Interview with Antonio Simon, Jr

1. Tell us a little about yourself.
That's a tough one to answer. I pride myself on my humility, you see. [Grins]. I'm a lawyer, an author, and an entrepreneur.
2. When did you start writing, and why?
I started writing when I realized I had a face for radio and a voice for print. By then I figured there had to be something I was good at, and as it turns out, I'm not half bad at writing.
3. What do you write, and why? What do you enjoy about what you write?
I write fantasy and comedy, mostly. You can get away with more things in a fantasy or a comedy than you can in more serious genres. The audience expects that you're going to bend the rules of reality a bit. And if you're clever and a little sneaky, you can slip a serious message into a book of either genre, which adds a whole new level of depth to the experience.

What's more, writing comedies makes me happy. It's a great feeling to meet someone who's seen the same movie or read the same book as you, and share the moments that made you laugh the hardest. That feeling takes a whole new dimension when you're talking about something you, yourself, have authored.
4. What is your latest book or series? Any forthcoming books?
I've just released "The Gullwing Odyssey", a comedic fantasy adventure. This isn't your typical "swords and sorcery" fantasy. It's the tale of an ordinary guy who embarks upon an extraordinary journey quite by accident, and in the end finds himself. I'm currently working on the sequel.

I've also written "Transit Dreams", which is a collection of bizarre short stories, and the most bizarre thing about them is that some are true.
5. Tell us a little about the world of your latest book or series.
"The Gullwing Odyssey" takes place in the early age of sail. Great empires jockey for dominance of the seas with fleets of enormous galleons. Piracy is rampant. Amid the royal intrigue and power struggles, smaller nations struggle for a place on the world stage, while ordinary men and women scrape by.

Marco's traveling party is a multinational group. His companions come from different countries and each harbors his or her own personal values. Much of the humor comes from how a such a varied group can work together without killing each other.

For instance, one character, the wizard, is from the tiniest nation in the world. This country is a plutocratic republic where only the wealthiest are allowed to reside. It's also where the stuffiest people in the world come from. Another character is from a country based on France under Louis XIV, and it is the naval superpower. Interestingly, its orders of knighthood are all nautical. Their knights are not men with horses but sea captains. And then of course we have the dragon islands. The dragons are an intelligent race of creature who live in virtual isolation from the rest of the world. Their homeland was only recently discovered in the years preceding Marco's adventure. This culture shock causes problems at home for the dragons and threatens to shake up the power politics among the human nations.
6. Introduce us to some of your characters. What do you like about them?
For starters, there's Marco Gullwing, the titular character. He's a young man who thinks he'll never be much more than a messenger, and would be pretty content if things remained that way the rest of his life. As you already may have guessed, it wouldn't make for much of a story if he got his way, so everything that could possibly go wrong for him does.

Marco isn't your typical fantasy hero. He's no sword-swinging knight in shining armor, and he knows it. But he is a likeable-enough sort of guy. He's down to earth and you definitely wouldn't mind having a drink with him in a bar. He's also quick-witted, which is all the better for him when he gets into trouble - which is often.

Then there's Barclay, a gruff knight and religious zealot. He is on a mission to spread his gospel and save souls. Personally, he cannot stand dragons because his religion considers them to lack souls. Yet, for reasons that make sense only to him (if at all), he is sent to the dragon islands to save the souls of beings that his religion has decreed soulless. It's paradoxical, but Barclay is not one to question his faith. If that weren't bad enough, the traveling party includes two dragons.

Dria is one of the dragons who accompanies Marco. She is the princess of her country, and she knows better than anyone (more so even than her father, the emperor) that times are changing. She realizes that, in order to keep her people safe, her people will have to change with the times. Headstrong and quick-tempered, she is something of a tomboy. She takes charge where others (like Marco) would shy away. She also holds up well in a fight, and is fun to watch in action.
7. A fun fact you would like your readers to know about you or your book.
There are many overtly funny moments in this book, but there many subtle jokes too, like "Easter eggs" in TV shows and video games. You can catch them if you really pay attention, but so far, no one has caught them all.
8. Blog/site link, and where your book is available.
Both "The Gullwing Odyssey" and "Transit Dreams" are available right here on Smashwords.

