lørdag den 9. juni 2012

Interview med den amerikanske forfatter Joseph Evans

Joseph Evans er en amerikansk forfatter der har selvudgivet den første bog i en serie om drengen Seckry. Første bog hedder City of the Falling Sky (CofFS), læs min anmeldelse af den her.

How many books will there be in The Seckry Sequence?

There's going to be five books in total, and each one will start in the summer and follow one year of Seckry's life. In the final book he'll be nineteen! 

What was your inspiration for writing CofFS?

I work in Waterstones in the UK and we have authors signing in store all the time. Meeting these authors really made me realise that they're just ordinary people who had a dream and took the risk. It was inspiring to see fans lining up for them and being so fanatical about their stories, and I had all these stories in my head that I wanted to tell, so I decided to take the plunge and dedicate my life to writing! In terms of inspiration for the story itself, I was hugely inspired by the video game Final Fantasy VII. It really is a masterpiece of storytelling, and I loved the setting, so I actually homage a few elements of it, like the reactors and the meteor. Another influence was Harry Potter - City of the Falling Sky follows a very similar structure, with a big sporting event in the middle. I adored the Harry Potter books, and one of the greatest things about them for me was their structure. My third biggest influence was the TV show Lost. When I first started watching the show I was gobsmacked at how well they were creating plot twists and suspense. I really wanted to capture that feel in the book, which is why there are so many twists in it!

I wish we have a game like Friction, how did you come up with it?

I'm a massive video games fan and at the time of inventing Friction, I was playing a lot of C&C Red Alert 3 on the LAN with my housemate. I was addicted to the competitiveness of it, and I wanted to capture that feeling of competition in the sport that I was going to create for the centre of the book. When I decided to make the sport a stadium based video game, I knew I was on to something. It was incredibly fun to write that section, and a lot of readers love it, so I think I made the right choice!

How long did it take you to write CofFS?

It took me six months to plan the entire series, and then another year and a half to write the first book.

Can you tell us when book 2 will be coming out?

I planned to have it finished this summer, but I'm behind at the moment because of an increased amount of work at my day jobs. I wish I could write full time, but until I make it big, I've got to pay the bills through other means! I'm still hoping to release book two this year, though. I've just got to prepare myself for a lot of sleepless nights typing away!

Did you always want to be a writer?

I actually struggled to even read until I was around fifteen years old, so writing wasn't something I'd considered. But I got hooked on a series called Broken Sky by Chris Wooding around that time, and I never looked back. Books became my life, and I wanted to be an author ever since!

What is the hardest part of writing a book for you?

The hardest part is finding the time. I'm looking forward to the day when I can spend the majority of my working hours writing. The next hardest part for me is the physicality of sitting in the same spot for a long period of time. I love writing about Seckry and the gang, but after a day's writing, my body feels very stiff and achy. Maybe I just need a more ergonomic chair!

And what is the best part?

Getting to spend time with your characters. It may seem strange, but when you write about a bunch of characters for this long, they almost become your friends. The next best thing is seeing people's reaction to your work. It really gives you butterflies in your stomach when you get a five star review, or when someone tells you they love it. A reader in South Africa told me it was the best book he'd ever read and that he doesn't think he'll ever again read anything as good. The feeling I got when I read that was incredible.

Why have you only published on kindle?

I struggled for over a year to get City of the Falling Sky into the hands of an agent or  publisher, but it was just rejection after rejection after rejection. I finally decided to take matters into my own hands and self publish it, and the Kindle seemed like the cheapest and most effective way of doing it.

Do you plan on selling City of the Falling Sky in book form one day? 

Yes, as of last week the book is now officially available in paperback in the USA and Canada! I used a company named CreateSpace, who print on demand. It will also be available in the UK, Europe and Australia in the next few weeks!

What was the hardest part of getting a book published?

Definitely finding someone to believe in it. I still haven't managed to get a publisher or an agent, even though the book has had over forty two thousand downloads on the Kindle. I'm hoping it will only be a matter of time before one of them takes notice of it though. the hardest part of self publishing it was the technicality of it. Providing digital documents with the right formatting and settings can take weeks and weeks to get right. 

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