Friday, June 29, 2012

Interview with Robert Downs

Today I am interviewing a fellow author by the name of Robert Downs. He proudly writes Manfiction (the opposite of Chick lit) and is not afraid to put a few noses out of joint because of it; whether from a right-hook or a callously chosen gibe. He is the author of the novel Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Detective.

What five words would you use to best summarise your novel?
Manfiction, hard-boiled, sarcasm, dialogue

Who is your intended audience?
It would be nice if it was every reader on the planet, wouldn’t it? Sorry, I have to dream once in a while, before I get smacked back down to reality. Since I ended up writing myself smack dab in the middle of the Manfiction category, without even realizing it—sometimes ignorance is bliss—my intended audience focuses around those individuals who enjoy Mickey Spillane and Raymond Chandler, as well as modern authors, such as the late  Robert B. Parker, Robert CraisLee Child, and Michael Connelly, to name just a few.

What inspired you to write Falling Immortality?
I literally have no idea—although I wish I knew, because it would make my life easier in many respects—but my muse decided to bless me with a main character who is absolutely perfect for me, even though on the surface it looks like the worst match imaginable. Once I had my main character, I needed a story worthy of his attention, since he has the attention span of a gnat in a thunderstorm; otherwise, my tale would have had trouble breaking short story length.

But I can tell you that Falling Immortality came about through my own failings as a writer. I needed to focus as much as possible: I was all over the place as a writer, and my original manuscripts were tales only a mother could love. By writing a first-person mystery, I had a goal and a writing standard I could more easily follow, and once I decided on a first-person tale, I searched within myself and came up with the strongest male lead I could possibly envision. And he gives me a voice I wouldn’t have otherwise found on my own.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Breaking the rules and loving it

Ah yes, I've decided to break the first rule of fight club - uh, I mean - the rules I set out when writing my first novel, Zed. The one and only rule was that it would be written first-person for the whole book - and now I am in the process of breaking it for the second.

I think it is already paying dividends, with the fun of multiple story arcs and the enjoyment and excitement of witnessing certain events played out from a different perspective. Of course, our grisled zombie will still be tormenting the reader with his ever-pertinent thoughts but it's just that his won't be the only perspective. It is all going according to plan and I'm loving the opportunities it affords me.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Book Two is underway

Ah yes. The second book in the Zed Trilogy has commenced. It is nice to see a beginning ... now all I need to do is see an end! The start has been unrealistically smooth, with a smooth first chapter and a pretty good introduction to the key antagonist of this book (I'm sure you can guess who if you think hard enough).


It's all been pretty smooth and now I'm leading into the first major battle of our grisled protagonist, which should be a little trickier to orchestrate. I'm taking my time, ensuring that it plays out imaginatively and makes sense to my readers. It should be 'awesome' to use an American vernacular. And hopefully you will be on the edge of your seat and filled with, at least partially, some awe.

Anywho; It's a short post so I'd best get back to writing my book! Oh, and Happy Birthday Mom!!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

An order too tall?

My mind is fickle.

On one side, I would like my next novel to be different to the zombie genre so that I stagger the Zed trilogy (and don't get pigeon-holed) to its final completion but now think that this might be the wrong strategy, and so, have decided against it. At this point in time I am aiming to write the last two books in short succession of each other over the next few months.

My view is to write, refine and release the books with a manufactured six-month delay between the two of them. I think that would be best and I think the last two books would benefit from this as I would be able to maintain a more even tone through the remainder of the series rather than having to rediscover my voice each time.

If I can pull this off I will be 'quite the hardened author' in the end. Despite the teething problems of the first one, I think that each successive book should be simpler to knock into a final polished shape. I believe I have developed an interesting story arc and this should result in a great conclusion to the trilogy. Well, here's to hoping the general public also agrees with me ... and here's to facing up to the challenge!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

An impromptu interview by Zed

Well, it had to happen. Zed came out of hiding for an impromptu interview at fuonlyknew and took a moment to discuss the subtleties when choosing the next brain to eat (not that he does anymore).

Would you prefer eating brains from a man or a woman?
Hmm…it would be relative to what I am in the mood for; the flavour of a woman’s brain is intense, sweet and decidedly complex with hidden nuances that require my full attention. A man’s brain is musky, with a strong flavour that underlies the overall demeanor of the host. Of course, certain nationalities would result in some differences, for example, Italians/Spanish are prone to irrational bursts of flavour.

I hope you enjoy the interview - it was amusing to see Zed's perspective on things ! Thanks Laura

Monday, June 11, 2012

A whirlwind tour

You probably have noticed that I've been relatively quiet in the last few weeks ... well, maybe a little more quiet than normal, but at least this time I do have a valid excuse. I was on holiday that was quite short but definitely appreciated.

[IWDRM] "If you wake up at a different time, in a different place, could you wake up as a different person?"
It all started with a fifty (!) hour trip from America via a convoluted path to my final destination in Amsterdam, Holland. Why did it take so long? I won't go into details, but the multiple aircraft did begin to feel like a second home by the end. I also made a good number of single-serving friends along the way, although I unfortunately did not make Tyler Durden's acquaintance (shame on you if you didn't get the references).

All of this effort was so I could be there to celebrate my Grandmother's birthday (and to celebrate the end of another successful project). It was wonderful, with all of my Dutch relations doing their best to make the short time I had in Holland as enjoyable as possible. After my time in Holland, I then headed over to Malaysia to the wonderful warmth, humidity and my family and then finally back to Australia for the cold and dreary. It was a whirlwind tour ... and somehow I automagically handled every time zone with aplomb and guile. Whether I have become a hardened traveller is anyone's guess, but I somehow clinched it each time.

I am unsure whether I should be proud of that or just a little bit worried.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Interview with Christopher Gray

Today I am interviewing a fellow author by the name of Christopher Gray (or C.M Gray), author of Shadowland; a tale that attempts to answer the mysteries surrounding the origins behind Merlin, Arthur and the Knights of the round table.

Tell me a little about yourself.
Image of C.M.GrayHi Stephen, well thanks for the opportunity to talk about myself and my books. I’m an Englishman living just outside Barcelona in Spain. I’ve spent the last twenty plus years living all over the world, with longer stays in Hong Kong, India, Israel, The Philippines, Holland and France. I’ve always sought out interesting locations and have a taste of adventure that has got me into trouble on more than one occasion. I think a lot of the experiences I’ve had and the locations I’ve been in find a way into my writing. I have a love of Aikido, which I practised since I was a teen, anything in the great outdoors like walking and sailing, and playing guitar rather badly! My working life has encompassed everything from the restoration of church organs, building work to raising finances for a reforestation company.

What made you want to become a writer?
Two things made me want to become a writer. Firstly, I have always loved to read. I devour books in a very short time and read everything from fantasy to spirituality, the only genre I dislike is romance. I always heard the saying that ‘we all have a book within us’ and wondered what ‘my’ book would be like. The second thing that got me writing was The X-Factor. I took a distinct dislike to the whole concept just as my wife was rapidly becoming addicted to it, I fled the room and started tapping on my laptop. Thank you Mr Cowell because writing turned out to be a lot more fun than watching you!

If you had to do an 'elevator pitch' for Shadowland, what would you say?