Author Interviews

This is the place where you will find interviews with my fellow writers.

Interview with the brilliant David P Perlmutter September 27th 2016

It has been far too long since my last author interview and I can’t think of a better person to start back again with.

Today I have the absolute pleasure of interviewing David Perlmutter, a real inspiration to me and a huge supporter of the self-published writers. A tireless pioneer for Indie authors, David is the Best-selling author of no less than eight books to-date and his first novel, Wrong Place Wrong Time, a gripping true story of events of how his “ticket to a new life turned out to be a one way ticket to hell.”

Grab a coffee or a cuppa and settle back. I’ll let David tell you more about his adventures and the road that has led him to imminent re-release of his first novel with publisher Austin Macauley

Have you always know you wanted to be a writer?

First of all, thanks for the invite! No not really, I always enjoyed writing but never at this level. To be called an author is still strange. I wanted to be a footballer like everyone else at a young age.

Who or what (or both) was your inspiration to becoming a writer?

It was by accident really. Whilst living in Portugal, I decided to write a blog about events that happen to me in Marbella. So I wrote a couple of posts and my friend, who is an editor said, “David, this story is too good for a blog. You must write a book.”

Do you have a favourite author?

I have a few really. James Patterson, John Grisham, too many to mention.

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What is the most enjoyable part of being a writer?

Writing THE END! Also receiving 4 and 5* reviews. Knowing readers enjoy your work makes it all worth while.

What is the most difficult part about being a writer?

Receiving 1* reviews!

Do you plan your novels meticulously, or do explore your own story as you write?

As my books are based on real events, the writing just flows from my brain to my fingertips, onto the keyboard. The very keyboard that I am typing this!

Do you have a favourite character? If so, whyy?

The main character is me, so yes that is my favourite character.

Where did the idea for your first novel come from?

Wrong Place Wrong Time is based on a true story, so the idea was already planted!

Do you have a set routine for your writing?

Not really. At the moment I am doing so much marketing for the book Wrong Place Wrong Time as from the 30th Sept it will be out in book shops. Thanks to my publishers Austin Macauley.

wrong-place-coverWhat is the title for your next book?

I have 8 books on Amazon. The other true story is called Five Weeks. The other books are a brand called My Way, which is mostly about book marketing for the self-published author. Some of the books also feature authors who write about science fiction, about life experiences and erotic.

How long did it take you to write your last novel, ‘Five Weeks’?

I would say about 12 months.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Seeing my four children and one grandson, being with my girlfriend, Julie who is also my editor, I enjoy social media marketing, watching films, dancing and just chilling.

If you could collaborate with someone (living or dead) who would it be and why?

To be honest, Julie and I are such an amazing team that the ideas we have are top notch.

Where do your ideas come from?  Do you have a standard formula for plots or do your stories come to you as you write them?

As Wrong Place Wrong Time and Five Weeks are based on true events, the ideas are in place. The other books, My Way, the ideas come from Julie and I. We have our best ideas when we are travelling in the car or on a plane.

When do you come up with a title for your novels? Before or after you start writing them?

Five Weeks was easy as its about my trip to America, which lasted for Five Weeks. The other, Wrong Place Wrong Time was also easy, as I was for sure in the wrong place.

If you could write a novel in a different genre, which genre would it be?

I would love to write a crime fiction thriller. I bow down to authors who come up with gripping plots. Maybe also erotic as I quite like that genre.

How do you see the future of publishing evolving?

Self-published will always be there for authors who can’t get a traditional publisher. But I would never give up on that dream, as it happen to me. I feel very, very lucky.

Electronic or paper? Which do you prefer?

Both! I had to say that!!

What books do you like to read yourself?

Crime, dark stories. Also true stories.

What’s next for you? Do you have a message for your fans?

