Q&A with Ron Corriveau & Giveaway

The Agent’s Daughter

  • By Ron Corriveau
  • Editions: ebook, paperback
  • Published: May 18th 2013
  • Genre: Young Adult Contemporary / Thriller / Romance
  • Melina has been preparing for a future career as a spy.
    She just doesn’t know it.
    Legendary spy Evan Roberts always knew that his fifteen-year-old daughter Melina also possessed the absolute lack of fear required of an agent. Without telling her his real profession or his intention, he began to guide her toward an eventual career as a spy. However, Melina’s world is shattered after her mom is involved in an accident that leaves her mysteriously unhurt but unresponsive. Her father’s plans on hold, Melina settles into life at a suburban high school, immersing herself in a world of schoolwork, her friends and a budding romance with Alex, the cute new guy in her class.
    When Melina and her father uncover shocking new information about her mother’s accident, Melina is pulled deep into her father’s shadowy world. With Alex desperately trying to find her and only hours to go before it will be too late to save her mother, Melina and her father work together using their combined skills to find a way to reach her.
    ~ Xpresso BT

    Amazon | B&N | Book Depository



    1. If you were to describe your e-book/book in only one word, what would it be?

    2. What would you say inspired you to write it?
    It’s not so much a what, but a who. One day I was struck by the odd feeling of watching my ten-year-old daughter Melina grow older and more independent. She reads a lot, and at the time she hosted her own book blog, so I decided to surprise her by writing a book where I could share things from a dad’s perspective.

    3. What was the source of inspiration for your protagonist? What about your antagonist?
    My daughter was the inspiration for the main protagonist. Her younger brother Travis is featured as well. While the story is not autobiographical, both characters assumed some of the characteristics of both kids, and there are several anecdotes from their lives that I incorporated into the story. The antagonist is not based on anyone specific. Just a general feeling from watching one too many spy movies.

    4. Have you ever been hit by the infamous “writer’s block”? What did you do to escape it?
    No. I force myself to write at a very slow pace, at most a page a day, and only in the evening. This way, I get a chance to reflect on the story throughout the day and mull over various ideas and directions that the story can take.

    5. Your all time favorite book?
    In the fiction category, I guess I would say Catching Fire, the second Hunger Games book.

    6. What made you pick that one above all others?
    Out of the thousand or so books that my daughter has read, The Hunger Games books are the only ones that she has forced everyone in the family to read. I liked the second one best, and it has a special place because I read it on a business trip to Japan.

    7. Would you say becoming an author has changed you? In what way?
    I must say that I have not experienced the same fulfillment doing anything else that I felt when I was writing. If I could do this for a living, I would.

    8. Was there ever a time, during your work on the e-book/book, when you felt like giving
    up? What made you change your mind?
    I stumbled into this kind of naively, so I didn’t know enough to understand how hard it was going to be. But I had the motivation to finish the book for my daughter, so I worked a little at a time and solved each problem until a larger whole emerged.

    9. What does your day-to-day life consist of? What else do you do, aside writing?
    I am an electrical engineer and I design integrated circuits for a large telecommunications company. When I was writing The Agent’s Daughter, I wrote every evening. Depending on whether folks think that my writing is worthy, I could start writing again. I also try to spend as much time as possible with my family.

    10. How do you deal with bad reviews or acid criticism? What would you advise other authors to that effect?
    I have not had that many reviews, but I do understand that one cannot please everyone. I guess I would be satisfied if there were a small group of people that genuinely liked my writing. I would advise other writers to continue to find that group as well.

    11. Is this title part of a series? Without giving us spoilers, of course, what can we expect from the next e-books/books in the series?
    I wrote the book with the intention of it being a single book, but if there were interest, I would not hesitate to continue the story.

    12. What made you decide to go the self-pub way?
    I tried my best to secure a literary agent, and sent out emails to over one hundred of them. Not one of them were interested. It could have been my query letter, or it could have been the subject of the book. It also could be that I’m just not a very good writer. I don’t know. Either way, I had a finished book and I wanted to put a paperback copy in my daughter’s hand.

    13. What would you say was the toughest part?
    The E-book part was a breeze. It was the paperback part that was a chore. I wanted it to look professional, so I spent a lot of time getting it to look right. Including fixing all of the widows and orphans page by page by hand.

