I had the extreme pleasure of interviewing the amazing author of The Reader of Acheron. This amazing book about a world where reading is forbidden and punishable by death and slavery.
This unique tale is not only incredible and inspired it strikes at the heart of all of us who love the written word and brings about pride for the heroes who would stand up and fight for the worlds knowledge.
You will not want to miss your chance to read this amazing tale for it will change your life!
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what made you delve into the world of fiction?
I think most people who write will tell you that they don’t have much of a choice in the matter. Writing relaxes me, and if I go for too long a period without creating some text, I start getting a headache. I think it’s because letters have a lot of pointy edges and it’s painful to have too many of them rattling around in your mind...you have to put them out to pasture!
Q: Can you please tell us a little about your book The Reader of Acheron and what inspired you write it?
The book is a heroic fantasy set in a post apocalyptic dystopia. Reviewers have compared it to “Fahrenheit 451” and “A Canticle for Leibowitz.” I was inspired to write the book when I was doing my student teaching. One of my “mentor” teachers was a total raving psychopath, and it got me thinking about how people abuse their authority and how teachers can corrupt the people they are supposedly there to help. I conceived of a world where slavery was commonplace and reading was outlawed, and it’s been a fun world to explore because it allows me to organize my thoughts on some pretty important ideas.
Q: Can you tell us about your writing process? Which comes first? The character's story or the idea for the novel?
Originally I’d been planning on writing a novel about slaves, and I had a couple chapters with some characters that I thought were interesting. As I kept daydreaming about the book, more and more details of the world became clear. When I came up with the idea of having reading be outlawed, the whole thing fell into place. Most of the time I think of myself more as a compiler than a story teller. I come up with scenes, and then have to figure out a theme that fits them all together.
Q: What would you do if faced with a none reading world?
Well, the sad thing is that I kind of feel like we live in that world now. I guess I’d write a book.
Q: I loved so many parts of this story! Which part was your favourite to write?
Some of the scenes that were really fun to write had to be cut out. I had one where Quillion is very agitated because he has to compromise a lot of his beliefs in order to survive. I had all kinds of internal dialogue about what he was going through that was pretty interesting, but when I revised the book, I decided it all had to go for the sake of brevity. Sometimes a point is so important to you that you unknowlingly underscore it too many times. The editing process helps to remove redundant messages that bore your readers.
Q: If you could choose to live the life of one of the characters from your story who would it be?
Quillion, he’s pretty clever and he’s not really inclined to suffer. However, having said that, I think some pretty tough moments are awaiting him in upcoming books.
Q: Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?
Haha, not really. Although I do leave a lot of notes scattered around. People tease me because I still use a blackberry...but I need that keyboard. I find it’s a very useful item for jotting down story ideas. Touch screens don’t work for me, I become furious if I accidentally hit an incorrect key.
Q: What books/authors have influenced your life?
Lots! Charles Bukowski, Roald Dahl, Fyodor Dostoevsky, J.R.R. Tolkien, Jack London, Piers Anthony, Douglas Adams, Janet Morris, Chris Morris, A. L. Butcher, Shane Porteous, Teel James Glenn, Douglas R. Brown, R. A. McCandless, Jesse Duckworth, Tom Barczak, Fawkes Paz, Cas Peace...the list goes on and on!
Q: What is next for you? Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress?
Yes, Harren Press is going to be rereleasing my first published fantasy novel The Bone Sword. Im also working with Perseid Press on a few more projects. I always announce things on Heroic Fantasy Writers (you can sign up for my email list there).
Q: Thank you so much for the interview, walter. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and where everyone can buy your book?
Thank you very much for having me. All my books are available on Amazon. You can check out my author page here. I’m usually interested in generating some more reviews, so anyone who is interested in receiving a review copy of something should write me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks again!