In light of all the author interviews floating around, (you know the ones: Blogger interviews author; Reviewer interviews author; Author interviews author; Reader/Fan interviews author) I thought I might turn that POV just a tad and take it to the next level. Author Interviews Reader/Fan.
Of course, anyone could do this, make up a reader or a fan and answer their own questions. It depends on the integrity of the author doing the interview, right? So, as a reader, you must decide whether my Reader/Fan is a real person or not. But any way you look at it, it could be fun… or not.
First, let me introduce my Reader/Fan. Everyone give a hand to Mr. Dave Allen, long time reader, fan, critic and cyberspace friend of mine. Dave has been reading the The Red Cross of Gold:. Assassin Chronicles and other works of mine since before I was rich and famous… er, I mean he will keep reading them and re-reading them until I am rich and famous. I’m going to ask him some questions and he’s going to give his honest responses. Remember, people, these are his actual responses, not mine!
1. Hello, Dave! Glad to have you here with me today and thank you for agreeing to do this interview with me. I’m going to ask you some question and I encourage you to feel free to give your most candid answers. Never mind my presence. Are you ready, Dave?
Dave: Sure. Can I ask a question first?
2. Well, of course, you can ask anything you like, Dave. Authors always love to get questions from their fans. It means their writing has inspired insight and thoughtful reflection. Go right ahead.
Dave: Will there be a test at the end of this?
3. Ha! Ha! Ha! No, no, of course not. You can ask questions any time you like. Are you ready?
Dave: Good. That makes me feel better. Without sounding cliche-ish, what inspired you to write this series, Assassin Chronicles?
4. Oh, well, uh, I’ve always been interested in the Crusades and the Knights and soldiers, who made the almost impossible trek from Europe to the Middle East just to kill or be killed in the name of God. While studying the crusades, I came across an enormous amount of information about the Orders of Knights extant at the time and the Knights Templar and what happened to them piqued my curiosity immensely. The more I read about them, the more fascinated I became with the Order and its supposed connections to King Solomon and King Solomon’s magic. The more I read, the more divergent my studies became until I was brimming over with facts, speculations and more questions than ever. After a while, I needed to put all that information to use, so I thought writing a fictional tribute about knights in the modern age might be fun. But, wait! Enough about me, Dave. You got me going there. Now, back to the interview. How long have you been reading the series?
Dave: Oh, yeah. Well, I have a tendency to do that. Now I bet it didn’t take me near as long to read them as it took for you to write them. Do you have a certain amount of time you work on your books each day?
5. Ahhh, well. Yes, I guess not. I supposed it took about 10 years for me to write the series altogether. I started the books when I was about 38 years old, but I don’t want to say how long it’s been since I finished the series because that would make people start adding numbers in their heads and hate math. I also hate getting old. I think I’ve always worried about aging and not aging gracefully. You know, us Libras tend to be a bit vain when it comes to personal appearance. I was worried about getting wrinkles and gray hair a long time before I actually got them. Now, I have people tell me salt and pepper looks good on me. I say salt and pepper belongs on sunny-side-up eggs. Oh, crap! There I go again. Ha! Ha! Now, let’s see… where were we? Do you prefer reading books with more or less action, development, description or dialog?
Dave: Well, what would a book be without all those things in some measure? Of course, I prefer lots of action… you know, blood, guts, sex, killing… Viking Berserker type action. I noticed from reading your books, you have a lot of details about the characters and their backgrounds. Was that a tremendous amount of research or did it just come naturally?
6. Uhhhh, come naturally? You mean was I born with the story in my head? No, I already said I did a lot of research. Would you please try not to indulge my rather long-winded nature and keep me on track, Dave? We are, after all, here to ask you questions, get your opinions, not mine. Ha! Ha!
Dave: Oh, sure, Brandon, no problem.
7. Brendan. Brendan Carroll. Ahem.
Dave: Oh, sorry, Brandan. I’ll try to keep you focused. I know how you writer types are. Always ready and more than willing to talk about your own interests and such. Yakking endlessly about subjects that normally bore the hell out of everyone else. Right. So! Your artwork for your covers is fantastic. They really lend credence to the titles and re-enforce the storyline. I especially like the one that Sue did for you with the sword on the cover. It’s exactly how I imagined it. How did you come up with that particularly design, anyway?
