Author Interview: Nicholas Andrews

The Adventure Tournament

by Nicholas Andrews

Available at Amazon.com

Ebook coming soon!

Personalized Copies: www.facebook.com/NicholasRAndrews

With the kingdom of Bolognia under attack by independent forces of random malcontents, it’s time to send out the army to deal with these troublemakers, right? No, first there’s money to be made! Send out the adventurers, those rogues who wander the countryside in search of fame and treasure, and take up all the good seats at the local pubs. Then, organize brackets, stage it for the public’s entertainment, offer a prize and call it The Adventure Tournament.

Remy Fairwyn is a ne’er-do-well academic who really wants to become an adventurer. When he hears of the tournament, he jumps at the opportunity, only to find himself out of the frying pan and in the fire. Add ingredients like corrupt organizations, professional wrestlers, narcoleptic thieves, drama kings and malfunctioning magical minutia, and his venture quickly becomes a recipe for disaster. Nevertheless, he blunders his way into being the captain of his own team. Now he can follow his dream, but still has to contend with obstacles such as tournament organizers whose motives may not be clean, an overbearing father holding him to academic pursuits, and his own nonsensical noggin, which is better suited for a pack mule than a dashing hero. Still, he’s determined to become the biggest badass warrior to ever wield a large piece of wood.

As the competition heats up, Remy discovers that the tournament itself could be putting the kingdom in danger, and it’s up to him to uncover the truth before destruction consumes all he holds dear.

How did you come to self-publish?  Did you try to get published traditionally?

I tried to get an agent, of course, but my heart has never really been in the submit/wait/get rejected/submit… cycle. Self-publishing was attractive to me because of the level of control I retain. I control the look of the book, from the formatting to the cover. I can market it to an audience of my choosing, etc.

What self-publishing service did you use? Happy with the service?

Createspace, and I’m very happy with the level of service. The cover and interior on my proof turned out exactly as I had submitted. Any mistakes made were my own fault. They also offer the chance to buy author copies at a reasonable price, and the percentage of royalty is much higher than what a first time contracted author would get.

What avenues have you taken to market the book?  Have you gotten reviews, interviews, TV, print media coverage?

The Adventure Tournament just came out on August 2, so I’m still exploring my options and figuring out where I should start. I’ve done a couple interviews already, and I’m working on a book trailer, for which I will launch a campaign on YouTube to attract potential readers. I’m looking into Facebook Ads and also searching for a place to hold an official launch/signing.

What drove you to write this particular book?

I’ve always been a fan of fantasy and comedy, so it was something natural to combine the two. I also felt comedic fantasy was an underrepresented genre, and it would be a book that would stand out and help get my name out there. It still took me six years to write, working on it on and off! I think it’s because when you have serious things going on in your life it’s hard to turn on the funny when you’re writing. But once I finished it, it felt like I cleared such a hurdle. I wrote the bulk of the sequel within a period of a month. Now in the last month I’m seven chapters into a more serious fantasy novel.

Is the book in any one particular genre?  Is it a genre that’s familiar to you?

I’ve always read fantasy, so yes. But I definitely took a more contemporary approach in the tone and the society and the attitude and dialogues of the people in this world. So even though it’s based on your standard medieval Europe fantasy society, with elves, dwarves, magic, etc. the language and tone helps people relate to it. I’ve gotten a lot of “I never read fantasy, but I really liked this” type comments from readers.

Who are your greatest writing influences?

George R. R. Martin, David Eddings, Piers Anthony, a few others I’m probably forgetting. In a non-writing sense, the Final Fantasy series of video games had a tremendous influence on my writing in the way I structure stories, and many of those games tell a better story than most published authors. I always say I’m fortunate to be among the first generation that grew up with video games as a creative influence in addition to books and television. Before I even knew fantasy literature existed, I was playing Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior. In fact, the cover of my book is a parody of an image very familiar to Zelda fans, which was appropriate since that was my first exposure to what I would consider something in the fantasy genre.

What’s your writing regimen?  Any tips for keeping focused?

The only way to finish a book is to just write it. If you get stuck on a certain part, skip ahead to some other point in the story and start fresh from there. You can always go back and fill in the blanks later. Sometimes it even helps. If you’ve already written the payoff, you’ll know what to do for the setup. Also, join a critique site like TheNextBigWriter.com. You’ll get a lot of good advice on plot, dialogue, and so forth, as well as any proofreading errors you may have missed. It also encourages you to write if you have an audience, even if it’s a small one.

Would you self-publish again?

I plan to, with the sequel to The Adventure Tournament. It’s called Babyface Fire, and I really want to have it out by the holiday season, but we’ll see. The rough draft is finished, but I still have to do my rewriting and editing. And I still have the ebook coming up, which I will launch in September.

Any final words of advice for those looking to self-publish?

When I decided to do it, I first published a book of unedited short stories I had accumulated over the years, though I never put it out for sale. This was my trial-run, and it helped me greatly in deciding if Createspace was a service I wished to use, and got me acclimated to the process. And it is a process. Just take it one step at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed. Work on getting your cover right one month. The next month, work on the interior. There are plenty of resources to help you, on Createspace and elsewhere on the Internet. Once you’ve got all the pieces in place, then start thinking about how you’re going to market it.