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L.T. Suzuki

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Blogs by L.T. Suzuki

William Linde Interview
8/4/2012 9:33:35 PM
Fantasy author William Linde discusses his novella The Prince of Graves and the writing life!
LTS: One of my earliest followers on Twitter also happens to be a talented author and the creator of the fantasy world of Maladine! I’d like to introduce you to William Linde. I’d like to begin by having you share a little information about yourself with our readers, William. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

WL: Thank you so much for this opportunity to speak with you and your readers, Lorna. You've certainly been a tremendously encouraging presence on Twitter, and I am grateful to be featured here. I love to read, and I love to hike. Both of those activities are curtailed considerably by my current passion, which is raising my awesome 2 year old son. Also, I'm a real coffee snob, so I enjoy tracking down out of the way coffee joints.

LTS: You have been fashioning the world of Maladine and developing the characters for decades before publishing this novella. Did you know you were destined to be a published author early on in your writing career?

WL: I suppose I expected it to happen, one way or another. To be honest, I didn't know much about how to become a published author when I started. I just knew that I wanted to write. I figured that I'd get my stories down on paper (virtual or otherwise), and then figure out how to get them in front of readers.

LTS: I had a chance to read an excerpt of your debut novella, The Prince of Graves and right away, I could tell you were big on world building, transporting the readers immediately into this realm of fantasy! What was the inspiration behind this story and can you tell us a little bit about the four princes?

WL: The simple answer is that I had to write The Prince of Graves in order to set the stage for the greater storyline that follows it. Without going too far off topic, I was writing the first of a series of books that chronicle something called the Desolation War, which is a prophesied End Time where mortal kingdoms would be exterminated and the world handed over to the powers of death. There's a lot more to it, but to answer the original question, I had decided to start the first volume(titled Shadows and Bones) in the aftermath of a war between the last of the mortal kingdoms, called Valeot the Great, and the wicked Necromancer Kingdoms. As I was writing this, I kept having to develop notes on the recent conflict. This was happening so much that I decided to put Shadows and Bones aside so that I could write out the details of the climax of this war. The Prince of Graves is the result of those notes.
The four princes are the sons of the King of Valeot. The command of the armies of the kingdom have been given over to them. The eldest of the four, Laveris, is the poster child of commanders: powerful and brave, and devoted to his King and Kingdom. The next eldest two, Ghelan and Dehrbane, are full blood brothers of Laveris. The youngest, Prince Frey, is a half brother. I make passing reference to it in Graves, but their mother was murdered shortly after Dehrbane's birth. Their father, for political reasons, eventually married the daughter of a wild kingdom in the frozen north (think Norsemen). Frey was born afterwards. The four brothers are fiercely loyal to one another, though tensions early on cause a lot of grief for them

LTS: Without giving away too much, can you reveal what’s in store for the readers when they crack open The Prince of Graves?

WL: The Prince of Graves sets readers in the midst of the climactic battles of the sixth war between the Necromancer Kingdoms and Valeot, called the August Kingdom. Valeot is the last of the Remnant Kingdoms that emerged after the collapse of Maladine - a once massive realm that claimed most of the known world - one thousand years ago,.
The Prince of Graves is fast paced, favoring action and fantasy combat as two armies (each army is led by two of the princes) clash with a vastly superior enemy. It becomes evident that Laveris and Frey have their backs against the proverbial wall, and looming over them is the knowledge of a prophecy that indicates the coming of a mysterious figure called the Prince of Graves. When this being comes, all mortal kingdoms will fall.

LTS: The road to publication is difficult at the best of times. What made you decide to self-publish and is this a mode of publication you’d recommend to others?

WL: I think my story is like a lot of Indie authors. When I first started writing, I just wanted to write, and get published. I didn't really understand that there were different kinds of publishing. Of course, the traditional route was what I expected, and when I first learned of self publishing I shied away from it. But I started interacting with a range of authors, like you Lorna, over Twitter and through blogs. I soon learned that there was a vibrant self published /small press published author community out there. These writers were redefining what Indie books were, and frankly I was excited by this. So while I am still exploring traditional publishing for some of my work, I love the self publishing world. I recommend it for writers who are willing to do the hard work necessary to ensure their work is ready for publication.

