Interview with Author Christopher Candy-Boland

Updated: 5 days ago

Tell me a bit about yourself….

I am an author who enjoys country living and works as a manager in

The bus industry. I am passionate about buses and the bus industry.

and have had ideas of writing children’s books based on a bus

character for many years. When I am not at work or writing, I can be

found on the farm with chickens, goats, sheep, and Tupance the dog.

What genre/s do you write in?

Children’s fiction and children’s fiction picture books.

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing usually for 10 years. 2020 saw me take it


Do you have any published books or articles? Tell me a bit about

these and what publishing route you took.

My first children’s picture book, Comet the Red Bus, was published

July 2020. This book has bright colorful photos and rhyming

sentences on each page.

I didn’t feel confident about this piece of work, so I opted to self-

publish to see how I went.

Did you use an editor? If so who?

I used an editor that works for the self-publishing company that I


Did you use a book formatter and cover designer?

I used a cover designer off Fivrr. They were able to design the cover

exactly the way I visualized it in my head. They also did all my


Did you self-publish or get traditionally published? How did this go

for you?

I self-published with Xlibris. I do not regret self-publishing the book,

as it felt right for me. However, using Xlibris was the worst mistake of

my life. They suck every cent out of you, they don’t deliver on what

you have agreed to. They have people called marketing managers

who will call you 20 or more times a day to try and sell you

something else. I purchased 200 copies to sell locally and they

arrived after a month. Sadly, the first unedited manuscript had been

used. I wasn’t able to get a refund!. Fortunately, the grammatical

errors were not too bad, and I was able to sell those 200 books.

How do you market your work and promote your brand?(Include


I have my own website I use social

media to promote my book. Through my employer doing a press

release about the company I work for and me as manager/author, I

have been interviewed by Manawatu Standard and Hawke’s Bay








I also try to write blogs, but seldom have the time. I do focus on

regular updates and have a social media plan that I follow.

What social media and writing platforms would you recommend?

Facebook is good, but it can be hard to get followers/likes.

I find Instagram the most engaging. Once you have 10,000 followers

you get some really good features that I have been enjoying using.

I have been playing on Twitter, however, this seems like a lot of work

for very little reward.

LinkedIn saw me sell numerous copies of books, that is due to my

work networks.

Do you use an agent?

No, I don’t use an agent.

Do you use paid advertising? If so what?

The only paid advertising I do is via Facebook/Instagram when I

boost a post want to attract more traffic to my website for NZ


Do you have a blog or website?


I try to write a blog, but seldom have the time due to my work


What inspires you most to write?

I have many ideas from the line of work I am in, so the inspiration is

endless. Knowing that children have enjoyed my first book really

inspired me to get the next two books written.

What do you do to help with writers block?

I usually just take a break, do some breathing exercises, go outside

barefoot and walk on the grass and connect with nature.

How do you plan your writing and start?

I didn’t really plan for any of my writing, it just happens!

Is writing your full time job? If not what else do you do?

Sadly writing is not my full-time job. I would love it to be the case,

maybe one day.

I am an Urban Operations Manager in Manawatu and am responsible

for ensuring the buses are on time and on the road for the urban

network that the community relies on.

What are you working on at the moment?

Currently going through the editing stages of book 2 in the series of

Comet the Red Bus.

What is your target audience?

Children between 3-11

How long does it take you to write a book?

The first book took me a year, the second one I wrote in 1 hour. Both

are children’s picture books. Of course, editing the book and rewrites

come in after this and take what seems to be the longest time.

When did you first discover you enjoyed writing?

I have always loved writing. I didn’t get support in school, so I didn’t

know I liked writing until I was in my late 20s and wrote articles that

were published in magazines in Australia and the UK.

What is your writing schedule look like?

Because I work part time and consider my writing to come second for

now, I don’t really have a strict schedule. I try to make use of long

weekends to do my writing as then I don’t have to worry about not

having enough time for chores around the farm.

What does your family think about you writing?

Sadly my dad, who was a lover of books, passed away 3 months

before my first book was released, but I know he would be very

proud, as are my partner and my mum.

What do you do when you are not writing?

When I am not writing I am usually working in my role as Operations

Manager or am feeding the chickens on the farm or out walking.

Where do you get information and ideas for your writing?

My ideas come from nearly 20 years in the bus industry.

What do you think makes a good story?

A good story needs to have hidden meaning within it – well, for

children’s books. For a whodunnit book, it needs to have a well-done

plot twist!

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