Monday, April 23, 2012

Interview with Claude Bouchard @ceebee308

The Digital Ink Spot interviewed, Claude Bouchard, author of Discreet Activities, the sixth book in the Barry/McCall crime series, and the stand alone novel, ASYLUM. Claude Bouchard was born in Montreal, Canada, where he still resides with his spouse, Joanne.
He completed his studies in human resources, accounting and management at McGill University and worked in various management capacities in the fields of HR and finance for a handful of firms.
Bouchard first stab at writing was in 1995, the result being his first novel, Vigilante . This was subsequently followed by The Consultant (1996) and Mind Games (1997), all of the same series.

Besides writing, editing and promoting his work, Bouchard also spends some artistic energy with five guitars, oil paints and watercolours. It should also be noted that following several years of practice, he now excels at being cat furniture for Krystalle and Midnight, or so they tell him.

The Digital Ink Spot: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Claude Bouchard: I’ve always had a knack for writing and did quite a bit of it in work related situations but my first attempt at fiction was when I penned Vigilante in 1995. The catalyst was the O.J. Simpson fiasco which got me thinking about violent criminals working their way out of paying their dues through loopholes in the system. From there, my story rushed out as I created someone who made sure these animals were punished for their crimes. I immediately followed up with The Consultant and Mind Games, the next two of now six installments in my series.

The Digital Ink Spot: What was the book that most influenced your life — and why?

Claude Bouchard: I always find this type of question very difficult to answer because, though I’ve never
counted, I can easily say I’ve read somewhere around two thousand books and that number keeps on growing. I’ve never been much attracted to the old classics though I’ve read some such as LOTR, an obvious masterpiece. Another I enjoyed was Jack London’s Sea Wolf which so well depicted man’s ability to fight for what’s right and do what is required to survive.
Books which I’ve quite enjoyed in recent years are Follett’s Pillars of the Earth and its sequel, World Without End, both classics in their own right. I’m also a big fan of authors like Lee Child and Michael Connelly though the current prices of many ebooks from traditional publishers has nudged me towards indies such as Luke Romyn, Russell Blake and several others.
All that said, I can’t say that any one book has specifically influenced me. More so, reading many books has influenced me in general.

The Digital Ink Spot: I see you use video book trailers. Do you believe they help in getting the word out and do you produce them yourself?
Claude Bouchard: Exposure is key. If people don’t know a product exists, how can one expect them to buy it? Video book trailers are just another tool available to catch potential readers’ attention, using visuals and sound in addition to words. They help people get a glimpse of what the story is about, something along the lines of the cliché, a picture is worth a thousand words. To answer your question, yes, they help in getting the word out as do reviews, interviews, blog posts, etc. Every little bit helps.
I did indeed produce my video book trailers myself and take credit only to the extent of writing text, selecting photos and music and being able to follow simple instructions at With a little practice, I think even my cats could put a video trailer together.

The Digital Ink Spot: You have a very loyal following. What is it about your books that attracts the readers?
Claude Bouchard: I’ll start by mentioning that my main promotion platform is Twitter where I now have over 250K followers. I obviously tweet about my books but also cross-promote with numerous other writers and chat and joke with anyone who wants to. This has helped immensely in developing networking avenues, friendships and attracting readers.
If we speak specifically of books, eye catching covers and intriguing titles are necessary elements in order to generate initial interest. Over time, I have revised some of my covers and made titles bigger, keeping in mind that on sites such as Amazon, a thumbnail is what a reader first sees when shopping for entertainment. If the cover is blah or the title is illegible, they’ll just skim over it. The product description must then grip the reader and with time, good reviews also help a great deal.
Through reviews and direct comments made to me via Twitter, Facebook my website and email, what my readers say they enjoy of my thrillers and keeps them coming back for more are my characters and story-lines, both which are described as realistic and believable. Also appreciated is my fast-paced writing style which I don’t tend to clutter up with lengthy descriptions of the landscape, furniture or thread-count in the draperies in any given scene.

The Digital Ink Spot: What can readers expect from you in the future? Hopefully that includes a spot on
The Ellen Show.
Claude Bouchard: I’d certainly be thrilled to be a guest on The Ellen Show though the heart attack I’d suffer when I received the invitation might be unpleasant. However, Ellen and her team have some say in the matter and the phone has yet to ring.
In things which I do have control over, I’m currently working on a stand-alone entitled The Last Party but I’m at the early stages so it won’t be available for several months. I’ve also started putting together some ideas for the seventh episode in the Barry/McCall series, tentatively entitled Femme Fatale, which will center on Leslie Robb, a character which I introduced two books ago in 6 Hours 42 Minutes.

Thanks again for having me on here. Highly appreciated.

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