I'm an author of several short stories, hardened entertainment journalist (for the likes of Screen Rant, Rolling Stone, Comic Book Resources), and a self-described creativist. My debut novel is dropping in 2018. AMA!

Sergio Pereira
Mar 3, 2018

Having spent a decade in journalism and ficiton, I'm gearing up to release my debut novel. I've been signed by an agent, dropped by an agent, sold stories, ad ideas, and pitched like my life depended on it. I'm here to answer all your questions about the crazy creative field and provide the necessary motivation to let you know that anything is possible. I believe that every writer needs to diversify and not focus solely on one aspect of the craft.

You can find out more about me here: www.sergiopereira.co.za

Let's connect on Twitter: @sergiowrites

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Is it true that you respond to every piece of email you receive from fans?
Mar 8, 4:08PM EST0

Depends. If someone emails me to have a discussion, absolutely. If you mail me to troll, then nah :)

Mar 9, 4:03AM EST0
What are your favorite comedy series of all time?
Mar 8, 4:06AM EST0

Good question! My absolute favourite is Full House. I know it's extremely cheesy, but I love it and will watch it over and over again. Also, I was a big fan of Boy Meets World.

Mar 8, 6:25AM EST0
Do you share your drawings anywhere? Where can people see them?
Mar 8, 3:41AM EST0

Oh no. When I maybe reach the level where I think they're good enough, I will. Until then I don't want to hurt your eyes.

Mar 8, 6:26AM EST0
You have so many writings and books, so many different things that you've made. What do you want people to remember you by, either as a person or as an author?
Mar 7, 11:27AM EST0

Honestly, I'd like to be remembered as a decent and kind human being. While it's easy to improve careers and skills, it's just as critical to focus on the self. It's probably the hardest thing to do, but I believe it's the most important and rewarding.

Mar 7, 1:42PM EST0
How do you manage to balance working on various writing style for different sites and projects and writing a full novel? That must have been challenging. Isn't it?
Mar 5, 1:11PM EST0

When it all started building up, it was an initial challenge because you have to get into the groove of it and manage your time. Now, though, it feels natural and as if it's a part of my day-to-day life. 

I think one of my biggest strengths is that I'm good at time management. It's important to prioritise what you do and not get easily distracted. So, I'll look at all the things I want to achieve in the day and see what's doable and what isn't. Of course there will be sacrifices, but you can make time for work and play if you balance everything.

Mar 5, 2:12PM EST0
Without giving away the spoilers for your debut novel, what is the conclusion that you hope readers will walk away with your book?
Mar 5, 12:51AM EST0

To not take the big things of life too seriously, but to enjoy the ride.

Mar 5, 3:16AM EST0
If you could get a chance to shift time backwards, is there something you’d change in your writing career?
Mar 4, 12:04PM EST0

If you asked me this a few years ago, I'd have a list of items. However, I've learned that there's a reason for everything, so no. I wouldn't change a thing.

Mar 4, 10:11PM EST0
Do you consider yourself to be a reclusive loner or a socialite and why?
Mar 3, 8:06AM EST0

I think I strike a healthy balance, to be honest. I enjoy my space, but I also like hanging out with people.

I'm certainly not one of those reclusive writer tropes, that's for sure.

Mar 3, 8:19AM EST0
What marketing strategies do you find most helpful and are there any resources you would recommend to other authors?
Mar 3, 5:00AM EST0

First strategy (and the most important of them all): stop thinking about the product and build a relationship with your audience. Nothing annoys someone more than product-pushing. You need to make a connection with the reader, and not rely on a constant stream of advertising.

I wrote a more intricate piece regarding marketing, which you can read here: http://activateonline.co.za/marketing-for-authors/

Mar 3, 5:44AM EST0
Do you have a writing mentor and how you did you become their student?
Mar 3, 3:31AM EST0

Unfortunately not. I'm part of a writing group, which is extremely supportive and has assisted in terms of proofreading, editing, and general advice. If you can join a supportive writing group, I do recommend it.

