Andre Alan has created in his Fantasy novel a world rich with detail: colorful, sense invoking, swirl before your inner eye detail. The wonderful word scenes take you to another world where magical adventure awaits. It's an exciting, scary, and fascinating journey the reader takes with Thame.
Interview with Andre Alan
|Author Andre Alan|
Andre Alan:Seven years ago I began writing fantasy and sci fi short stories but before that I was an artist. Once I started to create backstories for those drawn characters I began to ingest information on how to write. From books like Conflict and Suspense by James Scott Bell and Description & Setting by Ron Rozelle to Writers Digest website, I tried to do whatever it takes to learn the craft of writing. Before that, I only wrote papers for school.
Who are your favorite writers, your favorite books, and who or what are your writing influences?
Some of my favorite authors include Robert Jordan and his Wheel of Time series. He was a master at description, on par with Tolkien. The first book in the series: The Eye of the World inspired me to create my own unique world that the characters could inhabit. Also, Michael Connelly is another writer that I enjoy reading. I like the way he tells the story of his detective crime fiction books. Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller are two very galvanizing characters that push me to want to write better. Lastly but most certainly not least is R.A. Salvatore. The way he describes fighting scenes is mind blowing. I hope to one day be as proficient in my description of destruction and death.
When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
In 2005 when I worked as an IT Help Desk Analyst and was told to pick up a cop of Robert Jordan’s Eye of the World, after reading that I wanted to try and tell stories the way he did. Then I read R.A. Salvatore’s Dungeons and Dragons Series of books with my favorite dark elf, Drizzt Do’urden. After that, I fell into the Science Fiction whole and discovered Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey with the immortal Hal 9000 and his series beginning with Time’s Eye. H.G. Wells The Time Machine and Spin by Robert Charles Wilson are two more sci fi novels that are special to me. I obviously was unable to read all of these titles in one year. But I feel as though all of these works of fiction confirmed for me the need to pursue my own writing.
Tell us about your writing process. Do you have a writing routine?
I usually get my best work done at night. I also need to be comfortable when I write. Whether it is lying down on my stomach in bed or reclining with music playing. I tend to start writing at 6:00PM after the PTI program goes off on ESPN. Unless there is a sports game on or some new interesting show, I turn off the television and turn up the tunes. Not only that but I have a tendency to repeatedly look at the word count meter in the bottom left hand corner of Microsoft Word, so I hide that section of the window off screen. I know I am a little weird that way but I can’t help it. If I don’t do that then I don’t get any work done.
"One of the hardest parts of the writing process is when I am staring at a white piece of paper..."
What do you find easiest about writing? What the hardest?
I think that at this early stage in my career nothing really comes easy. One part of the process that I do enjoy more than others is coming up with unique names for my characters and their settings. One of the hardest parts of the writing process is when I am staring at a white piece of paper and that tiny little black vertical line is blinking at me. I feel like it is a car’s turn signal telling me to go right (write); at least that is how I think of it.
Andre, please tell us a little about your novel Heaven's Fate.
Heaven’s Fate is a science fiction and fantasy novel that is told on, what I hope comes across as, a grand scale. I want it to be a story that is bigger than life. But I also want it to be able to connect with the reader. I hope that they understand the motives of the main character Thame Elliot. Thame lost his mother at birth and his father only ten years later who was murdered by his former classmate. Thame was then raised by his father’s other classmate, Autumn Augustus who eventually becomes the first female empress of the human nation of Eioda. The continent has large oceans bordering its eastern and western shores where other various races reside like the Orcs, Elves, and Gnomes.
Thame is determined to find out the name of the man that killed his father. Once he finds out who it is, he wants to deliver justice in the family name. Little does Thame know that powerful forces operating in the political, military, and business sectors are aligning to destroy his family name. Not only that but supernatural forces are pressing down on Thame’s psyche and try to control him. Luckily for Thame his birthright is one of the most powerful artifacts ever known to exist, the magical Tundra Sword. With this weapon, he can exact vengeance upon those that deserve to no longer exist by corrupting society.
|Click to Read an Excerpt|
What inspired you to write the book?
Inspiration for Heaven’s Fate came about in a very unique way. As I said before, I loved to draw when I was younger. While in college from 2000 to 2004 I was very much into Japanese anime and a particular show, Dragon Ball Z. The characters from Heaven’s Fate borrow some of the character and setting elements of the popular anime. However, originally I had planned for those characters to be a part of a comic book series that I wanted to create. After the first novel I created was almost stolen (for the record, about the first twenty five percent of the manuscript was stolen and plagiarized online *Be careful out there people. Be wary of who you show your work to.*) I decided to take the storyline of Heaven’s Fate the anime and turn it into a novel.
Who do you see as your target audience and where can we buy the book?
My target audience for this novel is Young Adults from the ages of sixteen to twenty one. I also feel that this book has enough to capture the attention of twenty two all the way to fifty plus years of age. This book has suspense, international intrigue, love, betrayal, and unique family drama that I think many people can relate to.
Heaven’s Fate can be purchased online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It is available in hardcover and eBook format.
How would you describe the success of your book so far? (Sales, Awards, Reviews)
So far sales have been pretty good. They can always be better but I am not complaining. I have yet to receive any awards but up until this point my novel – I think – has flown beneath the radar. However the reviews available on Amazon have been very positive, receiving an average rating of four out of five stars.
How long did it take to write the book?
I think it took me quite a while to finish this book. I spent – I think – a little over a year writing it down then almost as much as six months going through the reviewing, editing and revising process.
Please, tell us where you self-published the book.
