Interview with Gary N. Hauger

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first fantasy story I ever wrote was for an assignment in High School. This was one of the few times in school where we were encouraged to write anything we chose. I had just finished reading DragonLance Chronicles and fell in love with Tasslehoff Burrfoot. I had also thought about submitting a story to Dragon Magazine, so I wrote "A Kender, a map, and a Mother's loving Care". The story explored an adventure Tasslehoff and his relatives embarked on after the events in Chronicles. My teacher loved the story and called it "Enchanting". I was thrilled, submitted to Dragon and it was rejected. I didn't stop though and have written for my own characters as well as some guilty pleasure fan fiction since.
What do you read for pleasure?
I primarily read Sci-Fi and Fantasy for fiction and biographies and new age/spiritual books for non-fiction. Normally I have two or three books going at a time and I pick through them very slowly digesting the language. Even though it is pleasure reading part of my mind is studying the other writer's work to find ways I can improve my own.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a generic Android OS tablet. It has a 10+ inch screen and I have Kindle and Nook readers installed. It is great not to be locked into one format especially when you want to check your own Smashbooks editions all over the spectrum. I also like the feel of a larger tablet, it's almost like reading a hardcover which is my favorite print format.
Describe your desk
In a word - Cluttered. I have notes, a variety of writing implements, paid and yet to be paid bills and a stack of formerly installed video games on it most of the time. More important are the inspirational items on the walls of my studio space. Movie posters are all over including one for my favorite flick, "The Goonies", and I have a vintage "Star Wars" toy Land speeder that I have had for over thirty years.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My "Hidden World" stories are in someways an answer to the Twilight Saga. It seems to me that Twilight is positioned for young women to graduate to once they leave Hogwarts, but where do young men move on to? My emphasis is on intrigue and action more than romance. The kind of stories I enjoyed as a teenaged boy when I first started reading fantasy. There are also a lot of "light" and "happy" Fairy stories, dominated by Disney's Tinkerbell and her kin. My stories are not darker just for the sake of darkness, but they are a bit more grounded in reality. So I guess you could call them "Real" Faerie stories.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Freedom and Control. As an indie author I write what I want when I want to write it. I set my own deadlines, control my content and distribution; even my cover design. Using Smashwords also allows me to reach a much broader market than a traditional publisher would, even one of the Big 6 and I don't have to wait two years to see my work on the market. The immediacy also allows me to respond to market forces. Not that I force myself to write for the next big trend, but if there is something missing from the market and I have a story percolating that fits that need I can prioritize writing that story and get it out in a more timely fashion when there is an audience for it.
What are you working on next?
The next up is the second Hidden World story Pact with the Wood Witch. It focuses more on Tiburon and gives some much needed background to his relationship with his brother. It also tells the story of how Oberon came to power in Avalon to begin with.
Who are your favorite authors?
There are far too many to give a pat answer. I cut my fantasy teeth on Weis & Hickman, then graduated to Doranna Durgin and of course Raymind E. Feist. His Riftwar material is some of my favorite. Being from Maine though I also gravitate toward Stephen King, not so much his darker horror but I really enjoyed the Dark Tower series. That's probably because it blends two great loves of mine, Westerns and Fantasy. Maybe someday I'll right a Six Guns & Sorcery story, we'll just have to see.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I am an avid movie and television fan. I've written a number of screenplays and I love watching how others have put together their stories for that medium. You can learn from the creative choices others have made to make your work better. I really love shows that may not be of the "highest dramatic quality" but they are fun. There are few genre shows I haven't tried but one of my absolute favorites is Warehouse 13. I'm so sad it's over. Plus I love spending time with my wife, Faith and my son, Greggory.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Usually through recommendations. My friends are all avid readers and are pretty vocal when they find something really special. I'm really happy when they share something remarkable then we can chat about it.
What is your writing process?
I start with a concept and usually an ending. Then I flesh out the characters necessary to tell the story. Then it's POV and backwards engineering the plot to meet up with the ending I envisioned in a way that allows the characters to develop toward that end.
Published 2013-12-27.
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Books by This Author

The Stolen Throne
Series: The Hidden World. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 11,480. Language: American English. Published: December 20, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
(4.00 from 1 review)
After nearly 400 years ruling Avalon, the tyrannical dictates of King Oberon Maltraegar have come back to haunt him. There is unrest in the Faerie world and talk of open insurrection. Who can be trusted and who must be destroyed? In this first short story of The Hidden World the winds of change sweep through the world of the Fae. Avalon will never be the same.