Welcome to my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, scriptwriters, biographers, agents, publishers and more. Today’s is with science-fiction adventure novelist Erren Grey Wolf. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further.
Morgen: Hello, Erren. Please tell us something about yourself, where you’re based, and how you came to be a writer.
Erren: I am a Canadian born of British parents and I now live in Victoria, British Columbia. I did not choose to be a writer. I originally wanted to be an artist and I was a good one. Unfortunately, I had a breakdown at the end of 2004 and ended up in hospital. I had to start taking Lithium for my mood disorder and that medicine made my hands shake. It really hurt, but I had to quit art school because I could no longer hold my hands steady enough to measure the models. My creativity demanded an outlet and so I wrote about the stories I have had in my head since I was a teenager. I wrote so much that I ended up with a saga. The first book was published late last year and the second will be out soon.
Morgen: I’m sorry to hear that but something positive came out of a tough situation. What genre do you generally write and what have you had published to-date? What do you think of eBooks?
Erren: One reviewer has called the saga I am writing a science fiction adventure, but I did not aim for my stories to be that way. I write about the stories in my head and they just came out that way. I have published Beneath the Surface: The Lost Boy so far. I will probably publish the next book, Long Lost Brother, in May. The third book I hope to publish before the end of this year. I think eBooks are just the evolution of the book. I have published my book in book paperback and in eBook format.
Morgen: You’ve self-published – what lead to you going your own way?
Erren: A friend of mine on Facebook, A.j. Klassen, author of The Hard Return, gave me the suggestion to use the Amazon self-publishing site. As I was so impatient to get going and didn’t want to wait for all my query letters to literary agents to return in the faint hope that one would be accepted, I just went ahead and did the publishing myself. I like the fact that I could do everything myself. I formatted the book myself and I made my own book cover. I am, after all, an artist. The cover of my first book has a wolf’s head on it. I painted that in acrylic on a painting I made that took seven years to accomplish because it had so much intricate Celtic designs in it. So you cannot say I don’t have staying power! When I start something, I finish it! My saga will be finished also.
Morgen: Do you have a favourite of your stories or characters? If any of your books were made into films, who would you have as the leading actors?
Erren: My favourite character in my books is Erren Tristan Archer. He is my alter ego. At present, there is no one out there who I would want to play this character. Perhaps sometime in the future, but not right now.
Morgen: Which authors did you read when you were younger and did they shape you as a writer?
Erren: When I was younger, I read The Lord of the Rings and Narnia. I probably got the mythical aspect of my books from them. My books are sci-fi, but also contain Celtic and Norse myths.
Morgen: Do you manage to write every day, and do you plot your stories or just get an idea and run with it?
Erren: I write almost every day from the time I get up until 10 o’clock, when CTV News is on. I didn’t plot my stories at all. I started with a paragraph, which grew into a chapter, which grew into a book, which grew into three books, which grew into a saga!
Morgen: Do you do a lot of editing or research?
Erren: I do a lot of my own editing. I go over the story a hundred times before I am finished polishing it. I also ask my Dad to proofread it. He used to proofread engineering journals, as he was a metallurgical engineer. He’s also English and has an excellent vocabulary. He’s always correcting my grammar. I do my own research, yes, and have many books which I refer to often.
Morgen: What point of view do you find most to your liking: first person or third person? Have you ever tried second person?
Erren: I tell my stories from the omniscient point of view. I like to describe everything. No, I have not tried second person.
Morgen: That’s a shame. It’s my favourite, although I wouldn’t recommend it for anything longer than a short story or perhaps a novella. It’s hard to maintain and wearing on the reader and writer. What’s your favourite / least favourite aspect of your writing life? Has anything surprised you?
Erren: My favourite aspect of writing is to be creative. I need to tell these stories. There’s a lot of truth in their symbolism. My least favourite aspect of writing is the marketing. I hate it! I love to self-publish, but I hate to self-promote! Marketing has been difficult, because I don’t know how and I’m not the entrepreneur that my brother is.
Morgen: If it’s any consolation, most authors’ least favourite is marketing. Are you involved in anything else writing-related other than actual writing or marketing of your writing?
Erren: I am a member of the Pathfinder Society, which is a role playing game like Dungeons and Dragons.
Morgen: Are there any writing-related websites and / or books that you find useful?
Erren: Yes. I have many reference books which I use both mundane and esoteric.
Morgen: Are you on any forums or networking sites? If so, how valuable do you find them?
Erren: I’m not on any forums, but I am on Twitter and Facebook. I haven’t found a boost in sales yet as a result, but I am hopeful.
Morgen: Me too. 🙂 What are you working on at the moment / next?
Morgen: Where can we find out about you and your writing?
Erren: Official website: http://www.errengreywolf.ca
- Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/errengreywolf
- Facebook book page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Beneath-the-Surface/475574459149862?ref=stream
- Facebook author page: http://www.facebook.com/erren.greywolfauthor
- Authors Den page: http://www.authorsden.com/errengreywolf
- Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6833226.Erren_Grey_Wolf
- I’m also on ManicReaders, Shelfari, and LibraryThing.
Morgen: Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
Erren: No, but thank you for the interview.
Morgen: You’re very welcome, Erren. Great to have you join me today.
I then invited Erren to include an extract of her writing…
Sean was like a foxhunter poised upon his horse with his hounds all around him, waiting for the blare of the trumpet to set him loose after the fleeing fox. Despite his doubts, Sean’s quest had taken him over into a realm where logic seemed to hold no sway and he was now as bound to his chosen task as if the magic of the mythical Wild Hunt had caught hold of him. With her last words, his dead mother had pulled back her bow like the great Celtic Goddess of the Black Forest, Abnoba the Huntress, and had launched her eldest son like a shining arrow of hope into the dark forest to find her little boy.
And a synopsis…
In Beneath the Surface: The Lost Boy, an unusual boy is born on a spaceship bound for the planet Midgard, but his very birth brings sorrow to his family. Out of grief for the death of their mother, Sean Archer blames and abandons his baby brother in the forest by an old oak tree. He goes away hunting, never realizing the full consequences of his heartless act. The mysterious Queen of the Forest finds the sad, abandoned child and comforts him. She notices he is able to see her subjects, the elementals (fairies) of her forest, and feels connected to him. While she holds the child in her arms, she gazes into his future, but upon witnessing visions of horrific events, she decides to steal him away into the Otherworld to protect him. When Sean returns and finds Erren gone, guilt strikes him down and he becomes repentant. He sees his mother’s spirit and she tells him, “The forest took him.” Sean then begins his noble quest to find his lost brother, to right the wrong he had done, unaware his search is awakening his latent telepathic gift. Inevitably, he comes to realize the longer he hunts, the more he doubts his sanity. The forest becomes haunted and there is a battle of wills as the mystical Queen Elaya tries to stop him from taking her little boy.
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