Interview with Egon Riker

What do your fans mean to you?
I've never had a lot of fans, so I when I do get feedback, I tend to be attentive. You can even gleam something something valuable from negative feedback. Before Smashwords, I posted almost all of my work on DeviantArt. A lot of the comments were positive, with only a few good critiques, which I applied. While I think having fans is great, it's also an opportunity to delve into a pool of information, provided my mental scuba is up to snuff. That said, fan feedback is valuable, especially considering the many oddball ideas I come up with; sometimes one needs to bounce back and give my brain a good jog. I think there's a good opportunity for symbiosis, where the fans and I can help with creating even better stories. So yeah, they're pretty important.
What are you working on next?
I'm actually in between three stories, though two are taking precedence right now (unless fans demand a sequel of Dragon Days, then my priorities will shift). I'm currently working on a sort of Adult Swim-inspired novel called Reverb. It's for an older audience (17+), with dark humor and action being the prevailing elements. It's a world with humans and Echoes: the progeny of past deities, which means I get to have a lot of fun with mythology and mixing creature types, from demons to dragons to werebeasts and everything in between. It takes place in the modern world, so the feel is certainly different from Dragon Days. However, there are a few characters that will translate over into it (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). I'm having a lot of fun with it.

The other is called Aetherborn, which has a time stamp around the 1700s. Again, my love of dragons makes its way into this story, as well as a Chakan-inspired character. It's much heavier on horror, but there's a bit of romance in it, as well as humor (sorry guys, I got to laugh a little when writing these). It uses a different magic mechanic that I'm enjoying so far, and deals with shifting between the Terraworld (physical) and the Aetherworld (spiritual). Any of you who have played Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver will probably have a good idea of what I'm going for.

The third is my darker twist on The Beauty and the Beast, the Disney version. While I know making innocent things grittier is becoming common, one of the things I want to stress is that I will always have my funny parts. All dark and brooding is no fun. If you had to put this in theaters, it would definitely get a PG-13 rating, but I'd prefer that rating to be affected by the themes rather than just gratuitous geysers of ichor and entrails. It's my first real attempt at romance, so it's interesting to write, but tricky.
Who are your favorite authors?
Jim Butcher, Terry Goodkind, Hunter S. Thompson, Eoin Colfer, and Clive Barker are the main ones right now. Stephen King (Richard Bachman) and Ashok K. Banker are notable as well. Lately, I have been reading my own work, not out of narcissism, but because revise, revise, revise, revise, revise . . .
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My alarm clock. And I suffer withdrawal if I don't do something productive.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Resistance training as of late, but I'm aiming for my black belt in American Kenpo as well. I can also produce something half-way decent on a Wacom, given enough hours. Other than that, it's spending time with the lady friend and watching Durarara or other internet tomfoolery (Team Four Star, DasBoChitt, Cr1tikal, TVMaxwell, to name a few).
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Prepare for blasphemy: I tend to read paperbacks. I'd like to make physical copies as well, but one thing at a time.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I wrote it when I was in elementary school. It dealt with a Jack the Ripper haunting. I wish I still had the story, but it won the Pride Award for the area, so I guess that gave me the idea that I might want to try this whole writing thing. I guess paranormal topics weren't written a lot by kids my age, but reading Stephen King and Harlan Ellison at that age probably influenced it.
What is your writing process?
Oomph. Ah. Well, see, that depends . . .

For something like Dragon Days, I give it the works: world building, outlines, character interviews, bios, individual short stories, additional research mid-writing, the works.

And then sometimes I just wing it. It's fun to witness the spontaneity, but I think prep work helps with giving your story a direction. And of course, revise, revise, revise, revise, revise . . . read aloud. Yes. Reading aloud definitely helps with giving your characters voice, because what sounds good on paper doesn't necessarily translate to voice.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The earliest stories were probably by R.L. Stein at my age (who wasn't affected?). It's really hard to pinpoint the exact book, but The Regulators by Richard Bachman really jarred me at that age, particularly that terrifying cover art. I don't want to spoil it, but sometimes even childish, innocent ideas can be terrifying in the wrong hands.
How do you approach cover design?
Characters first. I prefer them to be the stars, with my name "propping them up" in a manner of speaking. I try and collaborate with the illustrator to let the cover art convey the story, but that can be tricky depending on your genre, especially if its mixed. I think more specified genres will make that message clearer in the future.
Published 2016-02-28.
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Books by This Author

Dragon Days
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 97,970. Language: English. Published: March 13, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » General
A young dragon becomes embroiled in the aspirations of two psychotic dragons who reign over the Katal and the Sidhe, the natives of Lyle and the three captive Fae. Without an element of his own, he will need the help of his adoptive father, Nix, and an unlikely ally. Worse yet, Nix has ties with Malak, a dragon of sadistic humor and nigh deistic power.