Me: How do you feel about the response to Lion you have had from writing community members and the general public?
Kirk: Very good. It’s been a long haul since I posted the story on Authonomy, YouWriteOn and Night Reading. I received lots of feedback, both good and bad, and the assistance from many folks with great ideas have helped me to make the story all the better.
Me: How would you summarise the plot of How to Steal a Lion in one short paragraph?
Kirk: The nutty college caper story of a heist in the middle of the Oktoberfest. The reward: a million euros.
Me: How did you come up with the plot for Lion?
Kirk: I was with my son at the Oktoberfest in Munich in 2008 and noticed the Löwenbräu lion statue on top of a high tower. For some reason I thought to myself, “What would it be like if someone tried to steal that?” I put the thought aside and didn’t think about it until a year later, when I decided to try to write a general story. In January 2010 I placed it on Authonomy. People liked the idea but the story was weak. That’s when several writers gave me tips and suggestions for almost two years until it developed to where it is now. Some readers thought Lion was a type of “Oceans Eleven” – I never saw the movie. If anything, “National Lampoon’s Animal House” popped in my mind on occasion while I wrote Lion.
Me: What are the main differences and similarities between your main character Daniel and yourself?
Kirk: Daniel is the ideal guy. Perfect in almost every way. But actually he can be naïve and short-tempered. He’s a great pool player and a writer, so he’s like my alter-ego.
Me: How well is the Kindle edition of Lion doing? Are you getting a lot of downloads?
Kirk: So far it’s only trickling in. But those who have bought it have given me very high marks, both in the U.S. and the U.K.
Me: I know that you have approached Tim Roux (Night Reading) with a view to publishing Lion in paperback but are you also exploring other options such as publishing the book via createspace yourself?
Kirk: So far only one person wanted to read Lion on paperback and that was my nephew. Everybody else loves to read it online. I tend to think reading via e-book is the future; it’s a growing market with more people buying Kindle devices, iPads and smart phones each year by the millions. At the same time we hear about the major book publishers floundering. So I’m reluctant to use CreateSpace or LuLu to make a paperback.
Me: The Kindle edition of Lion lists other contributors beside yourself as author? Who are they and what contributions(s) did they make to the finished product?
Kirk: I don’t know if I should give names, but there was an Australian writer who spent much time proofreading and giving me editorial tips on Lion, so I wanted to give her credit on Kindle.
A businessman from Toronto whom I met on Authonomy in 2010 designed the book cover for me and I gave him credit on Kindle as well.
Me: Lion will be No 2 on the Authonomy Editor’s Desk during March. What are your thoughts and expectations with regard to this?
Kirk: It might be number one in March J
So far, since Autho’s inception in 2008 only a small handful of books have been given an offer of acquisition – I think 5 books altogether. So my chances are very slim; most of the time the HarperCollins editors show no mercy and explain exactly why the story wasn’t good. Sometimes they find a gem but still turn it down because they see no market for it, or the genre is already saturated.
What I’m hoping from my future HC review is to accept whatever critique they offer me so I can make the story all the better. It’s also publicity for me no matter what happens. Another reason for struggling on Autho to get to the top was to satisfy myself – just to see if I can really “do it.”
Me: You live in Munich and your local knowledge is evident throughout Lion. What is your favourite place in the city and why?
Kirk: Well, it’s not the Oktoberfest. It’s a zoo every year and I avoid it whenever I can.
My favourite place to go is Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a ski resort at the foot of the Alps an hour away from Munich. They have so many great hiking trails with breath-taking views of the mountains.
Me: Is there any chance of a sequel to Lion at some time in the future?
Kirk No. I hate sequels. My next book will be about Expat Wives living in Munich. It’s also a zany comedy and is currently in the editing stages. I might place it on Authonomy but only for the feedback. I won’t push it to the Editor’s Desk this time.
Well thanks for talking to me Kirk and I really wish you the best with Lion on the Authonomy Editor’s Desk and beyond. I look forward to reading about those Expat wives.
Lion on Kindle