Q&A: Peter G. Pollak


I talked to local author, Peter G. Pollak!

Q: When did you decide to become a writer?

A: I’ve been a writer since I was a teenager and signed up to write for my high school newspaper, but it wasn’t until I retired from careers as a journalist, educator, and entrepreneur that I decided to focus on writing novels. It took my almost two years to write the first one-The Expendable Man, which came out in 2011.

Q: Do you have any favorite authors or books?

A: I am a very eclectic reader. I read a lot of sci/fi and fantasy, but I also read mysteries, thrillers, and literary fiction. There’s so much good writing going on these days that it’s hard to pick favorite writers. I especially enjoy Richard Russo’s novels–he’s from my home town-as well as Diana Gabaldon, Geraldine Brooks, Daniel Silva, and Michael Chabon.

Q: For people who aren’t familiar with your new book, “A House Divided”, what is the political significance of the story?

A: I hope my story keeps people’s interest even if they don’t follow the politics, but the story can also serve as a warning that it’s not enough to be compassionate and care for what happens to other people, you also have to know the facts of the situation. In House Divided, some people are fooled into accepting incorrect information about Israel.

Q: What has been the response so far from readers?

A: In addition to a 4.7 rating on Amazon, lots of people tell me they like the story very much. One book club is reading it now and I hope others pick it up.

Q: What book that you’ve written would you consider your favorite?

A: House Divided is my favorite. Next would be my first novel, The Expendable Man, also a thriller.

Q: Do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring authors?

A: Yes, subscribe to my blog. I write frequently about issues facing aspiring authors including how to know when your book is ready for public consumption, how to revise your book, and whether you should self-publish. Writers can find the blog on my website @ petergpollak.com

Q: What is the hardest part about being an author?

A: In today’s world, it’s having to spend so much time marketing your books. Even mainstream publishers expect authors to do a lot of marketing. It doesn’t matter if you’ve used ebook distribution or decided to print your book, it will still need to be marketed to your desired audience. Complicating that problem is the fact that the marketing environment is constantly changing. As soon as you learn one tool, such as Twitter, you’re told you need to be on Google+ or Instagram. Recently, social media marketing has been on the rise. Due to the number of daily users on social media platforms, it makes sense that authors would consider promoting their work on those platforms. However, it can be difficult to choose which platform to use. Many people find that Instagram is one of the best platforms for marketing as users can engage with fans, whilst also uploading pictures and videos to their profile or their story. Additionally, using a hashtag generator can push your posts even further. Hashtags help more people to find your posts, giving you more people to market to. Social media can be really beneficial for authors, so it’s probably worth creating an account on some different applications.

Q: Are you writing any books right now?

A: As soon as I finished House Divided, I started working on my next novel, which will be another thriller featuring a Secret Service agent. After that, I’m going back to finish a coming-of-age fantasy that I last touched over a year ago.
That’s a lesson aspiring writers often need to master. Don’t become so wedded to one project that you never try other ideas. If a project is not working, move on to your next idea. You can always go back to the first one, usually with new ideas and energy.

You can visit Peter’s website HERE