• Mark Meier

Q and A Tuesday with Antonio Simon Jr.

Tell me a little about yourself. I wear a lot of hats these days. I am a writer, a publisher, and the General Counsel and Head of Business development for Darkwater Syndicate, which has been publishing since 2008. I have over ten years of legal and business experience, and fifteen years in sales and customer relations. Apart from attracting new talent for the company, I oversee sales in the business-to-business and retail sectors. I am also the author of five books; I have over thirty publication credits in anthologies and other media. Also, according to my daughter, I'm a "super dad" which ranks as one of my most meaningful accomplishments. Are you “traditionally” published, or “indie?” To answer your question: "Yes." I put it this way because I see the distinction between the two is diminishing to the point where any indie publisher can do as good a job producing a book than the traditional publishing houses. In what genre(s) do you write? I started in fantasy, but I've also written comedy, and horror. I even invented my own tabletop role-playing game system. My favorite genre to write is fantasy, but it's fun to try new things sometimes. What’s the favorite book you’ve read? That's a tough one. I'm a big fan of Douglas Adams ("Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy") and just about everything by Ray Bradbury. I'm also a fan of Frank Herbert (the first three books of the "Dune" series, particularly), but his books make for heavy reading. I also read a lot of indie books. What’s the favorite book you’ve written? Hands down, it's got to be: "The Gullwing Odyssey." It's a fantasy/comedy set in the 15th century Age of Discovery about a young man who becomes the hero he never thought he'd be. It's also the first book I ever wrote professionally, and I had a blast writing it. In its prime, it hit #5 in Amazon's best-sellers list. How can writers help each other? One of the best ways is to help spread the word about indie books. Getting exposure is one of the hardest parts of being an author. This is especially true for indies. The way I see things, each book is a unique story, and so authors don't actually compete with each other even if they write in the same genre. Like the saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats. What is your goal as a writer? Writing is about telling stories, and I want to be the best storyteller I can be. If you read something I wrote and come away with a laugh, or a shiver of fright, or a maybe new perspective, then I will have considered my mission accomplished.




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