Recently I’ve been very lucky to be interview Dane Cobain, a multitalented author, poet, musician and blogger! Some of his work includes his volume of poetry, Eyes Like Lighthouses When the Boats Come Home and his newly released novel, Former.ly: The Rise and Fall of a Social Network.

First I just want to say that Dane was super polite and friendly during all of our correspondence. Also, the guy can do everything. I mean, author, poet, musician and blogger? And that’s only part time! (It’s witchcraft, I say!) Without further ado, let’s get to know this magical man.

Hi Dane, thank you for agreeing to this interview.

Hi, and thanks for having me – it’s great to be here!

Tell us a little about yourself and your background.

Sure thing! I’m a British writer of alternative fiction and poetry (as well as an amateur singer/songwriter!) who’s been writing for a dozen years or so. By day, I work as a social media marketer, and by night, I run a book review blog called SocialBookshelves.com and write books. So far, I’ve released a supernatural thriller novella, a collection of poetry and a literary fiction novel.

When did you decide to become a writer? Why did you first decide to start writing?

I started taking it seriously when I was seventeen. I’ve always been a keen reader, and so writing was just a continuation of that. I suppose I first started writing seriously as a way to make sense of the world around me.

Which writers inspire you?

Probably my contemporaries – people like Michael-Israel Jarvis, J. G. Clay, and other writers that I’ve worked closely with over the years. It’s inspiring to see how hard they work, and how they never give up – it helps me to do the same.

Please tell us about some of the things you’ve written.

No Rest for the Wicked is a supernatural thriller novella about evil Angels that rampage across the world destroying people they judge to be guilty of sin – the problem is that they see sin everywhere. Eyes Like Lighthouses When the Boats Come Home is a poetry collection. I memorise my poetry and perform it at spoken word nights, and I know every poem in the book off by heart. Former.ly: The Rise and Fall of a Social Network is my newest novel, a literary fiction piece.

Where can we buy or see them?

Amazon is the best place to grab a copy, although if you find me on a social networking site then I’m more than happy to strike a deal to mail out signed copies.

What are you working on at the moment? Can you give us a hint as to what it’s about?

I’m just finishing off the editing stages on a non-fiction book called Social Paranoia: How Consumers and Brands Can Stay Safe in a Connected World. It’s effectively a guidebook on how to look after yourself when using social networking sites and the internet.

Do you write full-time or part-time?

I write part-time, but I also do a lot of writing during my day job. I quite often get to work on copywriting projects, and there’s also a lot of blogging involved in social media marketing.

What is the hardest thing about writing? What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?

I suppose it’s just keeping the momentum up. Former.ly, my most recent release, took three years from start to finish, and that was further complicated by the fact that social networking moves quickly, and I didn’t want the book to be out of date before it even landed in readers’ hands.

Do you ever get writer’s Block? Any tips on how to get through it?

Funnily enough, I’ve never really had a problem with writers’ block; I always have so many different projects on the go that there’s always something for me to work on. If I get stuck on one project, I just move on to another.

For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?

I only read physical books. I collect them, as it goes – I have around 1,000 books in my house, and counting.

What books are you currently reading?

I’m just finishing off Mockingbird Wish Me Luck by Charles Bukowski. After that, I’ll be moving on to The Waste Lands, which is the third book in Stephen King’s Dark Tower series.

How are you publishing your books and why?

No Rest for the Wicked is out through an indie publisher called Dragon Moon Press, whilst Eyes Like Lighthouses When the Boats Come Home and Former.ly are both self-published. Before Dragon Moon, No Rest for the Wicked and Eyes Like Lighthouses were both published by Booktrope; unfortunately, Booktrope folded and so I decided to take a more indie route. But I learned a lot when I was working with them, and so I’m able to ensure that I have a relatively high-quality self-published book thanks to working with editors and cover designers.

What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?

As long as negative reviews are constructive, they’re useful. I’ve had problems in the past with writers sending a book to me for review on my book blog, then not being happy with the resultant reviews and then posting 1-star reviews of my books under fake names in retaliation. I don’t get it – I want to learn, and if I’m doing something wrong then I want to know about it so I can improve for future books. As for positive reviews, it’s always nice when someone appreciates your work – a lot of hard work goes into it.

If you could go back and give a younger you advice, what would it be?

Work harder and read more. Although I’ve always worked hard and read a lot. But there’s always room for improvement!

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Pinterest | Amazon Author Page | No Rest for the Wicked UK | No Rest for the Wicked USA | Eyes Like Lighthouses When the Boats Come Home UK | Eyes Like Lighthouses When the Boats Come Home USA | Former.ly UK | Former.ly USA | Goodreads

A big thank you again to Dane for doing this interview! My review of his novel, Former.ly, will be posted in a few days, so be on the lookout for that.

Were there questions I missed? What questions would you like to ask your favourite authors? Let me know in the comments below!