Even though he's a regular rich, very rich man, he is still normal, and he still kicks asses. i like the ambience, I like the toys and Alfred is just awesome.

Kev's response: *grumbles* I swear, Batman has everyone befuddled into thinking he's a superhero....

Where do you get your inspiration for writing? What motivates you?

Mainly from my day-to-day life. And my closer friends can see that in the Working for Heat series. I also take a lot of inspiration from Sir Terry Pratchett. And of course, me being a very proud geek, everything geek. I usually make a lot of references to the things I love. Names, situations. Even numbers. What drives me? Well, the feeling when a book is finished, cover is done and it's on site being sold, is incredible. Add some feedback from complete unknown people from across the globe, especially, good feeback. And there you go: motivation.

Do you pre-plan your stories, or are you a by-the-seat-of-the-pants style writer?

I usually spend a lot of time thinking the stories. But's it's funny, when i start writing, I add tons more of other stuff, I never thought ot. Spur of the moment, I guess. But, yes, before i pick up my pen, eerrr.... laptop, I have the stories really thought out.

Kev's response: So ... pantless writing, hmm?

Do you write only when inspired, or do you have a set schedule where you sit down to write?

Being an amateur self publisher has its goods and bads, One of the goods, is that I only write when I feel like writing. I prefer quality over quantity, and in my case, writing when I'm not inclined to, leads to poor quality. Now, there's also the problem of procrastination, which I'm a pro at (thank you twitter and stumbleupon...). How I love procrastination. A pompous word for laziness.

Do you have a favorite genre to write in? To read?

I mainly write humor and fantasy humor. I also write, what people call of poetic prose, in Portuguese. I usually call it gibberish. Published or to be published soon I only have humor and fantasy humor. Although I have lots of ideas for sci-fi, lots, really. Trust me. But I find it harder to pour the words in this genre. In terms of reading, I read almost everything from old classics like Theogony and Works and Days by Hesiod or more popular things like The Da Vinci code. Bu my favourite genres have to be sci-fi and fantasy humor. Sir Terry Pratchett and Asimov or Philip K. Dick is always on my wish list on amazon. I'm currently reading a portuguese book and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.

Kev's response: Yes, but do sheep dream of being watched?

What do you enjoy the most about writing?

Laughing at one of my jokes. And when I get the feeling that chapter or part of the book is really excellent. It might be biased, of course.

Is there any part of writing that you don't enjoy?

Yes! Definitely yes! Editing and proofreading. I think Dante forgot to mention the 8th circle of hell. Spending the eternity editing and proofreading (no offence meant for editors, of course, those brave, brave man and woman). The last book i wrote (almost out on amazon, just waiting for the cover), called Johnny the Zombie, I swear the mistakes and errors seemed to grow overnight.

Can you tell me something odd about yourself?

I sneeze in the sun? Twice? It's not that odd, I guess... I like to eat gummy bears.

Kev's response: Mmmm, gummi bears!

Do you write one story at a time, or do you have several novels in the works at one time?

Some say, it's a problem, I say the more, the merrier. I'm currently working/writing on 8 differents stories. Some are just very shortstories, others are probably going to end up as full novels. I guess if you're writing profissionaly and have deadlines this can be bad. For me? It's great. I get to explore different ideas at the same time. And not get bored.

Kev's response: That's a good thing!

In my evil plot to take over the world, what one animal type do you advise I use and why?

Great question. There is always the cat. A villain stroking a cat seems a lot more villanous than a non-stroking-cat villain. But, the best I think are birds. I'd recommend a raven, since having a paradise bird, might be too, let's say, exuberant, for a world conqueror. The reason is simple, it's not very big, so transportable, It can deliver messages, it can fly, but the best of all, you could make E.A. Poe references.

Kev's response: Ooh! I could use emu! That would be unique!

Where do you see the future as far as paper books versus digital e-books?

I think paper will "always" be around. As great as ebooks and ereaders are. I love me a library. Some books, people will love to have (physically) and show to their friends. But I foresee a large increase in the number of people using e-readers, it's much more pratical.

What are your current projects?

Lots of them, actually. But the ones I'm working more are a humor fantasy christmas story, a satirical book on the end of the world events and a humor zombie diary.

Do you have any advice for others about self-publishing?

A very simple one. Keep writing. Writing is the best way to promote yourself. The more books you put out, the better. Also don't neglect the social networks. Work with others, read their books, review them, share them. be yourself and above all, write because of love it.

Do you have any online sites where readers can find out more about you (and your books)?

Indeed, I do. I usually put some of my stories on wattpad. Which is the youtube of writing, or at least it's described as such. Here's my profile page over at wattpad and amazon. The latter has the links to my two published books. And I'm eagerly waiting for the cover for my third - Johnny the Zombie, which you can read a sample over at wattpad.

Once again, thank you for this opportunity and let me know if you want to make a giveaway. I'll gladly give one of my ebooks to one of your readers.

Donovan Sotam
Author of "Working for Heat" series
Follow me @DSotam

Kev's response: Donovan, thank you for joining me, and I wish you the best on your many books!

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