Interview: Q. How did you come up with the idea for the Assassin’s Rising series?
A. 'Assassin's Rising' started out as an urban fantasy novel I devised when I was thirteen years old. As I read other fantasy authors like Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, my tastes in fantasy changed. The story and characters grew and shifted so much that I soon realized these characters needed a world of their own to play in. Then they expanded even further, each character taking its own novel and series. Assassin's Rising is a series centered around Kaltor Stratagar, one of my favorite adventure characters.
Q. Is there a message in this series that you want readers to grasp?
A. The underlying theme of 'Assassin's Rising' is twofold. The first message is the importance of giving your all to protect and nurture what you love. The second is that we can't do it alone. How different would this world be if we worked to accomplish our dreams instead of just going to sleep to see them? I hope readers learn from Kaltor's dedication and training, to work hard to accomplish their dreams.
Q. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your books?
A. If I had to do it all over again, I would put a bit more effort into tying the books together more. I would set it up so details from the first book would still be pertinent by book three. As they are now, they stand alone, so they can be read out of order without leaving the reader up a creek without the proverbial paddle. But one thing I'd like to improve on as a writer in the future, is interconnecting the novels better.
Q. What was the hardest part of writing this series?
A. The hardest part of writing a series is knowing your limits as a writer. When I finished the third Kaltor book, my brain was all assassin'd out (yes, it's possible after eight months to get tired of one on-going story). So I wrote a couple zombie books until I felt ready to tackle Kaltor's next book, Desolate. Now that I'm continuing Kaltor's series, I'm writing a few short stories in between each book to give my brain a break. That way I can jump on the next novel within weeks, instead of months.
Q. Did you learn anything from writing your books and what was it?
A. Persistence pays off. I hear aspiring writers all the time tell me 'Oh I could never write a novel, it's too big!' The way to overcome that is to break it down into small pieces and do a bit every day. I plan an outline so I don't get lost and write one chapter a day. Within a month, my next novel is ready for editing and revising. It takes a lot of discipline, but I believe if we approach most of life's problems in this manner (just a bit each day), issues we find overwhelming will melt away, one day at a time.
Q. Did you have a musical playlist you listen to when writing? If so, what kind of music?
A. I have a youtube playlist I listen to while writing. Well, technically, I have five different ones, depending on my mood. Lately though, I've been listening to ES Posthumous, Evanescence, and youtube compilations of 'epic music'. Pretty much anything that spawns images of fantasy battle scenes in my head.
Q. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
A. I first caught the fever in fifth grade, during math class. Our teacher decided to teach us percents and multiplication by calculating the royalties of R. L. Stine's Goosebumps series. After that, I was hooked on the idea. I loved the thought of producing a product you can eventually convert into paperback, audio, movie and now e-book formats, while making money each step of the way.
Q. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
A. Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn Trilogy is my favorite fantasy series thus far. He does a great job of keeping things unpredictable to the very last moment. His magic structure is original and well thought out. It’s a science, not just 'poof' the bad guy just died.
Q. Tell us your latest news.
A. Kaltor's fourth novel, Desolate, will be coming to e-book and paperback in late October of this year on Amazon's Kindle, Barnes and Noble's Nook and Smashwords.
Q. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
A. I maintain a monthly newsletter called the 'E-List' through which I keep in touch with my readers. Members of the 'E-List' gain access to special deals, author information and extra content before it becomes available in bookstores. It doesn't cost anything to get on, just email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I'll add you to the list. So, check out Decoy and if it's to your liking feel free to join our 'E-List' family.