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Why are you an indie-author? 'Real' publishing is the only way of serious authorship!
I don't know - is it? Perhaps it depends on the goals you pursue with writing and publishing. It's true I've never sent a manuscript to an agent or a publisher. Instead, I've directly headed for indie-authorship.
In terms of getting visibility, 'real' or standard publishing certainly is the way to go. But if you're doing it just for the sheer fun of it - as I do - I don't quite see the advantages. With self-publishing, you don't have to go through all the hassle of finding a publisher in the first place. And, what I think is most important: you remain entirely in control of the tale you want to tell, from beginning to end.
Why do you write in English? Don't you have a mother tongue?
In fact, I do, and it's even a beautiful one! All I can say is that, as for now, I especially cherish the possibilities of expression the English language offers. And I hope to learn, progressively, to better make use of these possibilities.
I wrote a lot in German a couple of years ago, but the plots were rather meagre and there was a strong focus on an almost archaic, highly artistic German, which is very hard to read. Now I can hardly identify with anything I've written from that period. However, in the next couple of years, I'm planning to translate something of it into English, to rearrange, rewrite some passages and get it into publishable shape.
I also love writing in French. In fact, I'm presently on an off writing on a novel with also circles around the theme of the hollow earth, but has a widely different outlook.
Wirst Du auch mal was auf Deutsch online stellen?
Nein, zumindest in absehbarer Zeit, denke ich, nicht.
Why can't I get your work for free? Shouldn't everything on the Internet be for free?
If you've put so much of your time, energy, heart and soul into an artistic creation, payment is certainly not about money at all (it's never about money if all you do is dabble in writing in your leisure time) but it's about getting a tangible, solid, true form of recognition. If people pay for your work, they pay you the fantastic compliment that they actually consider your work worth buying!
That having been said, I sincerely loathe any infringement on intellectual property rights. In my own private life, I go to great lengths to ascertain I remain free of committing any such infringement. If I get something from the Internet, I always check and double check if the creators of that art or software really meant it to be for free. I'm quite shocked that public conscience for offenses against intellectual property is so very low. In truth, I conceive of infringement on copyright as nothing less than theft. A crime, as simple as that. I hope that in the future interested media companies will launch more effective campaigns to raise public conscience about that issue.
Finally, I'm convinced one can live a perfectly artistically receptive life as a student on a limited budget. All on needs is an e-book reader, an MP3-player and a standard Internet connection. Present legislation in the European Union has it that works of authors who have died 70 years ago enter the public domain, that is, the copyright expires and the works become universally accessible to the public. I know that, if one gets started with classic literature, it's not always easily amenable to modern tastes. But I also think that for every passionate reader there lies a richness of stories, dreams and visions hidden there that won't have been fully explored even in centuries. Besides, there are classic authors that are surprisingly modern!
As to Internet pages listing public domain e-books, they are plethora. The main source for English public domain human voice recordings is librivox.org. For the French language: litteratureaudio.com (and linked webpages). As yet, unfortunately I haven't discovered a similar web page in Spanish.
I'm also often surprised how many authors give away their writing for free. On some occasions, I've really stumbled over high-quality writing and stories that kept me in suspense for days.
There are some jewels of fanfiction - that need discovering, that is true - like on fanfiction.net.
Or free books made of original ideas - for instance, on Smashwords.com - sometimes, if there's a bargain, even on Amazon!
How many parts are there to be to "The Earth Within"?
Right now, I conceptualise it as a trilogy. If I'll really end up with a trilogy - writing will show now. I cannot foresee though how long I'll have to work on the second part, as I'm also touching, time and again, on other projects of mine (the famous obscure French novel..). But it's certainly a priority with me to pursue Paul's story and I don't let the material lie down.
When I started off with the story, I had a philosophical idea behind it which might not even be that much - perhaps it would better described as feeling or an atmosphere. For me, the first part, 'Revelation', is pervaded by that atmosphere. I've kept true to the feeling from first to last. The second part of 'The Earth Within' will be carried by another idea/atmosphere. In so far, 'Revelation' really is a closed novel, even if the story is meant to continue and will continue. But I feel 'Revelation' can stand on its own, as it alone catches the atmosphere I conceived of when I first put my hands to it.
