Author Spotlight Graham Marks-Books Pdf

Author Spotlight Graham Marks
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Indonesia I think but it was just amazing to have someone telling you that they were enjoying your work. By about the fifteenth day I had something like 40 000 reads. There were a lot of people commenting which wasn t massively unusual on Wattpad there are plenty of. books with millions of reads on there but I did get excited I thought Well this means it s good enough. It doesn t necessarily mean it s going to change everything but it s definitely doing well By the end of the. month I had hit a 100 000 reads and I was about to go traveling so I told the readers Look I m going to. upload a chapter a week now because previously I was uploading a chapter a day Some people were. disappointed but they accepted it, I went traveling in Australia for about a month maybe a month and a half and wrote one chapter a week I. hit half a million reads after about two months and I hit a million after four months then I started uploading. a chapter every two weeks as I was job hunting and doing other things Once I hit a million reads someone. from NBC News got in touch and said Hey we re looking to do a story on serialized fiction can we. interview you We had a very quick interview it probably lasted about 15 minutes and they used some of. the concept art I d had an artist do and was sharing with my fans. The day after an audio book publisher got in touch and offered to buy the audio book rights for my book. That was very exciting because I suddenly realized that my book was publishable and people were taking it. seriously but I also knew from my experience in the publishing industry that if you give away rights certain. publishers won t consider your book because they always like to get all the rights. I didn t know what to do so I contacted three agents on Facebook all of whom were in the US I just. asked them for advice and they all got back to me saying that they don t usually respond but definitely. don t sell audio book rights and also could they read the manuscript I sent my manuscript and was. offered representation the next morning At that point I was very wary of what to do My ex boss happened. to contact me asking me how I was doing and how I was getting on with the job hunt and everything I. mentioned my situation to him and he advised me on three of the best agents for children s fantasy in the. UK I began applying and received offers from all three and then another three offers from US agents In the. end I signed with my current UK agency, Was selling the book nerve wracking as an experience. Yes Early on we had a preemptive offer for a lot of money which my agent turned down The book went. to auction in the UK the US and Germany The US was very stressful because there were a couple of very. high offers so I had to decide between them which was difficult That s kind of what happened it s sold in. eleven territories now so it s all over the place and more are coming through every other week There was a. Bulgarian deal just last week and France wasn t too long before that Things are still happening there s still. exciting phone calls or emails coming in every now and again. How have your online fans reacted to what happened. Fortunately I had been very clear with my online fan base that I was trying to get a publishing deal from. the start It was in the introduction to the book saying Hi I m trying to get this book published so I d. appreciate your support They knew that there was a possibility of that and I updated them They were on. my side completely There can be some backlash but I can safely say for me there was barely anything one. or two disgruntled comments but other than that it was immensely positive I was expecting people to be. upset with me but they weren t, I decided that as a thank you to the readers I would write a prequel for free for them it s going up every. two weeks at the moment which is a bit of a distraction from writing the sequel which I m trying to do now. It s my way of thanking them for all their support for commenting and inspiring me for voting and telling. their friends about it,Was being a writer what you always wanted to do. Yes yes it was actually In fact to be honest the only reason why I never went straight into writing is. because my family are very business orientated My dad is a businessman my uncle is a businessman I. think for them writing was never really considered as a career I guess for some parents it s like when their. kids say they want to be an actor they don t take it seriously. They worry don t they, Yes They want to guide you towards the safe option But I am quite business minded as well and I find.