As I have said, I am proud to say that WRONG PLACE WRONG TIME which has been a #1 bestseller on Amazon with over 400 x 4/5* reviews, will be in book shops from the 30th Sept. Also pleased to announce that I am doing my first book signing at Teatro Restaurant in Radlett on the 8th October, 3-5pm. Also proud to say that a percentage of the book sales will be donated to Cancer Research where Julia and I are also campaign ambassadors.

all-8-covers-2Why not be one of David’s 35k followers on twitter, @davepperlmutter

Check out his website: www.davidpperlmutter.com You can download for FREE, MY WAY FREE – TRENDING ON TWITTER – All about book marketing.

David’s blog is http://thewrongplaceatthewrongtime.blogspot.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wrongplacewrongtimebook/

Thanks for dropping by. Stay tuned for more great author interviews soon.

 

 

Interview and Ebook giveaway with Thriller Writer Rachel Amphlett June 9th 2014

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing the wonderful Rachel Amphlett, the Australian-based author of the Dan Taylor novels, as she drops in for a chat about her latest , explosive release, the thrilling Before Nightfall.

As well as giving an insight into her writing, her inspiration and her future projects, Rachel is also giving away an E-book copy of each of her novels. To be in with a chance to win a copy of one of the three books, just like this interview before the closing deadline of 23:59 23rd June. Rachel will select the winners at random and be in touch with the lucky recipients in due course.

 

Have you always know you wanted to be a writer?

Yes, from about the age of six I was forcing my classmates to listen to my short stories which I’d had to get my mum to type up first so the teacher could interpret my sprawling handwriting

Who or what (or both) was your inspiration to becoming a writer?

Both my brother and I were encouraged to start reading before we began school. I remember Mum reading to us whenever Dad was working a late shift and I distinctly remember my Dad helping me to struggle with “big” words using flash cards. Before I was seven or eight, I was devouring the Famous Five series of books and anything else I could get my hands on. I think it was inevitable that I’d start writing my own stories one day.

Rachel Amphlett_web_4322Do you have a favourite author?

Blimey, just one? It varies y’know. Lately I’ve become incredibly envious of Ken Follett, whose career has managed to encompass sweeping historical fiction as well as thrillers. I do like the idea of being about write in whatever genre takes my fancy, rather than be pigeon-holed into one.

What is the most enjoyable part of being a writer?

That moment where you’ve got the scene mapped out and sit down to write it, and the words just flow. It’s like an adrenalin rush.

What is the most difficult part about being a writer?

Waiting for the first structural edit to come back, knowing it’s going to have red pen scrawled all over it.

Do you plan your novels meticulously, or do explore your own story as you write?

I’m definitely a plotter these days – it helps me write faster. I still give myself leeway to explore, but having a plan keeps me on track.

Do you have a favourite character? If so, why?

In Before Nightfall, it’s Finn. He starts off as someone who is obnoxious to everyone he meets but as the story develops, you find out why he tries to keep people away from him.

Where did the idea for your novel ‘Before Nightfall’ come from?

This one was the strangest process ever – and the quickest. I had the idea for the opening sequence going round in my head during the throes of releasing Under Fire in August 2013. Immediately after that book’s release, we returned to the UK for a visit, stopping off in Malta for a week’s break on the way home.

We spent the last day in Malta on a yacht travelling up the coast towards Gozo and Comino – we’d both taken books to read and I had my notebook and a couple of pens on me as usual.

All I started with was the opening sequence – a woman in trouble, taken hostage, and the feel of the sackcloth hood over her head. I could even sense the way the hood would stick to her mouth and nose as she breathed. Within half an hour, I was curled up on the sofa in the yacht’s lounge area, frantically scribbling out the whole plot sequence for what would become Before Nightfall. Everything. No gaps, no “what ifs?” – it all just fell into place.

Before Nightfall eBook cover smallDo you have a set routine for your writing?

I’m much better at routine these days – life is just so busy that I have to be! When I was writing the first draft of Before Nightfall, I took advantage of the 40-minute train ride into work each morning to write. I’d plotted out each scene and had set up a file on my laptop for each chapter with a few bullet points at the top of the page so I knew what that scene had to encompass. I’d just pick a scene which suited my mood and typed. In 30-40 minutes I was churning out anything up to 1,400 words. It just ‘flowed.’