What was your inspiration to the story?
I was inspired by some writings of Walter Siegmeister (alias Dr. Raymond Bernard), who is generally considered a rather obscure proponent of esoterism. In the 1960's, in the USA, there was a revival of the theory of the hollow earth among esoteric and science fiction circles, which was mainly launched by Siegmeister's book "The Hollow Earth". It's still in print (well, I certainly wouldn't recommend it anyone to read). Other writings of Walter Siegmeister on a variety of topics are to be found on healthresearchbooks.com.
Besides, Richard Saver published writing in which he developed the idea of actually two peoples living inside the earth, peoples acting on different purposes and principles (cf. "I remember Lemuria" and "The Shaver Mystery"). I've got the two referenced stories, I just haven't looked into them yet. As of now, I've just taken up the idea of the two peoples and translated it into the pattern of my own thinking.
What is that obsession about veganism?
I'd think there are two sides to the question. There seems to be an interesting nutritional argument for veganism and if you should want to learn more about that, I can only redirect you to Internet pages I perused myself... nutritionfacts.org, for instance, features many videos on a plant based diet. Still, I consider drmcdougall.com the most accessible source to this day. Many lectures and articles are provided for free, and so is the newsletter.
However, the real background to the slipping in of veganism into the story is of esoteric origin. As referred above, I was inspired to the idea of the hollow earth by the writings of Walter Siegmeister and he was a staunch supporter of a low-protein vegan diet. As on all points, also on this on I consider the writings of Walter Siegmeister philosophy, not science. Somehow, in advancing within the book, I felt I couldn't write about the hollow earth without some overtures on veganism. It seemed to fit in with my idea of Paul.
What do you do in your life besides writing?
I'm a student. Studies and related work take up a whole lot of time.
I'm also a passionate, but terribly amateurish and self-taught piano player.
Finally, I adore classic English, French and Spanish literature. Undoubtedly, I spend far too much time reading that would be better employed in other activities.
Who's your favourite author? What's your favourite novel?
These are questions very hard to answer... My preferences in authors and books seem to undergo constant changes.
I think "The Man Who Was Thursday" by G. K. Chesterton is as close a favourite novel as I have - albeit its rather confusing end. It's both a witty and exciting story I can sincerely recommend anyone to have a look at.
Then I love J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings".
Among English authors I particularly like Jane Austen.
Do you have anything to recommend for anyone writing?
I don't think I'm in a position to give recommendations. I can only tell what writing means for me. For me, it simply means pleasure. Because of that, when I start with a story, I don't set out with publication at the end - which, in fact, does not always lead to happy results (...my inaccessible German novels hinted at above...) but always secures me an enjoyable writing process. It's something I do for myself, just for relaxing. Instead of watching TV, I write.
What makes writing so enjoyable for me is that I'm often surprised by the way the story unfolds and a character develops. Once I tried to do an exposé, like every serious writer seems to do. I couldn't think of a single note to put on paper. Somehow, I greatly admire the writers who can plan out their plot right from the start, and then follow a basic structure throughout the writing process. With me it's not like that. I literally start chapters and have no idea where they are heading, I have no idea what will happen in the middle, I have no idea how the chapter will conclude. And I'm just speaking about chapters - I'm not even considering the whole of the book here.
I just keep writing and seem to take a look from the outside at how the story goes on.
This - perhaps - somewhat unusual proceeding is what really keeps a story alive for me, what keeps me surprised by the turns it takes, what keeps me excited when I don't know yet what will happen next. This is just my experience; there are other proceedings; I think it's important for everyone just to stick with the one he likes best, even if it's not part of the standard advice one can learn from established authors.
I'm convinced that is the most important thing about writing - to enjoy what you're doing, in whatever way you do it.
Then, I'd also encourage everyone who has written something and who likes the outcome to get it published. That someone actually wants to own your book, that's the kind of recognition that makes writing doubly enjoyable.