Blogs by L.T. Suzuki
Brian Rathbone Interview
10/1/2011 9:51:51 PM
YA author Brian Rathbone discusses his latest novel, upcoming releases and the writing life!
I’d like to introduce you to today’s guest blogger, YA author Brian Rathbone. We first ‘met’ a few years back here on authorsden.com and since then, he’s become even busier than ever before! I’d like to begin by having you share a little information about yourself with our readers, Brian. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
BR: I've long been a technology geek. I enjoy writing code, image manipulation in Photoshop, and getting broadband access for people in rural areas. Those without access to the global digital economy are at a severe disadvantage.
Has writing stories always been a part of your life and becoming a published author a life long dream?
BR: I disliked writing in school, though I should say that I disliked being told to write something. It wasn't until I discovered speculative fiction that I found the desire to read, and as I read fantastic tales from David Eddings, Terry Brooks, Melanie Rawn, and many others, I found the desire to write my own story. A busy career kept me from writing for a long time, but when I found the time to write, I couldn't type fast enough. Still can't.
Your debut novel, The Dawning of Power, a trilogy all neatly wrapped up in one book has been receiving great reviews. My daughter has read it at least three times and still loves TDoP! What was the inspiration behind this story and can you tell us a little bit about your protagonist, Catrin Volker?
BR: It has been wonderful to hear from folks that have enjoyed the story, and to know your daughter has read it three times really warms my heart. The story formed over countless nights of lost sleep. When I wrote code all day, if I didn't do something to take my mind away from code before sleeping, I would dream about writing code all night. I occasionally solved problems in my sleep, but it was exhausting. I learned that creating story lines and plot ideas for those books I always said I was going to write was a great way to get myself to sleep. My dreams were always a lot more interesting. My wife also appreciates that I would no longer sit up in bed in the middle of the night and say,"Ah hah!" before running into my office to fix the code.
Catrin Volker is a teenage farm girl who, through a series of unforeseeable events, becomes the most powerful person on Godsland. Though she might be the kind of person you would want to have power, since she has no desire for it, the rest of Godsland might not see it that way.
Without giving away too much, can you reveal what’s in store for the readers when they crack open The Dawning of Power?
BR: A new age of power has returned to Godsland after thousands of years. All that remains of the last age of power are legends and myths. When the goddess Istra returns to the skies of Godsland in the form of a comet storm, no one is prepared. The Dawning of Power chronicles the first years of that new age.
The road to publication is difficult at the best of times. What made you decide to go the indie route?
BR: I'd love to say that it was for creative control and ideals alone, but it really wasn't. I didn't want to have to slug my way through the slush pile and collect my fair share of rejections. Once I realized that I had little to attract an agent or publisher outside of my books (no audience, no sales record, no massive media outlet), I decided I would need to change that. Using indie publishing, new media, podcasting, and social networking seemed like a good way to do it. I must say that my idea of indie publishing in 2008 was to form my own company, White Wolf Press, LLC, pay for editing, cover layout, interior layout, and running 1,000 copies on an offset press. It was an investment, and it has paid off, but it wasn't easy.
Who would you recommend this mode of publication to?
BR: I wouldn't recommend anyone run an offset press run these days, unless they were absolutely certain they could sell enough to break even. Any way you look at it, print runs are risky. Now that print on demand has become a viable option, it provides lower margins, but there is no risk beyond the publishing costs. I do recommend anyone going indie in publishing work with a professional editor, cover designer if possible, layout, etc. If you are skilled at doing these things yourself, then go for it, if not, get help.
What is the most important lesson you’ve learned on the road to publication?
BR: Be genuine, be a real person, create meaningful relationships, and if you are going to give something away, make it something of real value.
I’m curious about your writing style. Are you one of those disciplined writers who must dedicate a certain time each day to producing so many words, or are you more relaxed and tend to write when it strikes your fancy?
BR: My writing time is limited, so I have to set tough goals for myself. I try to write 10,000 words every weekend, or edit 50,000 words. I don't always achieve my goals, but most of the time I do.
Still on the subject of writing styles, are you a plotter or pantser? The readers would like to know if you tend to plot out your story line in great detail or if your writing is more organic with the characters and events unfolding as you write.
BR: I do both. I have an overall story arch that covers nine books. I generally have a rough outline in place when I start a book, and then my characters get ideas of their own and hearty chunks of outline fall away. I know where I'm going; I'm just not always certain how I will get there.
