Joe Connor, author of Implosion, looks at the camera wearing a blue t-shirt.

When former pro soccer player Joe Connor initially came to Argyle Fox Publishing, founder Daniel Brantley loved his book, Implosion. But it was YA fiction, which meant it was long—much longer than Argyle Fox typically publishes. However, Daniel couldn’t get the storyline out of his head. So, a few months later, he reached out to ask if Joe was still looking for a publisher. Fortunately, he was.

Keep reading to learn more about Joe and why he feels Implosion is already a success.

Let’s get started learning about you. Who is Joe Connor?

I am the one of the luckiest people on earth. I have a beautiful wife of sixteen years, Macie. And together we have three beautiful children—Miriam (14), Eliana (11), and Judah (9). I love my job working for Elam Ministries, an organization that serves persecuted Christians in Iran and the surrounding region. Before joining Elam, I was professional soccer player for eight years in America and England. I’m a Lee University (Cleveland, TN) graduate and really enjoy health and wellness and leading fitness classes.

Tell us a bit about Implosion. What is it about, what inspired the story, and how long did it take for you to move toward publication?

Implosion is set in a futuristic USA that has become a Christian empire many countries are joining. The story follows two high school students, Paul and Finley, as they navigate their way through a politically charged religious society, where an impending doom is at hand.

I was inspired by the power of stories through my eldest daughter, Miriam, who is an avid reader. Six years ago, I started reading YA fiction with her to strengthen our relationship. In the process, I fell in love with YA fiction. After retiring from professional soccer, my wife encouraged me to get a creative hobby, so I started writing for fun a little over five years ago. I never expected to publish a full novel.

How did you find Argyle Fox Publishing, and what made you think we would be a good fit?

A friend connected me with Argyle Fox after having a great experience working on a book together. I spoke to a number of publishers at the same time, but after speaking with Daniel it seemed like it was the best fit for the type of novel I wanted to write. I’ve had a great experience working with Argyle Fox.

Your story of working with Argyle Fox Publishing was unique. Talk about our initial interaction and why you decided to wait around for us.

After first talking with Argyle Fox a few times over the phone, I had a hunch that it was the right partnership for the type of story I wanted to get out to the world. Unfortunately, Implosion was quite a big book compared to the children’s literature they were used to publishing and they didn’t have enough time to complete the work.

I went away discouraged but worked on the book even more with some of the suggestions they gave through our initial conversations. Even though other people offered to edit and publish the book, I just didn’t have the same gut feeling I did with Argyle fox.

After a few months of going back and forth with other publishers, I decided to rest and simply wait to see if anything showed up unexpectedly. A month or so went by, and Daniel from Argyle Fox reached out again to see if anyone had published the book yet. I took this as a green light to move forward. Within a few weeks we were working together on edits and publishing details.

Now that Implosion is published, how will you measure whether your book is a success? What is your goal for the book?

My hope like any author is that millions of people would enjoy reading Implosion, but

I already feel like Implosion is a success because of the following story.

When we received the first copy of Implosion, I allowed my 11-year-old daughter to read it, despite her being a little young for the material. One evening soon after, I received a text message late at night. She wrote, “Thank you so much for taking the risk to publish your book, Daddy. I’m really enjoying it.”

A few weeks later, she came running down the stairs, super excited at 10:30 p.m. She started asking me questions about the ending of the book and what would happen to the characters. I already started on book two, and she was desperate to know what was going to happen, but I never told her. She implored me, “Dad, you have to finish the second book!”

This is success for me.

What are you doing to market your book and let folks know it is available?

Mostly I’ve marketed on social media to begin with, but I’ve started branching out to explore other ideas on how I might do this.

What feedback have you received so far on your book?

All initial feedback has been very positive, but I’m anxiously looking forward to hearing a review from someone who has no connection to me at all.

What do you now know about book publishing that you wish you knew before getting started?

Taking the extra time to research what you want is worth it. You don’t need to rush. Enjoy the process.

What would you say to other authors who have a great story they aren’t sure if they should publish?

Take a risk. Even if one eleven-year-old girl comes running down the stairs excited to talk about the story, it’s worth it.

Implosion leaves readers wanting more. Where is the next book in process, and do you have plans to publish it?

I have about twenty percent of the book written already, with the skeleton of the story quite clear in my mind. I want to wait until I get more feedback from a wider audience before I publish book two, as I have so much other stuff going on in my life. I really believe the second story is much better than the first and would love to get it out there in the right time.

Where can readers find you online? (This can be a website/social media, etc.)

They can find me on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.

Is there anything else the world should know about you or your writing?

My writing has been such a fun journey into a world of creativity inspired by my wife and faith. I believe all people are made to bring a little of God’s image and creativity into the world, so why shouldn’t I write? Despite feeling a bit of an imposter at the thought of being an author, I smile at the thought that God would allow me to have this experience.

We agree. Thanks so much, and here’s to success!

Do you have a young adult novel that needs to get out in the world? Submit your manuscript for consideration today!