8. Oh! You mean the cover for Book XXV! The Ancient Evil. I love that image. I can never thank Sue Guerth enough for making that for me. I’ve been trying to get it out there for years. Three pieces of shining gold, braided together and hammered flat, honed to perfection by the angels, themselves and protected by magic so that it never needs sharpening, never nicks or breaks. Topped with the ancient symbol that predates the Templars by millennia. Yes, I love that cover, myself. So long in coming… oh, dammit, Dave! You did it again!
Dave: Did what?
9. Never mind. Did you begin reading the series in eBook format or paperback? I put the book out in paperback before I use the new Amazon platform for Kindle eReaders. Did you perhaps read a so-called real book, or did you start it out on an eReader and what kind of eReader do you personally prefer?
Dave: Oh, I’ve read it in both forms, paperback and eReader. I own a few Kindles, different styles, an Ipad, an Iphone and a Nook. I couldn’t decide which machine I liked best. I even had one of my grandchildren read the books aloud to me when I was in a coma for six months. Did you know I was in coma for six months, Brandon? Well, let me tell you, it’s not near as easy as you think, being in a coma. Man! I just wanted to slap that doctor who suggested that Margaret read to me. Have you ever met my Margaret, Brandon? She has a voice like a lawnmower. Nice girl, but I don’t think she will ever marry. Hell, she could have read for the part of what’s-his-name in that movie Slingblade! You know, “I like how you talk.”
10. Ahem! *cough *cough
Dave: Oh, sorry, but that child worries me, Brandon. Let me ask you something. Where do you think eBook sales are heading?
11. Well, I don’t know, Dave. I’ve done my best to promote and encourage everyone I know to read as much as they can whether they read my works or not. People are becoming too dependent on electronic devices… now, don’t get me wrong, I love the Kindle and the Nook and every other eBook Reader in the world. I mean, after all, they are how I get my paycheck. Ha! ha! I mean, I like paperbacks as well, but shit, Dave! I need to ask you a question.
Dave: OK, shoot.
12. *sigh. Do you… would you… have you ever recommended my books to anyone else? I mean, would you recommend my epic fantasy series to other readers of fantasy?
Dave: I have a couple dozen close friends that have purchased your series and we look forward to each new book being released. They asked me to ask you if you are writing the books as you publish them, or do you have a deep vault of at least another 100 books in the Assassin Chronicles series?
13. Oh, really? You think they would read another 75 books or so? Oh, pshaw! I wrote them all awhile back and now I’m just getting them ready for publishing. I’ve had some terrible trouble with formatting and such for some of them, but I think I got them pretty well straight. Of course, typos and grammar are killers when you are self-publishing. All you can do is cross your fingers and hope that there aren’t too many of them and that your work is good in spite of them.
Dave: Yeah, I know what you mean. I used to work for this place that made chicken feed. My job as a quality control manager was to make sure the feed tasted good to the chickens.
Dave: See, I had this group of about twelve chickens, hens, they were. Prettiest bunch of feather fluffers you ever saw… anyhow, I’d take them samples and then make sure the feed tasted good to them.
14. Oh, you would see if they ate it or not? Whew, I thought for a minute you meant you tasted it. Ha! Ha!
Dave: Oh, hell no! That would be stupid, Brandon. But you don’t know much about chickens, do you? They’ll eat almost anything you put in front of them.
15. Well, then… Dave, what difference did it make if it tasted good or not, and how the hell did you figure out if it tasted good, if they eat anything and everything?
Dave: You could tell by the look on their faces. It they liked it, they smiled and if they didn’t like it, their right eyes would twitch like this… *twitches eye… anyhow, Brandon, look. This series, the new one, about the apprentices, is really a great concept. I look forward to more volumes in that series as well. And we, your fans, would thoroughly enjoy you writing a book concentrating around Sir Champlain, perhaps reminiscing about his personal adventures with the other Knights. Also, what would be the chance of getting Champlain’s Bar-Be-Que recipe?
16. *muffled noises. Which one? Beef, lamb, pork? You realize that Sir Louis Champlain is a fictional Templar Knight over 800 years old, right? I don’t really talk to him that much.
Dave: Well, the next time you see him, ask him about that recipe, Brandon. I bet he’s had time to perfect his rub.
17. Aye! And there’s the rub, ladies and gentlemen. That wraps up our interview, thank you, Dave! Hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did.
Dave: I’ve enjoyed participating in this interview with you and is there any way you might disclose when the next book… what is it? Book twenty-seven? Is coming out?