Some authors meditate, others need to fuel up on coffee or listen to music. Do you have any rituals, ones that can be shared with the readers, that you must do before you hunker down for a writing session?
BR: I often play an old video game I've had for at least a decade. I get bored with it very quickly, and my mind starts to wander. That's about when I fire up iTunes and put on a playlist of upbeat classic rock. I know all the songs, and there are no surprises--it's subliminal. If I try listening to the radio or Pandora, new or unusual songs break my concentration. After that, I try to just let the muse flow from my fingers. No fear, no apprehension, no stopping, just write.
At one time or another, most writers hit the wall and their work stalls because of the dreaded writer’s block. What do you do to get around or over this mental wall to resume writing?
BR: I hit a pretty solid wall after a tragic loss, and I had a great deal of trouble regaining my enthusiasm. Eventually grief turned to procrastination, and I knew I needed to suck it up and get on with it. I've often found that coming up with one-line quotes for the beginning of my chapters gets my imagination into gear. The first quote I wrote after that block was: "Procrastination robs the world of countless treasures." It's still one of my favorites.
Who is your favourite author and how has he/she inspired you to write or influenced your writing style or choice of genre?
BR: I'll never forget Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time and the way it made me feel. It was the first book I ever enjoyed reading. Later, David Eddings showed me how much I could relate to his characters. Say what you will, but Margeret Weiss and Tracy Hickman showed me how funny and memorable characters could be. Tasslehoff Burrfoot is still one of my all time favorite characters. I'll admit that there is a carved wooden wizard in my office, and I named him Fizban. There is a single white feather a fixed to the top of it. Oh, and my wedding band is white gold--just in case. Yeah, you could say that speculative fiction writers have shaped my life. If anyone ever offers me a Magic Kingdom for Sale, I'll buy it!
What is the most profound discovery you’ve made in terms of your writing and how it has touched the lives of others?
BR: Getting fan emails is still a surreal thing to me, but I love communicating with my readers. Hearing that my stories have helped people find their way out of a dark place or helped them at a time when they were in pain and couldn't sleep. Somehow my words brought them some solace, and that meant more to me than anything.
What are you reading now, and how did this particular book make it onto your to-read list?
BR: My reading time has been scarce, and I've been doing more listening while driving than reading, but I have a great love of podcast novels, so it's not a hardship. I'm currently listening to Alex White's Maiden Flight of the Avenger, which is a prequel to The Gearheart, which I also loved, though I feel the prequel might be best experienced after listening to, or reading, The Gearheart. You can get both free at Podiobooks.com. Alex really does a great job on the read and production. I met Alex when I interviewed him on Podioracket.com.
My daughter was thrilled to hear there will be a sequel to The Dawning of Power. Can your fans expect this in the near future?
BR: I'll admit that a number of people would be rather unhappy with me if they knew I was doing this interview and not finishing some final edits for Regent, book one of The Balance of Power trilogy, which is due out in ebook and paperback in late October 2011. I'm very excited about it.
What do you foresee in your future over the next five years and do you hope to branch out from YA into other genres?
BR: You're good. I have to tell you. Within five years, I hope to be writing and speaking full-time. In the meantime, I'll continue to write when I'm not fighting to get more broadband for people in western North Carolina. It is an uphill labor of love.
As for branching out, I just couldn't help myself. A story for a contemporary action adventure piece grew in my head and demanded I write it, at least write the beginning I thought. Then my wife and sister-in-law got a hold of it, and all I've heard since is,"Do you have a new chapter for us?" You're hearing it here first. My latest novel, Lure, is due out in December. It's like Indiana Jones meets Ghost Hunters meets Saving Grace. Though it's a bit more adult than the Godsland series, I'd still say it's PG-13.
Very cool, Brian! I’m sure my daughter will be eagerly awaiting Lure as well as the sequel to The Dawning of Power! Again, thank you so much for taking the time to discuss your works and to share in your writing process. For more information about Brian Rathbone and his novels, check out:
Follow Brian on Twitter: .brianrathbone
Where to buy the book:
Call of the Herald and Inherited Danger are free at all major ebook retailers and audio versions are free at Podiobooks.com.
