This week’s blog is the answers to 12 genuine questions I was asked. I thought it might be worth adding them here, for this week’s blog. It might make interesting reading.
1. Tell us a little bit about your hometown and your life growing up.
I would prefer to keep this part of my life private. Not because I have any bad recollections of my childhood or the place, but the truth is, what I remember might not match up to reality. And that might not be good news. Why tell a child there is no Father Christmas if he doesn’t need to know? What I can say, though, is that all my bumps and bruises, smiles and tears, have made me who I am. And it is this person who wrote Creation – no one else.
2. What were some of your aims and aspirations as a kid and how did those change as you grew up?
I think I always wanted to be loved for something I’d done – something amazing. Now, I guess I just want someone to be nice to me on a regular basis. Let other people be amazing. I’m quite happy to tell them they are, too.
3. What were your parents’ initial reactions when you said you wanted to be an author?
I never told them. In the past, I wrote books simply because it was a great way to send money home. By placing the money between the pages of a chapter, it had a much better chance of arriving. It kind of got me used to writing to deadlines as each week I would send something.
4. How did you first get into the science fiction genre?
I never did. This book has actually very little to do with SF. There are no aliens, no apocalyptic ending. Of course, I have written some futuristic fantasies about how life might be like, but they’re more like background decoration, and don’t carry the story line. The plot actually takes place in the late twentieth century.
5. Who and what was your inspiration for your book “I am GoD EI8HT”? What were the hardest and easiest parts of writing this book?
No one inspired me. It evolved out of a bizarre idea I once had concerning the creation of the world. ‘A student made earth for his final exam… and after, well, he had to destroy it, and let another God have a go.’ This idea never happened. But it got me thinking about creation.
What do I find the hardest part about writing?
I would say getting my thoughts in the right order – and remembering what I have already written. This may sound odd, but I write more chapters than necessary and end up removing a lot.
The easiest part is secretly adding my own soundtrack to the book. All skillfully written into the story. (Smile)
6. Which characters did you enjoy creating the most in the Creation series? What are some common myths or legends that you incorporated into these books?
This a good question. I enjoy all the characters. When I write their scenes, I try my best to make them real. To make them the kind of person I would love or hate. I try hard not to have any of my protagonists weak and unbelievable. As for the myths and legends – fortunately, because the story takes place in an online virtual game filled with global champions with historical avatar names, I have been able to encompass a lot of history, myths, and legends into the series. But at the same time, I have been able to question some of the issues, manners, and cultures of our time. Naturally, they are low profile, like salt on a dinner. It adds to the flavor but doesn’t spoil the meal. One last thing, I tend to write a lot of footnotes.
7. How do you usually select character names? Have you ever named a character after your family or friends?
In the Creation series the names have all been deliberately chosen. Some because of their ‘indirect reference to religious names: GoD, Evylin, JC. while others are taken out of respect for great people from history. Dr. Fanon, or staff sergeant Garcia. I don’t use friends names, because I feel they might indirectly influence the character and I don’t want that.
8. How did you get the idea for the Creation series? What are these books about?
The idea of Creation had been growing in my mind for years. It didn’t come as a moment of inspiration. It would be brilliant if it did… all six books! You see, the Creation series is actually just one very long story. When I started writing it, I didn’t realize it was going to be this long. It was not my fault. I believe in my characters, and because of this, they behave in unchangeable but pretty predictable ways. This prevents certain things from happening, while causing others too.
9. What kinds of scenes do you find harder to write (action, suspense, funny, etc)?
I find emotional scenes the most difficult. Trying to write about pain and heartache, and love in a way that is realistic, isn’t easy. I do not want to belittle anyone who has really gone through any of the emotions I try to describe. To achieve this I look into my colorful past, a life filled with incredible, interesting, and wonderful people, for help. This means that a lot of the pain and sorrow I write about I have experienced and met, in one form or other, in someone I have known and shared time with. This is why I try my very best not to be disrespectful to their hurting. I try really hard to express what they lived, and hope if ever they were to read it, they would know I understand.
10. What are some common misconceptions about the fantasy genre that you hope to erase?
There are none. I am not even sure what genre of fantasy my book belongs to. I would love to say it is unique but that would be a lie. I do feel it is slightly different however, and it might be a cuckoo’s egg.
11. How is your day structured? How many days do you write in a week?
I have a regular job which pays the mortgage. Nine to five. So my day structure is obvious. I try to write at least an hour a day, and this tends to be in the evening. I have convinced myself I only need six hours of sleep, five at night and one during the day, after which, I tell myself my mind is fresh, and I can start writing.
12. Walk us through the editing process of your book? Who normally edits your books for you?
I have a wonderful proofreader. Someone who has been working with me for fifteen years now. I have never met her and look forward to the day I do. I have so many things to look forward to, should people ever start buying my work. (smile)