Today’s author is a very special guest. I’ve read(and loved) some of his short stories, worked with him at Musa Publishing, and I even interviewed him back in 2012. Of the small press authors I’ve worked with over the years, he’s definitely one of my favourites.
Please give Stan Hampton, Sr. a warm welcome.
1. We last spoke in May 2012. Can you talk a little bit about where you were in your writing career at the time?
Well, I was an experienced writer about to embark on a serious learning curve. I was published for the first time in 1991, though my next success was not until 2001. My writing credits grew after that—but not the riches. However, 2012 was the best year in terms of sales and writing credits. As for where I was at the time, well, in 2010 I had decided to focus more on submissions to anthologies and looking for publishers for my writings. That is because one day I “googled” my name and many of my writing credits had disappeared. I practically disappeared from the Internet. Apparently many e-zines folded, others did not maintain archives, etc. Thus, my focus on anthologies and publishers. In 2011 I signed with my first “small” publisher, and in 2012 added two more. And due to the author loops run by the publishers, I learned real fast that the marketing and public relations effort is on the shoulders of the writer. So, in sum, 2012 was a year of learning—not so much about quality writing, but about the business of writing.
2. What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned about writing since then?
The most interesting thing I have learned is that writing is a business. Until you are a money-making author, everything in terms of marketing and public relations is up to you. You have to get your name “out there” so that people know you and your writings exist; without that exposure, you are dead in the water, dinosaur meat in a tar pit. Oh yes—be sure to claim your business expenses because that can impact your gross income and therefore your tax liability.
3. How do you balance your schedule between writing/editing/marketing?
Unfortunately I tend to write when I feel like it. Almost every day is taken up by looking for guest blogging opportunities and looking for someone to review my current writings. When I do write, I tend to ignore everything else until I have reached a point where I feel like I can take a break and address other issues. Editing is fairly easy to plunge into on a daily basis when I have work that requires editing.
4. What’s your favorite social media network, and why?
Unfortunately, it is FaceBook. It is simple and easy, except that FaceBook tends to limit the audience that your posts reach. Or so I have been told by many people. I do have an author page that I need to work on. I hope to have my own website up and running soon, but then I have been saying that for a couple of years now. Life just has a way of getting in the way at times, you know?
5. Of the marketing techniques you’ve tried, which have been most successful?
I really cannot say. I had a release party on FaceBook for my MuseItUp Publishing novel, Sharing Rachel, but the audience was limited, though that made it more “intimate,” so to speak. I took part in a “Valentine celebration” put together by MuseItUp on FaceBook. As far as I know, neither of those events resulted in sales. I was interviewed on an Internet radio station, and I have been to several local public events, but again, no sales that I know of.
6. Where would you like to see your writing career in 5 years?
I would like to be able to live off of my royalties.
7. If this was your last interview ever, what would you really want to say?
My comments would be unprintable!
Stan Hampton, Sr. is a full-blood Choctaw of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, a divorced grandfather to 13 grandchildren, and a published photographer and photojournalist. He retired on 1 July 2013 from the Army National Guard with the rank of Sergeant First Class; for a two year period, 2012-2014, he was technically an Iraq War Homeless Veteran. In May 2014 he graduated from the College of Southern Nevada with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Photography – Commercial Photography Emphasis. He is a student at University of Nevada-Las Vegas with a double major in Art and Creative Writing. Someday he hopes to return to the beautiful Rocky Mountains.
The Gates of Moses can be found at: