Saturday, March 26, 2011

Interview #8 with Robert Day author of the Nexus Wars series

Demon Gates (Nexus Wars Saga)Ashar'an Rising (Nexus Wars Saga)

When did you decide to become a writer?

I don't think there was any particular time where I thought, 'I am going to be a writer'. I think it all came about one day back when I was about 16 or 17, a friend and I were talking about what fantasy books were out at the time, and ruing the fact we had read most of what was on offer at the time. We basically thought, 'How hard can it be to write our own books?'  Well, I guess the answer to that can be gleaned from the twenty years from then to now.

If you are not a full time writer what do you do to pay the bills?

I am a purchasing officer for a Window and Door manufacturer.

What was your route to Indie authoring?  

Having never been confident of my ability nor wanting to really go down the 'getting published' route, I have not really tried the 'Find an agent / publisher' method. Sure, I sent out some ridiculously half-hearted submissions many years ago, all to no avail, but it was not until I discovered Indie publishing that I wondered how I would go down that path.

Any tips for your fellow Indie authors?  

I'm not sure I am what you might call a 'successful' Indie author, so take any tips I give with a grain of salt, but my first bit of advice would be "Don't rest on your laurels!"  Now more than ever, the publishing industry is cut-throat and competitive. Not only do you have the traditional authors, but a whole host of Indie authors who are all striving to 'make it'. Polish your work. Polish your descriptions on websites. Do your own marketing, whether it be on social networking or review sites. Don't take it for granted that all of a sudden someone will discover you, because there are many thousands of authors doing the same. Even if you are only doing it to make a few dollars, take some pride in what you have achieved and created, and give your readers the best you can give.

What served as your inspiration for Demon Gates?  

Basically what began as a 'stop-gap' to when more books became available to read, turned in to a tribute to my favourite authors. From an early age I had been immersed in fantasy, from books to playing Dungeons & Dragons. As such, I found I had many ideas floating around in my mind, awaiting a conduit to get out. I have no formal training other than lessons gained from thousands of hours of reading the likes of Tolkien, Eddings, Salvatore, Weis & Hickman, Gary Gygax etc etc. So basically, me completing my own manuscript was my thanks to all of those authors, who all helped to give me my own style and my own voice.

What other work do you have available?  

Ashar'an Rising, Book 2 of the Nexus Wars Saga, has just been released. Originally, the manuscript I created was an immense 1200+ page monster, which I subsequently divided into 2 books. While I took many years to edit and mould Demon Gates into what it is today, it was not until after Demon Gates was released late last year that I got to refine Ashar'an Rising to where it is today, although I continue to edit both.

What sites is your work available on?  

My works are available on Amazon (Demon Gates (Nexus Wars Saga) Ashar'an Rising (Nexus Wars Saga))(US and UK), as well as Smashwords and their affiliate retailers (B&N, Apple, Sony, Diesel)

Are you currently working on anything new and if so when can we expect to see it?  

Book 3 is in the works. With the marketing I am doing for Books 1 and 2, as well as a full time job and trying to give my wife the attention she deserves, it is a slow process. With luck, I can have something solid by the end of the year, given that I hope it to match the previous 2 books at over 600 pages in length.

Are there any authors that you really look up to?  

As I have mentioned, some of my favourite authors are Tolkien, Eddings, Salvatore and R.E. Feist, for differing reasons. Tolkien was the master, undisputed though oft challenged. David Eddings (R.I.P.) had a wonderful storytelling quality about his work, with the ability to blend all of the gamut’s of emotion into his story.  Raymond E. Feist, whose 'Magician' and subsequent novels took me to places I never dreamed, gave rise to more Heroic fantasy, with powerful yet likeable characters and vast worlds. R.A. Salvatore on the other hand, was the master of action. His attention to detail and the working of melee gave rise to probably one of the most recognisable and loved characters of all time, Drizzt.

What do you see the biggest challenge in being an Indie author as?  

Pre-conceived bias.  No matter how well you write, or how good your story is, or how well priced it is, people simply won't touch it. Indie authors are like cheap running shoes going up against Nike's and Reeboks. You really do have to prove you belong through your quality and a good marketing strategy, yet even then, there are some feet you just won't get to fit

Have you ever been published in any magazines or any national publication?  


Do you have a homepage/blog/twitter/facebook etc... that fans can follow your progress or contact you at?  

I spent a lot of time creating my own website, I try to update it when I can, and hope to gain a following through my newsletter, in order to send periodical updates and snippets of what I am currently working on.

What is your favorite book/series?  

My favourite Book would have to be 'Magician', by Raymond E. Feist. I find myself re-visiting it regularly, and am never disappointed. Favourite series would have to be 'The Belgariad' by David Eddings.

Are there any specific sites that you visit for advice or inspiration?  

Amazon continues to be a source of both inspiration and frustration. I am addicted to checking sales and rankings! No wonder I can never get any writing done! It does serve as a kick in the butt, however, when you see that you really do have to create something above par to compete.  The forums there are also good for advice in terms of marketing and general writing information.

How do you visualize all the melee combat and put it on paper so clearly?  

To be honest, I'm not sure! I guess it just comes natural to me, maybe something to do with the logical manner in which my mind works? Perhaps it is similar to situation awareness, and an ability to picture in my mind what I am writing, and having the foresight to see where it is going, and where I wat it to be.

You have built a huge world with your website having a lot of specialized info.  How long have you been working on it? 

Most of that information was created before I began work on Demon Gates. I knew I needed a solid basis for my work, which involved detailed information about many things likely to come up during the course of the novel(s). Surprisingly, I don't think it took me all that long to nut out the basics, and I have been adding and fine-tuning as I go along. The coloured map of Kil'Tar on my website was created using Paintshop (or something similar), copying a hand-drawn version I had drawn back when it all started.

Which of your characters do you most identify with?  

Wow... this is like choosing a favourite child. I guess it would have to be Valdieron, although part of my persona probably went into the make-up of every character. Demon Gates came about from having the figure of Valdieron in mind, and forming all of the necessary theme, plots, details etc around him and what I envisioned him to be as a protagonist. 

I think Llewellyn is my favorite character.  How did he come to be?  

I guess Llewellyn is the token 'mentor', for means of a better word. There came a time in Demon Gates where I knew I had to branch out and make it more entertaining and 'epic', and to do so I needed some diverse characters to give me a means with which to impart information and help not only Valdieron to grow, bu the world of Kil'Tar also.

On your website it says you plan 5-7 book in this series.  Have you got a final number pinned down yet?  

Not yet. Perhaps a bit of the Robert Jordan fan coming out in me ;) While I do have ideas about how I want the series to end and where I want it to go, the path is ever growing, with many twists, turns and forks. While I do not want to drag it out and wear the story too thin, I take it as a test of my abilities to see if I can make it to the 5 - 7 Book mark. Also, being my 'baby', like most books I read and love and don't want to end, so too am I fearing the day the Nexus Wars Saga comes to an end.

I know you recently released book 2 Ashar'an Rising.  How are the other books coming?  

Do you have the outline for the whole series laid out or is it written on the fly?  Juggling work and home duties means I do not get as much time as I would like to work on Book 3, which I can reveal will likely be named 'The Last Wind Dancer'. It is slowly coming along, however, although after the lengthy editing of Books 1 & 2, I am finding myself writing slower and being more mindful of style, flow, pace etc. Not sure if this is a good thing or not, as the previous 2 books came about 'on-the-fly', as all the images and ideas in my mind were let loose. Perhaps that is why the editing took so long for both once they were all done :) As I mentioned above, I have a bit of an idea about what I would like to happen, but I tend to go off on tangents as I write, as new ideas form and grow in my mind.

Do you have any specials or promotions planned?  Your review contest on your website was a fantastic idea.  Will we be seeing that again?  

I am always looking to increase my reader base by offering free copies or give-aways. I also plan on giving sneak-peeks in the form of Chapters from Book 3 and beyond in my newsletter, so anybody interested should head over and sign up for the newsletter. The review contest for Book 1 didn't really take off, but perhaps another one in the future will have more success.

Thanks for taking the time to do this interview.  I wish you the best in your writing career.  

Thank you, Scott, and likewise all the best for your blog. Thanks to the passion, dedication and devotion of readers such as yourself, Indie authors will continue to dream.

1 comment:

  1. I just finished book 2 and I have to say that it was amazing I couldn't put it down yet I wanted to so it wouldn't end you are a masterful storyteller the visual descriptions made me feel like I was in the battles and right beside valderion throught the whole of both books keep up th amazing work sir I can't wait for books 3 through ?

    A newly aquired fan