Author Interviews: Archive
I am excited to welcome Rob J. Hayes as Guest Author to So Lost in Words. Rob is a fantasy author of the First Earth and the It Takes a Thief series. He kindly agreed to be interviewed here, so read on to find out more about this exciting writer and where to find his books...
I actually never set out to write Grimdark, and I'd not even heard of the term when I wrote my first series, The Ties that Bind, but it certainly fits into the term. I've never been one to enjoy the idea of a gooder than good hero, or a world where everything is black and white. I set out to make First Earth a world full of corruption, hypocrisy, and nasty people doing nastier things. But, in each and every character within that world, there is humanity. It's sometimes small and barely noticeable, but even the worst of the worst are human, and in the absence of morals or conscience, it is those traits that shine through.
Whilst Grimdark is perhaps not an ‘officially’ recognised genre, it is a great way to describe this kind of dark fantasy fiction. How would you explain what Grimdark is to someone who is new to the concept?
Expect the heroes to be as bad as the villains, and each and every one of them is nothing but a product of the world they inhabit. People die, bad things happen, and for every victory someone is defeated.
Who is your favourite of your own characters? Why?
Picking just one? I don't think I can. In Where Loyalties Lie and the upcoming sequel, The Fifth Empire of Man, I think my favourite has to be Elaina Black. She's without a doubt the strongest character in the books, but she never complains about her lot in life, nor blames others. She takes it on the chin and hits back twice as hard. I had a lot of fun writing Elaina, and she is probably one of the most complex characters I have ever written.
You have some fearsome characters in your books! Which one would you least like to take on in a fight?
Tanner Black, without a doubt. There's no appealing to him, nor surrendering. And he won't just kill you, he'll make it a spectacle to stop others from wanting to suffer the same.
Who or what has most inspired you to write?
I think I've taken most of my inspiration to write from other authors. I've always been a bit of a dreamer, but I remember the first time I thought about putting some of those dreams on paper. It was after reading the Artefacts of Power series by Maggie Furey. I found it so enthralling, and I thought “Maybe I can do this too.” Twenty years later, and I finally am, though not quite so successfully. :D
Favourite authors in any genre? Book recommendations?
Chris Wooding's Tales of the Ketty Jay series. It's sort of a fantasy steampunk world with sky pirates, swashbuckling adventure, and dialogue so witty I laughed out loud. Without a doubt one of my favourite series of all time.
Robin Hobb's Farseer trilogy (and all the series that follow it). It is one of the most emotionally deep series I've ever read. First it tugs at your heart strings, then it rips that heart out of your chest.
Mark Lawrence's Broken Empire trilogy. It's an intriguing, mysterious world, and the protagonist is the most likeable ARSEHOLE I have ever read.
I could go on and on, but I'll leave it there. They are all fantasy because that's pretty much my thing.
Favourite quote from a book character?
It's not really from a book, but more from a comic.
“Even if the whole world has gone crazy, I'll believe in myself and keep fighting.” It's actually from Gundam Wing and is meant quite literally, but I've always really liked it. Sort of a, believe in yourself, no matter what others say, kind of thing.
There are a variety of fantasy worlds and universes in literature. Which of them is the most appealing to you?
Well I'm definitely a fantasy kind of person, but I tend to much prefer ones set before any sort of industrial revolution. I'm not sure I have a particular favourite, though I'm fairly certain most of those I read I wouldn't want to visit.
Which of your books can you most vividly picture as being a film?
That would have to be Drones (coming later 2017). It's a sci-fi noir thriller that takes a lot from the sci-fi films of the 80's, like Total Recall. I think I pretty much imagined it as a film as I was writing it.
Perhaps the most important and incisive of these questions, what would your pirate name be?
Flapjack Smalls, Flappy to his friends.
Plans for the future?
Books. Lots of books. I have The Fifth Empire of Man (Best Laid Plans book 2) releasing in September, and Drones will be following a couple of months later. Then in 2018 I'll be releasing City of Kings (another First Earth book), and there will also be more books in 2018 I haven't announced yet.
If you had one piece of advice to share with aspiring new indie authors, what would it be?
Don't make excuses and don't stop. Write what you want to write, and keep at it, even if you suspect it might be a bit crap. And don't be afraid to show others your work. I doubt I'd ever have released a book, had I not given my first attempt to my sister. She said she loved it. So I scrapped it and wrote an even better book. :D
Where can we find your books?
Well there's my Amazon page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rob-J-Hayes/e/B00JF0YJL2
There's my website: www.robjhayes.co.uk
There's my Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheHeresyWithin
And Also my Twitter: https://twitter.com/RoboftheHayes
That's about it, really. So thank you for having me over.
