This is a new feature I have started on my blog! I am so excited to share with you the authors I get the chance to interview. Its also a place for newbie authors that I think has great potential to find a wider and newer audience. I am taking baby steps with this but am hoping it grows into a community all book lovers will enjoy and contribute to a more holistic reading experience. I for one am excited to know what are the thoughts that authors have, how they go from an idea to actually writing the book to finally publishing it. What a fascinating journey that is. So here am with 10 questions any author can identify with and show us a sneak peak into their lives.
Starting my feature is by a YA Fantasy author whose review has retained the Top Posts position for the past 3 months on my blog which is saying a lot for a site that heavily focuses on thriller genre. David Combs is the author of Thieve’s Honor which I had the pleasure of reviewing. Enjoy!
- When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?
When I was about 8 years old I decided that I wanted to try to rewrite Star Wars, my favorite movie at that time, into a novel. I sat down with a notebook and began writing. I was kindly informed that I couldn’t write that story since someone else had already done it. That same day I discovered what a Copyright Infringement was. The seed had been planted though. I knew from the small bit of work that I had completed that I liked telling stories and wanted to share tales of heroes and grand adventures.
- How long does it take you to write a book?
Well, Thieves’ Honor, as I mentioned above is a poor example of how long I need. I guess the actual length of time writing comes to about a year and a half once the final editing has been done. I began writing the first Witch book Last August and now am making the first editing run through it.
- What is your schedule like when you’re writing?
I don’t have a set schedule although I tend to do most of my writing during my lunch break at my regular job, and then also in the evenings after I have spent time with my family. I try to squeeze time in whenever I can. I actually have changed my lifestyle in that I watch a lot less television than I used to, preferring to use that time instead to read or write.
- What would you say is your unusual writing quirk?
I write all my rough drafts in a composition notebook first, and the chapters are not usually done in chronological order. I see my stories in my head as if I were watching them on a movie screen, so I tend to focus first on getting those down as vividly as I can. After those key scenes are written, then comes the task of joining everything together. I tend to scribble little notes and ideas in the margins of the notebook as I go through this so once I start typing up the draft, I will see those notes and know where to add in those extra details or expand on what I had originally written down.
- Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Thieves’ Honor started from a play on the old quote “there is no honor among thieves”. I had read this in something years ago, and I remember that I asked myself, what if there could be? What if the fate a city, a nation, or even potentially the world depended on the heroism of one or more unlikely heroes? I wanted a team of individuals though, not just a single hero who could fight, use magic, and remain stealthy all in one. I also wanted to make the struggle not just against the villain of the story, but I wanted the fight to seem doomed from the start. My trio begins the book fighting each other, so how can they ever expect to defeat the ancient vampire lord ravaging the city?
- Which is your favourite season to write in, and why?
I guess the fall is my favourite season to write in. The weather is growing colder, and writing to me always seems like a task that you should feel cozy as you do it. Grab a cup of coffee, or a mug of hot tea, wrap up in your favourite sweater or sweatshirt and put the pencil to paper.
- What is the most difficult part of your writing process?
Editing is always the toughest aspect of writing to me. It doesn’t matter how many times I go through the story, I will always wonder if there is something else that could have been written differently to make a scene more powerful. Even now, as proud as I am of Thieves’ Honor, there are still things that I would have approached differently. The trick is to take those lessons and apply them to the next project so that I can make each new story shine brighter than the last one.
- What behind-the-scenes tidbit in your life would probably surprise your readers the most?
Probably that I am the stereotypical “Jack of all trades, master of none.” By that, I mean that in addition to writing, I also play guitar, and draw comic book style artwork. Creative expression has always been a big part of my life, as I was a perpetual daydreamer as a kid growing up. In fact, The Witches of Pioneer Vale actually began as a comic book project, and I have many pages of sketches done that have helped me visualize the characters and setting that I have carried over to the novel.
- How do you come up with names for your characters?
The heroes of Thieves’ Honor were born out of old RPG characters from when I was a kid. Nestor, in particular, was the most direct crossover. Tyrell and Galen required a little more imagination though. For the most part, the character names just come to me at random. Oftentimes, I get only part of the name and then I have to go to work to come up with the rest of it. The nice thing about being a fantasy writer is that I have the freedom to come up with something that might sound nonsensical, but given the story setting, I can get away with it.
- How do you think being a writer has helped you as a person?
I have always been an introvert. One of those shy, quiet, and soft-spoken types. Since publishing Thieves’ Honor, I have grown much more comfortable talking to people. With the growing realisation that people are interested in the stories I have to tell, I now can speak much more freely about what I write and why the fantasy genre makes me feel at home. I have discovered an incredible fantasy author community on social media and the support and encouragement of so many great indie authors has really helped me connect and grow with both peers and readers. From their example, I have done my best to try and return whatever advice and support that I can offer. Maybe one day, I can pay forward that same push that was given to me, and some other author that doubted themselves will take a bold step forward.
Thieves Honor is available in paperback and ebook –