“The Trust” tour has begun!Posted on Jul 11, 2011 | 6 comments
Novel Publicity is pleased to announce the launch of its next blog tour. Join us on this 4-week journey into Sean Keefer’s riveting novel, The Trust.
The tour will cover 26 blogs in 26 days. You can view the full schedule on the official Trust blog tour page. Each day, the schedule will be updated with a link to the latest review or interview as part of this tour.
You can win a free paperback copy of Bridges: A Tale of Niagara by entering your name and email address on its official blog tour page. The winner of the give-away will be announced on Wednesday, August 10 – be sure to enter before then!
Below please enjoy the book trailer for this fast-paced and exciting novel. As a bonus, we’ve also conducted an interview with the author – a man who is just brimming with talent, charisma, and know-how.
The Novel Publicity book review of The Trust is forthcoming. Visit Emlyn’s personal blog on Tuesday, July 18th to read it.
Interview with the author:
During the course of our work together, Sean Keefer has become a closer personal friend. I selfishly took the opportunity to interview him before any of the blog tour hosts got the opportunity! I hope you’ll enjoy this glimpse into the mind of this promising debut author and stand-up guy.
Q. What was the motivation behind The Trust? How did you turn that spark of inspiration into a complete novel despite your hectic schedule as an attorney?
A. The Trust started out with the basic idea of a client walking unannounced into an attorneys’ office, dropping a Will on the attorneys’ desk and asking, “Why is your name in this Will?” After thinking about it for several months the idea of a “mystery safety deposit box” developed.
When I hit this point I was rather curious where it would go so I decided to start writing and see what unfolded. A sentence became a page which became a chapter and the next thing I knew I had a book.
Surprisingly enough I was able to keep my legal practice going at the same time although the nights ran a bit longer and the mornings started a bit earlier than I had planned.
Q. Ask any writer – we know how hard it is to squeeze writing into our already demanding lives. What worked for you?
A. Generally it was a matter of scheduling, well scheduling and curiosity. Well, mostly curiosity. I didn’t do a great deal of planning as to where the book was going – though I had a general idea. I found as I wrote the plot options opened up and the characters began to develop. As this started happening, I began to really get focused and motivated on finishing the book to see what happened and how the characters responded. This made me arrange my schedule to include large blocks of time – generally in the early mornings or evenings (and a lot of weekends) to take advantage of the momentum I had created.
Before long, I was done.
Q. It took me roughly a day and a half to finish reading The Trust – I just couldn’t put it down. On the flip side of the reader-writer scenario, how long did it take you to complete the novel?
A. It took about 7 months from the first word to final period; however, after that there was almost a year of edits and revisions and the like getting it into a form I was comfortable sharing with others. Then the long road to publishing began.
Q. What about probate law excited you? Why write a legal thriller focused on a trust rather than something more obviously enticing like criminal or family law?
A. Through my time in practice, I’ve done some probate law and seem to always have one or two estates in which I am involved, but these cases make up but a small portion of my practice. Interestingly enough I’m known for work in other areas of the law. I decided to stay away from my comfort zone so to speak as I knew people would expect me to write about these areas. As well, I didn’t want any of my former clients to read my book and think I may have adapted their case to fiction.
That all having been said, there was also a part of me that wanted to take an area of the law, like probate law, and make it a little, well, thrilling. Hopefully I did that.
Q. What was the research process like for this novel? Were you able to use your super lawyer powers to dig up some really cool info?
A. All of the legal scenarios were 100% a product of my imagination. They came about basically by me asking, “What if…..?” and then running with it. There were a few scenes that had their basis in real events or occurrences, but in those few cases I took a seed and nurtured it to an idea of my own rather than just retelling reality.
There was however research. Particularly when I was writing about different geographic areas. I visited the places, even if I’d previously been there time and time again. I wanted to make sure when the reader was walking a street, driving a road or looking at a building they were doing it through my eyes and not my imagination. There is a wonderful book, The Buildings of Charleston, by Jonathan Poston, that is a goldmine of information about individual buildings in the city and it was a constant companion when I had questions about a structure or some other building.
