T. P. Grish is the author of The Remus Rothwyn Chronicles, a dark fantasy series which currently consists of three books. I recently interviewed T. P on facebook and you can read the interview below. You can download Steel, Magick and Faith: Book 1 of The Remus Rothwyn Chronicles for free here.
AJ: When did the writing bug first bite you? How has your life changed since?
TP: I always loved writing from a young age, writing short stories, and playing fantasy themed games and hobbies. I started writing self-published books a few years ago. I have not sold much or achieved any attention, so day to day life has not changed. But the feeling of having books out there, getting even a small number of sales, and generally good reception, is great!
AJ: How do you prepare your book for publishing? I mean editing, cover designing etc
TP: As for cover design, that has been a learning experience. I found a great quality, reliable illustrator on Elance.com, because that is what worked for me. But it is something that will be different for different people. The important thing to remember about artists is that they will always care about the work they are doing, so it is important to understand it is not just business for them- they want to be sure the work is something they can do well. Do not argue over terms, before you agree, ask the artists what their terms are, and either politely say yes or no. As for editing, all I can say is you have to do it. A lot. If you cannot get others to do it, spend at least one month doing it yourself, being very hard on yourself. It is difficult to edit your own work. If it looks like you got rid of all mistakes and lopsided writing, look again. Then, look again.
AJ: How do you manage your writing time? Any daily word goals?
TP: My books are mostly written (90%) during 1-3 months of intense writing, where I make sure I write 1000 words at least per day. Most of the time, however, I find it difficult to concentrate, and waste time. However these time wasting periods can be good to cultivate ideas. Just don’t spend too much time with your head in the clouds. Writing is about passion, but it is also hard work, so treat it like a part-time job- albeit one with very little chance of making money.
AJ: Any writer(s) you like so much that you wish you had written what they wrote?
TP: R.A. Salvatore for his comfortable, page-turning books with characters you grow to love (and hate). Ursula Le Guin for her classic modern works of fantasy fables. Elaina Cunningham for her interesting characters.
AJ: How do you think any newbie fantasy indie author will fare in 2016? (Since I was planning to get into the game myself)
TP: Don’t know. I think it’s interesting you said 2016 instead of 2015. Things change from year to year. It’s an industry where everyone, I mean everyone, can get their work self-published and out there to consume. But, that means that very, very, very exceedingly few people will get any real attention or money. I don’t mourn the reduced power of publishing gatekeepers, as they were stuck in their ways, and new gatekeepers will form. Look out for opportunities, and remember it is a long shot. The internet will be your main tool, unless you get trad. Published (which I cannot advise you about, since I don’t have that experience), but do not spend too much time promoting, and when you do it, keep it classy and post interesting content. Don’t spam.
AJ: Who is your favourite character in your novels?
TP: That’s hard. I like Remus, grouchy as he is. I feel he is a bit like me. However, Perfidian had bloomed as a character, and Elaina has a lot of discoveries in store. I love the supporting characters as well, such as Gedderick. Weylin, well he was always intended to be a main character alongside Remus and Elaina, having the same origin point. And he is. His path will take a different tack, due to his different personality and values.
AJ: What would you like to say about the ‘Gritty fantasy’ sub genre?
TP: A lot of people scoff at gritty/dark fantasy authors, except for the few very popular ones. There is a perception that they are trying too hard to be dark, or moody. This isn’t fair. Speaking as a dark fantasy author, I can tell you that I did not intend to be in this genre. I simply wanted to write fantasy. Most fantasy I have typically read is in the epic genre. However, my world revolved around the idea that there would be more areas of grey morally, and that it would deal with issues such as being different, the consequences of power and the nature of belief systems. My success on that, based on reviews, has been mixed, but this kind of story tends to lead towards dark fantasy most of the time.
AJ: Lastly, what will be your advice for a wannabe fantasy author like me?
TP: Do it for the satisfaction of writing, don’t worry about sales as they most likely won’t come, simply because of the vast number of people writing. Write good books, keep in mind pacing and characterization, edit a lot, write good blurbs and get good covers. Add your links include a mailing list and Facebook etc. so readers know how to communicate with you. Look at other books in your genre for info about covers blurbs etc. Remember you cannot do good covers or anything later on, when you get more successful. Because nobody will consider reading a book unless all the pieces are there. There is so much material out there. However, you have a lot of potential so keep in there. Also, I am a wannabe author as well, so take my advice with a grain of salt. I have only done this for about three years and have not made any real money or attention. I still plug away, though.