A native of New York State Krupa grew up in Phoenix and worked as a newspaper reporter and editor, waiter and telemarketer. At least a dozen novels have presented themselves throughout his life. Such a Nice Boy is the second he wrote and the first to be published. Krupa lives in the Sonoran desert.
Visit Daren at his website, Such a Nice Boy
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Q: Welcome to Blue Bell Books, Daren. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?
A: Such a Nice Boy is my first published book.
Q: What was the name of your very first book regardless of whether it was published or not and, if not published, why?
A: Squaw Peak. Good title, unremarkable story. Squaw Peak used to be the name of a mountain and city park in Phoenix. They’ve since been renamed. I wrote the novel on a typewriter. It was never published. I stopped working on it after editing it so heavily that I was afraid it would become a short story.
Q: For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it?
A: Probably two hundred in eight years.
Q: How did the rejections make you feel and what did you do to overcome the blows?
A: Rejections are their own special kind of hell but they always motivated me to improve. For eight years I was able to respond. Making the story better was not drudgery. It was pedal to the metal. I was writing! I was having fun!
Q: When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them?
A: Such a Nice Boy is my first published book. I published it myself, through CreateSpace for softcover and Kindle for e-book. I chose them because today they’re the most popular.
Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?
A: I won’t say how I celebrated. But afterward I enjoyed reading the final proof copy as if I had purchased it from a bookstore.
A: I sent press releases to media in the USA, Canada, Australia and UK. Then I contracted with Pump Up Your Book to make Internet fireworks out of it.
Q: If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?
A: I’m not far enough into this venture to be able to say. The publishing industry is evolving rapidly. Other publishing routes will undoubtedly appear.
Q: Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?
A: It’s only been six weeks. But the final editing took eight months. Working with one editor was remarkable and deceptively simple. She suggested things to do and I did them. She conveyed her thoughts in concise, supportive letters and I responded. Working with her didn’t just make the book better. It made me a better writer.
Q: Looking back since the early days when you were trying to get published, what do you think you could have done differently to speed things up? What kind of mistakes could you have avoided?
A: As much as I think about it, I don’t see anything I could have avoided. Writing Such a Nice Boy, with all the ups and downs of querying and first drafts and extreme assessments (“it’s do-do; it’s great; it’s do-do; it’s great”), was still fun. The terror and exhilaration of finding myself committed to SNB past the point of no return served a purpose beyond the telling of the story.
Q: What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?
A: Patience. I don’t know what else I’ve achieved but I’ve been working on book promotion. I wrote press releases and built a sizeable e-mail contact list. People tell me they like the press releases.
Q: If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?
A: Actor, singer, photographer. When I worked as a news reporter I was just as passionate about news photography. So I achieved one of the three. I’m intrigued and intimidated by the prospect of acting. I’ve sung all my life, but only to dogs, infants and myself.
Q: Would you give up being an author for that profession or have you combined the best of both worlds?
A: I spent more energy than I knew I had to write Such a Nice Boy. It took living a solitary life. Or maybe writing fiction is my excuse for living a solitary life. That’s okay. I’m wired for writing, makes me feel good. Laying down words is to me what riding a wave is to a surfer. To answer your question I would have had no time or energy for much else other than writing.
Q: How do you see yourself in ten years?
A: I will have written two more novels. I’ll continue work on the next one as soon as possible.
Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?
A: I riffed in excess on that question before so I’ll paraphrase: Ya gotta be wired for it. You find that out by writing. Remember when we were young and we couldn’t get something out of our heads? We had to have it? We had to keep having it? I risked everything for the (lengthy) opportunity to write Such a Nice Boy. For the opportunity to keep writing ‘til I drop. I would do it again in a heartbeat.