Q. Noah Parks is a very relatable and likeable protagonist. He could be any of us. What makes him stand out as an individual? How would you introduce him to a prospective reader?
A. At his foundation, he sees the good, or potential for good in people. He’s an extremely loyal friend. He’s also grounded in traditional values. With him what you see is what you get, but he is a great attorney for his clients, the friend everyone wants, and partner for whom one wouldn’t have to settle. To the prospective reader, I would say he’s the friend you have always wanted.
Q. The entire story is set into motion by the death of one Leonardo Xavier Cross, the very man who sets up the mysterious trust and the wild goose chase for all of the other characters. Tell us more about this intriguing fellow.
A. He’s an interesting chap. It was surprising to me how his character could not have a single word in the entire book and yet be so developed. Leonardo loved his children and was an accomplished businessman; however, he was a stubborn man and as a result of this he realized too late in life that he had missed out on a relationship with his children. Part of The Trust is the story of his efforts to communicate this to his children after his death.
Q. You have another unusual character: Austin, an Australian Shepherd. How did he add to the story? Why an Aussie?
A. I’ll answer the last part first. Actually as I’m answering these questions I’m doing it under the careful watch of several Aussies. I’ve had at least one Aussie in my life for the last 14 years and it was effortless to have one in the story. In fact the pack may have revolted if it was any other breed.
There is something, for me anyway, about having a dog around (and for me that dog is always an Aussie) that makes things flow a bit better, it makes things a bit more natural. As I always seem to never more than a few feet from an Aussie, it was natural for Noah to be the same, after all, I wouldn’t want to deprive him of that. Having Austin in the story also allowed for an added bond between Noah and Gabriel as they both have dogs.
Q. The ending of the novel is one that I’d assume most readers don’t see coming. Did you know how the story would end when you sat down to write it, or did you have to figure that out along the way? On a related note, pantser or plotter?
A. Thanks for saying that. I’ve always felt that there needs to be some degree of closure, a resolution if you will, for the reader. However, I also believe that the reader not only enjoys the unexpected twist, but also deserves it. After all, if someone is going to take their time (and spend their money) to read a book, I want them to enjoy it and, by gosh, I want them to remember it enough to tell others about it!
As to the approach to writing, this book was 100% by the seat of my pants. It worked for me, this time, but I strongly advise against it. With my current book, a follow up to The Trust, I’m still learning a lot about the plot as I go, but I have a 3 page treatment that tracks the major portions of the book so I know where I am heading as I work through it.
Q. You published with a small press and have had an enormous amount of success with getting your book in readers’ hands – something that is usual difficult for any non-traditional published author. What did you do differently in order to secure these opportunities for The Trust? Also, tell those who don’t know about your PR success stories what has happened.
A. I can’t really say what I’ve done that is different other than just keep trying. What I can say is that in 170 days since The Trust was released, I’ve devoted at least a couple of hours a day, many days more than that, to marketing. It has essentially been like taking on another job.
Perhaps the most effective thing I have done is made mistakes in my marketing. When I make a mistake, I learn from it, don’t do it again and try at least two different things for every mistake I make. Of course, I’ve learned not to let the mistakes bother me and I certainly try not to make them.
My overall approach to marketing has been “Do more today because what I did yesterday wasn’t enough.” I’ve been fortunate enough to have developed some great Twitter followers, met some incredible people who know loads more about this process than I ever will and who are willing to help. I’ve also learned to network and look at every person you meet and every place you go as an opportunity to market my book.
Q. It’s clear you have a passion for writing. Would you ever give up law to become a full time novelist? What other sacrifices have you had to make in order to pursue the craft?
A. I would love to be a full time writer, but I’m not sure I could ever completely give up the law. Fortunately on that note I’ve not had to make that many sacrifices though I’m also a musician with a lot of original material that I am just itching to record. The book has put a bit of a damper on my live performances and my recording project has been pushed to the back burner for a bit, but that will hopefully get some attention in the next several months.
Q. I hear you’re working on a sequel. Can you give us a spoiler-free taste? When do you anticipate its release?
A. The next book opens with Noah face down on a cold concrete floor…..
I hope to have it out in mid-2012.