I’ll admit it, I was planning on having another author’s interview in this slot (Apologies to you, you’ll be in Tuesday’s slot, promise!) But in the honour of the release of today’s guest’s book coming out today, I decided it would be best for him to move his interview up. Remember the number one rule of being an author:
SUPPORT YOUR FELLOW AUTHORS! I cannot stress this enough. This is a hard enough ambition to do in the world without conflict, so share the love and help each other out! So, to help out with this awesome guys release of Lament of the Fallen Book II, I like to do what I can to support them. As I will do, down below are the links to the past interviews.
First of all, here is an excerpt from the newly released novel he was very kind to send me:
He filled his lungs with the fresh night air. The taste of smoke mixed with the earthy scent of loam. The warmth of the fire soothed and relaxed him, the hypnotic rhythm of the dancing flames calming his mind. The fatigue of the day washed over him, and he allowed his eyelids to droop.
The visions came then; memories leapt out at him.
Within the bright depths of the flames, he saw the hell he had glimpsed in the Serenii tunnels. Lord Jahel’s face appeared in the fire, laughing, mocking. Bone and skin morphed into the faces of Lord Cyrannius and the First of the Bloody Hand. Shuddering waves of flesh and gristle writhed, shifting, transforming.
Demons roam Einan once more. People treat them as myth and legend, but I know the truth.
The Hunter retreated deeper into his blankets, his sword clutched to his chest. He told himself it was out of habit rather than fear.
He had left Voramis behind, not only to find the truth of the woman whose face plagued him, but to discover the truth of the demons. Curiosity drove him to learn of his past, and his own heritage as a Bucelarii—descendant of the Abiarazi horde.
The demon added its voice to the swirling maelstrom in the Hunter’s mind. ‘He disowns his blood, all to play the hero, the protector.’
The Hunter was too tired to fight it off.
I’m no hero. If it was up to me, they’d all rot.
He had no desire to save the world. He had no reason to save humans from themselves.
A vision of horror flashed through his mind. Creatures of nightmares seized a screaming child, tearing at pale skin with razor-tipped claws. Blood splashed across chitinous armor as the demons ripped the child apart in their haste to devour the flesh.
The girl bore Farida’s face. She lay bloody, mangled, discarded like refuse, gasping her last agonizing breaths.
Oh, child. I am so sorry.
He wished he could scrub the memory from his mind forever. With it gone, the sorrow would leave. He needed no reminder that he was once again alone.
He turned his back on the fire and buried his face in his cloak.
He could turn his back on those who had feared and hated him, yet he had not the strength to hide his face from the suffering of innocents. People like Old Nan, Ellinor, Little Arlo. They would suffer most should the Abiarazi find their way into the world once more.
The demon whispered in his mind. ‘Why must you protect them? You are not one of them, after all. You are Bucelarii.’
They do not deserve such suffering.
He squeezed his eyes shut and pushed back against the demon’s voice.
I’m doing this for them.
He pictured Farida the way he had seen her that day in the Temple District, with that same bright smile. She was happy. That was what mattered, and that was what he would remember.
I’m doing this for her.
And now, the interview with the man himself!
1. First of all, tell me about yourself! What do you write?
I’m an astronaut, alien bounty hunter, and unicorn wrangler. Or at least that’s what I tell my friends.
In real life, I’m more of a nerdy book enthusiast who loves stringing words together to make sentences that people like to read. Heck, I’ll even write whole books filled with sentences!
I write the darker elements of fantasy, with my current series focused on a half-demon assassin with a bit of multiple personality disorder thrown into the mix. It’s a grim, gritty look at what drives someone to kill. A fascinating, unique take on the “inner demons” concept.
2. How do you develop your plots and characters?
I can’t honestly say “how”. They just sort of happen. I developed this half-demon assassin as a way to see life through the eyes of a killer, but I had to give readers a reason to like him. The odd combination of avenger-protector-champion of the weak-ruthless killer came about, and over the course of the books, I’ve just brought the character through the moral journey he needs to take to end up where I want him.
I like to ask “why” people do what they do and are what they are. By exploring their pasts, it helps me to get into their minds, actions, thoughts, and habits. The result is characters that are truly relatable and realistic.
3. Tell us about your current project.
The current project (book being launched) is the second book in my The Last Bucelarii series. As mentioned above, it follows “the Hunter” a half-demon assassin. It’s a truly bad-ass series, as the Hunter is a mostly-immortal warrior with peerless speed, strength, and skill with a blade. The series is great for those who love action and adventure, but it also delves into the psychology of killers, murderers, sociopaths, psychopaths, and other people with mental disorders.
4. Who would you say is the main character of your novels? And tell me a little bit about them!
The Hunter, for sure!
