Q. Hello Angel, thank you for your time in taking this interview with us today. Can I start by asking what drove you to write The Thousand Years War?
A: I decided to write because it’s always been a passion of mine since I was young, to create stories out of nowhere and show the world stories that no one else would be able to come up with. I write because I love the art and it’s a great alternative to watching television. In other words instead of watching someone else’s story and I love to create my own stories and worlds!
Q: How long have you been writing Angel?
A: I have been writing for about 13 years on and off, but I only started to write professionally this year.
Q: How long did it take you to write this book?
A: I started this book in February and with much determination, I finished it by May. It’s amazing how much keeping this story in for 10+ years can blossom so well and so fast.
Q: What do you use to write your books?
A: I use Microsoft Word to write my stories and a pen and paper to jot down notes or plot ideas. I actually have a notebook I had since Junior High School that I kept notes for my book series.
Q: What problems did you encounter?
A: For this book, at times I suffered not so much from writer’s block, but from fatigue. I just took a day or two off just to enjoy myself and let my brain rest during the downtime. Also, I suffered from many plot twists that I wanted to put in the book, in other words, I could have easily branched this book out in many different directions. I decided though that these other branches would show up in my future works instead of trying to fit all of them into one book.
Q: How do you think you’ve evolved as a writer since you’ve started?
A: I been writing since I was young, but ever since I started with writing actual novels I have become much more conscious of what I write. Writing is something that you have to put 110% effort into and with a great imagination I am hooked on writing. I’ve also got a newfound appreciation for other writers, as I have seen how much work goes into writing and publishing a book.
Q: Is there anything you wished you’d known when you started writing?
A: Not really, I just wished I had started early in my writing career.
Q: Do you structure your plots or just go with the flow?
A: It’s a mix of the two, I try to stay within the outline I have. However, I do have the tendency to change up my plots if I find an idea that would fit in much better. With the twists and turns, it’s impossible for me to outline those so in that situation I go with the flow and see where it goes.
Q: Do you work on a set amount of words per day or does it change?
A: I usually aim for 2,000 – 3,000 words give or take. Depending on the day I could be a bit short or on a rainy day, I could exceed 5,000 words for the day.
Q: Do you do a lot of research when writing a book?
A: With science fiction books I do some research on the latest events in space and regarding historical references to my book I do some research such as dates and events in the time period.
Q: How would you describe your writing process?
A: I look at my outline and look at what I wrote the previous day, then build upon that. When it comes to the process I write the book, then I proofread the book once, then save it in PDF format and reread it to edit it.
Q: What time of the day do you find is best to write?
A: The best time to write for me are the hours of 11 am to 4 pm and at night between 10 pm and 2 am.
Q: Where do you find your inspiration?
A: What drives me is my childhood where I was born with science fiction around me, whether it was video games or books. Also, the life experiences that I have had makes the characters in my story that much more unique.
Q: What draws you to this genre?
A: Science Fiction. I love fiction, it drives away from the tough reality that I face every day. I feel that Science Fiction allows the author the most flexibility when it comes down to plot and character development. My favourite part of all is the setting can be just about anything and trying to push it the point of being almost believable.
Q: Have you ever tried to write other genres?
A: I also write horror only in short stories, though I’m planning on a horror novel series. Honestly, I stick to fiction and can’t see myself writing non-fiction, my mind is too fluid with imaginative environments to write non-fiction.
Q: How many books have you written?
A: Two. The Thousand Years War Series Book One and Framed: The Second Book of the Thousand Years War Series.
Q: Who designed your front cover?
A: I designed my front cover myself, proudly.
Q: Who was the first person you showed your novel too?
A: One of my best friends to read it for me for feedback.
Q: Have you ever dedicated a book to someone?
A: Yes, both of my books are dedicated to my girlfriend Maria. Although we have some issues, she gave me the fire that I needed to get back to writing with her poetry. If it wasn’t for her I don’t think I would be here today.
Q: How do you market your books?
A: I market my books through Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and LinkedIn. I try to be as interactive with people and not just says “BUY MY BOOK”, I try to build up my name and brand. Also, try to post things that relate to the book even if it’s not in the book itself. I even go as far as giving out quotes from the book or pictures of scenes from the book.
Q: How do you deal with bad reviews?
A: I use them to see where I went wrong and make sure I don’t make the same mistake. However, if I see my books are receiving mostly good reviews and I see one bad review I take as maybe the book just wasn’t to their taste or wasn’t for them.
Q: How much time do you devote to marketing your books?
A: I take an hour or so to market my books per day.
Q: How do you get your book reviews/reviewed?
A: Book swaps, review copies for people who want to review it.
Q: Do you do all your own proofreading and editing?
A: Yes, after hearing horror stories of editors ripping people off with poor results. I figured while I may not be perfect, but I think I could do a better job correcting my own work. Besides I’m open to learning from other authors and I take constructive criticism to my advantage to only get better.
Q: How and where are you publishing this book?
A: Self-Publishing. It’s available on Amazon, iBooks, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords and on Lulu.
Q: What are the main benefits of being an independent author?
A: Freedom and control of how my book looks and how it is marketed to the public.
Q: What are you reading at the moment?
A: I’m reading various works right now, so I honestly can’t answer the question honestly.
Q: What was the first book you ever read?
A: A Night in Terror Tower by R.L. Stine.
Q: Who is your favourite author?
A: R.L. Stine and my favourite work of his is “A Night in Terror Tower” which is ironically the first book I ever read.
Q: What is your favourite book to film adaptation?
A: The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells.
Q: Where are your favourite places to read?
A: In the porch of my house, in my bedroom, in my backyard and by the beach which isn’t too far from me.
Q: When you read do you prefer a book or a Kindle/tablet?
A: I prefer to read a paperback when I’m at the doctor’s office and at home, I prefer to use my computer to read.
Q: Do you have any tips for aspiring authors Angel?
A: If you have an imagination, patience, determination and thick skin then go write your book already! However, do it for the love of the art and not so much for the money that comes later. Try to learn how to edit your own work and design your own covers to save money. To close just chase your dream and do it without fear, remember the pen is mightier than the sword!
Q: What can we expect from you next Angel?
A: My next book is “Revenge of the Gloobas: The Third Book of the Thousand Years War Series” due in late fall into early winter, too early for specifics. I’m also planning to build my own literary brand called the hybrid nation where I want to new writers to come out of the shell and blossom.