I have been writing since I was a child, but 'Elf Mastery' was my first concerted attempt at publication. I have made half-hearted attempts at publication in the past through agent queries, but was never diligent. In fact 'Elf Mastery' began as several scripts for a TV cartoon. I had made a pitch bible, and was sending it to animation studios, when I decided I would prefer to write it as a book.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I wanted to make a TV cartoon and had started sending some scripts/pitch bible to animation studios, but after consulting with someone in the industry I learned that in the case of TV shows a writer has little say in the final product. Once a script is purchased, it will be altered by directors, producers, editors, etc, and I was told to expect a final product quite different from what I envisioned. In addition, I wanted to explore topics such as death and suicide, which I didn't think would be allowed for a children's show. I decided if I wrote it as a novel I would have better control of the final product, and I could more easily raise the target age range.
In terms of concept, 'Elf Mastery' originated with the idea of fairies and magical creatures running our world behind the scenes. Kyla and the other characters were added later. Although the setting was the initial conception of the story, I tried to shift focus onto the the characters, and specifically Kyla, whose personal development is the focus of the book.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I was sending my manuscript to agents, and had gathered about four rejections (not enough to be frustrated yet). I was reading the submission guidelines I noted one agent's remark that books marketed to YA had to have a love triangle. I neither had nor wanted a love triangle, and began to feel like agents were looking for YA books written to a template. I didn't want to write to a template, so I decided to try on my own.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Well, I just signed up, so we'll see.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The world building and character development. I also enjoy the possibility of one day making enough money at writing to work for myself, though that seems to be a long way off.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything! Fans make or break a writing career, and having someone enjoy my work gives it meaning. (Though I did commit myself to finish 'Elf Mastery' as a trilogy, even if I'm the only fan).
What are you working on next?
The sequel to 'Elf Mastery', 'Elf Doubt'.
Who are your favorite authors?
I grew up on Piers Anthony (who reviewed my book for his Mayhem 2016 newsletter, by the way!). I also enjoy Robert Jordan, though I admit his books get a bit dense for me, and loved the Dragonlance books by Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis. I also loved 'The Chronicles of Prydain' by Lloyd Alexander as a child. Among the classics, I enjoy Mark Twain, Coleridge, Shakespeare, etc.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I do some hobby work with 3D modelling and animation, though lately have focused a lot more on 3D printing. I enjoy board games (the nerdy ones, not the family games). I hike a lot. I enjoy paintball but seldom get to go.
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