Chris Turner: Author Interview

Wolf's-head, Rogues of Bindar Book I

Hi, I’m the author of “Wolf’shead”, Book 1 of the  Rogues of Bindar trilogy.

Welcome to Bindar: a world of scoundrels, opportunists and glib talkers.

A conniving fisherman/adventurer discovers a new meaning for the words mischief and scandal when he falls on the wrong side of a macabre magician, propelling him and his jokester poet friend into outlandish adventures. All illusions of a just and fair world are shattered!

First it is prison, then it is the precarious life of outlaws. To meet a dazzling shapeshifter, shrunken and imprisoned in the magician’s bottle of brine, and then liberate her is not enough. Harried across the land, accompanied by a rebellious sea captain, they encounter the formidable Dakkaw, an ogreish creature of questionable repute. Can they win free of Bisiguth, and the Dakkaw’s sinister agenda?

Journey to new reaches of faraway Bindar with these unlikely heroes. They must trust their instincts, survive by wits and bravado against lords, lawgivers, enchanting damsels and fey creatures . . .

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

I had been writing since the early ‘90’s and hadn’t made really any efforts to publish anything; then recently I started to submit some short stories to ezines.  Some made the short list, but no publications.  I realized that the sheer volume of stories out there and the lack of paying markets was a definite stroke against me (and so many other aspiring writers).  As for self-publishing: well, I had gathered that in the past, it was solely a vanity fair experience, so I steered clear of it.  Now the tables have turned: traditionally published authors are becoming indie authors!  Some are happier than ever and doing better than with traditional publishers.  Go figure!  Kindle and Smashwords, as good as they are—it’s an author’s paradise.  I’m on the bandwagon!

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

I started with Smashwords and also moved on Kindle.  Both are amazing.

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

I’m just starting the process, and must say it’s a large ocean to cross.  I have a blog at http://innerskybooks.blogspot.com/ and I have also been actively posting in Kindleboards.  I’ve already made sales on Smashwords and Kindle and have received reviews on Smashwords, which is a bonus.  I’m putting the word out, trying to get as many book reviews and interviews as I can.  I figure my writing is evocative and vivid, and has a lot to offer—and it’s mostly pure entertainment.

4. What drove you to write this particular book?

Rogues of Bindar has been a brainchild of mine since 2007, when it was conceived on the beach in Tatamagouche, Novia Scotia. Amidst those stark and beautiful mud flats with their profound, terrifying tides, I envisaged a lone fisherman, a moody soul, who was wandering up the beach, questioning his purpose in life.  He was trying to escape his somewhat humdrum life.  Ah—who isn’t?  And so, the main character’s adventures began . . . quite a deal more demanding than he ever planned for.  Sword and sorcery and unlikely hero material are the grist to grind . . .

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

The series can be loosely defined as Fantasy, but I would categorize it more as Fantasy-Adventure.  There is a generous amount of humour, which is the life and spice of any genre.  It is my favourite genre.  This is spontaneous epic adventure: Wolf’s-head being the first of three books in the picaresque series.  Book II, Freebooter and Book III, Redeemer are scheduled for release in Sep. and Oct. 2011 respectively.

6. Who are your greatest writing influences?

Jack Vance, R.E. Howard, J.R.R. Tolkien, Arthur C. Clarke, A.E. Van Vogt, John D. Macdonald and Alexandre Dumas to name a few.

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

I’m the kind of person who works full time on creative projects.  Mostly out of a love for the craft.  Which is why I haven’t done any marketing up until now.  If I’m in the swing of a story, I work on it every day for hours until it’s done.  Otherwise it stays in my head and haunts me until it’s completed.  So, I have no choice.  I spend ten times longer editing the story, then I sit on it and let it mature, while getting other readers to offer feedback.  It’s a successful, if not rigorous process.

Re tips: the more disciplined a writer’s life, the better, I think.  This practice enables more ideas to flow without roadblocks.

8. Would you self-publish again?

Yes . . . the freedom of self-publishing is unparalleled.  I’m a go-getter and would rather implement my own program of marketing than rely on other sources, including publishers who like to snatch up rights and decide the way things are going to be done, namely book-cover, release dates, price, etc.

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

I would say anyone waffling over whether to self-publish, please “try it!”.  You will be surprised.  There is nothing to lose and everything to gain.  There’s a wealth of tools and materials out there to market one’s creations; many people are there to support authors along the way.  The only regret I have is, I waited too long . . .