My Sparkling Misfortune| Book 1 of The Lakeland Knight series | Humorous Fantasy | January 2011
Lord Arkus of Blackriver Castle readily admits that he is a villain and sees no reason why it should stop him from being the protagonist of this book. After all, Prince Kellemar, an aspiring hero, has defeated him in a rather questionable way. Bent on revenge, Arkus attempts to capture a powerful evil spirit who would make him nearly invincible, but a last-minute mistake leaves him with a Sparkling instead—“a goody-goody spirit that helps heroes, watches over little children, and messes up villains’ plans.” Bound to Lord Arkus for five years of service and sworn to act in his best interests, the Sparkling is not easy to get rid of, and of course his understanding of “best interests” is quite different from what Lord Arkus has in mind."
What main genre do you write in?
Teen / Young Adult
Please tell us your latest news!
My Sparkling Misfortune, book 1 of my humorous fantasy series, has just been released as an audiobook! It is narrated by A.T.Chandler, a professional actor, who did a wonderful job of making the story and characters come alive. I am very happy with the production. The audiobook is available on Amazon, iTunes, and Audible.com. Book 2 is currently being recorded as well!
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I'll have to name two: Charles Dickens and C.S. Lewis. I admire their storytelling, characterization - everything. I had read Oliver Twist in my early teens, and his story had stuck with me for years. There’s just something special about this boy who goes through so much hardship yet keeps a good heart. The Chronicles of Narnia had made their way into my hands quite a bit later, when I was in my early twenties. I was blown away by this series.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I guess I was born with it, I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I couldn’t find satisfaction in anything else, no matter what I did. I had good jobs at large international corporations like Xerox Ltd., but I always viewed it as something temporary, something I do “for now” because I have to.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
While the most important thing is perfecting your craft and striving to write the best books you possibly can, that alone unfortunately will not guarantee great results sales-wise. Promotion is important, as much as most writers detest it. I would advise setting some time aside for it each day, just as you do for writing, and try not to view this time as wasted. After all, we want our stories to be read, so getting them into the readers’ hands is just as important as writing.
Another advice is, never jump on a contract. I did that, and it was not smart. Being offered your first contract after years of struggling to get through to publishers might seem so wonderful that you are tempted to grab it, no matter what the terms are. Don’t. Read it carefully, have a lawyer explain it to you, if necessary. It is well worth it.
Please describe your writing environment.
I write on my laptop computer, sitting in an armchair near the fireplace. Usually one of my cats claims the left armrest and another one jumps up on top of the chair. Depending on the intensity of the current project, they may or may not be allowed to keep these spots. :)
What’s been the most challenging part of writing for you?
Feeling in the dark for missing parts of the plot. I am not very good at planning, I usually let my books write themselves, and it's a difficult way to write.
Do you like to mix genres?
Yes and no. I like fantasy because of the many options it gives. It encompasses almost any other genre: you can include mystery, romance, adventure, intrigue; you can have magic and wonders, or you can have something that reads very much like historical fiction. Themes to explore are endless. However, it is still fantasy. I rarely breach into contemporary realistic fiction.
What inspires your writing?
I am often inspired by a good story - a book or a movie that appeals to me. A theme, a situation, of just a thought from it would get stuck deep inside of me and eventually take a life of its own, turning into something new.
Do you have any cool promo tricks you can share with other writers?
Here's one: Lord Arkus, the main character of My Sparkling Misfortune, has his own Facebook page. Readers can come there and see what he's up to, read his snappy comments or ask a question.
If you could live in a world created by an author, which book / world would you jump into?
Something fantasy, that's for sure. I'd probably ask for a traveling pass first though, so that I could visit several before I choose one. :)
Thank you for this opportunity to share about my work. I hope readers check my books out and find good friends in them.