It is a pleasure to have Rob as Guest Author here at So Lost in Words. If you should call in on him at any of his web addresses (above) then please let him know you came to him from here.
Thanks Rob, from S P Oldham/So Lost in Words. Wishing you all the very best with your writing!
It's here at last! The interview with 'Morium Trilogy' author S J Hermann! Enjoy and feel free to comment on the blog!
S J Hermann, author of the YA Supernatural Trilogy ‘Morium,’ has kindly agreed to be interviewed for So Lost in Words. Given that our respective genres overlap somewhat, in that we both write about the supernatural, I had some questions for him, the answers to which I hope will be of interest to the reader as much as they are to me.
1. One of the main themes of ‘Morium’ is bullying. Many of us have experienced bullying at some time in our lives – I know I have, as both a child and an adult. Have you drawn from your own experience to inform your writing?
Thank you for having me on your blog, Sue. It's an honor to be here.
I did draw from some of my own experiences during my early years of high school. One incident in particular that the male character Nathan suffered through, was a personal experience during my freshman year. The rest of the bullying occasions were taken from stories that I'd heard.
Living through the bullying helped me make the emotional torment in the story more real. Lexi called high school an "emotional torture chamber," and that quote summed up how I felt at the time.
2. Why write in the Young Adult genre? What about that genre attracts/challenges you?
The Morium Trilogy is borderline Young Adult. I wanted to tell a story that not only appeals to young readers, but to adults as well. The challenge lies on language and behavior. Eighteen year olds speak and act differently than, say, someone in their thirties. It's a balancing act not to have them speak in a mature voice, but more freely in a way.
3. There is a supernatural element to ‘Morium.’ What made you want to incorporate this element into the story?
There were two things I took into consideration as I started putting the series together. The first was that I didn't want to turn it into a superhero trilogy. I wanted to blur the lines between what's right and what's wrong. The second is that I wanted to bring attention to bullying but not make it preaching so I tossed in the supernatural aspect to draw readers in.
4. Who would you consider to have had the greatest influence on your writing style, if anyone?
I've always been a Stephen King fan. The way he writes pulls you into the story.
5. Which of your characters is your favourite, and why?
Tough question. It's like asking which of your kids is your favorite. You simply can't answer it. You love them all and that is where I am with the three main characters. Each one of them have a little bit of me in them.
6. Which of your characters is your least favourite, and why?
Of course the obvious answer would be the bullies themselves. But that's not really the case. They have their own personal issues and the only way they know how to deal with them is to lash out on others. Making them feel superior.
7. As the author, you must yourself have gone through a range of emotions whilst writing the trilogy. Were some aspects of it harder/easier to write than others?
I would say that Lexi's self harm and Nathan's frustration of feeling weak and alone were some of the hardest to write. But the part that brought out the most emotions was when I wrote the last chapter of the final book. I knew that these teenagers I've watched grow before my eyes the past few years were moving on.
For the easiest, I would have to say anything related to Stacy. Her parts were a blast to write because of her free spirit. In the second book, Dark Horizons, Kyle is introduced and him experiencing true love for the first time was a joy to write.
8. You are also an accomplished artist. When you were the developing the story and characters, could you visualise them clearly in your head? Does this make writing about them, the way they look or speak for example, easier or harder?
Oh, definitely easier. I visualize every scene, what they're wearing. Their facial expressions. I go as far going acting a scene out (only if I'm alone, lol)
9. The tagline reads “If you had the power to avenge yourself, would you?” So naturally, I have to ask you the same question! Would you, if you could?
I did a poll on Twitter last year asking the same question and the results were pretty much 50/50.
Personally, that's the million dollar question. Ask me 30+ years ago, I probably would have said yes. Ask me now, the answer is no.
10. I don’t want to include spoilers here, but just for fun, if you could have any one supernatural ability – only one, mind you – what would you choose? Why?
So many to choose from. I would have to say, flight. Levitation. The freedom to fly in the clouds. To go anywhere.
11. When it comes to reading for pleasure, who are your personal favourite authors? Which of their books would you recommend?
I mostly read indie authors, and with so many great ones out there, it's impossible to pick just one.
12. You have an upcoming film deal for ‘Morium. Congratulations, I wish you the best of luck with that. So, what’s next? Any plans for future books or is ‘Morium’ the focus for now?
The final book of The Morium Trilogy, Terminus, is complete and going into editing. I am currently working on a stand alone book titled, Perfect, which I'm hoping to have out before the end of the year.
Find out more about the Morium Trilogy and S J Hermann on the following social media platforms: