Author Interview: Andrew Rowe

I realize that this is a little later than I usually have the author interviews, but I am still trying to figure this whole thing out. Lucky for me I have worked with some awesome, understanding, and pleasant authors.

Another thank you to Andrew Rowe for allowing me to pick his brain!

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You can find my review of his novel HERE.

Authorinterview

  1. What inspired your novel?

As a role-playing game designer, I’ve worked on a variety of different settings over the years. The world that Forging Divinity takes place in was developed for one of my pen and paper role-playing game campaigns, and I’ve built on it gradually over the course of many years.

This specific story started off in a somewhat strange place – I wanted to write a fantasy novel with a hero confronting progressively stronger opposition, similar to a shonen anime or Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Throughout the process of writing it, the story shifted significantly, although Taelien’s chapters retain some of the combat-focused design from the original concept.

  1. The names of your character are so unique. How did you find names for them?

My starting point for my names was making sure that they’re familiar enough to be pronounceable, but interesting enough to be memorable. Many of the names relate to other elements within the setting and share linguistic characteristics. For example, astute readers have noted that I use several names for people and objects that have a single letter followed by “ae” as a prefix. (Taelien, Sae’kes, Vae’kes etc.)

These items and characters with similar naming conventions share characteristics that will be revealed as the reader learns more about the languages used in the story. (Much of which will happen in future novels.)

  1. What author/authors inspire your writing?

The most obvious is Brandon Sanderson, since he’s popularized the idea of magical systems that have clear rules and limitations. I’ve always enjoyed similar systems and seeing Brandon’s success helped me realize that writing one within a novel was a viable option.

I thoroughly enjoy the complex and morally gray characters in George R.R. Martin’s works, as well as authors like Joe Abercrombie and Django Wexler.

Patrick Rothfuss and Scott Lynch inspire a lot of my interest in more roguish characters, and I’d say that they had some degree of influence on how I write Jonan’s chapters.

Finally, Will Wight is fantastic at combat scenes and his writing (as well as Sanderson’s) helped influence how I depict combat.

  1. How do you deal with writers block or lack of inspiration?

That’s a tough one. I try to set aside a block of time every week to write – typically Sunday – and work on something even if I’m not exactly in the mood. If I can’t find the inspiration to write prose, I’ll try to do something related, like working on an outline, research, or rereading my earlier chapters.

I also often listen to music for inspiration. In particular, I enjoy listening to remixes of older game music and anime themes.

  1. What made you decide to self-publish as opposed to traditional publishing?

First, I wanted to ensure that I had complete control over my intellectual property.

I also wanted to have the opportunity to prove the viability of my work without an outside publisher pushing it from a marketing standpoint. If I can show that I can sell thousands of copies on my own, theoretically it should make my book more likely to be picked up for a better deal if I decide I want to go to a publisher directly in the future.

I also retain more creative control over other elements, such as the cover. I was able to approach the artist I wanted directly, and as a result I believe I found the best artist possible for matching the style that I wanted.

Finally, I retain a much larger percentage of book profits this way, so if the book ends up being a huge success I’ll be able to retain a significant percentage of the net gains.

  1. Would you ever want to be published traditionally?

I’d definitely consider it, but it would depend on the terms of the deal. It’d be nice to get copies directly into bookstores, and extra marketing would be useful, but self-publishing definitely has advantages.

  1. When did you start writing? What sparked your interest?

I’ve been writing little things here and there since childhood. As a kid, my heroes were always adventurers – often the green tunic wearing ones, like Peter Pan, Robin Hood, and Link.

I remember writing my first little stories about characters of my own creation during elementary school, right around the time I started reading Dragons of Autumn Twilight, the first book in the Dragonlance series. I was already playing Dungeons and Dragons at that point, both in pen and paper and CRPG formats – Pool of Radiance was one of my first PC games. I think Dragonlance and D&D had a huge influence on my early life and my interest in writing.

  1. Would or have you considered venturing into other genres?

Absolutely. One of my earlier attempts at a novel was a comedic deconstruction of the traditional fantasy assassin novel, for example. I’ve also been strongly considering writing a “trapped in a MMORPG” style book, given that I’ve worked on MMORPGs for many years and how much interest there is in that genre with anime, manga, and novels like Log Horizon, Sword Art Online, Overlord, etc.

  1. What is your favorite genre when reading?

Fantasy with well-defined magic systems.

