The Importance of the Impossible
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Interview with Yours Truly

Posted by A.E. Marling in Author Interview

For today’s post, someone on Twitter dared to ask for an interview for a school project. My mother never told me not to accept interviews from strangers, so here we go:

Firstly I would like to know what subjects did you choose at high school?

In high school I was particularly interested in psychology, history, and chemistry. I wanted to take AP English but it conflicted with calculus and band practice. Like music, writing success is practice, practice, practice. I find it amusing that in English classes I thought analyzing book theme to be the most ridiculous of pursuits, but as an author, theme is one of the first things I look at while brainstorming a plot. To create a book that is cohesive and resonate and leaves the reader with a strong feeling of resolution, I want the book’s theme to be reflected in the protagonist’s character growth and inverted in the antagonist. Subtlety is of course the watchword with theme.


Did you study further after school and if so how long?

I graduated with a B.S. in allied health sciences. I found that nothing gave me a greater urge to write than science lectures, and I sat through a lot of ’em. More relevant to the topic at hand is that I independently read a dozen or so books about writing and wrote several “practice” novels before independently publishing Brood of Bones and Fox’s Bride. Most useful were the writing books discussing the story arc in four acts.

What would you like to achieve with your books?

I encourage people to touch the sky of human imagination and read fantasy. Fantasy writing recaptures the whimsy of childhood play in a way that exercises creativity. It is my goal to take people on a journey of escape and wonder. I continue to write because I like to think I now have some understanding of how to engineer a satisfying story. I take the craft seriously and plot out the story in entirety before beginning.

I think this is a stupid question but we have to answer it, if you don’t mind roughly how much ± do you earn per book?

Novel writing is a great hobby but a risky profession. I cannot in good conscience recommend it to anyone who has dependents or otherwise has the capacity to starve. To potential writers, I suggest they come up with a plan B, then start at the bottom of their list. The bare bones for producing a book independently in a professional manner is $2,000, (which includes editing, illustration, and graphic design). The total, however, could easily run to double that. Also, the writing community is full of vultures who prey on a writer’s aspirations, charging large fees for workshops and lectures. Being an independent learner I may be biased, but I believe you can learn just as much by checking out a book on writing from a library. A budding writer may spend thousands of dollars editing a manuscript that should have been respectfully laid to rest.

Is there more to it than writing stories?

In my opinion, being an author today is as much about talking with readers and engaging them on social media (and cons) than the actual writing.

That’s about all my questions thank you for your time. It has been much appreciated!!

Certainly, and now I must away to my underground lab to check on Bus Eater, my giant squid.

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