We had the good fortune of connecting with C.C. Ekeke and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi C.C., we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
There can’t be any success without taking some risk in your business. Risk is how we grow as individual and move out of our comfort zone. However, there’s a difference between publishing one book, putting all my marketing on that would not be the smartest risk. A smarter risk would be switching to writing epic fantasy from cyberpunk books for your next series, but after researching the market as well as who are the top-selling authors in the genre.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I write superhero fiction (the Pantheon Saga) and science fiction (the Star Brigade series). When it comes to my writing, I follow the JRR Tolkien approach, creating the types of books that I would like to read. When it comes to my superhero book series, I make sure that the characters are relatable and show their flaws. The heroes are not pure white knights, the main villains are not mustache-twirling evildoers. The motivations and faults inform me of what they will do throughout the stories.
I love diving into the worlds of my characters and fleshing out who they are. The characters are what make even the most over the top and futuristic stories click, so I invest a lot of time in them so that the readers will connect with their journeys.
The most important lessons I have learned as a writer are a few items.
1. Your book is representative of your brand. Quality beats quantity every time.
2. Always be open-minded to learning something new, whether its marketing, writing, editing, cover art, etc.
3. Strive for excellence over perfection when it comes to your books, as perfection will keep you re-editing and rewriting for years and years.
4. Great covers that communicate your story and its genre sell your book better than any form of paid advertising.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
For locales, I would show a visitor the following: The Broad Museum in DTLA
Huntington Gardens in Pasadena
Americana in Glendale
The Hollywood Sign in Hollywood
Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica
Sunset Beach in Pacific Palisades
Downtown Hermosa Beach in South Bay.
Daytrip to Santa Barbara/Santa Ynez Wineries.
Warner Bros Studio Tour
Runyon Canyon Hike
Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills
The Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills
For food, I would take a visitor to the following spots:
The Waffle – Hollywood
Berlins (German Sandwiches) – West LA
Sushi Katsu-Ya – Studio City
Little Dom’s – Silverlake
Pace Restaurant in West Los Angeles
Lala’s Argentine Grill – Studio City
Le Petit Restaurant – Sherman Oaks
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to shoutout JN Chaney, who has been a friend and mentor to me during my journey as a book author. He went from an independently-published author to one of the most successful indie book publishers on Amazon.
Cover art by Carlos Cabrera