10 QUESTIONS FOR
In Marin / CURRENTS
1 What is ThrillerFest? ThrillerFest is the annual conference of the International
Thriller Writers, always held during the summer in New York City. If you write thrillers in
any genre, it is simply the best opportunity to
learn from the best authors on the planet.
2 How many people will be at ThrillerFest? There will be around 1,000 attendees.
3What will you be doing? I will be sharing the methods I used for transforming, publishing and marketing a manuscript only my
mom liked into a best seller. For established
and mid-list authors, I’ll share a detailed
plan on how to use the incredible resources
available on the internet to promote your
novel, over and above what your publisher’s
plan might include.
4 What inspired Ice I started writing Ice around the year 2000. I lived in New
Mexico for t wo years and spent time in the
Anasazi cliff dwellings. I wondered why these
people, who lived on the mesa tops for thousands of years, suddenly stuffed themselves
into these dangerous cliffs and caverns.
5 How much did it cost to publish the book? Publishing an indie novel with the cur-
rent resources is very inexpensive. I spent
$199 with Amazon affiliate CreateSpace to
professionally set my manuscript and publish
it. I paid Fiveer.com $5 to make my cover.
That’s right. Five bucks. That is your total
cost. For those writers with a manuscript in
the drawer, and the idea that you had to spend
thousands having books published, etc., those
days are long past.
This man might look familiar if you spend any time at Starbucks. Kevin Tinto has
been to nearly every one of the coffee shops in the county — and we say nearly
in case a new one just opened. Tinto does his best work under the gaze
of the two-tailed green mermaid, and lately that means getting ready
to be a speaker at ThrillerFest in New York City this month, where he
will be discussing the success of his self-published novel Ice and possibly luring
others into the wild world of writing. MIMI TOWLE
6 How many copies sold? Since publi- cation in September 2015, Ice has
sold more than 200,000 copies on
Kindle and paperback and is nearing
2,000 reader reviews on Amazon.
7 Did you major in English? No. In fact I struggled through English classes, getting
by with passing grades. I come from a family of
writers, so I believe it is in the DNA. The key is
taking a natural storytelling ability and working
with enough coaches to bring it to a professional
level. That is still my most difficult task. I have a
world-class editor, Ed Stackler, to thank for the
success Ice has had to date.
8 What do you do for fun? I’m an A-type per- sonality. If it could kill you, I’ve likely
done it. Most of Ice is taken directly from my
experience as a high-altitude mountaineer
and pilot. The readers sensed and were drawn
into the story by that realism. I also spend time
on the ocean outside the Golden Gate, salmon
fishing, diving for abalone and spearfishing.
9 Where did you get your ideas? Writers play “what-if” mental games. That’s what I do.
From there, I write up a one-page concept with
a beginning, middle and end. For Ice research, I
hopped on my Harley-Davidson and took a road
trip out to the Southwest. This year I did the same
for Ice Genesis, including sweat lodge and spiritual
quests in Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona.
10 Why Marin? I grew up in Novato. After a stint working for companies like Chesebrough-
Ponds and News Corporation in New York, I returned
to Marin and settled in Tiburon. There’s no place on
earth like Marin. m