Yes, some days I only had 200 words – but that the target I’d set myself for each trip anyway, so it didn’t matter. The train home in the afternoon was always noisier so sometime it was impossible to lose myself in my work, but it was a very effective process.

How long did it take you to write ‘Before Nightfall’?

I finished the first draft in 8 weeks, then put it away for a month before spending another six weeks attacking it. In between that time, it had its first structural edit. My other half is very good at this – he read Before Nightfall and said to me that I was making it too easy for Finn, so I went back with the next draft and created all sorts of problems. Lots of conflict and suspense!

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

At the moment we’re busy renovating a house so my weekends are usually spent in hardware stores – or so it seems!

If I have time (and available funds!) I love skiing, horse-riding and travelling. I enjoy going out on the motorbike with my other half – once we finish the house renovations I plan to get my own motorbike so we can go further afield and explore.

I do wish I had more time to return to my guitar-playing. I keep saying this every time a book is finished but by then, the next one is already taking over my brain.

And then, of course, there’s all the books I have to read – I think there are enough on our “To be read” pile to last us two lifetimes!

If you could collaborate with someone (living or dead) who would it be and why?

Either Ken Follett (see above) or Robert Harris.

When do you come up with a title for your novels? Before or after you start writing them?

There’s no hard and fast rule with this. The last two book titles, Under Fire and Before Nightfall were taken from something one of the characters has said. The title of my debut novel, White Gold was already in my head before I started writing.

At the moment, I’ve got two projects on the go, both of which have working titles already – but those might change during the writing process. I do tend to check before I publish to make sure there aren’t too many books or films with a similar title in order to avoid any confusion!

If you could write a novel in a different genre, which genre would it be?

Historical fiction. Watch this space.

How do you see the future of publishing evolving?

I think it’s interesting that there’s been a handful of authors who started out as indies and are now considered “hybrids” in that they’ve been signed to major publishing houses for the paperback version of their work but have managed to negotiate the retention of eBook sales for themselves – that’s a really clever spin on being solely independent.

I think that we’re going to see more of this happening – as it is, traditionally published authors now have to do as much self-promotion as indie authors and it seems to be a good compromise with the outcome of keeping the industry alive and kicking.

Electronic or paper? Which do you prefer?

For reading, both. A lot of indie authors starting out don’t consider publishing in paperback which is a shame but I do use my Kindle to discover new authors. I still buy paperbacks for all my favourite authors. Despite what people say, I think paperbacks will be around for a long while yet.

For writing, again I use both notebook and paper and my laptop. Depends on the mood really but it’s good to have a choice.

What books do you like to read yourself?

I naturally gravitate towards thriller, suspense and romantic suspense – that’s probably why I write in those genres. I love historical fiction and during my own writing journey I’ve had fellow authors open up different genres to me, for example fantasy and sci-fi. I think I’ve transitioned easily into reading those genres as I’ve always enjoyed speculative fiction – my first forays into creative writing were spec-fic short stories.

As an author of thrillers and suspense novels, who do you admire? Who are the torch-bearers for this genre at this time?

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Lee Child and Michael Connolly, but I also admire Robert Crais and Chris Ryan as well.

For romantic suspense, you can’t go wrong with Sandra Brown, Cindy Gerrand and Cherry Adair. Australia has some fantastic romantic suspense authors such as Helene Young, Bronwyn Parry and Sandy Curtis – if you’re reading this outside of Australia and haven’t checked out their books yet, do so!

What’s next for you? Do you have a message for your fans?

I’ve got two more standalone projects on the boil at present and have started to flesh these out with a view to writing a first draft of one of them over our winter. After that, I’ve got to sit down and plot out the third in the Dan Taylor thriller series which I’d like to release sometime in 2015 if possible.

To everyone who’s been supporting me since the start, and for those who are only just discovering my writing – thank you. Writing is something I do because I enjoy it. The fact that other people enjoy reading my writing is the icing on the cake!

Before Nightfall mock book stack

To be in with a chance to win one of three Ebook versions of Rachel’s novels to date, simply like this page between 9th and midnight 23rd June. Entrants will be picked at random by the author.

 

If you enjoyed the interview and would like to find out more about Rachel and her writing, head on over to her website today.

http://www.rachelamphlett.com

 

 

 

Interview with Fantasy Author Richie Earl April 25th 2014

Thanks for dropping by. Today I am hosting Richie Earl’s Blog Tour and have taken this opportunity to interview him, as well. If you haven’t checked it out yet, have a look at my blog – if you already have, thank you for your interest and let’s find out some more about the inspiration behind his two wonderful fantasy adventures.

Finndragon Banner

Have you always known you wanted to be a writer?

Yes…er no, well…er…not really, although I always enjoyed creative writing from a young age; probably about 8-9 years old. In my early twenties I started to write some poetry and then I wrote a few satirical magazines at work, ridiculing my colleagues. I started a sci-fi novel about 15 years ago, but I gave up after a few thousand words. I thought that I didn’t have the talent or necessary skills to write a full length novel.

Who or what (or both) was your inspiration to becoming a writer?

I think my upbringing encouraged my creative side to develop; my grandmother was an excellent poet and a talented pianist. I can say without fear of contradiction that I certainly didn’t inherit her musical gene.

However, my true inspirations are my children: Katie, Lucy and Jonathan, who not only persuaded me to turn their bedtime stories into what has become the Tales of Finndragon Series, but also starred in the book too.

Do you have a favourite author?

David Eddings opened my eyes to the worlds of fantasy over twenty-five years ago and still remains one of my favourite authors today. Making History by Stephen Fry is probably the best book that I’ve read.

What is the most enjoyable part of being a writer?

I’m currently reading The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse to my eight year old son Jonathan and ten year old daughter Lucy. Knowing that my books give them pleasure is a great feeling.

What is the most difficult part about being a writer?

At the moment, the lack of time is a huge problem for me. I tend to write in bursts which can last from several weeks up to a few months, but then there’s nothing!

Do you plan your novels meticulously, or do explore your own story as you write?

I am gradually becoming more of a planner, having flown by the seat of my pants for most of The Tales of Finndragon series. I usually write the end quite early on and then head in that general direction.

Do you have a favourite character? If so, why?

Emma, Megan and Scott are based on my own children, so I understandably have a soft spot for them. Outside of these, I quite like Gwayne, the hopeless apprentice wizard. In spite of his many spectacular failures, he still carries the belief that one day he will master the art of magic. I try to instil in my own children, the importance of never giving up on something you believe in, and Gwayne personifies this perfectly.

Where did the idea for your first novel come from?

The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse has its roots in my own childhood. I remember my dad taking me to the ruins of Morlais Castle (which is only a mile or two from where I live) on several occasions. When I was a little older, I ventured further with some friends, exploring some of the caves below the castle.

The main characters, as I have mentioned, are based on my kids and these were born in bedtime stories which had no connection to the novel.

Do you have a set routine for your writing?

I try to fit my writing around all the other demands of a professional and family life. Unfortunately, when time is squeezed, it’s usually the writing that suffers.

What is the title for your next book?

That’s a good question. I find it very difficult to come up with titles to my books, with the exception of The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse which virtually wrote its own title. My next book is a YA paranormal murder mystery set in 1965 and 2005 and doesn’t even have a working title as yet.

How long did it take to write your first novel, The Legend of Finn Dragon’s Curse?

It was a bit of a stop-start affair, which took about 12 months.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I love to cycle with the kids (and on my own occasionally) and enjoy running, although I haven’t really run over the past eighteen months. In my younger days I was a keen rugby player. Jonathan and Lucy now play mini rugby most weekends and I enjoy watching them. I also coach them occasionally, teaching them the basic skills of the game.

If you could collaborate with someone (living or dead) who would it be and why?

Once again my answer is David Eddings. It would be incredible to learn the arts of my trade from such a wonderful author and would help me achieve my dream of becoming a fulltime writer.

Where do your ideas come from? Do you have a standard formula for plots or do your stories come to you as you write them?

