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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. Today’s featured author is Matt Grawitch, author of The Three Wizards Chronicles. Welcome, Matt!
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Q. Hi Matt, welcome to Fantasy Authors Unplugged on Archer’s Aim. To begin, from where do you get your ideas for fantasy?
A. That’s always hard to say. A lot of the times, some of the initial ideas just come to me. I might be showering, reading a news story, or having a conversation with someone, and an idea occurs to me. The Three Wizards books started out at just a random story I told my girls before bed one night. And then it evolved into a novel and now a series of novels. But each of the ideas – from the plot to the characters – come from somewhere.
Q. Do you have a favorite author or two that influence your own writing?
A. I’m sure other authors influence my writing, though I’m not sure any one in particular does. I’d say that, at least from a young reader perspective, Robert Jordan and the Wheel of Time series was one of my favorites. But I’ll admit, there are some really exceptional writers around these days, but for me to deliberately try to write like any of them wouldn’t work out really well.
Q. When do you know it’s time to take a break during your writing?
A. Typically when I feel like I’m forcing ideas. When I’m on, sentences flow quickly and easily (though editing is still a big pain). But when I’ve hit a roadblock, I might write and re-write a sentence three, four, or five times. And that’s when I know I’ve hit a wall. At that point, I need to take a break and let the ideas percolate. Sometimes, it takes only a few minutes, and sometimes it takes a lot longer.
Q. When did you first become interested in Fantasy?
A. Probably about the age of 8 or so. On Saturday mornings I used to watch the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon, which I thought was awesome. The combination of sword and sorcery, the creatures that inhabited the world, all of it interested me. Probably the first noteworthy fantasy book series that kept my attention was the Wheel of Time Series, and I’ve been interested in fantasy books and writing ever since.
Q. What’s your current book and the brief synopsis?
A. Three Wizards Chronicles Book 3: Pure Magic is going to be released sometime in the near future (it’s in the final stages of editing). The book picks up several months after the end of Book 2. The book surrounds a core group of characters. Nikko is a Wizard of Fire Magic and is the Teacher and Protector of the Three Wizards – Summer (Wizard of Earth Magic), Jolie (Wizard of Wind Magic), and Reece (Wizard of Water Magic). A new Wizard of Dead Magic is introduced (Addonexus, which means Bringer of Death in Latin), and some interesting new characters are added along the way. The story ends up centering on Addonexus’ attempts to conquer the Realm of Magic, though the book takes place both within that magical world as well as our own world (the natural world).
Q. What are your goals as an author?
A. I try to ensure I establish continuity in my stories and characters. My goal is to develop characters with unique personalities who interact in relatively realistic ways with the plot that’s been provided for them. Nothing irritates me more than stories where a well-developed character does something so far outside what would be expected of that character, so I try to minimize those sorts of issues in my stories and writing.
Q. How many related and unrelated books do you have in mind to write, whether as an idea or planned?
A. The Three Wizards series is probably going to be a total of six books. It was originally seven, but a couple of them were a bit short for my liking (yes, all of them have actually been written, they just haven’t undergone major editing). I also have another series, the Graymalkin Saga, which is one and a half book in, though Book 1 is still undergoing my first pass at editing. That one has no pre-determined length yet.
Q. What keeps you motivated to write no matter what’s going wrong?
A. I think self-imposed deadlines can help, but I’ll be honest, sometimes it is a struggle. Writing regularly helps, because it establishes a pattern and flow, which are both really important for me and my personality. Yet, sometimes life does get in the way and that leads to a bit more incremental writing, a bit more starting and stopping.
Collins and Hermann portraits
Matt Grawitch is a Ph.D. in Psychology serving as a faculty member at a university in the Midwestern U.S. He is also the father of two wonderful girls who served as the inspiration for some of the characters in the Three Wizards series. He currently lives in New Baden, Illinois with his fiancé.
Thanks to Matt for the interview today. I hope everyone enjoyed it and will support Matt’s work. 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. I’ve updated the site with a new landing page starting today but you can still view the News page for announcements. As part of the changes, new email subscribers will receive my free new guide, 15 Must Have Apps for Self-PublishingAuthors. Sign-up today! I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.