Today’s perfect 10 interview session is with author Richard Ankers. The questions in these interviews are designed to gain more insight into the inspiration, background and strategy of the authors that stop by.
Please enjoy this edition of A Perfect 10 and look for an exciting announcement regarding all of the participating authors for 2018.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
That’s a tricky question to start with. I should say the act of writing is invigorating. But if you’re doing it right, putting in your heart and soul, by the time you’re finished for the day, you are exhausted. It’s only natural for hours of writing to tire you. Worth it for the smile on your face, though.
Do you ever write under a pseudonym? If not have you considered it? Why or why not?
I don’t write under a pseudonym and wouldn’t. I was so shy — still am — about my writing for years that after finally getting it out there I wanted to be proud enough to claim it as my own.
Does a big ego help or hurt writers? Why or why not?
I think it depends on the person. Just as in life, some folks are full of it (as we say here) but have the talent to back it up. It’s the ones that haven’t that grate. I prefer a quieter approach. Infiltrate your readers by stealth. You’re less likely to be repelled.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Purchasing the writing program Scrivener. I am useless with technicalities. If there is such a thing as formophobia, I have it. I can’t get beyond the first line of an instruction book. Owning writing software that takes care of all the intricacies of formatting etcetera is worth every penny spent, (or dime if you’re American.) Also, and I can thoroughly recommend it to any one reading this, ProWritingAid.com. I saved up the money from my first paid pieces and purchased a lifetime license. I check ‘everything,’ including this, with ProWritingAid. I hate looking stupid; it was used against me when I was young. It still rankles.
What does writing success look like to you? Have you achieved it?
That’s another good question if you exclude happiness. Being happy in what you do is the most important thing of all. However, getting paid for a story was initial success. I once read that anyone can call them self a writer, but only someone who’s been paid for his/her work can call them self an author, (I wanted to be called an author.) Now, my aim is higher. I’ve had novels published and well received. I’ve been in anthologies and magazines from all around the world. But the one thing I would wish above all else is to walk into bookstores and see my work on their shelves. That is my next and only big goal, and I feel a big time publisher is the only way to achieve it. I have stuff in the works that I don’t care how long it takes to publish, it will be published by the best.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? What sources do you use?
It depends what I’m working on especially as I’m a fast writer. The freedom offered by Fantasy and Science Fiction, in that both require imagination rather than exactitudes, has always appealed. I am, however, and have, written a lot of Steampunk and Victorian dates and history need to be right. I usually google whatever is on my mind and look at multiple sources. Wikipedia is good but you do have to take it with a pinch of salt.
How do you select the names of your characters? Have you ever regretted choosing a particular name? Why?
Names come instantly. I’ve never had a problem with them. The only time I have ever changed one was in my published trilogy, The Eternals Series. Princess Aurora, an albino eternal, was originally called Oona and then Linna. I changed it from the former because of physical resemblances to another Sci/Fi character, and from the latter because her name referred to a blue Scandinavia flower and I thought this might be wasted on my readers and was too similar to Linka, another character. Aurora was more striking and recognizable.
What is the hardest type of scene to write?
A boring one. But if it’s boring me, it should be changed because it will bore someone else.
If you could have dinner with four people, living or dead, who would they be and what would you want to ask them?
I’m really not fussy when it comes to things like this. I can honestly say there’s no one. The only person that would interest me in the slightest would be Michael Moorcock, my author hero, even if it was just to bow a lot.
What platform has brought you the most success in marketing your books?
I’m not a good marketer. I don’t like social media, but that has probably done the most for me. I’m quiet, private and like it this way. Promoting myself has always been hard and I don’t think it will ever change until I have someone to take the reins from me. This might sound corny, and I don’t mean it to, but I put my work out there and hope my writing speaks for itself. Writing is a business these days, there’s no denying it, but if you’ve very little money in the first place, it isn’t easy to blast your way into the public eye.
The Eternals: http://mybook.to/TheEternals
Hunter Hunted: http://mybook.to/HunterHunted
Into Eternity: http://mybook.to/IntoEternity
Connect with Richard:
WordPress Blog: https://richardankers.com
Amazon Author: http://author.to/RichardAnkers
Facebook Author: https://www.facebook.com/richardmankers
Creativia Landing Page: http://www.creativia.org/yorkshire-author-richard-m-ankers.html