More Blogs by L.T. Suzuki
Carlie Cullen Interview - Saturday, August 24, 2013
Kit Grindstaff Interview - Saturday, August 10, 2013
Shannon MacLeod Interview - Saturday, August 03, 2013
Brian Rathbone Interview - Saturday, July 27, 2013
Graeme Ing Interview - Saturday, July 20, 2013
Alison DeLuca Interview - Saturday, July 13, 2013
Christine Nolfi Interview - Saturday, July 06, 2013
Sara Furlong-Burr Interview - Saturday, June 29, 2013
Tamela Buhrke Interview - Saturday, June 22, 2013
Heidi Garrett Interview - Saturday, June 15, 2013
Loren Kleinman Interview - Saturday, June 08, 2013
Leanne Shirtliffe Interview - Saturday, June 01, 2013
Hannah Fielding Interview - Saturday, May 25, 2013
Erica Lucke Dean Interview - Saturday, May 18, 2013
Amber Lea Easton Interview - Sunday, May 12, 2013
Ruth Nestvold Interview - Saturday, May 04, 2013
Rose Garcia Interview - Saturday, April 20, 2013
Robert Pruneda Interview - Saturday, April 13, 2013
Lance Burson Interview - Saturday, April 06, 2013
Rachel Thompson Interview: - Saturday, March 23, 2013
Samantha Martin Interview - Saturday, March 16, 2013
Lisette Brodey Interview - Saturday, March 09, 2013
Jack Whyte Interview Part Two - Saturday, March 02, 2013
Jack Whyte Interview Part One - Saturday, February 23, 2013
Molly Greene Interview - Saturday, February 16, 2013
Dionne Lister Interview - Saturday, February 09, 2013
Anita Reynolds MacArthur Interview: - Saturday, February 02, 2013
Alicia Kat Dillman Interview - Saturday, January 26, 2013
John Gregory Hancock Interview - Saturday, January 19, 2013
Adriana Ryan Interview - Saturday, January 12, 2013
Jennifer McConnel Interview - Friday, January 04, 2013
S.M. Boyce Interview - Saturday, December 15, 2012
James Tallett Interview - Saturday, December 08, 2012
Melissa McPhail Interview - Saturday, December 01, 2012
Roz Morris Interview - Sunday, November 18, 2012
Tania Johansson Interview - Saturday, November 10, 2012
Dale Ivan Smith Interview - Sunday, November 04, 2012
Respect Your Readers - Sunday, October 28, 2012
Greta van der Rol Interview - Sunday, October 21, 2012
Justin Bog Interview - Saturday, October 13, 2012
Thanksgiving Day: Gratitude - Saturday, October 06, 2012
Steena Holmes Interview - Saturday, September 29, 2012
Kenneth Hoss Interview - Saturday, September 22, 2012
Patty Jansen Interview - Saturday, September 15, 2012
Joshua E. Bigger Interview - Saturday, September 08, 2012
Joyce Damask Interview - Saturday, September 01, 2012
Marketing & Twitter - Saturday, August 25, 2012
Henry Herz Interview - Saturday, August 18, 2012
Kristin Bair O'Keeffe Interview - Sunday, August 12, 2012
William Linde Interview - Saturday, August 04, 2012
Micheal Rivers Interview - Saturday, July 21, 2012
Robert James Russell Interview - Saturday, July 14, 2012
Becka Sutton Interview - Saturday, July 07, 2012
Canadian Authors Feature - Saturday, June 30, 2012
Gini Koch Interview - Sunday, June 17, 2012
M. Pax Interview - Saturday, June 09, 2012
Karina Halle Interview - Saturday, June 02, 2012
Novice Writing Mistakes - Sunday, May 27, 2012
Pippa Jay Interview - Sunday, May 20, 2012
Glenn Starkey Interview - Saturday, May 12, 2012
Maurice G. Nicholson Interview - Saturday, May 05, 2012
How I Select Followers on Twitter - Saturday, April 28, 2012
Shaun Allan Interview - Sunday, April 22, 2012
Darlene Foster Interview - Saturday, April 14, 2012
Kim Aleksander Interview - Saturday, April 07, 2012
Hope Collier Interview - Saturday, March 31, 2012
John Kolson’s Writeado: A New Online Writing Tool - Saturday, March 24, 2012
Jeff Shanley Interview - Saturday, March 17, 2012
Stephen England Interview - Saturday, March 10, 2012
Everett Powers Interview - Saturday, March 03, 2012
The Kindle Prime Experiment - Saturday, February 25, 2012
Edward Lazellari Interview - Saturday, February 18, 2012
Connie J. Jasperson Interview - Saturday, February 11, 2012
Sally Dubats - Saturday, February 04, 2012
Selecting Writers For My Author Feature - Sunday, January 29, 2012
Tarek Refaat Interview - Sunday, January 22, 2012
Toby Neal Interview: - Saturday, January 14, 2012
Thomas A. Knight Interview - Sunday, January 08, 2012
Linda Poitevin Interview - Sunday, January 01, 2012
2011: A Year in Review - Monday, December 26, 2011
Angeline Kace Interview - Sunday, December 18, 2011
