I first started writing when I was in high school, a few short stories mostly, though I did give a go at writing a novel. It was bad. I contiued writing in college, but never put the effort into the craft that I needed to make it work, so while I came back to writing short stories in the early 2000's I never got anything published. But I kept coming back to wanting to tell stories, so after nearly 30 years of false starts I have finally gotten my stories published.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Wrath of the Fury Blade is a fantasy crime novel that is set on Ados, a world filled with elves, magic, and monsters. Constable Inspector Reva Lunaria has just been assigned a new partner and a new case – the murder one of the King’s ministers. Reva’s partner doesn’t meet her high standards, must deal with the “assistance” of the King’s Secret Police, and her own problems to stop a serial killer stalking the city.
What were some of your influences for The Constable Inspector Lunaria Adventure series?
My biggest influence was (and is) all of the great crime fiction that is out there, like Ian Rankin’s Inspector Rebus series or PD James’ Inspector Dalgliesh novels. (Not to mention all of the mystery TV shows on PBS.) For me, the Lunaria stories are primarily crime fiction stories about murders and other violent crimes. They just happen to be set in a fantasy world. I’ve also been influenced by Terry Pratchett, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, and numerous others.
Where did the idea to co-author this book from? Have you done this before, or had you two been joking around with the idea and finally decide to give a go for real?
We have worked together before on other projects – primarily related to our game company, Tangent Games. We have always loved playing games – board games, role-playing games, and card games, and we decided back in 2004 to make our own games. We have several supplements published for role-playing games, and have two card games (and an expansion) published through Tangent Games. When the ideas for these stories came about, it was only natural that we’d work together as we had done that so well through Tangent.
How do you outline and break up who writes what? ((Alternate chapters or certain POV characters?)) And I’ve also read that some authors who co-write books will edit each other's chapters, too.
We each have different strengths. I am more of the creative type, while Coy is much better at ensuring that content and characters stay true to what we have written. For Wrath, I wrote a first draft of the entire story, then gave it over to Coy for massive editing, because I can’t remember to write the word “that” to save my life, and I never met a comma that I either didn’t put where it didn’t belong, or left out where it was supposed to go. So once we had the drafts and first round of edits, we then sat down at our respective computers and got on Facetime to read the story aloud and to find all the other mistakes that we missed the first time through.
How do you approach cover design?
Generally while writing the story I will get an image in my head of what I think the cover should look like. I then try to see if it will work, sometimes by doing mock up covers, before deciding on a cover that I think will fit for the book. For Unremarkable I had one idea for the cover that actually didn't work, so we changed it to the scene of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. It took some tweaking to get it just right. With Wrath of the Fury Blade I knew from the beginning exactly what I wanted the cover to look like, and our artist, Mike Wagner, delivered on the first attempt. There was no editing required.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Knowing that I have stories that I want to tell other people. I suppose I would be happy to be picked up by an agent or a large publishing house (hint, hint) but until then I will be happy to publish my stories by myself so that readers can read them.
What do you read for pleasure?
A lot of different genres. I like reading history and books on science, and I love reading historical fiction, fantasy, science fiction, thrillers, and crime fiction. A lot depends on whether the title of a book is compelling enough for me to want to know more, or if the cover catches my eye.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.