I toyed with writing for years – consistently when I was younger, then more and more rarely as time went on. In my case the true start of my writing was an almost literal kick to the backside from my amazing wife. We’d been together for years by this point and we share a love of reading. Late one night when we were talking about the books we were reading, I admitted that I had toyed with writing for a long time and had always wanted to write a novel, something truly EPIC. She answered that she wanted to read it and promptly bought me a notebook and a pen (that I still use to this day). With that support and a single eager reader, I couldn’t stop and it was only a matter of time before book 1 was complete with two sequels on the way.
2. What is it about and whom do you believe is your targeted reader?
The Bones of the Past is epic fantasy on a grand scale. It follows a very broad cast of characters: a little girl possessed by a demon, a team of warriors whose job it is to hunt down magical threats, a mage who twists living creatures into new forms… There are characters for pretty much any reader to identify with, young and old, male and female, all of them living in a harsh and magical world. That being said, Bones is not a story for children — my world is a dark place and the content is definitely targeted at mature readers.
3. What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book? What should remain with them long after putting it down?
Hopefully, a desire to discover new things. I poured a ton of the excitement I felt travelling into these pages as well as a healthy dose of my fascination with science (mostly molecular biology and animal physiology). The initial framework for Bones developed during my time in Cambodia, Yemen, Hong Kong, South Korea, and France, among other places. It’s my hope that I can convey that same sense of discovery to my readers and wet their appetite for more!
4. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers?
Develop a thick skin! There is no such thing as writing that is universally liked. Take criticism when constructive and move on. That goes doubly for your own opinion – writers’ block really amounts to writers being too hard on themselves and refusing to put their ideas on paper. Give yourself a break and just write. Making it better is what rewrites are for.
5. What trends in the book world do you see and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading?
The publishing world is being turned on its ear. Not only has the (often undeserved) stigma begun to disappear from self-published books, but a number of hybrid options have begun to appear. An excellent example is my publisher – Inkshares – which uses a crowdfunding approach to gage interest in projects. I really think that these hybrid approaches are where the future of the industry lies – getting rid of the sometimes-arbitrary gauntlet of query letters, agents, and traditional publishers while still ensuring production standards and distribution. The result is quality books that don’t necessarily fit into the categories that we’ve come to expect and both the readers and authors come out ahead.
My biggest challenge was getting the various storylines coordinated and in the proper order. I write chaotically whenever I have a moment to jot something down. This can be at my computer, in my notebook (which I always keep with me) or on my phone if absolutely necessary. Fitting all the pieces together and making sure the timelines all work takes a lot of time and effort – much like building a puzzle with nothing but blank pieces and no edges! The challenge continued as re-writes shifted story elements that forced me to reorganize half the chapters in the book again and again.
7. If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours?