This is the beginning of a new feature on Archer’s Aim – Fantasy Authors Unplugged. I hope to frequently share an interview with a fantasy author. If you have authors to suggest and/or questions you’d like to see answered then leave a comment or send me an email. If you are a fantasy author and would like an interview please let me know and we’ll plan one that fits your schedule.
What’s the basic plot of The Blade Heir?
The Blade Heir is the story of a young man, Lucius Nostra, who is raised by elves. With his adoptive elf brother, Siegfried, at his side, Lucius embarks on a quest to forge an ancient sword and halt the return of the dragons of the North.
How did you choose the genre you write in?
I have always been a fan of fantasy and science fiction novels, so I was naturally drawn to write stories of fantastical realms or futuristic worlds. Novels like The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia were very inspirational to me as an aspiring writer. Stephen Lawhead’s King Raven trilogy and Celtic fantasy books were also influential in my writing.
Where do you get your ideas?
My ideas come from all kinds of media including novels, movies, TV, the Bible, and history texts I’ve read. Occasionally, I’ll get an idea for a story just from creating a title that I like or digital art that really inspires me.
Do you ever experience writer’s block?
I’ve experienced writer’s block a few times and I usually attribute it to either lack of creative ideas or procrastination. The latter just requires me to stop making excuses and write! When it’s the former, I usually need to re-evaluate my story and find out what’s stifling the writing. Sometimes it’s just a matter of tweaking an outline or finding plot holes. Other times just taking a break from writing to read a book or take a walk, clears that writer’s block right away.
I’ve done it both ways. With The Blade Heir, I just wrote and let the words come onto the page with a very loose mental outline of how I wanted things to resolve. Just writing is a very liberating experience for writers, but it can lead to massive headaches in the editing stage, which I experienced. Having learned the pitfalls of that method, I’m going the outline route with my current project and I actually enjoy having everything planned out more than I expected. Plots and subplots are easier to manage and keeping track of where I want the story to go is also simpler.
What project are you working on now?
Currently, I’m working on a post-apocalyptic novella that could be considered Young Adult. You can read the first chapter on my Wattpad page.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
The toughest criticism I’ve received as an author is that my writing is “written for a fifth grader.” My writing style is aimed at young adults and anyone older, not middle grade fiction, so it was not a compliment. Alternatively, the best compliment I’ve received is that my writing leaves people wanting more. It’s a wonderful compliment because I struggle with knowing whether I have what it takes to be an author or not.
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Never stop writing. Even if you get negative criticism or have reservations about your writing. To write is to progress in the craft, so continue on. But also know when it’s time to let your writing out into the world, whether that’s submitting it to a publisher or publishing it yourself.
I would also recommend aspiring writers drop the “aspiring” from their titles. You’re either a writer or you’re not. Once you start believing you are a writer it will make a world of difference in how you approach your writing and the level of confidence you have in the art.
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