I self-published the book using my private publishing company, EVapor Entertainment Inc. I thought that it was important to own all of the rights to the intellectual property that so much time has been invested into. Not only that but I think that I want to prove that I can produce a quality product without going through the major publishing houses.
How smooth went the self-publishing process? Any issues? What are things to look for when self-publishing a book?
The self-publishing process went pretty smoothly but with any new adventure that a person undertakes, there are going to be bumps along the way. With the setting of the publishing date far in advance of the completion of the novel, I ran into the problem of running past the deadline on multiple stages of the publishing process. Not only did I run long on my own deadline of writing, reading, re-reading, editing, and revising on the project but the multiple editors of the company ran over schedule, along with working with the distributor which resulted in pushing back the release date. File uploads and the book cover creation process had an almost never ending series of delays and restarts and re-uploads. But again this was my first time so things like this are to be expected.
One thing to look out for is not giving yourself enough time to make sure that the product you put out to the public is top-notch quality.
Did you hire an editor and/or Cover Designer for your book?
I hired several different editors for the different creation steps in the process of making the book. The cover design I developed on my own. Since I knew how to draw, I decided to show readers the design of the Tundra Sword. In hindsight it probably would have been a lot easier to just hire someone.
"One tip that I can give other authors is to find a good editor, not all editors are created equal."
Can you give some tips for other Indie Authors regarding the writing and self-publishing process?
One tip that I can give other authors is to find a good editor, not all editors are created equal. When you find one that you click with, stick with them. I think some authors marry their editors because they can correct so good, joking (*I’m not sure if that is true or not*). Another tip is to find a good cover designer if you cannot do it yourself. The cover, most of the time, is the first thing that the reader see’s (If you are lucky then the reader will see your spine first when they are walking down the aisle of a bookstore). Make sure everything is tight, if you know what I mean. Make sure that you’re i’s are dotted and your t’s are crossed. Nothing takes a reader out of the story quicker than a misspelled word but sometimes it happens and we can only hope that they continue to read due to the strength of the writer’s story telling ability. Also, pricing and marketing are essential if new and unknown authors want to generate sales. You must be a good businessman as well as a good writer in this new age of publishing because if people cannot afford your entertainment then they will never know how good it is.
Are you working on another book project? Can you tell us a little about it?
I’m currently working on the sequel to Heaven’s Fate. The second book in the series is titled Winter’s Legacy and is scheduled to be released in fall of 2013. I will try to give you a brief overview of book two without giving away any spoilers from the first book.
Winter’s Legacy begins with the main character Thame Elliot beginning to understand his purpose on Threa a little better. He also is starting to come to terms with the destiny that is laid out before him.
Are you planning to move forward as an Indie author or are you looking forward to have one of your next books to be traditionally published?
Unless I get a blockbuster deal from a traditional publishing house, I foresee that I will stick with my own publishing company that I started from scratch and try to turn my business into an international phenomenon. Not only that but I feel as though by using my own publishing company I have more control of the overall product. I can decide how I want the book covers to look and set a release date that is convenient for myself.
Where do you see the book market in 5 or 10 years? Will there be only eBooks and will book stores disappear like record stores disappeared?
In ten years I still do see book stores sparsely decorating the landscape. I feel like with the advent of the internet and companies like Amazon that can deliver a book to the customer in only a matter of a few days, will reduce some of the need of traditional book stores but not eliminate them completely. Unlike Record stores, Book stores still serve as a way to get the populace introduced to new authors that they have never heard of before because I feel like true book readers like to browse the aisle and also hold the actual soft cover or hard cover book in their hand. Unlike music, the average person cannot print out a quality hard cover book with their home printer, and bind it and so forth, the same way you can take a blank CD and write songs to the disc and play it in your CD. It is very hard and very cost intensive to create actual hard cover and soft cover books that can be held in a person’s hand. However, eBooks, like CD’s are changing the “Book Game” so to speak. With inexpensive, yet quality eReaders like the Nook and Kindle Fire, people will be able to acquire their favorite books from all of their favorite authors and carry 100 or 1000 books in their hand which would be impossible if you were forced to carry 100 soft cover books everywhere you went. With the convenience of eReaders and the availability of low priced, quality eBook files makes it more attractive to a younger audience.
But who knows, maybe one day the novelty of holding an actual book in your hand will fade as new generations come along.
Do you write full-time or do you have a day job?
Writing is my full-time job for the most part. I fancy myself somewhat of a stock trader during certain months of the year.
How can readers connect with you?
Readers can connect with me through multiple venues.
Thank you very much for the Interview, Andre.
About the Book Heaven's Fate
|Click to Read an Excerpt|
Will he live to fulfill the prophecy?
The answers are written in Heaven’s Fate.
Thame Elliot is Winter’s Legacy. On the planet Threa, in the human continent of Eioda, Thame is the one man everyone believes is prophesied to overthrow evil. Starting his journey to re-forge the Tundra Sword, a powerful relic from a time when demi-gods walked the planet, he is launched down a path that will either see him victorious as the hero or as the destroyer and the bringer of darkness.
With the powerful ancient artifacts recovered from the Consummate of the Trust, events have been set in motion that will determine the fate of the heavens. All the while, secret societies and government agencies politic with elf and Orc diplomats that seek to control the world.
"Heaven's Fate has a wide array of characters, with decent pacing and doesn't tend to drag between plot points. The novel has a complete concept and encompasses the proper scale of a fantasy world. The story is meant to be grand and that is exactly how it feels. The dialogue between characters is generally engaging and adds to the development of the plot." - Reader Review
Links to the Book
Link to the eBook Heaven's Fate with Excerpt