    14. Did you hire professionals for editing, cover design, formatting?
    I wrote the entire book before I showed it to anyone. Then I brought in my daughter and sister. They both gave me lots of constructive help on both plot and typos. I did the cover and formatting myself. I bought usage of a photo from a licensing site, used a cover template provided by the bookbinder and edited it all in Photoshop. For the text, I was able to set it all up in Microsoft Word thanks to a lot of people online that shared their tips.

    15. How long did the production part take, from the moment you began working on the manuscript to self-pub to when you hit ‘Publish’?
    From writing the first word to final publication was two years and six months. I write slowly, and I wanted the book be as well written as possible. Not like an engineer wrote it.

    16. Where is your work being distributed, Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, AllRomanceEbooks/Omnilit, some other distributor? How did you decide which one(s) to go with?
    I went with Createspace for the paperback. For the electronic versions, I went with both Smashwords and Amazon. Createspace seemed like the easiest option for a newbie. With their template for the cover, it could not have been easier. And as long as you format it as they specify, uploading the text is a snap. I went with Amazon because, well, they are Amazon and I wanted to be available on a Kindle. Smashwords has awesome formatting instructions and they bring every other possible electronic option including the B&N Nook.

    17. If you could turn back in time and do things differently, would you? What would you change?
    One thing that I bought about halfway through the book that I wish I had from the start was a subscription to Grammarly. It is a grammar checking tool that is simply amazing. In addition to flagging grammar errors, and of course, spelling, it gives a tutorial on the side of the screen that explains how you could fix the error. I got the option that installs it right into Microsoft Word, so it is available as a button on the Home tab.

    Fun facts:

    1. If you could wish for any one thing, and it would immediately come true, what would you wish for?
    A wish of such power would have to transcend myself so I would ask for what I think most people would want. More peace and tolerance in the world.

    2. If you were stranded on an isolated island, what’s the one book you’d absolutely wish to have with you?
    1001 Survival Tips.

    3. Name your favorite fruit.
    The cherry.

    4. Coffee or tea?
    Coffee. I think of it as a tool.

    5. Favorite season?
    I’m from Southern California. There is no better season than summer.

    6. How about fav time of 24 hours?
    I like being awake at daybreak, when the whole day is ahead. I do not like getting up early so you can see the conflict.

    7. Were you a boyscout/girlscout?
    I spent a few years in the Boy Scouts. I liked the outdoor trips. Wasn’t a huge fan of the bookwork.

    8. Favorite food for breakfast?
    I would say Belgian Waffles. But only if there is enough butter for me to fill up each of the holes. And there must be lots of real maple syrup.

    9. Latest book you’ve bought and read?
    The books that I have read recently had come from my daughter’s collection that she received for free when she was blogging. I did recently buy a book for work on System Verilog, a new chip programming language that I am using.

    10. Do you collect things, like stamps, or key chains, or shoes?
    I have the biggest collection of highlighters of different colors of anyone I know. I have twenty-one different colors.

    11. Favorite color, you know you want to tell us!
    Steel Blue.

    12. Drama or comedy?
    Comedy. Life has too much drama for me as it is.

    13. Have a fav quote or personal motto?
    There is a saying that I keep with me from the years that I spent taking mathematics. “Always know what you expect.” It refers to having an idea about what the answer might be before you get there.

    14. Cats or dogs?
    Cats. Although I don’t have either. I used to have a cat, but then I started seeing this woman named Denise who had an allergy to cats, so I gave my cat to my sister so I could get it back in case things didn’t work out. I never got my cat back. I have been married to Denise for seventeen years.
    {Livia says: Wow, that’s something! Congrats, seems you made the right choice for your future 🙂 I’d never give up any of my cats, we’re a package deal for sure, lol.}

    15. Dinner by candlelight or a night out clubbing?
    I’m not big on sitting still, so I would say clubbing.


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    About the Author & Links:

    Ron Corriveau is an electrical engineer and works designing custom integrated circuits. He started writing to prove to himself that he actually does have a right side to his brain. Originally from Southern California, he currently lives outside of Dallas with his lovely wife and two awesome kids. He has only recently come to terms with the fact that he is a geek, although he would like to stress that he doesn’t hold any kind of leadership role in the organization.

    Website | Goodreads


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