Q1) Briefly, how would you describe ‘Phoenix, Book 1 of The Peradon Fantasy Series’ to someone who hasn’t read any of your previous work?
Phoenix is a Fantasy tale with various elements of magical realism wound in. It centres around the land of Peradon, whose four realms became separated when those with differing abilities warred against one-another. It is a tale of young minds seeking freedom, comfort, and love in a place where such things appear as a commodity. Earth, Fire, Air, and Frost magic go hand in hand with conspiracy, betrayal, and a twisted sense of romance.
Q2) How long did it take for you to finish and publish ‘Phoenix’?
It took me roughly a year and a half to work through the writing, editing, and publishing process altogether. At the moment, I’m working to create a second edition of Phoenix, which I’m referring to as Phoenix 2.0. I’ve been working on this edition for the past few months and hope to provide a dazzling magical experience for readers.
Q3) Have you always wanted to write and when did you first discover that you wanted to write?
I remember being given our first creative writing task at a very young age. I was around seven years old and out of my peers I received the most praise from teachers regarding how imaginative my ideas were. As I grew, there was no shortage of praise from teachers regarding numerous creative writing pieces and so I began to write in my spare time. It became a hobby of mine to write short stories, until I reached the age of fourteen and decided I would try my hand at a full length novel. Since then my passion for writing has only increased. Now, creating new worlds from words on a page; it is literally my life and I cannot stop writing, nor do I think I’d ever want to.
Q4) Many writers, particularly young writers, have difficulty convincing their parents of their career choice. Have you found this, or society’s expectations, a problem?
Yes, I have noticed that people today don’t see creative writing as a ‘real’ job. I tend to ignore people that possess this viewpoint, because they become rather negative influences. I no longer see the point in trying to convince somebody about my career. It is something that makes me happy and serves as my work. I rarely stop working, even at the weekends, because I really do enjoy what I’m doing with my life. People have asked me what my dream job would be and I can honestly say that I am in possession of mine. I have been since my early twenties and have been working towards it for the entirety of my teenage years.
Its hard when someone questions you about writing as your career and I can relate as I don’t believe my family view my writing as actual work. It can be hurtful when the rest of my siblings are asked about how work is going and then, when it comes to me, just being either blanked, or having people ask about my pets. I have always been passionate about creative writing and have sought to make it my business. At the end of the day, other people’s opinions should not matter as much as your own. If you are happy with your work as a creative writer, then people should be happy for you as you’re doing something that you truly love.
Q5) How do you spend your average writing day?
I tend to spend my mornings working on marketing and promotional tasks and spending mid-day and the afternoon halved between reading and writing. The evenings are by far the best time to write for me. Daily noises die down and there is this delicious sense of mystery and magic that fills the air. Everything seems possible and I find it much easier to delve into the worlds that I’ve created.
Q6) Is there a specific message, theme or idea that you wanted to get across to your readers with ‘The Peradon Fantasy Series’?
Yes, I wanted readers to know that you always have the strength you need to overcome a situation. It is this inner strength that will keep you going and will guide you through the toughest parts of your life. It is your spirit, your willpower, that fuels you to determine right from wrong and to develop yourself as an individual. To sum up the main messages of the story, I would say that ‘You are stronger than you first realize,’ and that ‘Things are not always how they appear.’
Q7) Are you currently writing or planning to work on a new novel and when will it be ready?
I am currently working on a second, improved edition of Phoenix. I also have two books in the second draft stage, which are awaiting my attention in boxes nearby. One of these is a Fantasy novella inspired by two clans who are waging war against the other. The other is the second book in the Peradon Fantasy Series, whose title and cover shall be revealed on my website in the following few seasons. I am hoping for both books to make their appearances within the next year.
Q8) What do you feel is the best piece of writing advice that you have learnt to date?
Listen to criticism. Always. When I was younger, I found it very hard to take any form of criticism, whether it was regarding my general character or my work. During the last year I have found it increasingly easier to accept that no writer is perfect and that not everyone will view your work in the same way. If people repeat the same sort of advice to you, then why not listen? This is part of what fuelled me to start working on Phoenix 2.0. I want readers to have the best experience possible when they start my books. I’d say that constructive criticism can be your best friend and definitely be sure to open you mind to it.
Q9) What inspires you?
My inspiration comes in the form of dreams, in the love of my life, and from various personal experiences. Usually any one of these will spark an idea in my mind and I will have to begin jotting down ideas right away.
Q10) In this modern age of self-publicity, which social media platforms do you use and find the most useful?
I find that Twitter works particularly well for sharing content, whereas Instagram serves me well in gaining popularity. The Goodreads website is especially great for connecting to more readers and fellow authors and in general for developing your network of consumers.
Q11) If you could be a character in any novel you’ve read, who would it be?
I would be Richard Rahl from The Sword of Truth Series, by Terry Goodkind. He is a great man; honest, brave, passionate, etc. People love him. He conquers evil alongside his beautiful wife, Khalan, and despite being in almost constant danger, he is a symbol of many of the qualities that I admire.
Q12) Do you have any favourite novels or authors?
As mentioned above, I love the Sword of Truth Series, by Terry Goodkind. As an author, he creates a wide range of epic fantasy novels, which exceed any other novels I’ve read in terms of action, romance, and in tension building. There’s something altogether magic about the way in which he crafts a book and I won’t stop reading his work for as long as I live.
Extra Questions just for fun….
Q13) If you could travel to anywhere in the world where would it be?
Tokyo, Japan. I’ve always wanted to travel there.
Q14) Do you have any pets?
I have a Long haired Terrier Cross puppy named Sam. He’s a very excitable dog and loves to hug people.
Q15) If you could have dinner with anyone alive today (famous or not) who would it be and why?
I would have dinner with the beautiful and intelligent Emma Watson. She is such an inspirational young woman, who shares my interest in books and feminism. She seems to be a genuinely kind hearted person and I would love to meet her and just talk about our life experiences so far.
Q16) Can you tell us a random fact about yourself?
I am an Autistic individual. I was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome at Twenty years old, though my mother had always suspected that I was on the Autism Spectrum. I never had any issues with my school work or with applying myself to most things, apart from when it came to social conventions. As I went through puberty, I had absolutely no idea of how to integrate myself into friendship groups, or how to behave. Most of the time I would observe other groups of teenagers and try to replicate what I thought was the most acceptable standard of behaviour, according to the morals of the house in which I grew up. I work hard to imagine myself in my characters shoes and learn all I can to portray a wide range of human relationships.
A big thank you to Daccari Buchelli for being the first of the many talented authors from BGS Fantasy/Paranormal Group to take part in my author interviews. If you would like to know more about this author please click on the links below!