  1. Do you have a favorite author?

Probably Brandon Sanderson at the moment. I also really enjoy Jim Butcher and Steven Brust’s works.

  1. Where do you find it easiest to write? Your favorite spot to shut out the world and step into your stories.

I write in my bedroom with all the doors closed. I often have some music playing – but nothing too distracting.

  1. Do you have a dream office/ writing spot?

I’m pretty happy writing in my bedroom, but I wouldn’t mind having a bigger one someday. =D

  1. If you could co-write with any famous author, who would you pick?

That’s a really tough one. Sanderson would be the most logical choice and he’d be a good pick. I’d also strongly consider Jim Butcher – he’s a fantastic writer and I think he’d be a ton of fun to work with.

  1. Where do you want your writing career to go?

I’d love to build my world into a franchise. Since I work at one of the best RPG developers in the world, it would be my dream to eventually get Obsidian to make a game in my setting.

Eventually, I’d like to be writing closer to full time, although I enjoy working on game design as well. Moving into doing more narrative design work for Obsidian could also be a lot of fun.

  1. When can we expect another novel from you? I am anxiously waiting.

I’m expecting to release the sequel to Forging Divinity, which is tentatively titled Stealing Sorcery, sometime in the winter of this year or early next year.

  1. Your cover art is beautiful. Could you briefly describe the process of finding the right artist and concept for the cover?

Thank you! Initially, I went through books in Barnes and Noble looking for the artists I liked and looking them up online. Once I had found a bunch of them, I also looked for related or similar artists on DeviantArt and similar sites.

Eventually, I stumbled upon the work of Daniel Kamarudin on DeviantArt and I absolutely loved it. I contacted him to see if he was taking commissions and we negotiated out all the details. It was a fantastic experience, and I’m proud to say that I’m working with him again for the second book.

  1. What other hobbies and interest take up your time when you are not writing?

I work in the computer gaming industry, so that takes up a ton of my time, and I also play a lot of computer and video games for fun.

Aside from that, I also enjoy tabletop gaming and live-action role-playing.

I also watch a ton of anime, read a few manga and manhwa here and there, and read a ton of books.

  1. If you could bring one of your characters to reality, who would it be and why?

Probably one of my gods (which one I’d pick would probably be a spoiler), so I could convince him or her to give me super powers. I’m an optimizer – I’d have to pick whatever would get the best results.

  1. What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing?

Great question. I’d say that it’s probably that weaknesses and limitations – in characters, magic systems, or items – can be as or more important than strengths.

As a young writer, I just wanted to make everything as powerful and awesome as I could imagine. As I’ve gained experience, I’ve found that writing an underdog character or an item with limitations can make them vastly more interesting, in my opinion. Challenges build character.

  1. Lastly, where you can your readers find you on the internet?

You can find my blog at https://andrewkrowe.wordpress.com/. I also have a Forging Divinity Facebook page and you can find me on Twitter here.

endinterview

If you know of any self-published or even small press authors that would be willing to speak with me, send them my way! If you are a self-published/small press author head on over to my contact page and send me an e-mail. Maybe you can be my next featured author!

Toodles

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Book Review: Forging Divinity by Andrew Rowe

Forging Divinity

Rating

4 Nerd Girl Rating

Author: Andrew Rowe
Release Date: February 13th 2015
Series: The War of Broken Mirrors
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 308
Buy it : Amazon

First Line: Taelien’s jail cell was surprisingly well-furnished.

Synopsis:  Taelien Salaris doesn’t know who his birth parents are. All he knows is that he was brought to his adoptive parents by a man named Erik Tarren and all that he has of his birth parents is a sword.
Tailen makes his way into a town, searching for Tarren and answers to his heritiage. Moments after arriving he is captured and imprisoned for carrying a religious symbol, the sword.
Lydia Hastings, a court sorceress, has heard of the prisoner. She was sent to inspect the sword but had other plans. She helps Taelien escape from his cell, but is she helping him, or capturing him for herself?
Taelien looks like the lost leader of Lydia’s religion and she sets out to find out if it is him. Together, they also uncover a man who claims to be a god, but may be doing so at the expense of many lives.

Review:
I enjoyed this book. It was a nice change from most of the books about magic I have read. The magic powers had limitations and drained the user, unlike other stories where magic is just thrown around at random.

