Monthly Archives: September 2012

Family Life: time and again

I think it was Douglas Adams who said, “I love the sound of deadlines as they swoosh past” (or something to that effect). I meant to post something really interesting about the changes in eBook pricing last Tuesday… and here we are on Thursday already. Nothing major happened, only a couple of family disasters and a stupid cold not wanting to give up my sinuses. Sigh. That’s life for you.

And that’s exactly the reason why I love stories. In stories, heroes are rarely encumbered by a cold or stumble over toys their kids left lying around thus twisting their ankle. They don’t have to clean houses (except maybe for Cinderella) or drive kids to musical education, sports or other events. Why can’t I be a hero in a book? For sure, life couldn’t be more exciting than it is right now, even if I’d have to slay a monster or throw a ring into a volcano.

The drawback would be that I only get to be ONE heroine in ONE novel, whereas I can be as many heroes as I like (yes even of the male variety) as long as I can read. Sure, the kids don’t appreciate their mother vanishing in the pages of a book (or screen of an eBook). But as long as I reappear to take them to their next appointment, manage not to burn their meals, and get their clothes into their wardrobes before they are completely empty, they leave me alone.

How do you manage to juggle your family when you read (or write for that matter)?
Leave us a comment. It could be instructive…

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An Interview with Will English

We try to bring you interesting new authors on a regular basis and one fellow I’ve had the pleasure of meeting on the Magic Appreciation Tour is Will English. His blog is entitled “Random Musings of a Summer Dreamer” and his first work is “Walking with Summer Dreams”. Will agreed to be interviewed by me, also named Will, and I’m sure we can do this (because you only need one will to find a way).

Q1. So, would it be a complete waste of time to ask you what your favorite season is?

A: *laughs* Fall and Winter. Fall because of Halloween and Winter because of Christmas (I’m such a kid, lol).

Q2. Well that’ll learn me to jump to conclusions. Do you have a clear sense of the moment you realized you wanted to be a writer, or maybe that you had already become one? What does it take, what’s your definition?

English. The Other White Will

A: I guess I’ve always leaned towards being a writer. When I was a kid, me and my school friends would write and draw our own comic books. But for me the moment when I consciously decided to become a writer was in 1997 after I finished the RPG video game Final Fantasy 7, the plot of which really, really impressed me and made me want to write stories like that. It was that and my rediscovery of J.R.R. Tolkien’s work, particularly ‘The Hobbit’ and especially ‘The Lord of The Rings.’

Q3. Your past work and interests seems to bridge the line between sci-fi and fantasy. I’ll cop to that too, at least in what I read. Do you think there’s a big difference, aside from just technology in one and magic in the other?

A: I see them as distant cousins who share the same parents (a thought process I fully admit gratefully getting from American and Japanese comic books, Japanese anime, cartoons, Star Wars and video games lol). As for the difference, on the surface at least, they seem to be cosmetic to me. Because there is so much the two genres have in common that, unless you see an elf or a dwarf, or an android or a spaceship or something like that, that you could easily confuse one for the other. But the biggest difference, I think, is the question of “What’s making the android move, a computer & a microchip, or a magic spell?” the answer of which leaves room for elements of both to end up in a story. Which I think is fun so there ya go ^_^.

Q4. You also follow the big computer games. Personally, I get too dizzy with the real-time shooters and RPGs; plus I don’t do the MMORPGAs, I can’t commit enough time to be a team-player. Give me a quiet hour, second cup of coffee and a turn-based strategy game. What do you fancy? How is a successful game different than a book for you?

A: very good questions. I try to play everything that I can (so long as I have the hardware to play it on), but I particularly love story driven RPG’s, the old school franchises I grew up with (like Mario, Zelda, Sonic, Final Fantasy, Castlevania etc) and really anything I think is fun. As for the other, well that’s a bit harder to answer. Because video game storytelling today has now become so good that it can finally meet on equal ground with books and movies, whereas in the past it was a hit or miss situation with video games missing 9 times out of 10. But the biggest difference for me (and as a whole) would be the interactive aspect of a game. A book just tells you a story, a video game tells you a story (if it has one), lets you interact with the story and setting and also has to be fun to play (which I fully acknowledge the last as being a matter of personal taste). And if one department is lacking then the other can make up for it.

Q5. I haven’t read “Summer Dreams” yet, but it sounds like a nice potpourri of different tales. Is there something for everyone? Or does the book have a connecting thread in it somewhere? Do they all happen in the same world?

What is it with heroic fantasy and dreaming these days? And guys named Will…

A: I hope there is something in there for everyone *laughs*. Two of the stories do take place in the same world, but for the most part they are all self-contained and are not connected to each other. If there is any thread that does tie them together, then it would be the fact that I wrote them all over the course of several summers (hence the title). I do want to go back and write more in some of the worlds at some point though *wink*.

Q6. Did the tales in “Summer Dreams” all come to you at once, more or less start to finish?

A: Yes and no. All of them kinda started as vague ideas, like I knew where I wanted to go but no idea how to get there. Some of I had to plan out meticulously, and others just felt like I was taking dictation and only started making sense after they were done.

Q7. I love it when my stories make sense- before, during or after! I notice that you have this book available in paper as well as online. Is it publishing on demand? How did you get interested in that angle and how do you like the results?

A: It is (print on demand I mean). Getting a physical book out there was always the goal. Reading text on a screen has always been a little hard and disorienting for me, and a tiny e-book reader screen, smart phone or whatever doesn’t help much. But aside from that, I just think that there is something more personal and organic about actually holding a book in your hands and turning the page. I’m happy with the results, for the most part. I just wish I could have made it cheaper for people to buy.

Q7. What are you working on at the moment, and when can we expect it?

A: I am currently working on the first book of my own epic fantasy series. And you can expect it…well, I actually don’t know *laughs*. I am, sadly, a slow writer and it takes me forever to write anything more than a sentence. That and this is also my first real novel so I want to make sure I do it right the first time before the public sees it.

Thanks so much for your time and answers Will. Don’t forget to tell readers where they can get in touch, leave feedback or reviews for you online.

A: Thank you for having me.

Everyone can get in touch with me on my blog: http://thesummersleeper.blogspot.com/, or on Goodreads.

There’s also the Walking with Summer Dream’s Facebook page.

If anyone wants to buy the book, leave feedback and reviews you can do so at the following online retailers (for both paperback and e-book):

You can also have your local book store order the paperback for you from Ingram.com.

You can also leave feedback and reviews on the book’s Goodreads.com page: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13565303-walking-with-summer-dreams

“The Plane of Dreams” is Published

Available at Smashwords.com and other online retailers

As of September 3rd- Labor Day here in the U.S.- the first novel-length tale of the Lands of Hope is now available at Smashwords, Amazon, and shortly other fine online retailers.

I would recommend that you try it at Smashwords for the following excellent reasons:

  •   Download in any format you need
  •   Sample the first three chapters for free, decide if you like before you buy
  •   I can offer you a coupon there. And I did! Throughout September 2012 use the coupon code RD324 to get $1.00 off the retail price.

Check out the trailer I made for the book here, and let me know how you liked it. I admit, I had fun putting that together, and definitely plan to do more someday. There are also some new pages and another map in the free Compendium to support the story.

Meanwhile- so that’s a novel, done. And now, I plan to rest up awhile before returning to the happy chore of chronicling the Lands of Hope. After all- Labor Day!

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