When did you start writing?
When I was four, I told a story to my mother, and she wrote it down. It was about a hippopotamus in the snow. My parents encouraged me through grade school, through the school's young author program, and it stuck.
Why did you decide to self publish your book?
When I decided to return to fiction writing, I found the publishing industry in turmoil. With so much uncertainty and the new ebook platforms, I decided to take a risk. I believe in rugged individuality, of reaping what you sew, and technology allows us to do that now. If I'm going to put forth effort in marketing my book either way, I may as well retain full royalties and creative control.
Where did you get your idea for Make Willing The Prey?
I wrote the first draft back in 1997. There was a particular music video at the time that took hold of me and would not let go until I'd written the story that it inspired.
When you are not writing, what do you do?
I used to work in IT as a Systems Engineer, but now I am a full time writer. For fun I like to read, research, play video games, and spend time with my wonderful family. I also like to explore Seattle, go hiking, and travel.
From a variety of authors, who do you think you look up to? Mentors? You were inspired by whom to write?
Most are from my childhood. The classic SF authors, especially Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, and Madeline L'Engle. I recently watched a documentary on Harlan Ellison, and even though he's a cranky old goat, I found his life story to be very inspirational. Also, while I don't like most of Stephen King's novels, I do find his advice on writing to be very helpful.
What are your insights about the future of self publishing of books by authors?
We will see vast upheavals. Traditional publishers will still exist in some way. The mass market may still wish to have books handed down to them from on-high, in paper format, at bookstores. But the more avid readers will demand quantity and diversity, and these will fuel the growing indie markets, which will mature and become huge in their own rights. The sludge will need to be filtered, so we may see growing support-industries, freelance copy editors and cover designers. The role of reviewer will become increasingly important.
If you are given a chance to do a collaboration work with any author, who would it be and why?
I would love to work with Neil Gaiman. He seems like a nice guy, and both of our minds tend towards the dark. I think between us, we should be able to unleash a horrifically creepy evil upon the world that everyone would love in spite of themselves.
What book are you reading now?
The Gormenghast trilogy by Mervyn Peake. No one has ever heard of it, and I wish they had. It's fantasy written in the 1940s about a sprawling castle and it's quirky inhabitants. It makes me laugh out loud, and I am in awe of the author's descriptive abilities. If Lemony Snicket, J.R.R. Tolkien, H.P. Lovecraft, and Neil Gaiman were to collaborate on a novel, they might write something like Gormenghast.
Can you share with us any future plans? Make Willing The Prey hinted a sequel, will that be happening in the future?
I just finished a traditional fantasy novel about an alternate earth where vampires rule. I will let it sit on the shelf a while before working on the draft revisions. That was my first NaNoWriMo project, just this year, and I am pleased with how it turned out.
My primary project is "When Prey Hunts", the sequel to "Make Willing the Prey". I am nearly finished with the first draft. It has a slightly different feel, but features Jina and Sandy from the first book. Sandy tries to deal with the aftermath of her ordeal, and together they are trying to form an organization to hunt faeries. But Jina wants to move on and is reluctant to devote so much energy towards killing monsters. I also introduce a couple of fae protagonists. One is a troll boy, confused about his identity, who is caught up in a fundamentalist cult. The other is an ancient elf who searches for lost and forsaken faeries. She is not so keen on the idea of faerie hunters going after her orphans.
Any advice to fellow writers and aspirants? Your final words.
Start with short stories. Write. Then write some more. Then keep writing. Then throw out all the crap, and write again. Join a local critique group, edit and be edited. Then write some more. Eventually it gets easier, and you start to feel like you might know what you're doing. That's when you start a novel, everything is suddenly different, and you get to start all over again!Thank you Luna for answering my questions. Will surely be waiting for When Prey Hunts. Can't wait to read what vengeful Sandy can do to faeries and their friends. :)
Also, amidst all this writing, don't forget to read. Look for solutions to recurring frustrations in the words of other authors.
Faeries: Cute, sparkly, magical and serene. Only one of these is true; They're magical. Save the rest for vampires. If you attract the attention of a faerie, you might wish all they wanted is your blood.
Once upon a time, fairytales were scary. Now they are again. Make Willing the Prey is a dark urban fantasy and horror novella that will startle you into believing in faeries.
Zornon the Devastator loves to loot abandoned towns and fight evil rats. He lives to kill dragons and save princesses, whether they want to be saved or not. Van, his alter-ego, loves to create new worlds and impress his friends with difficult new puzzles. But his latest creation has gotten a little bit too puzzling. When pretend fantasy becomes real, Van and his friends must strike a bargain with the Guardian at the Gate.