I will admit, the first chapter was exciting and reeled me in. But then the action slowed down a little and I lost a little interest. It eventually picks back up about half way through and I am glad that I stuck around. I think my biggest problem is that I felt a little lost through most of the book. There is a lot of information thrown into this book, which makes sense as it is the first in a series. It was a little harder to follow with so many different and unique names, and trying to grasp who was who and who did what.

With that being said, I still rather enjoyed the novel and I will for sure be anxiously awaiting the next book. The book ended with some questions left unanswered, but it felt like a complete story and it didn’t make me mad when it came to an end.

Conclusion: If you like magic, battles, talks of gods and goddess, and a plot to over throw a queen, I think you will enjoy this book. Should you try it and find that a few chapters lose you, just keep trucking through. In the end you will understand things and it’s a good story.

Also, it’s very well edited and that is saying a lot with the growing numbers of self-published authors. You can tell that the author put a lot of work into this novel and it is worth the time to read it.

Toodles

What are You Reading?

What Are You Reading

To be honest, I am reading the same things I was reading last week. Blarg. It has been a slow week for me. Basically because I have been working most days and I picked up writing again. I was starting to feel a little down, so I had to start writing again. Now I will write for an hour a night before making it to bed. Which, of course, cuts into my night time reading.

I think I try and do too much, but I am getting myself on a better schedule. I am working on making reading and writing my main priority in my life. I just wish I got paid for either. In a perfect world I would be paid for both, but this isn’t a perfect world, and what I love to do doesn’t pay. Ugh, life.

Let’s jump into this.

The Watch Tower by Darke Conteur.

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I only have a few minutes left of this book. I tried to finish it last night, but I was so tired that I started falling asleep while trying to read it. I will probably finish this today.

Talon by Julie Kagawa

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I honestly don’t know how I feel about this book. Maybe it would be better if I was reading it instead of listening to it. This may be one of those series that I start and never finish. But I still have a ways to go in this novel, so we will see how things pan out. I think the narrator for Ember just has a very boring voice and it annoys me.

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

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I am so loving this book. I have been reading it at work on my breaks. So…30 minutes or less at a time. I will focus on it more when I finish up a few other books.

Forging Divinity by Andrew Rowe

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I think I am finding it a little hard to really get into this novel. It’s okay, but it’s not really my thing. I will finish it and I will give you all an interview with the author, but it’s jut not my cup of tea.

Small Favor by Jim Butcher

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There isn’t much to say about this one. I love Jim Butcher and Harry Dresden. This is another one that is slow going for me because I have so many books I am reading at once.

My plan this week is to get these books finished and off the table so I can move on. I think I might cut down on how many books I am reading at a time and start focusing more on my reading speed, so that I can get through these books faster, before I fall behind on my goal this year.

I found this website that I am going to try and see if it helps with my reading speed. It’s a site called Spreeder. It’s supposed to help you learn to speed read without losing comprehension. I could use a boost in my reading speeds.

So, what are you reading this week? And do you have any tips to help speed up my reading?

Toodles

What Are You Reading?

What Are You Reading

Hello Nerds!

Can I call you nerds? I’m going with it. If you get offended you must not understand how awesome it is to be a nerd… I have been called a nerd for most of my life and it suits me.

Moving on! What am I reading this week? A lot of the same from last week really.

I am back to The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher and currently reading Small Favors

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I haven’t been reading the Dresden Files books because I have been reading so much of everything else. But, I missed Mr. Dresden and I had to go back to him. I forgot how much I love him.

I am slowly making my way through Forging Divinity by Andrew Rowe. It has been a little slow but I am finally getting to the meat of the book and kind of like it.

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I am still reading An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. It’s so good!

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For TRB I am reading The Watchtower by Darke Conteur. I don’t have much to say about it right now as I haven’t read much at all. But I am hoping to get through it this week. It’s a short novel, only 90 pages long, so I should be able to power through it pretty quick.

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And lastly, I started a new audio book this week. It’s another book by Julie Kagawa, Talon. So far I like the story, but the person reading the book has such a bland and boring voice. I’m starting to wonder if I would be better off reading this book instead of listening to it.

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Tell me, what are you reading this week?

Toodles

What Are You Reading?

What Are You Reading

I’m back up to speed with things now. I had the whole weekend off…and I did so much reading. I finally finished a book for TRB so I can get another review there. And I was so into the book that I read for it that I had to go buy the second book of the series. I was so mad. I hate when books end in such frustrating ways. UGH!

Anyways, on to the post. What am I reading this week?