I have no real formula yet, and although I’m getting more organised in my planning, I still tend to wing it. Ideas pop into my head all the time and I sometimes run them by the kids. I mull over them and sometimes write a brief outline. My work in progress took several months at the thinking stage, before I wrote a plan. The initial idea always seemed to similar to Finndragon, but after much consideration, I am really happy with where it’s heading.

If you could write a novel in a different genre, which genre would it be?

For the foreseeable future I intend to establish myself as a writer of young adult fantasy/paranormal books. However, I would like to some day write adult comedy and already have several stories waiting to be written.

How do you see the future of publishing evolving?

It has never been easier for authors to get their work out there or harder for them to get noticed. The major publishing houses are switching on to the ebook market.

Electronic or paper? Which do you prefer?

I have always been quick to embrace new technology and have to say that I am a big fan of ebooks. Although I don’t own a dedicated ebook reader, my smart phone is loaded with a kindle app which means I’m never without a book in my pocket.

What books do you like to read yourself?

I enjoy books from most genres, especially fantasy and sci-fi, but also stories which make me laugh.

As an author of YA fantasy, who do you admire? Who are the torch-bearers for the genre at this time?

I’m a great fan of the late David Eddings who lit the torch for me, while J.K. Rowling has obviously been one of the leading lights over the past few years. I hope that my work will appeal to fans of both.

What’s next for you? Do you have a message for your fans?

I have to stop procrastinating and get back to my work in progress first thing tomorrow.

I’ve been humbled and amazed at the volume of fantastic feedback I’ve received for the Legend of Finndragon’s Curse. Return to Finndragon’s Den is slightly better, both in terms of the quality of my writing and pacing of the story.

I hope that my fans will take advantage of the Kindle Promo weeks, which started on 15th April for book 1 and continued on 21st April for book 2, where they will be able to get huge discounts on the list price.

But most of all, I’d just like to thank everyone for taking the time to read my books and for their fantastic support.

 

Kindle Countdown Promotion – up to 67% discount.

The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse is on offer 15th-21st April (Expired)

Return to Finndragon’s Den is on offer 21st-28th April.

Available to purchase from:

Amazon – for kindle

The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse:   http://viewBook.at/FinndragonsCurse

Return to Finndragon’s Den:              http://viewBook.at/ReturntoFinndragonsDen

Lulu Publishing – paperback:          http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/finndragon

Links

One Thousand Worlds in One Thousand Words blog:           http://onethousandworlds.blogspot.co.uk/

Tales of Finndragon Facebook Page:              https://www.facebook.com/finndragonscurse

Goodreads Author Page:        https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6523833.Richie_Earl

Twitter (@finndragons):         https://twitter.com/finndragons

Book Trailer:               http://youtu.be/gXeh-pzIHSI

 

Interview with Fantasy Author Lynette Creswell February 16th 2014

Today I have the pleasure of sharing with you my recent interview with the lovely and talented Lynette Creswell, author of the Magic Trilogy. With the final installment of her trilogy now available, Lynette spoke to me about her writing, her inspiration for her novels and the whispers of interest from  two American Producers. I hope this interview helps you through your Monday and inspires you to check out Lynette’s work. Happy reading!

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Have you always know you wanted to be a writer?

Would it appear strange to say, yes! Ever since junior school I have written stories, it was just that while I was raising a young family, like most, I didn’t have the time to chase my dreams.

Who or what (or both) was your inspiration to becoming a writer?

Many reasons and people were woven into the threads that inspired me to become a writer but I think my main driving force was to prove to myself that I had the ability to write something as substantial as a novel.

Do you have a favourite author?

When I was young, Enid Blyton was my ultimate favourite author. She gave me my first taste of fantasy with her delightful books such as The Faraway Tree and The Wishing Chair. These tales ignited my own love of magic and I believe are the reasons why I write fantasy today. As I grew into a teenager Stephen King was my ultimate favourite author and he showed me how a great writer can terrorize you just through words – he’s awesome! Now I’m a little less enthusiastic about being scared half to death, I enjoy writers such as Stephanie Meyer and anyone else who catches my attention.

What is the most difficult part about being a writer?

