This is continuing 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.
Q:Your book has been featured here recently but please refresh everyone about your new book.
A: The book is a Greco-Roman fantasy, involving characters of alternate races. They are being persecuted into extinction by the Remsian Empire. One young dwarf, Cobby, thinks they can carve out a place in the world, but they have to overcome prejudices against each other first.
Q: How are your initial sales and reviews?
A: Reviews have been awesome. Sales have been small. Part of my 2015 efforts have to go toward extending my reach. More people would enjoy this story if they only knew about it. I recently joined Goodreads and there has been a small spike of interest in all my titles. The Rave Reviews Book Club has been really helpful in getting me noticed too.
Q: Is there anything special of note you can share about the book’s background – ideas and development?
A: I really wanted to read a good dwarf story. Elves seem to get all the attention in modern fantasy, and I wanted something else. I found some fun stories, and some that fell short. Along the way, I decided to write my own. In order to write this, I decided I had to bring something different to the table. I didn’t want to concentrate on another story with the same themes. This is when I came up with the Greco-Roman setting. The setting required races that are different than Tolkienesque fantasy. This book is full of centaurs, satyrs, and cyclops. It’s still a dwarf story, but different too. There are humans as well, but they’re Paeonians, Goths, Jews, and Amazon’s.
Q: What keeps you going creatively?
A: I love creating something new, but it’s my friends who keep me going. A positive comment on a blog post, a retweet, a nice review, these are the things that drive me forward. I come across something and it spurs my imagination. It could be on DeviantArt, television, another book, song lyrics, almost anything. Ideas come and go, but some stick around longer. These are the ones I outline to see if they make the cut.
Q: What are your thoughts regarding being an independent author?
A: In many ways, it’s independent or private. There is nothing wrong with writing for private amusement, and many people are. The gatekeeper system got so restrictive that I explored self publishing. Self publishing is kind of like being one salmon in a vast school. Thousands of new books are released every day. Readers have access to more choices than ever before. The challenge is to stand out. Invitations like this are incredibly valuable.Part of my time has to be spent exploring ways to get noticed. We’re all learning as we go, but the blogging community is very generous when it comes to sharing what works, and doesn’t work.
Q: What are your writing goals beyond this current book?
A: I limit myself to three closely related genres; Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Paranormal. This helps me stay dedicated. It may not work for others, but it works for me. I can avoid the stagnation that sometimes catches me by changing things up. I have a Paranormal story called Will ‘O the Wisp nearly ready to go. Several people have advance reading copies right now, and the early reports are wonderful. I’d like to keep putting out one or two novels per year. I’m also toying with the idea of a book of short stories. This could be a great way to inspire readers to check out my longer efforts.
Q: How consistent was the final version of your cover with your original concepts?
A: Not very, to tell the truth. It is an important scene from the story, but I envisioned something a bit more grandiose. It will serve its purpose, for now. I may change it up to all marble using carved letters and a cockatrice medallion. It has to wait for another day. A cover has to do several things. It has to catch the reader’s eye. It has to illustrate the genre and setting. It also has to be intriguing enough to make the reader click the blurb or a sample chapter. My cover has the Field of Jars and a cockatrice, that’s interesting and screams fantasy. The clothing and chiseled lettering illustrate the setting. It’s serviceable, but I may change it someday.
I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.
I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.
I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.
You can follow Craig at the following places:
His blog, Entertaining Stories. http://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com
On Twitter. https://mobile.twitter.com/Virgilante
You can pick up a copy of The Cock of the South at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00P4H37WC
Thanks to Craig for the interview. Take some time to view his links and check out his latest novel.
If you’re a fantasy author and would like to be interviewed for “Fantasy Authors Unplugged” just contact me via email or one of my social media channels and we’ll set one up.
Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.
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