LTS: What is the best and the worst part of being an indie author?

WL: Best part is the mere fact that I can get my writing in front of readers. I made mention of this in a recent blog entry, but I find it humbling whenever I see that any of my short stories have been downloaded. Yes, it is nice when I get some money with it, but I am humbled by the fact that someone made a conscious decision to invest their time into reading something of mine. I mean, I can always refund someone their money if they didn't like my work. I can't return the time from their lives that they invested. So I find this exhilarating.
Worst part for me: marketing. I hate it. It's a necessary part of being an Indie author, but I am not a big fan of pushing my work. I know of some authors who can sell their books seemingly without effort, and without coming across as obnoxious. I wish I had that gift.

LTS: I know exactly what you mean about knowing that people are willing to invest time and money into reading what we write, especially when they return for more and when you know they have thousands of other titles to choose from! And I’m like you in the marketing department, I’d rather be writing! But it is a fine balancing act between letting people know you do have stories to share and trying not to be pushy about it. Now, for the next question: What is the most important lesson you’ve learned on the road to publication?

WL: It has to be that, like almost anything in life, in order to be taken seriously you have to work, and work hard, at your craft. That means I can't just whip out a story, review it once or twice, then dump it into CreateSpace. This means edit, edit, edit. Get other sets of eyes on my work, and edit some more. This can be done without threatening the artistic integrity of the work. It just means you'll produce a tighter, more professional novel. I highly recommend hiring a professional editor. If you have the money, hire a copy editor too.

LTS: Excellent advice! 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.

WL: I usually start with a plot that I think is interesting, but before I go too far I search for the right characters to set in the story. So with the Desolation War storyline that the Prince of Graves is the prologue for, I started with an interesting idea, but I needed the right characters. So I guess I do both.

LTS: 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?

WL: I am the most productive in my study, with a cup of great coffee (black) or tea. My study is decorated with things that mean a lot to me, collected from all over the world (I was in the Air Force for nearly 12 years, so I did a lot of traveling). This setting inspires me, and helps to blot out the distractions of the real world outside.

LTS: 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?

WL: Believe it or not, I haven't hit writer's block since I made the decision to write seriously back in 2008. I know of it, but so far the pent-up creativity of decades is flowing quite reliably.

LTS: Who is your favourite author and how has he/she inspired you to write or influenced your writing style or choice of genre?

WL: J.R.R. Tolkien. I know that's not very original. I'm certain a majority of fantasy writers place Tolkien high up on their influences. But by the time I graduated High School I had read The Hobbit 17 times, The Lord of the Rings three times, and the Silmarillion twice. But in all honesty, Tolkien was such a monolithic influence that, earlier in my life, I scrapped attempts at writing my stories because I kept comparing my rough drafts to his work, essentially killing it in the womb. It wasn't until much, much later in life that I realized that I didn't have to be like Tolkien. I could just be inspired by him.

LTS: You’ve read The Hobbit 17 times? Wow! I feel ashamed now because I haven’t even read this or Lord of The Rings once! What do you foresee in your future over the next five years and do you hope to branch out from fantasy into other genres? Can your fans expect a sequel to The Prince of Graves in the near future?

WL: I fully expect to be a successful author. I live in that pleasant dream world where I consider my current employment as a way to pay the bills until I can make that happen. So within 5 years I intend to be a full time writer.
Fantasy is my primary love, but I've already dabbled in other genres. In fact, my first completed manuscript was a humor-thriller, and I've written some horror. I published a children's short story through Associated Content (now Yahoo! Voices), and I have a number of sequels for this children's story planned. And to top that off, I'm trying to start a graduate program in Military History later this year. If I can do that, I've got aspirations to write a nonfiction history book.

LTS: With your talent and drive, I believe you will meet your goal sooner than you think! Thank you so much for taking time to discuss your works and to share in your writing experiences, William! Catch you on Twitter!

For more information about William and his works, check out:
Website: http://welinde.com/
Follow William on Twitter: .WELinde
Where to buy the book: Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Prince-Graves-Desolation-Saga-ebook/dp/B007GY02J2/ref=la_B007HA4XT0_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1343873295&sr=1-2

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-prince-of-graves-we-linde/1109325112?ean=2940013923003
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/138713



Comments (1)

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