When did you decide to become a writer?
About six years after I started writing my first book, lol. I just started writing it as something to do in my spare time. By the time I got halfway through the book, I found that I really enjoyed it. I had done some writing in elementary and high school, but never really considered it as a career, since I was enraptured by the computer revolution that was coming (aging myself there) and wanted to get in on that.
If you are not a full time writer what do you do to pay the bills?
I’m a programmer for a banking software company.
Any tips for your fellow Indie authors?
Edit, edit, edit. And then, when you’re done editing, edit again. Don’t skim your material for mistakes. Read it sentence by sentence, even word by word. It will take time, but it’s better to take the time initially and put it out a little later, than it is to put it on the market and then find glaring errors (or worse, have someone else point them out to you). Be sure the published product is the absolute best you can make it.
I think the biggest problem with Indie material isn’t the lack of imagination or story, it’s that we sometimes get into such a hurry wanting to get our stuff out there, that we miss obvious mistakes in our own material. I know it’s happened to me. When readers see poorly edited work, it’s doubtful they’ll buy the next book by that author, and may assume that the book they just read is an indication of the quality of Indie books as a whole. Nothing could be further from the truth.
What served as your inspiration for From a Far Land?
I’m not sure there really was an inspiration, to be honest. Like I said, I just started writing as something to do in my spare time. I started with the typical “boy finds portal to another world” thing and took it from there. I just put my own spin on it, and hoped it was different enough for people to like.
What other work do you have available?
For now, From a Far Land is the only thing I’ve done. I’m working on two books at the moment, and I have pages and pages of ideas for future material. So be patient. It’s coming.
What sites is your work available on?
Amazon.com (print & Kindle), BarnesandNoble.com (print and Nook), Smashwords.com (other e-book formats), and my website www.gdavidwalker.com (for signed print copies).
Are you currently working on anything new and if so when can we expect to see it?
I’m working on Altered Intentions, the second book of the Jaben’s Rift trilogy, which should be out sometime in the second half of 2011. I’m also working on the first book of the Eiledrian Swords series, again shooting for second half of 2011 or first half of 2012.
Are there any authors that you really look up to?
Stephen R. Donaldson’s character development leaves me speechless. I love his Thomas Covenant series, although it might be a little dark for some. Piers Anthony has a rather naughty sense of humor, but I really enjoy how he crafts his stories. Anne McCaffrey, Jennifer Roberson, Michael Moorcock, and Orson Scott Card are some other favorites.
What do you see the biggest challenge in being an Indie author as?
I’ve always said: Writing isn’t the hard part. It’s getting noticed that’s hard. As an Indie, all of the marketing and promotion, one hundred percent, is on the author. You can have the next Great American Novel, but if no one knows about it, it doesn’t do you any good. Once the book is finished, the hard part begins.
Have you ever been published in any magazines or any national publication?
Not yet, since I’ve been mainly focusing on novel length works rather than short stories or articles.
Do you have a homepage/blog/twitter/facebook etc... that fans can follow your progress or contact you at?
Easiest way to find me is to Google “G. David Walker” (in quotes or else you get David Walker, the Comptroller General of the U.S., hehe). I’m on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Authors Den, etc… My website is the World of Walker at www.gdavidwalker.com.
What is your favorite book/series?
Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen R. Donaldson, without a doubt.
Are there any specific sites that you visit for advice or inspiration?
As a fantasy writer, the entire world is inspiration. I just go through my days saying “What if…” over and over again. I do frequent the Writer’s Digest Community message boards, and the Indie Spot, a new site for Indie authors to hang out.
Can you give us a basic idea of what the Eiledrian Swords series is going to be about?
The Eiledria are one of the Lost Races thought long gone from the realm of men. They were a race of scholars, artisans, and mystics. Now that true magical ability is fading from the world, they're remembered as fearful sorcerers and mages from ancient legends. They were best known for the swords they crafted. Each sword was imbued with a different mystical power, no two swords the same. Each book will feature a different sword, building and expanding the story line from the previous one.