I think the most difficult part of being a writer is having enough time to do the things which comes with the job. Like most authors, I still have to earn an income outside of my books therefore the lack of time is my greatest enemy. Most writers and authors must promote themselves as well as write that bestselling novel. Social Media is a great way to do this, but it is very time consuming.

Do you plan your novels meticulously, or do explore your own story as you write?

For my first book Sinners of Magic, I didn’t plan anything which meant I was travelling on as much of a magical journey as my readers. This was a wonderful experience which I enjoyed immensely. My second and third books had to be a little more planned so that I could eventually tie up all those loose ends.

Do you have a favourite character? If so, why?

No, not really because I love them all, even the bad ones. They are all my creations and so like a mother with her children, I don’t have a favourite.

Where did the idea for your first novel come from?

Believe it not, I started out with the idea of a young girl having been swapped at birth by a witch. This unusual concept sparked off three novels, which I think is really cool.

Do you have a set routine for your writing?

My writing time is usually in the evenings when I get home from work. The first thing I do is promote my books on Twitter and Facebook and then I head for the computer and start writing.

What is the title for your next book?

My next book will be called: The Tale of Clump, A Changeling’s Story.

How long did it take you to write Book III of the Magic Trilogy?

Surprising quickly. It took me 2 years to write Sinners of Magic, 18 months to write Betrayers of Magic but only 6 months to write Defenders of Magic.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I enjoy going to the cinema and seeing a good movie.

If you could collaborate with someone (living or dead) who would it be and why?

Most definitely, Charles Dickens. Did you know it was his own personal experience of factory work and the living condition of the poor that created his compassion which was to mark his literary works such as Oliver Twist? What I love about him is that he constantly returned to the theme of the social inequality and the oppression of the poor.

Where do your ideas come from?  Do you have a standard formula for plots or do your stories come to you as you write them?

My ideas usually come from the characters I find either in my head or through a fantasy encyclopaedia I own. I eagerly delve inside the pages to find new and exciting magical beings that will capture my imagination. I read up on what magic they possess and new ideas begin to explode like fireworks in my head!

When do you come up with a title for your novels? Before or after you start writing them?

It took me a long time to come up with Sinners of Magic. I was stuck with so many names that just weren’t right for the novel even after it was finished. Then, one day I was telling someone about the plot explaining that the parents were seen as sinners in their magical realm and the name just hit me – Sinners of Magic! The rest of the trilogy was easy.

If you could write a novel in a different genre, which genre would it be?

I think it would have to be a thriller. I love anything which excites you and you can’t beat a good writer who holds you on the edge of your seat with their words.

How do you see the future of publishing evolving?

I personally feel that ebooks will eventually take over paperbacks altogether which I find very sad. For me, there’s nothing like holding a book in your hands however, technology is moving at a fast pace and the younger generation are becoming far more used to using kindles and reading apps. I hope this doesn’t become a reality but my gut feeling is that this will soon be the future of publishing.

Electronic or paper? Which do you prefer?

Paper.

What books do you like to read yourself?

The eclectic mix of books I own would show that I like to read whatever catches my eye. I have classics such as Charles Dickens, Emily Bronte and Wordsworth to Stephen King, Stephanie Meyer and Raymond E. Feist.

As an author of fantasy, who do you admire? Who are the torch-bearers for the genre at this time?

I admire Stephen King for his ability to turn his hand to anything with such style. I personally think he is a literary genius when it comes to writing books. I also admire Raymond E. Feist and Katherine Kerr for their grasp on fantasy fiction. I also feel J. K. Rowling and her Harry Potter series still influences the world of fantasy.

Can you talk about the American Producers?

I haven’t heard anything yet and I’m guessing it will be a fair few months before I do – but I’m keeping in contact with the London based film producer and he will keep me up to speed.

What’s next for you? Do you have a message for your fans?

