Friday, October 28, 2011

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR, CHRIS TURNER

INTERVIEW WITH CHRIS TURNER, AUTHOR OF THE "ROGUES OF BINDAR SERIES"

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Can you tell us what turned you on to the Fantasy, Adventure, and Science Fiction genres and what kinds of books you read as a child?

I read “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, the “Narnia” books, the “Hobbit” and “Lord of the Rings”, the “Wizard of Oz”, the “Great Brain” series, the “Nancy Drew” and “Hardy Boys” series, books like that, just like any kid would. I loved getting lost in a book. I never dreamed of writing my own book. That was something that only ‘gods’ or people from other universes did. Not until after university, travelling through Europe and Asia, did I actually start thinking about writing seriously. And even then, I recall that gut-wrenching hour I spent trying to craft the first paragraph of a fantasy story. Was that agonizing! I must say, re-reading Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” really tipped the scale for me, because I saw how effortlessly and poetically he could make his prose sing, and I thought, what if it were possible to write that masterfully . . . ?

Who are some of your most favorite and inspiring authors in those genres from the past?

Definitely Tolkien, and I got into Terry Brooks and David Eddings, Robert Jordan and Stephen Donaldson in the 80’s. A friend of mine turned me onto Jack Vance in the ‘90s, and after that I was pretty much hooked . . . I can go on and list many writers, like Robert E. Howard, Arthur C. Clarke, John D. Macdonald, Fritz Leiber, A.E. Van Vogt, Robert Silverberg, Alexandre Dumas, Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, but they are too numerous to cite.

How old were you when you first discovered you had a talent for writing?

It was pretty late in life that I started writing, like mid 20’s. I don’t know if I’d have called it a ‘talent’—more just some aspiring ambition and a whole lot of energy—though I’ve learned a lot in the twenty years since then.

Tell us about the books you've written so far.

I’ve written two anthologies, “Future Destinies” (SF) and “Fantastic Realms” (Fantasy), an archaeology adventure “Denibus Ar” and an epic fantasy trilogy, “Rogues of Bindar”. All of my stories have some element of adventure in them, as I am an adventurer at heart, given the many travels I’ve undertaken around the world, backpacking and cycling. I usually write about characters who live outside the “box”, those who don’t conform or fit in to the framework around them, and already by nature have great odds set against them, but somehow manage to push through the obstacles and find out truths about themselves.

What do you have in store for us for the future?

I’m a fantasy buff, and I have many ideas for upcoming novels. Some are half-written, some are partially written and some are just nebulous ideas floating around the ethers of my mind—but at least they’re there, and I hope to upload some new ebooks early next year.

Have you ever thought about writing other genres and if so what are they?

Mystery has always been something that has interested me. I think it’s very difficult to write in that genre, at least good stories. I’m kind of off-the-wall, a non-status-quo type person, so anything I write might be too quirky to appear in any mainstream mystery category: perhaps maybe SF/mystery, Fantasy/mystery? Who knows? . . .

What do you do outside of writing, do you have any hobbies?

I paint a lot of oil landscapes and continue to do art shows. I’ve worked predominately in the high tech field (in software design) and have been a programming instructor. In the past I have been somewhat of a musician, (guitar/keyboard) and I’m also into biking and tennis. Meditating on a daily basis helps me with writing, and all my creative endeavours.

How supportive are family and friends of your writing?

Very supportive. Both friends and family have taken time to read my books and offer constructive criticism. My mother, an avocational archaeologist, traveller and researcher has provided valuable technical support and consultation in the novel “Denibus Ar”. I greatly appreciate this—and on the topic of feedback, I believe any comments that a writer gets are indispensable, positive or negative.

Where's the best place to find your books?

Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, ITunes.

Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?

Write as much as you can and keep coming up with new ideas. This is really important. Half of the work is creating new stories, and the other half, developing the technique, style and rhythm to make tales interesting and honing the editing process necessary to get stories on paper. I think every author has to develop a thick skin, because the more daring the writing gets, the less the work’s going to fit into any genre, and there’s the risk that readers won’t cotton to it. Unless you’re a Stephen King, it’s a tough road. I think it’s important for authors to be grateful for all people who read their books. And, did I mention this? Keep writing ! . .

Thank you for taking the time to interview with us Chris!


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