Eden Baylee Interview - Saturday, December 10, 2011
Cyndi Tefft Interview - Saturday, December 03, 2011
The Conference Experience - Sunday, November 27, 2011
A.R. Silverberry Interview - Sunday, November 20, 2011
Suzy Turner Interview - Sunday, November 13, 2011
Patti Roberts Interview - Sunday, November 06, 2011
Raine Thomas Interview - Sunday, October 23, 2011
LK Gardner-Griffie Interview - Saturday, October 15, 2011
Jonathan Gould Interview - Saturday, October 08, 2011
Brian Rathbone Interview - Saturday, October 01, 2011
Matthew Merrick Interview - Sunday, September 25, 2011
Dean Lappi Interview - Saturday, September 17, 2011
J.T. Ellison Interview - Sunday, September 11, 2011
Carolyn Arnold Interview - Sunday, September 04, 2011
John Kolson Interview - Sunday, August 21, 2011
Megan Curd Interview - Saturday, August 06, 2011
Elena Aitken - Sunday, July 31, 2011
When Book Reviews are Misleading… - Sunday, July 24, 2011
Deborah Riley-Magnus - Saturday, July 16, 2011
Jessica Subject Interview - Sunday, July 10, 2011
J. Alexander Greenwood Interview: - Sunday, July 03, 2011
When Social Networking is no so social... - Monday, June 27, 2011
Dannie C. Hill - Monday, June 20, 2011
Shay Fabbro Interview - Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Genevieve P. Ching Interview - Monday, June 06, 2011
Al Boudreau Interview - Monday, May 30, 2011
Jennifer Hudock Interview - Monday, May 23, 2011
Paul Mansfield Keefe Interview - Monday, May 16, 2011
Rusty Fischer Interview - Monday, May 09, 2011
Jason McIntyre Interview - Monday, May 02, 2011
Emlyn Chand & Novel Publicity - Monday, April 25, 2011
Steve Umstead Interview - Monday, April 18, 2011
John Betcher Interview - Monday, April 11, 2011
Kimberly Kinrade Interview - Monday, April 04, 2011
Inspiration & Where You Find It - Monday, March 28, 2011
Christie Yant - Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Amy J. Rose David Interview - Monday, March 14, 2011
George H. Sirois Interview - Monday, March 07, 2011
Linda Nagata Interview - Monday, February 28, 2011
Adventures in Editing or... Is it Done Yet? - Monday, February 21, 2011
Greg Messel Interview - Monday, February 14, 2011
Jen Wylie Interview - Monday, February 07, 2011
Katie M. John Interview - Monday, January 31, 2011
How Do You Measure Success: - Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Avery Tingle Interview - Monday, January 17, 2011
Kristie Cook Interview - Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Ren Cummins - Tuesday, January 04, 2011
A Wish For the New Year - Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Trish Wolfe Interview - Monday, December 20, 2010
Jesi Lea Ryan Interview - Monday, December 13, 2010
Cat Connor Interview - Monday, December 06, 2010
How to Make a Story Ring True - Monday, November 29, 2010
Sharon Bially Interview - Monday, November 22, 2010
Donna Carrick Interview - Monday, November 15, 2010
Brenda Sedore Interview - Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Robert Feagan Interview - Monday, November 01, 2010
Of Book Signings, Volunteering & Option Agreements… - Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Daryl Sedore Interview - Monday, October 18, 2010
Seven Day Blog Tour Begins October 17th - Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Todd A. Ritter Interview - Monday, October 04, 2010
Cheryl Kaye Tardif Interview - Monday, September 27, 2010
Claude Bouchard Interview - Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Dr. Peter Clement Interview - Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Elizabeth Isaacs Interview - Monday, September 06, 2010
Introducing a New YA Fantasy - Monday, August 30, 2010
Interview with Author Gene Doucette - Monday, August 23, 2010
It's All About the Books Part 2 - Monday, August 16, 2010
It's All About the Books - Monday, August 09, 2010
When to Abandon Your Manuscript - Monday, August 02, 2010
1st Anniversary Blog: A Celebration of Authors - Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Kathy Chung & the SiWC Part Twp - Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Kathy Chung & the Surrey International Writers Conference Part One - Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Deanna Jewel Interview - Tuesday, July 06, 2010
The Happiest Indie Author (me) in the World! - Tuesday, June 29, 2010