Mar 3, 4:06AM EST0
If you get a brilliant thought or idea at an inappropriate moment, what do you do?
Mar 3, 2:42AM EST0

Evernote! It's a magical app on my phone that I use to save ideas. While I have a notebook for when I'm at home, I use Evernote to store my ideas when I'm on the move.

Mar 3, 2:45AM EST0

In addition to your writing, what other ways do you express your creativity? What about being a creativist is the most exciting and fulfilling element (or elements) for you?

Mar 2, 5:24PM EST0

Great questions. Apart from writing, I also play guitar, take photos, and draw. I've never attached the same goals as I do to writing to those things, but love doing them nonetheless.

In terms of the second question, it's the ability to create something and look at it afterwards and feel a sense of achievement. You made something come to life, and that's a terrific feeling.

Mar 3, 12:22AM EST1
What motivates you to keep going and to be relentless in your efforts to fulfill your goals?
Mar 2, 1:30AM EST0

It's difficult to answer this question since it's something internal. There's a kick that keeps reminding me of the goals I want to achieve. If I try to ignore it, it keeps reminding me.

I guess you've got to have an internal drive. If you don't have it, it's too easy to give up. Trust me, it's much easier to sit on the couch and watch your favourite TV show :)

Mar 2, 4:53AM EST0
Have you left your career as a journalist, or are you currently juggling both journalism and your book?
Mar 1, 9:26PM EST0

Not at all - and yes, I'm juggling it all. Funny enough, I have three careers. I have a day job as an editor for a TV broadcaster, then journalism and creative writing that I do after hours. It's all about time management - and trust me, there's more than enough time in the day to do these things. 

Mar 2, 1:08AM EST0
After a decade in the journalism field, did writing a novel felt like a natural choice to you? Has your previous experience made the process easier?
Mar 1, 9:04PM EST0

Actually, I've written quite a few novels in this time, but this is the first one I'm releasing one. I was represented by an agent for an earlier novel, which didn't work out then. Then, I also had a novel with an indie publisher that never got published. So, yeah... A few setbacks along the way.

To answer your second question: I do believe that the journalism experience has improved my skills, and I'm a better writer now than I was 10 years ago. Journalism also gives you resiliency - another important skill for writers.

Last edited @ Mar 2, 4:56AM EST.
Mar 2, 1:07AM EST0
Did you suffer self-doubt when you first started writing your novel? Do you have any tips for other aspiring writers who struggle with that?
Mar 1, 8:38PM EST0

No, not really. I was extremely passionate about the story and the excitement never waned. The only major worry I had was, is this funny enough?

The best tip I can offer is to remember that your first draft is for yourself. Get the story down, and worry about all the cogs later. This isn't the version that you'll release to the world. However, you do need something to rework and beat into shape.

Mar 2, 1:12AM EST0
Do you suffer from writer’s block? How do you overcome it?
Mar 1, 7:15PM EST0

Not really. The journalism work doesn't afford me the luxury of suffering from writer's block anymore, so I power through it. Of course there are days when I feel more motivated than others, but you have to learn to ride the wave like with anything else in life.

Last edited @ Mar 2, 4:54AM EST.
Mar 2, 1:05AM EST0
What is the best advice you have ever received, that you feel has really been helpful throughout your career?
Mar 1, 4:29PM EST0

"Life's short and we never get out of it alive, so do what you want." I think we spend way too much time being afraid of what ifs instead of attempting something. At the end of the day, you'll fail if you don't even try, so you might as well try.

Mar 2, 1:04AM EST0
How did you deal with the rejection that the writing industry is notorious for?
Mar 1, 1:31PM EST0

You allow yourself to feel disappointment for a moment. Process, accept, and move on. 

I watched a great interview with Sylvester Stallone the other day, and he said that anyone doing something creative has to be strong-willed and ready to fail a million times over. He mentioned how there's so much rejection in the field and you need to be tough to persevere. I agree.

Mar 1, 1:41PM EST0

Where are you based? What is the publishing scene there like?

Mar 1, 11:41AM EST0

I'm based in South Africa. Our publishing scene is fairly small, but it's thriving with a lot of authors being resourceful.

Mar 1, 11:59AM EST0
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