I am SOO ready for this weekend. All I want to do is sit in front of my brand new TV and play video games, lol. (Skyrim is beckoning). Meanwhile, it’s another interview day! I’ve got Brad McDowell, an indie fantasy writer working on a sword and sorcery series. You can find out more about Brad at his Amazon Author page here:
1. What first encouraged you to write?
Choose your own adventure books for the most part. That and a book called “Magic Kingdom for Sale: Sold”. It was the first book that I could really follow the story and see the devices the author used. I only published after seeing that my LARP friend Jim Butcher could go independent. If he could take his books and go Indie, and still make the same or close to the same money I wanted to cut out the middle man.
2. Your first book, “Arcane Savant: Black Sand Storm” came out recently. Tell me about the book.
I wanted to write a book on the other side of the reluctant hero coin. The main character is a figure head in a world changing prophecy in my swords and horses fantasy. To me, no one wants to be the bad guy and some of the post powerful villains in the real world and the written world do not see themselves as such. Honestly most really powerful bad guys could be the hero if not for one or two things about how they do what they do. The main character in my book is just wanting to do his own things but the world is making him act. It boils down to him finding a reason to be part of the larger scheme and it doesn’t need to be for the same purpose as the prophecy.
3. What about the fantasy genre appeals to you?
“Be everything you could never be.” I have been part of the RPG scene for a long time and even did a bit of work on a few D20 rpg systems. The idea that an author can paint a thousand lives as a thousand creatures is absolute beauty to me. There is poetry behind the interactions of the author and their characters. Fantasy gives you a whole new level to that interaction.
4. Who is your favorite writer and why?
I would have to say Jim Butcher is at the top of the list as I know him and he cracks jokes all the time at game. If I would have to say someone I do not know. I have been on a huge Kim Harrison kick as of late. I really enjoy her character interactions and her writing style doesn’t jump as hard as some of the new big name authors tend to do as of late.
5. What other things interest you?
Movies, TV, hobbies, etc. I am a huge fan of DIY projects, lately I have been on a leather working project for some birthday presents coming up. I have not watched one show on TV in the past ten years, to busy with books! But Live Action Gaming has been a big thing for me, its amazingly dorky and fun. But it has helped me more with writing than anything else. Think of Dungeons and Dragons but you have to be a good enough fighter to take your boffer weapons and go slay that orc. Just think of how fun reenacting Lord of the Rings would be! I’m always up for going back to new Zealand.
6. What are you working on now?
I just, as of tonight, finished the last chapter for book two of Arcane Savant. This one takes place a year later and you get to see just how deep the family ties go. I am also slowly working on book one of ‘Dead Doc.’ a vampire novel using as many odd ball real world myths of vampires I can, no sparkle sparkle. As well a book called ‘Rapture Gone Wrong’ about a guy who finds out that the rapture happened in the 1500’s and its been hidden, the people who hid it are now gunning for him!
7. How did you find your cover artist?
Picarto.com An amazing website that lets you watch the artists via a tablet stream. I told Xib about Shasha and he made her come alive before my eyes. That feeling of seeing a character in my head come out in art was indescribable. He had me from there.
8. What advice do you have for writers?
You are doing what you love, really living your dream. I know a pilot who nearly starved to death to live the life he wanted, he now is doing well and his love of flying pays for everything. You have a hard time coming up but never ever let it get you down. The moment you fail as a writer is the day you fail to write. Keep at it and keep typing, keep writing, even voice record your stuff. Get your butt into a chair and keep writing, all other advice pales in comparison to just keep writing. If people tell you cant, prove them wrong. If people tell you that it wont work, let them prove that after you produce book 100. You are powerful, so powerful that the only thing that prevent you from living your dream of being a author is yourself. Don’t ever give up and always know you have at least one dorky guy out there cheering on his peers. I’ve added my own brand of awesome to the library of books out there, its time for you to join me and make the whole thing even more awesome.