Well, I finally have a TBR jar and I drew from it after I finished The Darkest Part of the Woods by Holly Black. OMG! Fantastic book! It was the first book I drew from my TBR jar. The second book was An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir.

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So far this book has been pretty interesting. Rather fascinating really.

I am still reading Forging Divinity by Andrew Rowe, but I plan on finishing it this week, if not today.

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I started reading Okay by Danielle Pearl. This is the second book in a series. The first I read for TRB and was so sick at the end from the emotional roller-coaster.

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I think I am going to DNF Shackleton’s Folly by Yunker Todd

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I just can not get into this book. I have tried again and again and I just…I can’t do it. I may give it one more shot this week, but that is it.

The last book, I am listening to the audio book. The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa. I am almost done with it. It takes me about a month to listen to one book because I listen while I am driving.

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I am just hoping for a happy ending in this book because I can’t take anyone else dying.

That is all I have for this week. And yes, I am actively reading all of these books. I can’t help it. Maybe I just get bored to easily or my TBR list is just so long I can’t wait to finish one to move to the next, so I just read as many as possible at once.

Tell me, what are you reading right now? What book did you finish last week?

Toodles

What Are You Reading?

What Are You Reading

Instead of going over all the books that I have open at the moment, let me just share with you all the books I will be actively reading this week. This will make my Monday post, much shorter and I can stop feeling like a failure when I am unable to finish all these books on my plate at the moment.

This week there are only two books I know for sure I will be actively reading, and one audio book.

Forging Divinity by Andrew Rowe. I really need to get this one finished so I can speak with the author for his interview next month.

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and honestly, I cannot get over how awesome this cover is.

Next, I know for a fact that I will finish Isle of the Lost by Melissa De La Cruz this week.

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I am loving this book and the process of learning about the offspring of the bad guys of Disney. I will not deny that I have a huge love for all things Disney.

The book I am listening to this week is The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa. I just finished the second book and I am so excited to read/listen to the next book!

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I have read a few reviews that have hated the second and third book. But so far, I have loved the entire series. And I understand that the main character can be a bit whiny, but she does what she has to do when it comes down to it. Also, life really sucks for her, so…she has the right to be a little whiny.

On a side note, I will also try and decide this week if I will finish Shackleton’s Folly by Todd Yunker. I feel like I haven’t given it a fair try…so I would like to try to get a little further into the story. I have two days in a row off this week and I plan on doing a lot of reading!

So, what are you reading? And what books did you finish last week? I finally finished Ready Player One and that book was so good!

Toodles

What Are You Reading?

What Are You Reading

Another Monday, another week behind us. So, how many books did you finish reading this week? And what are you currently reading now?

For me…there are some books that I am still reading…like Ready Player One.

To be honest, I haven’t read much of this novel this week. I really want to. I do! But I was reading another book that captured my attention that I couldn’t put down. I know once I get further into this novel I will be captured by it. Actually, my goal this week is to finish this book.

I am still reading Shackleton’s Folly…

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Another honest moment, I just can’t get into this novel. I may not even finish it. But I will try to power through at least a few more chapters before I deem it unworthy of my time. I can’t waste too much more time on it.

Small Favor by Jim Butcher

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Another novel that I so badly want to read and finish but other books take over my mind.

I actually forgot one last week! I am listening to the audio book The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa.

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Not going to lie, I am in love with this story. Julie Kagawa is quickly making the list of my favorite authors!

Now to the books I started reading this week.

I love Disney so of course I had to go out and buy, then immediately start reading The Isle of the Lost by Melissa De La Cruz.

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It’s about the offspring of the bad guys of Disney. It’s actually really interesting and I had to read it before the Disney Descendants movie aired this summer. I’m telling you, my inner child threw a tantrum until I bought this book…

Lastly, I started reading Forging Divinity by Andrew Rowe.

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This one was actually given to me by the author himself. He is a self published author that I will be interviewing next month for my Indie Author spotlight. I can’t wait to dive into this book because…the cover is amazing so I have high hopes. Shh…don’t remind me about the whole “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” I am a grown woman…I can do what I want!

I realize that I have way too many books going at once. I just can’t help it. I love reading and I don’t want to get bored with one book…so I read many at once. At some point, one book will take over all my interest and the others will sit in the sidelines again. And some days I just feel like reading everything.

The rest of my life is so busy, why not keep my reading life just as busy?

What are you reading this week?

Toodles