When Ian Cadena was in elementary school, instead of taking notes in class, he was busy writing out plots to act out later with his action figures. Eventually, he did manage to get a degree in Theater & Writing, while managing to avoid growing-up altogether, and works on his novels and nefariously plots from his secret lair.
He has always been enthralled by cryptids, the paranormal, and all things mystic, and it is this fascination that fuels his stories. He possesses numerous tarot decks and has had at least one out-of-body experience…maybe two. When not travelling outside of his body he is either living in Austin, Texas or marveling at the Milky Way from his property in Big Bend, Texas.
So, what have you written?
I’ve written a short story: THE DARK that’s available to read on my website. http://www.iancadena.com/single-post/2015/12/05/Short-Story-THE-DARK
I’ve also written the MM Paranormal Erotica Series The Hard Boys. Two books are currently available in this series. Case #1 The Hard Boys: Alien Abduction and Case #2 The Hard Boys Meet Dr. Frankenseed.
Also, I have an Urban Fantasy series The Nexus (Unlocking the Nexus). The first book is out in this series, The Nexus: Samhain.
How many books to your series? (if it is a series)
In the Hard Boys cases it is an open-ended series with no definite end in sight.
The Nexus book series will be a series of 4 books. Each novel represents a season, so will take place within one year of Max Dane’s move to Ravencrest, Vermont.
Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
Let me start by clarifying that I don’t mind giving away free books in contests during Author events. People that are at the events to begin with are most likely interested in your genre and at least have a chance to interact with you so can get an idea if your work is even something that they might like before even attempting the contest that will win them a free copy.
As far as giving away Advanced Reader Copies to get reviews, or just to blast your work is out there for free in hopes of nabbing sales in the future…I’ve done it. And I won’t do it again. And I’ll tell you why. I can see one side, which is why I tried it, that you might get people to give your work a try that normally wouldn’t, but those have never turned into sales for me down the road. In fact, the only thing they have turned into is negative reviews. Every negative review I have recieved has come from a free copy that was given (outside of an author event). That’s the double-edged sword or catch-22. Yes, people that normally wouldn’t read your work or even genre will try it for free (again, the appeal for authors to attempt this tactic) but yes, these same people that wouldn’t normally read your work or genre are stepping out of their comfort zone and will most likely ultimately hate your work and then leave a bad review. Whereas, if they came across your work and had to pay they wouldn’t even bother knowing you’re writing on a topic or genre that doesn’t interest them. In short, I feel that giving away works for free has a higher probability of yielding negative reviews rather than capturing future sales.
How has your writing evolved since your first book?
It took me over 20 years to finish the 1st novel in The Nexus. The main problem I had was that I tried to write the book from beginning to end. Seems logical right? But it was soooo difficult for me. I didn’t know at what point I wanted to introduce a character or plot point, etc. Plus, in this novel , there are two different time lines going on, so I was going bonkers shifting from present day to medieval. And that complicated even further how or when I wanted to introduce or slip in elements. Finally, I figured it out. I decided to write each story on its own: present and medieval. And after writing one story out it was easier as I wrote the second to know where I would put all those elements I needed to tie them together. And then I just did the shell game later of splitting everything into chapters and how I would alternate them through the novel. So now when I write, I don’t get hung up on trying to plan chapter by chapter. I’ll just write in scenes. I don’t waste my time trying to write linear anymore, I’ll jump around and get it out of my head. It’s easier for me to shuffle everything around later.
Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than any others? Love? Action? Romance? Tragedy?
Action scenes are very intricate to write. As writers, we don’t have the luxury of showing a fight scene from a different camera angle. It can be quite difficult explaining where everyone is positioned and what it going on. I like writing action, but I take a lot of care in making sure it makes sense and flows well. Plus, action love scenes are difficult when you’re characters are the same sex. Heck, they all have the same bits so trying to make clear what is happening to whom can be a bit of a challenge!
What do you think makes your book stand out from the crowd?
With the Hard Boys series, I believe what makes it stand out from other MM Paranormal books is that it’s not focused around a vampire, werewolf, or dragon. And that the series is FUN! The majority of MM Paranormal books are dark and not necessarily with your happy ending. The Hard Boys offers humor, a good time, and won’t leave a void in the pit of your stomach. WIth The Nexus series what I think makes it unique is that it is focused on the holidays and their origins. These novels correspond to witch Sabbats and are inspired by Celtic, Norse, and Native American magick, folklore and myths.
The Nexus: Samhain (Unlocking the Nexus Book 1)
Book 1. The Nexus is the realm of magick, located between Death and the Afterlife, and has been sealed for centuries. Max Dane, an eleven-year-old boy turning twelve on Samhain, now known as Halloween, may be the only key to opening it. But maybe it should stay sealed.
This book series is set within a year span of Max’s arrival to Ravencrest, Vermont where the paranormal is the norm. Max has epileptic seizures that cause hallucinations but his new friends try to convince him he’s having psychic visions via the Nexus. Max’s visions keep taking him back to Samhain during the middle ages where he meets a tortured soul in the form of an eight-year-old boy named Jack. Max decides he’s going to help release Jack from his torment even if it costs him his own sanity. His only chance at doing that is to traverse the Nexus and brave a fierce entity known as the Knightmare. And to traverse the Nexus he must explore mystical and spiritual practices like drumming, meditation and tarot, which launch him not only through the Nexus but on a journey of self-discovery that he may regret.
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