Monday, December 12, 2011
7:28 AM | Posted by Rich Steeves | | Edit Post
STAN TREMBLAY is the Assistant Publisher at Variance LLC, as well as designer extraordinaire at FindTheAxis.com. He is a staunch promoter of reading in his state by being the former Vice President of a non-profit organization to both raise money and awareness for literacy. He is also a staunch promoter of fine beer and whisk(e)y during his time off.
1) How did you get started in publishing?
When Variance first started, they were looking for someone who could soak up info like a sponge and was willing to work. I happened to fall into the position quite nicely because I was going to school for web design, part of the position I would have been filling, and was willing to take other classes and work towards a bigger and better goal. Here I am today, Assistant Publisher, Webmaster, and Art Director. I still have plenty to learn, but have come so far in just a few short years.
2) What are some of your artistic inspirations or influences?
I really love art from Erik Hollander, Larry Rostant, and Steve Stone, but some new people I’ve come across as of late are Morbideus Goodell, Ogmios, Josh Belanger, Michael Bailey, and Trevor Schubert (all met at Anthocon). While I’m no illustrator I look up to them for their amazing artwork. I also enjoy watching people like Paul Teutul Jr. and his entire team who create very organic creations off of a thought and make it come to life. My closest influence and mentor though would be author and cover designer Jeremy Robinson.
3) What project that you’ve worked on do you find the most fascinating? Why?
Hmm, I think that they are all fascinating in their own way. Each author makes it so because it is their blood, sweat, and tears that went into the title and they want to see it work just right. I do have to say though that when I did the interior design for the hardcover version of Steve Alten’s Grim Reaper: End of Days, it was so in-depth and so involved that it is certainly the piece of work that I remember the best. It ended up coming out so well that the paperback version from Tor ended up copying my design and taking my headers and layout… granted, it doesn’t say as such, but when compared side-by-side, they are nearly identical, well layout-wise. The headers are mine for sure.
4) What is your creative process like?
It’s certainly different for every project, but I typically start with input from the author - the description, main themes and/or places, etc. I might start some music to create a mood following discussion, typically instrumental-type tunage, but never turning down some great metal.
If I’m creating a cover, I start looking for stock photography that would build a basis to work off of. From there, it might take me a day, but perhaps three, to come up with a design I think is worthy of showing a client to get critiques and the go-ahead for completion.
If an interior, I’ll still go looking for stock photography typically, but sometimes I’ll create my own logos, like in Grim Reaper, for chapter headers. If I’m provided with interior picts, I’ll often find ways to spruce them up - make them look more professional, sharper, or more engaging.
If I’ve learned anything in the past few years, it is that I must provide readers with a balance of left and right brain stimulation. It keeps them coming back for more.
5) Besides publisher, what other jobs have you had in your life?
Many. Let’s see now… outside sales, process piping and shipping/receiving, water filtration media QC, juice and water QC as well as microbiology for the samples, and everyone’s great standby - landscaping. Yup, I’ve been around the block a time or two.
6) What is the secret to good public relations? What tips do you have for authors or publishers in regards to PR?
A few things, but really no secrets:
--Good public relations start with being humble! Please and thank you always take you further - regardless of who you think you are or how many books you’ve sold - than an attitude of someone who feels entitled to something from someone else.
--Be willing to set some time aside to putting effort forth to meet and greet these folks who you want to read/review/interview you. As an author I know you are busy, but taking the time to create a relationship with me shows me that you are in it for the long haul - not just an ‘I’m reviewed, now I move on’ attitude. Building these relationships usually turn into a much bigger thing down the road.
--Use the resources at your disposal, like conferences, to meet authors you look up to, have similar writing styles to, etc. While buttering someone’s palm isn’t really necessary, a little flattery is a great ice breaker to get a conversation started, and from there keep in touch… who knows, they may request your book without ever having to ask when the time comes to need a blurb. Many mainstream authors remember being ‘green’ and typically help when they can. It’s honestly pretty cool.
7) What do you do for fun?
My number one priority during non-work time is family time. While he is in his ‘terrible three’ stage, my son is probably one of the most fun people I know, and spending time with he and my wife are very important to me. I like to play computer games, as well as some Lego Batman via the Wii, going out with the boys to a local watering hole, going to Barnes and Noble to check out the new cover and interior designs, and rounding out the ‘free time’ category is, well, designing and learning new tricks to hone my skills.
8) What are you reading right now?
It’s taken far too long, but I NEED to finish Jeremy Robinson’s The Last Hunter: Descent, then move onto his Threshold, third book in the Jack Sigler/ChessTeam series. I actually just skipped ahead to the Rook - Book 1 novella that is actually based on, of all people, me. I got a new Kindle and had to test it out by reading about myself… I know, vain right? I do have a load of books I’ve fallen behind on though because I’ve been spending so many nights working on my freelance design work at FindTheAxis.com. Eh, I’ll have plenty of time to catch up on my reading when I take a dirt nap, right?
9) What are some upcoming projects that you are working on?
Well, I’ve been working on a cover for a novella coming out soon based on Steven Savile’s characters from the Ogmios series, Silver and Gold. I’ve been lucky enough to work on some titles with 7R, including a cover for David Sakmyster’s Blindspots coming out soon and David Lynn Golemon’s The Supernaturals interior (out now), as well as an interior for another Paul Byers title filled with short stories. My most recent work can be seen in the formatting of Kane Gilmour’s Resurrect and the majority of the Jeremy Robinson Chesspocalypse titles for Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords, as well as print.
10) What is one unforgettable memory you have from your youth?
Wow, just one? I have so many. Let me think about it and I’ll get back to you…
I’m back and have been thinking about it over the past few days and can’t pick just one! From an all-night Diablo-a-thon with my best friend, to baking with my mom during the holidays, to a damn decent Senior year of high school including a class trip to Disney and being Prom King. Overall, my youth was filled with unforgettable memories that I won’t soon forget.
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