the publishing industry fascinating which is why I went into it And being business minded is perhaps a. big part of why the book has been successful as well because I did hire a concept artist I did look at my. online statistics to work out when was the best day to upload a chapter to see what was working and. what wasn t do people like this do people like that I did come at it from a business perspective I think. and that helped me,Growing up were you always a reader of fantasy. Yes I was very very shy as a kid I went to private schools where I was one of the only Asian kids and I. used to be bullied quite badly so I used to do a lot of reading this was back when I was ten or eleven I. loved Brian Jacques for example and I just devoured all his books Then I read our entire school library. over the course of about two years It s funny because the school actually asked my parents to stop buying. me so many books because I was reading too much They thought it was impacting on my social life. My love for writing definitely stems from a love of reading It also stems a little bit from the fact that I. never met many characters that I felt were like me I love fantasy but I guess it was mostly Caucasian. characters in the books I always wanted to write myself into these stories because I couldn t project myself. into them Every book that I wrote as a child the character was either called Taran or Narat which is my. name backwards They d look like me and they d have my background. That s where my writing came from initially and since then I dabbled while at college and at uni It was. only very recently that I took it seriously and I realized that working at a publishing house I d encountered. other authors who have been successful and who were able to pay the bills whilst also doing something that. they absolutely loved I felt like I had to have a go. Where did the idea for Summoner come from, There are so many different aspects and there are so many places that it came from For example one was. history my love of history I love historical novels like those by Bernard Cornwell and Wilbur Smith and. I loved history at school especially the Napoleonic Wars the East India Company and all the piracy that. happened around that time The age that the books take place in is based on those parts of history so. muskets and flintlock pistols sabers and things like that they all came from my love of history I also loved. how the world was changed so quickly by the Industrial Revolution and the series takes place right when. flintlock and musket technology has been discovered and is completely changing how warfare works. Then there s my personal experience of racism as a kid and the way that you can be treated differently for. being of a different race Like the dwarves are treated in the book and the way the elves and the humans. don t necessarily like each other very much that s partly about racial tensions and how you can look past. the differences in someone and actually see that you re all the same deep down how racial tensions can. spiral into political situations so that s certainly a part of it as well. Then there s myths and legends all the demons are based on the myths and legends that I love so there. are salamanders and griffins and lots of different types of demons that come from Greek mythology The. other thing is popular culture I wanted to write a book that took into account not just tropes but the things. that I knew I loved about fantasy,Why do you think you like fantasy so much. I love the idea of magical schools from Ursula Le Guin s books and obviously Harry Potter is a big one The. idea of having multiple races and an epic universe that was from Lord of the Rings and various other books. and having creatures that can fight for you kind of like Pok mon and so many video games where there s a. character that can summon creatures Video games certainly are a big part of the way I wrote the story as. well I like the idea of starting with nothing and having to build yourself up as so often you have to do in. video games I guess I wrote the book that I d always wanted to read. There are so many elements of fantasy but they re so disparate they re spread out across so many different. books and so many different genres and I couldn t find a book that had all of them I kind of combined them. all and made it into a story The characters really resonated with me I had to write the book There was no. way that I wasn t going to write it, How soon after you started writing did you realize you were onto something. I think I knew I had something in terms of my writing and the style of writing relatively early on when people. started to really pick up on the story It was only when the main character Fletcher gets to the military. academy where he learns to start summoning that it really took off That s when I knew that people loved. the themes in this book So many people have told me that this book has everything in it I combined all. the elements that I loved into one cohesive story, When did you know that it was going to be more than one book.
Actually I ve always envisioned it that way I guess my writing process is quite fluid because I was writing. it so quickly a chapter a day I always had these rough signposts in place for what needed to happen in the. book and as I wrote different sub plots appeared and I started to realize that this isn t one book I think I. knew probably about halfway through Book One that this had got to be at least a trilogy It actually works. very well because there are three key parts to Fletcher s life as he grows as a character and he becomes the. person he needs to be to save the empire, Did you work out all of the mythology the history and the geography of Hominum before you began. to write or did that happen as you were writing, I think it was half and half I definitely had the summary the kind of broad brush strokes of this world. pegged pretty early on As you write these nuances come in which make it richer and then you realize. one thing has a big impact on another part of the story the history was certainly in place but the detail. was filled in as I wrote it I think it works quite well in that way because you don t contradict yourself but by. having the broad strokes in place you leave the story open enough to be able to add twists and subplots. I wondered as I was reading it whether the book is based on somewhere that you have imagined or. somewhere you ve actually been, I d say that Hominum itself is a mix between Norway where I studied for six months and the English. countryside which I adore and certainly the English countryside in the winter perhaps more than the. English countryside in the summer Then the jungles themselves which you don t see until Book Two are. based upon the jungles in Australia that I saw on my trip there and on the Amazon where I lived for about. three or four weeks as part of a very cool holiday I had there I haven t really explored where the elves are. yet but it s inspired by the huge Redwoods in US, You also have a very large cast of characters Were they easy to control or did any of them give you. any more trouble than others, It s certainly difficult to make sure that every character has their own voice and I think all the main.
