Dream Interview of Andrian Howell: Finalist in The Best Indie Books of 2013 Awards

[It’s that time of the year again when The New Kindle Book Review is running its Best Indie Books of the Year awards. Top five finalists for the 2013 awards in various genres were announced September 1, 2013. In keeping with our tradition established last year in the first year of the awards, we have asked each of the finalists who care to participate to provide us two pieces: a dream interview and a dream review. Although these will appear under my byline and Caleb Pirtle’s, the posts are the work of the finalist authors. We hope you enjoy them and use them as an introduction to the works of these fine writers.-SW]

Today’s fantasy interview is from Adrian Howell, author of Wild-born, a sci-fi/fantasy finalist book.

Wild-born by Adrian Howell

 

DREAM INTERVIEW

 

Writers spend a lot of time alone, and the best ones often talk to themselves. In my case, I might ask myself a question in Japanese and answer in English, or vice versa. I find it quite possible to have deep, emotional and meaningful conversations between various alternate versions of me, sometimes a whole roomful. The only real problem is that occasionally I do this aloud in public. Fortunately, I’m alone today, and I’ve sternly told myself to stick to only one language and just one other me as I interview myself. I’m not always on the best of terms with myself, so I can’t promise to answer all of my questions, but here goes…

 

Me-One: Please introduce Wild-born in three sentences or fewer.

 

Me-Two: The story follows a young telekinetic teenager through a dark world of warring paranormal factions. Wild-born can be read as a stand-alone novel, but also serves as the first stepping stone to a much larger storyline that spans all five books of my series. That’s three sentences including this one.

 

Me-One: What are some of your happiest moments as a writer?

 

Me-Two: Being chosen as a finalist in the Kindle Book Review’s Best Indie Book Awards Contest is pretty high on the list. So was my very first confirmed sale, my first review on Amazon, as well as being favorably reviewed on book blogs. But nothing really compares to the sheer joy of receiving emails from my readers complimenting my books. I hesitate to call them “fan mail” because I consider myself just as much a fan of my readers. My books are not well read enough yet for me to be contacted by readers very often, but when they do, I reply as soon as I’ve calmed down enough to sit down and type.

 

Me-One: Any unhappy moments?

 

Me-Two: Not many. I am exceptionally fortunate to have a day job that not only pays the bills but is entirely enjoyable for me. Thus I only write when I want to, and I wouldn’t want to if it made me unhappy. Perhaps the saddest moment in my writing so far is when I completed the fifth and final book of my pentalogy. It was hard saying goodbye to the characters I had come to know so well and love so much. In the end, they’re just figments of my imagination, but when you live and breathe them for five whole books, they become very real in your mind.

 

Me-One: You published all five books of your Psionic Pentalogy under the penname Adrian Howell, which is also the name of your narrator and protagonist. Tell us about that.

 

Me-Two: That was done for two reasons.

 

Firstly, I had always planned to use a penname. The reason for this is that I’m a stubborn mule: I refuse to let anyone I directly know (including family and closest friends) find out what I’m writing. I don’t want anyone to read my books simply because they know me. I don’t care for biased praise, however glowing, and I myself wouldn’t want to be obliged to read a book written by a friend when as likely as not, I wouldn’t enjoy the genre.

 

My mother, in particular, is curious to know what I’m writing, and by my continued refusal to tell her, I’ve probably given her the impression that I write hardcore pornography or something. Sorry Mom.

 

Me-One: And the second reason?

 

Me-Two: What?

 

Me-One: You said there were two reasons for your penname. You haven’t told us why you chose to publish under your protagonist’s name yet.

 

Me-Two: Oh, that. That’s simple. Any penname short of Porky Pig was as good as another, but using my protagonist’s name allowed my first-person narrative to read like an autobiography. I just thought it would be more fun that way. Confusing, perhaps, but fun.

 

Me-One: Do you share any other traits with Adrian the character?

 

Me-Two: Not a lot, actually. Adrian the character is mildly vertically challenged, while I’m a fairly big guy. And though I lived for a time in the kind of suburbia that Adrian begins his journey in, by his age, I was living in Japan. Still, I do share Adrian’s sometimes-vehement value of freedom over all else, and relate closely to his lack of spiritual direction as well as his dislike of firearms. I would like to think, however, that I am a more moral and principled person than Adrian becomes in his later years. But he’s the better cook.

 

Me-One: What about that stone around your neck?

 

Me-Two: I actually do wear the exact same amethyst pendant Adrian wears, and have for many, many years. But I do so for a very different (if equally sentimental) reason.

 

Me-One: And that reason is?

 

Me-Two: None of your business.

 

Me-One: What was your original inspiration for writing Wild-born?

 

Me-Two: There were several. Like many children, I was fascinated with superpowers in my youth. I think that’s just a normal part of being a child: the desire for empowerment. But I also had a rather bumpy ride in my teen years, and can relate closely to the frustration that comes from feeling controlled and utterly helpless. The thing about being a teenager is that as often as not, the more you try to make people see you as a mature adult, the more you end up proving the opposite. I wanted Adrian’s story to be just as much about growing up as it was about paranormal powers and combat. That’s why I start him off at such a young age. There are five books, after all.

 

Me-One: Speaking of those five books, their publication dates are, on average, only two weeks apart. How do you write a full-length novel in just two weeks?

 

Me-Two: Coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. Actually, no, I don’t drink coffee. And I didn’t write my books at the speed of dripping ink. I originally wrote Wild-born about five years ago. When I finished, I did consider publishing, but I wanted more time to edit and proofread, so letting the file sit on my computer, I started writing my second book, The Tower. Halfway through that, I came across a plot detail that conflicted with something I wrote in Wild-born. Thanking my lucky stars that I hadn’t yet published, I went back and rewrote part of Wild-born to fit The Tower. (I can’t remember well, but I think it was something about the age of one of the characters.) Around the same time, I came across an interview with J.K Rowling where she said that she had to rewrite one of her chapters many times over in a latter Harry Potter book because she couldn’t work her way around one of the rules of her world that had been put into an earlier book. Reading that, I decided that I wouldn’t publish my series until all five books were complete. A decision I certainly do not regret.

 

Me-One: Tell us a little about the series beyond Wild-born.

 

Me-Two: I don’t want to give away the story, but Adrian changes a lot, and not always for the better. I also introduce a number of new characters, and some of them follow Adrian through the rest of the series. I had always wanted to write a no-nonsense tough female protagonist, so she makes her appearance in the second book. As for where the story is headed, I must ask my readers to take the journey with Adrian and see where it goes.

 

Me-One: Will there be a happy ending?

 

Me-Two: I like happy endings, but no promises.

 

Me-One: Where are Me-Three and Me-Four these days?

 

Me-Two: I killed them in their sleep, but I’m sure they’ll be back someday.

 

Me-One: You know I liked them better than you.

 

Me-Two: I know. That’s why I killed them.

 

 

Wild-born at Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AM1H5PK

Adrian Howell’s Author Blog: http://adrianhowell.blogspot.jp/

 

 

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