January 20, 2013

Author Interview with Larry Kollar + Giveaway

Hi Larry, first of all, could you tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born in Michigan, and moved to Georgia for work after graduating from college. I've been writing technical documentation for about 30 years. Some of it was unintentional fiction. I've always wanted to write fiction, though. Now that I have the opportunity, I intend to continue writing. I'm helping raise a grandkid, too.

What do you think makes your genre special?
Two things, really: resilience, and creative freedom. Fantasy has been abused, beaten into the ground, dug up, revived, and abused all over again. Urban Fantasy was a much needed reboot (or dare I say "enema"?) that got fans of the genre to look at it in new ways—even the more traditional kind. But for all the bad Tolkien knock-offs, people still enjoy well-written fantasy.
Creative freedom is something taken for granted in fantasy, and it can lead to laziness. But it can lead to greatness as well. J.R.R. Tolkien was such a giant, with his incredibly detailed world-building, that it's often difficult to imagine something much different. What I've tried to do differently is to introduce a world where magic works, but is being nudged aside as people invent new devices and technologies. For example, sorcerers are banned from combat, as cannons and other military hardware have made them unnecessary.

What do you think makes a great story?
Characters, and to a lesser extent, world-building. Characters you care about can atone for a multitude of writing sins. I've read blatant knock-off fantasy stories that I still enjoyed, because the characters were engaging and fun to watch. And I've struggled through what should have been a really cool techno-thriller, because I just couldn't get into the characters.
But without a decent world to interact with, characters are just two dimensional blobs on a page. Good world-building requires some familiar touchstones for the readers, 

What is your latest book called and could you explain to us in 20 words what it is about?
Accidental Sorcerers is about a boy who does the impossible, because he doesn't know it's impossible. Then the adventures begin.

Which kind of reader do you think will enjoy your book?
I hope it will appeal to a wide range of readers. There's adventure, bravery under fire, and a little age-appropriate romance without ignoring the real temptations going on. The world has a long history, that doesn't get info-dumped, but bits and pieces of it are brought out. It has its own particular slang, idioms, and aphorisms.

Is it a Standalone, or part of the series? If it the latter, how long do you think will it go on?
This is the first of a serial. I've drafted the second story, Water and Chaos. I have ideas or half-formed plots for at least four more stories. I think it will go on until the kids grow up and become full-fledged sorcerers in their own right… but who knows?

What influenced or inspired you writing it?
Termag is a world I've been building for decades, on and off. This particular story was inspired by a photo from a friend of mine, Andi Ferguson [link] of what appears to be a dragon's skeleton rendered in ice. It took off from there.

Why did you choose especially this title? Was it your first choice?
It was. I made an offhand comment on Twitter, while I was writing the story, that it was about people using magic without understanding the consequences. A friend said, "Oh, like it would be in real life?" It was an easy jump from there to the title.

What was the hardest part for you working on your book?
Figuring out where I wanted to go with it. It started out as a short story, then I got an idea of how to continue it. Later on, I wove in some other stories that had been kicking around forever. I'm not sure when it became a series of novellas.

Was there a scene that you didn’t want to add or remove in your finished work?
Yes, and I was surprised that my beta reader requested it. He wanted more from the sorcerer's point of view (the adult who is training the two apprentices). A large portion of one chapter already focused on him, but I added more where I thought it was appropriate.

Do you already know what to do next?
Yup! I need to get Water and Chaos through beta, then all the other things that need to be done to create a quality product (editing, cover, etc.).

Where can we find more about you and your books?
My blog: Tales from FAR Manor
Twitter: @FARfetched58 - I like to interact on Twitter, more than just post links to my stuff. If I'm just posting links or RTing stuff, it means I'm either not feeling well or got busy offline.

Amazon: Author Central
Smashwords: author profile

Any last words?
Thanks for having me, I enjoyed the questions!

Invaders just across the river. A powerful spell hidden in a child’s rhyme. When an untrained boy awakens an ice dragon to protect his village, and lives to tell the tale, not even the Conclave of Sorcerers can predict what happens next.

Accidental Sorcerers brings to life an unforgettable tale of love and loyalty in the world of Termag. Feel the magic! 


5 Kommentare:

  1. Thanks, Patrick, for inviting me. And to all those who have RT'ed this post already!

  2. I love your thoughts on fantasy and this looks like a great read. :D

  3. I'm awed… 60 people tweeted about this interview. I couldn't put that big a list on Twitter, so I did the next best thing.