As I wrote earlier, my next project will be The Tale of Clump, A Changeling’s Story. I chose to write this book because my readers fell in love with Clump in Betrayers of Magic. This character is a Windigo (Wendigo), although he isn’t like any Windigo you’ll ever meet. Usually these creatures are cruel and eat humans, but Clump is a vegetarian and was ostracised from his family because of this fact. In Betrayers of Magic, Clump helped my protagonist, Crystal, to find the Book of Souls to free the fourth mage. Because my fans felt empathy for him, I am writing this book, just for them.

If you enjoyed this interview, are intrigued and want to know more, you can find out about Lynette’s writing and the Magic Trilogy by clicking on any or all of the following:-

Webiste: www.Lynetteecreswell.wordpress.com

Facebook Page: www.Facebook.com/Sinnersofmagic

Twitter: @Creswelllyn

Amazon Universal Links:

Book #1 Sinners of Magic: http://getBook.at/Sinners1 

Book #2 Betrayers of Magic: http://getbook.at/Betrayers1 

Book #3 Defenders of Magic: http://getbook.at/Defenders1

Interview with Fantasy Author Simon Williams February 10th 2014

To kick off my quest to help promote the good  work of my fellow fantasy authors, I recently hooked up with the wonderful Simon Williams, author of the popular Aona Series. Set in the land of Aona, Simon has three of a proposed five books series already available and I spoke to him about his writing and his influences. I hope you enjoy!

Have you oblivions-forge-frontalways know you wanted to be a writer?

Since about the age of 5 or 6, yes- which is about as good as always. I guess I had an overactive imagination and I just used to write stories about anything and everything when I was a kid- obviously most of them were nonsense, but I remember being quite proud of them.

Who or what (or both) was your inspiration to becoming a writer?

It’s difficult to say. I feel like I’ve always been a writer, but there are authors I’ve read (mostly when I was a kid) who deeply influenced me to the degree that I didn’t really want to be anything else. In the end this was just as well, because I’ve never really had much of a gift for anything academic as such- and although I did try to have a career at one point, I quickly realised it wasn’t for me.

Do you have a favourite author?

The author who made me decide to become a fantasy writer was Alan Garner, so he was certainly the most profoundly influential writer during my childhood. But I don’t have an absolute favourite as such- I deeply admire the powerful imagination of Clive Barker, the Celtic-tinged high fantasy faerie-tales of Cecilia Dart-Thornton, the violent but beautiful prose of Poppy Z Brite, the grim struggles chronicles in the books of George R R Martin, the sparse but energetic futurism of Ian Irvine… as you can see, I could go on and on. But these authors have one thing in common- I wish I could write like all of them. (Which clearly wouldn’t work, I realise)

What is the most difficult part about being a writer?

I would once have said the miniscule pay packet, but in fact no one who writes as a true calling really does it for the money. Probably the most difficult part is the knowledge that most people you know wonder why you do it. In the past, I might also have said just knuckling down to write, but I have a lot more self-discipline these days.

Do you plan your novels meticulously, or do explore your own story as you write?

I plan certain events and ideas, but as to how and where and when they turn out, I really let the flow of the story dictate what happens. It also seems to be more fun that way- being familiar enough with the river you’re in but still not sure what the view round the next bend will be like.

secret-roads-front
Do you have a favourite character? If so, why?

Probably Nia from my Aona books. She’s a complex, troubled character who can cause revulsion, pity and empathy in turn, and as the series has gone on her personality has really taken on a larger and larger role. I’ve been writing quite a lot about her in the latest Aona book. I don’t have any characters in my books who I don’t like though- if I don’t like a character for whatever reason, I don’t use them. It doesn’t matter to me if they’re villains or just ordinary folk caught up in the struggle- they all have characteristics which, if not entirely redeeming, still hopefully make them multi-faceted.

Where did the idea for your first novel come from?

I had wanted to write a fantasy series for some time, but the first Aona book took a long while to take shape properly. I can’t actually remember having one big idea for it- it was more a collection of scenes that I thought would work together along with the overriding “invasion” plot which is central to the series.

Do you have a set routine for your writing?

I try to get at least some done every evening, and catch up a bit more at the weekends.

What is the title for your next book?