Book 1 gave us a look at the Hunter and showed us what would drive someone to kill. It also delves into the Hunter’s mysterious past, giving him an insight into what it truly means to be half-demon.
Book 2 picks up right where Book 1 left off. In this one, the Hunter is a much more broken character. Where Book 1 focused on action and epic fight scenes, Book 2 takes place much more inside the Hunter’s head. The enemies he encounters are really incidental, when the real enemy is the one in his mind. It’s much more cerebral, but it gives you a greater understanding of the struggle this very real, very human character faces.
5. What advice would you give new writers on how to delve into creative fiction?
Just start! It’s tough to get started, but don’t think about plot holes, grammar mistakes, or general f**k-ups. Just get the story out on your head and down on paper.
But–and this is VERY important–have VERY critical, very experienced writers read over it and slice and dice it. Listen to their critique and learn from it. Change as much of the story and writing style as necessary to make the book truly amazing. Don’t ever be satisfied that you are “good enough”, but continue to learn and grow. It’s a learning curve that will continue until the day you pen your last word.
6. What real-life inspirations did you draw from for the worldbuilding within your book?
The city of Voramis (from Book 1) was modeled after a 15th century Paris and London, with hints of other cities thrown in. For example, the Snowblossom trees in Maiden’s Fields comes from the gorgeous Cherry Blossom trees in Japan (where I grew up).
The city of Malandria is not all that different from the medieval cities, but I thought more along the lines of Prague and Vienna. More grandeur.
7) What inspires you to write?
I’m a naturally creative person trapped in a terrible artist’s body. I can’t draw, write nicely, or paint. But what I can do is hammer at a keyboard and string together words that make cohesive sentences. My goal is to use words as my palette to paint pictures that sing in your mind. It is an eternal challenge to myself to make the pictures broader, deeper, and better-able to touch hearts, minds, and souls.
8. What was the hardest part of writing this book?
Funny story: originally, this was conceived as a comic book/graphic novel. So, when I decided to turn it into a proper novel, it took a lot of work to fill in the blanks that would have been filled by the comic book art.
9. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
In this book (Book 2), there is a scene where the madman Bardin is rambling and talking nonsense to himself. At one point he mentions “purple and green chickens”. I’ve always wanted to use that, so I had a huge cackle to myself when I got to add it in there.
10. Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it?
Absolutely! I learned that the greatest stories don’t have to involve all violence and epic action, but it really requires the tension of getting inside someone’s head and living with their mistakes and failures. You do need plenty to keep the reader interested, but it’s when we step inside our characters’ heads that we truly create someone readers can bond with.
11. It’s sometimes difficult to get into understanding the characters we write. How do you go about it?
Research!!!! I read a comprehensive paper published by the Secret Service, documenting the psyche of assassins, killers, and hitmen. It’s a fascinating read, and it gave me an understanding of what would motivate someone to take up a weapon and kill someone else. It also helped me to shape the character’s personality, as once I knew WHY he killed, it was easier to figure out the “why not” and what would prevent him.
12. What are your future project(s)?
Well, this is going to take at least another year or two of my life, as it will be a six-book series. It will take those six books to give this character the proper growth and development that he will end up where I want him to be–no happily ever after, but an ending people will say “Yes, that’s the right ending for him.”
In addition, I’m also working on another side series set in the same world, following the story of a young girl sold by her father to the Thieves’ Guild. It really explores what would turn an innocent, mostly happy child into a cold, cruel, and ruthless criminal, one that has to be harder and tougher than anyone else to survive in a male-dominated world. That’s one I’m VERY much looking forward to exploring more.
I’ll also put together a collection of short stories all set on the world of Einan (where these books will be set), with random glimpses into every aspect of life, people, religion, and more. Pretty much whatever intriguing stories come to mind.
13. If you couldn’t be an author, what ideal job would you like to do?
A full-time book reviewer or an acquisitions editor for a publishing house. Basically, if I can’t write, I want to read!
14. What is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you (i.e., website, personal blog, Facebook page, here on Goodreads, etc.) and link(s)?
I’ve added all my links below. I love to make new friends, so I welcome anyone who wants to drop me a message on my Facebook Page and say “Howdy!”
On my website, I’m giving away a free novel (sci-fi/fantasy/historical fiction set in a Roman-era Atlantis). And for authors, I’ve got a list of 100 book review websites and blogs free for download.
I look forward to meeting you!
Huge thanks to Andy for his review on such short notice. Feel free to comment, share and subscribe, I will return soon with more content! Remember, my little short story contest is still available until Sunday 21st August, at midnight. Nobody’s entered so far, which is cool! But give it a shot!