Gregory J. Downs is the author of two novels, Brother Thief and Mordred, both Young Adult Fantasy Adventure stories. Meet him below.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. What else do you do besides writing?
My name is Greg, and my “author alias” is just my full name, Gregory J. Downs. Sounds more writerly, huh? I’m still a student, believe it or not, so that takes up most of my not-writing time. Also just the nitty-gritty of formatting and such is a big time-consumer…. Whaddya know.
2. How did you first get into writing?
Well I’ve always enjoyed stories, and the thinking-up of them. Only in 9th grade did it occur to me that I could write my stories down instead of think them in my head… I was that odd. Anyway, I wrote a few short stories that were total junk, then finally got around to writing a book… and then three more. I’m about to graduate high school at home. I’m young and inexperienced. SO? People like what I write, so I see no reason not to enter the indie-pub world.
3. Tell us about your latest book.
My second and latest release is actually coming out tomorrow, as of this writing (9/6/11). It’s a YA Fantasy-Adventure about a young street thief with curious control over the sand and stone that makes up most of the city where he lives. Destiny comes calling one day in the form of his murdered foster-mother and a mysterious soldier he rescues… and you know the formula. Or do you? It might throw you some twists.
4. Is it part of a larger series?
Yeah, definitely. Originally it was a trilogy of 150,000 words per-book. But that’s really, really long for e-books, and I’d want to price them high because of that, etc… so I changed my plans accordingly. Now it’s looking to be 9 books of 50 to 70k each. That’s short books, even for an e-reader, but the story separated really easily and I’m hugely pleased with the finished product.
5. What was your inspiration for your book?
Well really, I just wrote what I felt like writing. But for my first book I drew heavily on Arthurian themes (King Arthur is the main antagonist, and his enemy Mordred is the protagonist). My newest book, though draws on a lot of eastern themes, such as element-manipulation (á la Avatar and Wheel of Time), as well as Greek and Norse mythology like that used in the works of Lewis and Tolkien. Scratch elves and replace ‘em with nymphs, scratch wizards and replace ‘em with Striders. Striders? You’ll have to read it to find out, heh heh.
6. What motivates you to want to write? What do you enjoy about it?
I just love making up stories. It’s the only point I see to my creativity. I don’t care whether an idea I have has been done before… I’ll do it again, only how I want it to be! I enjoy most the conception and shaping of an idea- how will this magic work? Who is this mysterious character? How will this plot twist totally fool the reader? I also like the actual writing, of course, but some scenes are more enjoyable than others. Editing is my least favorite part, by far, and I usually hire someone else out for that.
7. Do you have any advice for new writers about perfecting their craft?
Well I’m rather new myself, but I have picked up some things. I’d say this- on one hand, you need to write what you like, and have fun doing it… but on the other hand, you can’t quit when the going gets tough. Once you’ve started something, you must must must finish it. I finally learned that, and it’s made writing far more satisfying (if not at all easier).
8. Where I talk about how to make me famous: Sort of. Here is the link to my blog-http://bit.ly/ovSDvP- where you can read other mental meanderings of mine, and also find links to buy my 4 books on Kindle and Nook (Yes, it's four now!). You can also reach me via Facebook, Goodreads, Shelfari, and other places, through the blog. Cool, huh? Thanks for the interview, Jacques!