Jonas Saul knew he wanted to be a writer when he discovered the joy of reading and the mystical way in which words strung together could form images in the mind’s eye.
By the age of 10, he had written his first short story and a lifelong determination to succeed began.
His path to publication, like so many authors, was circuitous. In 2002, he began sending queries to all the New York publishers, and managed to remain undaunted even when rejection letters piled up. He hired professional editors to polish his manuscripts but by 2011, after nearly a decade of pitching to publishers and agents and attending writers’ conferences, he was still no closer to landing a contract. He decided to self-publish on Amazon, and to his surprise, his novels took off.
By 2016, he’d sold more than 2 million copies of his books, outranking Stephen King and Dean Koontz a number of times. He then received a phone call from a Hollywood studio interested in turning his popular Sarah Roberts Series into a television series. While in Hollywood, he had a chance encounter with another author, who put him in contact with her literary agent. And the rest, as they say, is history. Within two days of signing with the agent, his Sarah Roberts Series was sold to a traditional publisher and a short time later, his Jake Wood Series was sold as well. Both series are currently in the contract stages on their way to becoming television series.
Saul writes in several genres, but he’s settled on thrillers as his main passion, a genre he also enjoys reading. He has a firm belief that when a writer encounters writer’s block, it means they are trying to write outside their voice and the genre that is right for them.
He will be sharing Ten Secrets to Success when he speaks as one of three headliners at Book ‘Em North Carolina, scheduled for Sept. 22 at Robeson Community College. Attendance is free. In addition to perseverance and determination, he’s discovered there are certain key components to writing, selling and marketing that make all the difference between failure and success.
His wildly popular Sarah Roberts Series is about a gifted young woman that hears her deceased sister’s voice in her head. Somehow even the most mundane task always leads to murder, kidnapping or mayhem, and Sarah must use her wits and her sister’s guidance to help her out of some tough situations. Book No. 20, “The Betrayal,” will be released in May/ For those that haven’t yet discovered the series begin with the first book, “The Future is Written.”
The Jake Wood Series is about a homicide detective that is accidentally infected with a substance at a private laboratory called The Immortal Gene. His body soon begins to change in ways the doctors can’t understand. With his newfound abilities as well as the discovery that he can’t be killed, he hunts down a serial killer. The first book in the series, “The Immortal Gene,” will be released in July and book No. 2, “The Target,” is due to be released in 2019.
Saul engages in method writing: for example, when he wanted to write a thriller set in Hungary, he moved there for several months. He also lived in Greece for three years and in Italy for one year while he researched his characters and plots, leading to three novels set in Greece and two in Italy. The result is authentic writing that places the reader instantly into those locales.
When he wanted to research a plot involving a security guard who uncovers an organized crime ring, he worked for four months in a mobile security unit, learning the job inside and out. He is currently working on book No. 20 of the Sarah Roberts Series and a standalone novel titled “Ruthless,” set for release in the summer.
To learn more about Saul’s secrets to writing success, attend Book ‘Em North Carolina on Sept. 22 at Robeson Community College. Attendance is free. You can also learn more about Saul at http://jonassaul.com. He enjoys connecting with readers and fellow authors on social media as well, under https://facebook.com/jonassaul and @jonassaul on Twitter.
Book ‘Em is currently seeking sponsorships to cover costs of advertising the event. Please contact Crystal Edmonds at [email protected] More information on the event is at http://bookemnc.org.
p.m.terrell is the internationally acclaimed, award-winning author of more than 20 books, including two series set in Lumberton. For information about Book ‘Em, visit bookemnc.org. For information about terrell, visit pmterrell.com.