characters have their own unique personalities I think the easiest character for me was Fletcher himself. because so many different things happen to him he always tries to do the right thing Sometimes I did. wonder whether doing the right thing was the same as doing the smart thing and I battled with myself. about what Fletcher would do I do find it frustrating when a character does something that just seems so. stupid I wouldn t say I struggled with this but it certainly gave me pause for thought every now and again. I imagined as I was reading the book that because the high born characters are not as likable they. might be harder to write did that happen, I d say that there are a few high born characters who are unlikable and a few who are just who they are I. based some of the characters on the experiences I had when I was younger and I think that was to make. sure that they weren t one dimensionally dislikable Giving some of the sub characters their own unique. personality was tough yeah I d say perhaps with the minor characters just making sure that you get who. they are whilst also not involving them too much in the story was slightly harder. Do you ever see somebody an actor or somebody on the street and know that they d be perfect for. one of your characters, Yes actually Wattpad has a casting feature that allows you to choose actors who you would like to play. your characters That s a very good way for readers to visualize these people I ve had a go but I wouldn t. say that they re the perfect match You don t necessarily have that person s exact face in your head as the. writer but you know them when you see them In fact I can tell you who struck me as looking quite similar. to certain characters For example for Fletcher it was Evan Peters American Horror Story Kick Ass. X Men Days of Future Past but with black hair he s a bit too old now so perhaps Evan Peters five or six. years ago Saoirse Ronan The Lovely Bones How I Live Now The Grand Budapest Hotel is pretty close. to how I imagine Sylva to look and Tyler Posey Teen Wolf Scary Movie 5 might do quite well as Seraph. then Mark Strong The Green Lantern The Imitation Game Kingsmen The Secret Service definitely is very. similar to how I imagine Rook to be, What kind of writer are you I m assuming from the way you ve been talking that you have to be a bit. of a planner and not somebody who just dives in and see where the story is going to take them. I think for Book One I was not a planner I was a pantser for the first half of the book. A pantser flying by the seat of my pants, There are planners and pantsers those are the terms I hear being used I was flying by the seat of my. pants because I had to write a chapter a day and that took me about two hours a night It wasn t rushed. but I certainly was aware that a chapter needed to go up that day I think it s a great way of writing actually. and I don t think the story would have turned out like it did if I hadn t been writing in that way for such a. compacted time period rather than writing it over three years where you dip in and out. I definitely flew by the seat of my pants for the first half of the book I did have the world in mind but not. what the events were that happened They were were definitely pantsed The second half of the book was. planned mostly because I realized that I needed to start bringing it to a close Not so much that it was too. long more that there was a side plot which actually belonged much better in Book Two and is in Book Two. Knowing that Book Two needed to be finished by May meant it was more planned I wouldn t say I have a. chapter by chapter synopsis but I know roughly what s going to happen. Your Skype profile picture shows you playing guitar Does music play a part in your writing. I dabble but I wouldn t say I m much of a guitar player I pretty much always picture the scenes that I m. going to write or might be writing in my head while I listen to music If it s melancholic then perhaps that. scene takes a more melancholic tone There s a piano player Ludovico Einaudi who is brilliant and he writes. very melancholic songs piano pieces and they re wonderful and they definitely help me get the scene in my. head right I d say music helps me in the development process but not in the writing process. I try not to listen to music when I m writing I don t like listening to music when I m writing because it s so. hard when someone else is speaking in your ear or there s music it s so difficult to form sentences I. actually have these noise cancelling headphones that I put on so I m in absolute silence when I write.


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