Today I’d like to present you with one of the debutants. I’m currently reading his book and I have to say I’m impressed. It’s not often that you see something so good and so original as “Greeth”. Haven’t you heard of it yet? Well, it’s time to do your research :D.
But for now see how the author reacted to my bothersome questions :P.
What or who pushed you to write and publish your story?
My fiancé Ellen was incredibly supportive of the whole process. I was terrified of self-publishing and putting myself out there, and she really helped me be the best author I can be, and supported me through the whole process. I had to learn a lot of new skills, hiring and working with editors, designers, proof-readers, beta-readers, the works. Plus the ins and outs of being my own publisher. She was there helping me all the way.
I actually proposed to her in the dedication to the book, so a lot of readers email me asking, “Did she say yes?”
Pen, typewriter or computer?
Computer. But I also collect and sometimes use antique typewriters. The problem with computers is that people always want to make corrections as they go, and on an old typewriter you can’t do that. So if I feel like I’m not moving forward at a good pace, I’ll break out the typewriter for a while. On the typewriter, forward is the only way to go.
What surprised you the most while writing your first book?
The thing that surprised me the most was how much of the book changes from draft to draft. Going back and looking at the early drafts, it’s shocking how much didn’t make it into the final story. Some things that I thought were really important just dropped away as the story grew. It’s great for my second book because I’m not as worried about the early drafts. I know most of that stuff won’t make the cut.
How did you come up with the title?
The title “Greeth” took some brainstorming to come up with. It’s the name of a primordial god, and I wanted something dark and Lovecraftian, but also something that was really my own. I walked around the house making sounds to myself and rejecting anything that sounded too natural. I wanted it to be simple and primal sounding.
What gave you the idea for your book?
I’ve always loved Sword and Sorcery stories. Conan the Barbarian and all that. Wizards, ancient gods, lone heroes standing at the brink. Of course, I tend to write more modern day stuff. So I thought about what a modern Sword and Sorcery tale would look like. I came up with the idea of wizards and ninjas in modern Japan. That’s where one of my favorite characters, Julie Alvarez, got her fencing rapier from, too. A lot of other things were added and changed as the drafts went on, but I was really excited when one of my five star reviews came back comparing the novel to Sword and Sorcery. I really got a kick out of that.
How did you come up with the magic system and this idea of the wizards?
The wizards in my book are a ‘race’ of people who came to earth tens of thousands of years ago. They have an innate, blood-born gift for creating magic. But each wizard only has one kind of power. The main character, Peter Buraku, for example, can create ‘golems’. He can bring inanimate things to life, basically. Another character, Hideo, works with sound waves as his magic talent.
I liked the idea of each wizard having just one kind of power, but also having them develop that power in interesting ways.
As a side note, I’ll mention one of the Japanese terms in the book. It’s a derogatory slang term for wizards, because a lot of people in the story world hate them. Uizado. A lot of readers have asked me how to pronounce that, and I always say “Oo-ee-zah-doh”. You can hear how it sounds like “Wizard” with an “o” on the end. But a lot of people have asked, so now they know!
Do you have a scheduled time for writing or is it more spontaneous?
I try to write 2000 words every day when I’m working. To make it easier, I like to write 300 words first thing when I get up. That just takes a few minutes, but it gets me going. Then later I might write 800 or so. Before 5PM rolls around I write whatever’s left.
What are your thoughts on audiobooks, would you like someone to record your story or would you rather read it yourself?
I would love to have someone record it. I often read my own work aloud to myself, to check the way it sounds as I’m rewriting. I don’t want to put anyone else through that. It’s definitely a job for the professionals.
Would you like to live in the world you’ve created? If yes, what would be your role?
I’m not sure. With the war and everything going on, it seems like a rough world. But our world has wars too, and a lot fewer wizards and ninjas, so I guess I would like to live there. As dark as it can be.
And of course I’d want to be a wizard. I don’t know what my power would be, but I’d be excited just to have one.
Do you have a message for your readers?
Since my book came out, I’ve gotten so many great reviews, and I’ve heard from so many people who enjoyed the story and recommended it to friends. I appreciate every single one of those people, and everyone who reads a copy and likes it and lets me know. It’s really wonderful to work on something for a year and a half and be working with editors and cover designers and everything and finally get it out there and have people really enjoy it.
That means the world to me. It really does.
How was did you like the interview? It was kind of my first time, so I didn’t really know what I was doing, but Charles seems like a great person, so very kind of him to answer so well and so fast.
And congratulations on the engagement!