Well, I’m writing two at the moment. Summer’s Dark Waters is a supernatural / fantasy book for 10-12 year olds (although some younger or older kids might like it). And the fourth Aona book, hopefully out in the spring, is The Spiral Heart.

How long did it take you to write Book III of the Aona Series?

book3-frontAbout 10 months- which, although not super-quick, is a lot quicker than my output several years ago. The first Aona book was re-written so many times I lost count. And I got distracted doing pointless office jobs.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Reading, if and when I get the chance. I really ought to read more as it’s the most relaxing pursuit I have time to do (I avoid television except to catch up on news or for sports)

If you could collaborate with someone (living or dead) who would it be and why?

I’ve never really thought about collaborating as I always feel there would be a clash of two entirely different visions of how something should work. It would be interesting to work with any one of my favourite authors who I mentioned earlier, but they all have quite a different style to mine- so I would be very surprised if that worked!

Where do your ideas come from?  Do you have a standard formula for plots or do your stories come to you as you write them?

Little bursts of inspiration, dreams… I have no formula whatsoever, the ideas come from wherever ideas come from, and command me to put pen to paper…

When do you come up with a title for your novels? Before or after you start writing them?

Not having a title for something drives me crazy- so if at all possible, I always need to have a title at the moment I start- even if I change it later on.

If you could write a novel in a different genre, which genre would it be?

I try not to think in terms of genres, particularly as my own work straddles several of them. I like to think I could turn a hand to most genres though, as long as I had a good enough idea. The idea, the vision is the main thing really- if it works, then it needs to be written. I guess the one thing I wouldn’t write is porn- half of all the books being marketed on social media seem to be some sort of porn (I guess it’s popular at the moment so people want to cash in). I’m not a prude but I do think it’s a bit boring- I don’t really see how anyone can write anything new and original about that kind of thing. Maybe I’m wrong, but it’s one genre I won’t be exploring.

There seems to be more pigeonholing into genres these days than ever before- Young Adult, New Adult, Middle Grade, Urban Fantasy (never seem to hear about Rural Fantasy though)… particularly when it comes to age groups I can’t help but feel it would be easier if we went back to thinking of books as being either for kids, or teens, or adults. I think new genres are invented and bandied around as marketing ploys more often than not.

How do you see the future of publishing evolving?

I think it will open up further. I think the old elitist set of traditional publishers will still persist for a while, but thankfully it will continue to be possible for writers like myself, whose genres and style doesn’t exactly endear them to publishers eager for work that will sell in large numbers, to market and promote their work successfully.

Electronic or paper? Which do you prefer?

I still love “proper” books. Electronic versions are all well and good, but I really don’t like to spend any more time staring at screens than I have to.

What books do you like to read yourself?

I mostly read fantasy of one type or another, but also some more contemporary or classical authors- John Irving is a favourite, also Aldous Huxley, J G Ballard and George Orwell.

As an author of Dark fantasy, who do you admire? Who are the torch-bearers for the genre at this time?

I really like Joe Abercrombie’s work, and Ian Irvine’s “Well of Echoes” books (the sequels to which I really must read soon)

What’s next for you? Do you have a message for your fans?

Apart from the next Aona book, I have Summer’s Dark Waters to launch, and looking further into the future a new fantasy series which will be quite different to the Aona books. I also have a collection of short stories which I’m still putting together (it’s taking more time than I hoped as I keep tinkering with some stories, and changing my mind about which should be included at all).

One simple message to fans: THANK YOU for your support. It makes the uphill feel like downhill.

If you are a fan of fantasy fan and want to know more about Simon’s novels and his writing, head on over to his website today . You won’t be disappointed!

http://www.simonwilliamsauthor.com/index.php

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Responses

  1. […] Author Interviews […]

  2. Nicely done. I really liked the line about “being familiar with the river you’re in”. The interview questions were well-thought-out too, which makes an interview worth the time to read.

    • Thank you, Kathy. Most kind of you to say! I’ll have more interviews in the coming weeks, so I hope you enjoy them, too 🙂

  3. […] Author Interviews […]

  4. […] Author Interviews […]

  5. […] Author Interviews […]


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