This Author Spotlight and interview was taken on September 25, 2013 by Kyra Halland.
Published 2015-08-02.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Water, Ice, And Vice
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 8,500. Language: English. Published: April 6, 2016 by Darkwater Syndicate, Inc.. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General
Revenge is a drink best served chilled: Jeremy’s new apartment harbors a demonic wish-granting fridge, which he uses to exact bloody vengeance on his obnoxious roommate. A short story featured in the horror anthology, "Shadows And Teeth, Volume One."
Shadows And Teeth
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 76,930. Language: English. Published: April 30, 2016 by Darkwater Syndicate, Inc.. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Horror, Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - multi-author
Prepare for extreme horror. This collection of ten stories features a range of international talent, award-winning authors and new voices in the genre. Take care as you reach into these dark places, for the things here bite, and you may withdraw a hand short of a few fingers.
Fifteen Dollars' Guilt
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,840. Language: English. Published: August 2, 2015 by Darkwater Syndicate, Inc.. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Fantasy » Historical
Some find their life’s calling in a flash of insight, or through sleepless nights of toil. For others, it takes an act of kindness. But when one man’s charity helps another realize his calling is to end a third man’s life, what then? And what is one to do when the intended victim is the president of the United States?
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,170. Language: English. Published: August 2, 2015 by Darkwater Syndicate, Inc.. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Fantasy » Historical
WINNER, 2015 Royal Palm Literary Award: Short Stories 4004 BC: In this retelling of the Adam & Eve story, a hermit’s life is turned upside-down by the arrival of a mysterious woman in his camp. As the story of their portentous meeting carries forward through the millennia, only time will tell if Lilith is a heroine, a victim, or a monster.
Company Man Sighting #1
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,590. Language: English. Published: November 10, 2014 by Darkwater Syndicate, Inc.. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
Late one night, a mysterious stranger wanders into a diner off the interstate highway. He orders coffee, takes a refill, and steps back out into a downpour. The waiter knows there’s something off about his visitor, but he has no way of knowing just how otherworldly this stranger is until the authorities call him in for a recorded statement the next day.
Nebmahket: Self-Styled King Of The Nile Is King Of The Vile
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,520. Language: English. Published: November 10, 2014 by Darkwater Syndicate, Inc.. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Black comedy
Egyptologists unlock a three thousand year old mystery when they unearth a tablet identifying Nebmahket, the forgotten son of Pharaoh Ramesses II. They soon learn why the ancient Egyptians were quick to cover up Nebmahket’s existence – the angry young man ate nine babies in his lifetime, two of which were his own children.
El Candímetro Is In Braille
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,060. Language: English. Published: November 10, 2014 by Darkwater Syndicate, Inc.. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
I got a jury summons for my eighteenth birthday, thanks to the dual misfortunes of having survived that long and not having committed any felonies along the way. Growing up in Miami in the eighties, it was something of a perfect storm.
Madame Sundry's Sundries Emporium
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,410. Language: English. Published: November 10, 2014 by Darkwater Syndicate, Inc.. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
Sundry’s Antiques boasts the largest collection of porcelain dolls. With their painted-up faces and beady glass eyes, you’d almost think they were watching you.
Hot Wires To Heaven: A Light Socket Love Story
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,390. Language: English. Published: November 10, 2014 by Darkwater Syndicate, Inc.. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
A married man fights off the amorous advances of a ceiling light fixture. Maybe, if he’d put a light bulb in it like his wife asked him to, it’d have left him alone.
Red Airwaves
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,660. Language: English. Published: November 10, 2014 by Darkwater Syndicate, Inc.. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage
At the height of the cold war, one man decodes clandestine signals broadcast over a shortwave radio station. His discovery pushes the world to the brink of global nuclear disaster.
Forgotten Spaces: Poetry For A Pensive Mood
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 4,860. Language: English. Published: November 6, 2014 by Darkwater Syndicate, Inc.. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Themes & motifs, Fiction » Poetry » Contemporary Poetry
These twenty-five poems explore the dark paths on our walks through life: addiction, bereavement, solitude. These are the forgotten spaces, blighted areas we pretend don't exist. Everybody's got one. Tread lightly.
Transit Dreams
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 29,630. Language: English. Published: September 6, 2013 by Darkwater Syndicate, Inc.. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Flash fiction, Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
Ever get kicked out of a Chinese buffet for eating all of their oranges? What do you do when bombs start dropping on your evening commute? And how on Earth did that red Buick punt that shopping cart into a tree? Step aboard with these twenty-two short stories that delve into the oddities of our daily lives. You’re in for a ride.
The Gullwing Odyssey
Series: Gullwing, Book 1. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 88,280. Language: English. Published: August 8, 2013 by Darkwater Syndicate, Inc.. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
A four-time award winning fantasy/comedy adventure. When an unusual assignment sends Marco overseas, he finds himself dodging pirates and a hummingbird with an appetite for human brains. Little does he know the fate of a civilization may rest upon his shoulders. In spite of himself, Marco becomes the hero he strives not to be.