The first book, Redemption's Edge, deals with a sword intended to be the Eiledria's greatest achievement. Unfortunately, what it became was their greatest shame. Saying anything more would be a bit of a spoiler.
Do you consider writing as a dream job, a way to earn some extra cash, or just a hobby?
At first it was just a hobby, then I thought it might be a way to make a few bucks on the side. Now, after realizing how much I enjoyed writing the first book (even the editing part), I think writing for a living would be awesome. If you can build a career doing something that you truly love, it may still be work, but it's not a job. Hey, it only took me 40 years or so to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up.
Can we get a sneak peek into what is going to happen in Altered Intentions?
As you might infer from the title, Altered Intentions will deal much more heavily with the Altered and their interaction with Teleria. The biggest clue is given in the epilogue of From a Far Land. We'll also learn more about who they were before they become Altered. All of the major players and groups from the first book will be back, but each will be involved in their own quest, with radical changes in circumstances preventing them from working together for the most part.
We'll also introduce a new part of Telerian culture and touch on what happens to those who are born with no dimsai (magic) ability. All of these threads will come back together again in the final book, tentatively titled Soul of Dimsai.
Any specials going on or planned with your book?
Until the end of February, 2011, I'm giving the e-book of From a Far Land away free via Smashwords.com. I would give it away free on Amazon, but I haven't figured out how to get their system to allow me to price it lower than 0.99. I believe the .mobi format from Smashwords.com is compatible for Kindle, however, unless someone just wants to pay 0.99 and contribute to the coffers of a struggling writer (just kidding).
Why did you choose Scotland?
I've always felt drawn to Gaelic culture. My family has some Irish ancestry and I've always wanted to visit both Ireland and Scotland. Maybe if I can kiss the Blarney Stone I'll become a better writer, lol. I'm actually planning a contemporary urban fantasy series after the Eiledrian Swords where the Seelie and Unseelie courts will figure predominantly. I've already started the research for that series, even though it's probably at least a couple of years down the road.
In your book there are some unique races, where did they come from?
Just the strange little thoughts that bubble up to the surface from the dark recesses of a writer's mind. I wanted to do something different than the traditional fantasy races: elves, orcs, trolls, etc.... So, many of the races of Teleria are human/animal hybrids inadvertently created during the last technological world war on the planet fifteen centuries before.
If you lived in your world which discipline of magic would you study?
That's a very interesting question. Each of the Orders has their unique abilities. It would probably come down to a choice between the Topaz Order, with their mastery of weather related phenomena, or the Ruby Order and their abilities and knowledge of geology and stonework.
Which one of your characters do you identify with most strongly?
If I was thirty years younger, I'd say Jason. He's just an ordinary kid from my part of the country. Now, of course, I'd probably go with Loremaster Reyga. He is very loyal to those he considers friends, but he also has a mischievous side as well.
Although I would identify with Reyga the most, I would have to say my favorite character is Lenai. As a Shanthi, she has experienced discrimination and ridicule for no reason other than her race, even though the Shanthi value honor above all else. Her deep-seated sense of honor and loyalty in spite of the misperceptions about her people is a major part of who she is.
You used a post apocalyptic setting for your alternate world, but had a very unique spin on it. Why did you choose this setup?
Well, in the beginning the story was going to have a different ending than what it does now. That ending required a post-apocalyptic setting, but I didn't want it to be a Mad Max type of world. So, this world has healed from its global destruction. Unfortunately, due to events during the war, they were never able to rebuild the pre-war technology and had to take their society in a different direction. However, the knowledge of what used to be has lived on through the system of Loremasters.
As I worked on the book, the ending of the series changed. By that time, the planet's technological past had become part of the story. To preserve the story line, I left it in there with a bit of a rewrite. It still plays its part, just in a different way.
Well, thank you for taking the time for this interview.
Thank you. It's been a pleasure.