The Author Effect - Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Jacqueline Pearce Interview - Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Peggy Richardson Interview - Tuesday, June 08, 2010
Wendy Nelson Tokunaga Interview - Tuesday, June 01, 2010
The Importance of a Critique Group - Saturday, May 29, 2010
Zoe Winters Interview - Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Zoe Winters Interview - Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Tonya R. Moore Interview - Monday, May 03, 2010
Write On Bowen! - Monday, April 26, 2010
Dayna Hester Interview - Monday, April 19, 2010
Luke Romyn Interview - Monday, April 12, 2010
Rhonda Carpenter Interview - Monday, March 29, 2010
Lacey Weatherford Interview - Monday, March 22, 2010
K.M. Weiland Interview - Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Mark Coker, CEO of Smashwords Interview! - Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Jo Lynne Valerie Interview - Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Dan McNeil Interview - Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Catherine McKenzie Interview - Tuesday, February 16, 2010
8 Years of Writing! 8 eBook Winners! - Sunday, February 07, 2010
Birthday Blog (or an Ode to Aging Gracelessly) - Monday, January 18, 2010
Interview with Paranormal Author Kate Austin - Monday, January 11, 2010
Riley Carney Interview - Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Ask an Editor - Monday, December 28, 2009
Lee Edward Fodi Interview - Monday, December 21, 2009
Interview with YA Author James McCann - Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Researching Historical Fiction with Diana Gabaldon - Tuesday, December 08, 2009
kc dyer Interview & Enter to Win an Autographed Novel! - Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Bev Katz Rosenbaum Interview - Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Writing Tips I Learned from Terry Brooks - Tuesday, November 17, 2009
An Interview with Tamara Sheehan - Monday, November 09, 2009
YA Author Loreena M. Lee Interview - Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Why Do I Blog About Other Authors? - Thursday, October 29, 2009
Critique by Author Jack Whyte - Tuesday, October 27, 2009
BookCamp 2009 - Monday, October 19, 2009
Participating at VCON 34 - Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Therese Walsh Interview - Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Interview with Debra Purdy Kong - Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Twitter – The Power of the Tweet - Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Part Two: Publishing in a Foreign Market - Tuesday, September 15, 2009
An Interview with author Christopher Belton - Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Part Two of the Caroline Leavitt Interview: - Thursday, September 03, 2009
An Interview with Author & Book Reviewer Caroline Leavitt - Tuesday, September 01, 2009
An Interview with Kathleen Bolton - Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Interview with author/artist Scott Kessman: - Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Interview with author/artist Scott Kessman: - Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Part 2 of the Kim Falconer Interview - Thursday, August 13, 2009
An Interview with Kim Falconer - Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Part 2 An Interview with Alan Baxter - Thursday, August 06, 2009
An Interview with Alan Baxter - Tuesday, August 04, 2009
If You Write It, They Will Come (buy it)… Not! - Sunday, July 26, 2009
Lori A. May: Author Extraordinaire - Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Merits of a Writers Conference - Sunday, July 19, 2009
Part 2 Publishing in the Digital Age - Thursday, July 16, 2009
Publishing in the Digital Age - Monday, July 13, 2009
Writing Tips for the Novice Novelist - Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Flog the Blog - Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Do's & Don't of a TV interview - Saturday, June 27, 2009
Mortality & Writing - Friday, June 26, 2009
The Art of Editing 101 - Tuesday, June 23, 2009
How To Write When Suffering from Bad Memory Retention - Saturday, June 20, 2009
Finding Inspiration from Others - Thursday, June 18, 2009
To Blog or Twitter... - Tuesday, June 16, 2009