It’s a very special interview today on my blog. Four guys— Trowa, Elnath, Ace and Simon ( the four lords) who created The Curseborn saga. They are a writing team unlike any other. I chatted with them on Facebook and it was a lot of fun. You can visit their website www.curseborn.com/
TROWA and ELNATH
So first of… Introduce yourselves a bit for my readers.
Hey my name is Trowa D. Cloud and I am one of the creators of the Curseborn Saga, a project I’ve been working on with Ace, Guts and Shanks for going on 7 years. I’m 29 years old, love Final Fantasy, all things anime and adventuring. Love to rock climb and surf and write and chase dreams.
My name is Elnath D. Shanks and I am one of the Four Lords (these deathless ruffians that are in that chat with us).
Squall d. Ace here I am one of the four lords creators of the Curseborn saga
My name is Guts. I have a wife and 2 boys. I grew up playing video games primarily rpgs. And bring my amassed knowledge of that to the project as a creator on the Curseborn saga
How did you guys get together to create The Curseborn Saga? Childhood friends you guys?
I think Trowa can answer for all of us since he amassed the crew
You could say Shanks and I are childhood friends, since he’s my brother lol
(Little more ‘bout me) im the same as Cloud basically but taller and a bit more addicted to anime
Seriously this is a no lying zone
We all know I’m taller and better at climbing
I met Guts and Ace working at a video game store when we were in our late teens
So Trowa is the leader?
He wouldn’t claim that, he’s too humble
They are epic friends and I love ‘em and we didn’t start working on this project for a long time after we met
But I would say he is our heart in the project
Aw thanks man much love my brother
We all create the story together, but Cloud compiles it and writes the books. Cloud is the author of the books.
J Not without much help from these guys, without them there is no story to write
Tell me about The Curseborn Saga
It is very much a team project and can only survive as thus
Cloud-San go ahead…
I met cloud when I worked at game crazy. I thought he was some “bro” nothing special then he asked me to get the scratches out of copy of final fantasy 7 and we got to talking. That’s how our friendship started. I later met ace and shanks through Trowa
CBS is a high fantasy mythic epic that is light-hearted; adventurous and comical, while embodying the essence of old myths and the intensity of an epic all in one
It is a story about two brothers (among many, many other characters) who go on an adventure to fight the strongest people in their world (the floating lands of Soria) and how their adventure unites a fallen country, and changes their world forever
We took what we loved from traditional anime style formats and broke it down to create a story as intricate and vast as those in long running epic animes
One piece and bleach good examples
Can you tell me more about CBS, like what kinds of characters are in it, the geography of the world..etc?
Haha I still have that copy of FF7 you mended for me bra
We write from a massive cast including two cursed brothers, 3 adopted daughters of the Empress, gods and goddesses alike, evil men and conniving old women, among many other funny, sad, and unique characters.
The story takes place on two lands floating in the sky, Risia: Realm of the Nobles, Falia: Realm of the Curseborn. The people that inhabit the land are called Sorians and it is lore of the land that they are descendants of dragons.
Imagine earth but its barren. Nothing much on it. That is mortal aeryx in our story. Above it float two continents in the shape of wings connected by a large stone bridge and coliseum in the middle. These two lands are Falia and Risia respectively.
Similar to an anime the characters are very unique to their individuality
You guys have a massive fan following on fb. How did you get so popular?
Ace is really good looking and does male modelling sometimes. But Cloud is really strategic and has developed social media strategies to increasing interaction.
We started with making a page that other fans could relate to
We spent a lot of time connecting with likeminded pages and individuals. Then we tailored our page to include a lot of interaction. After that it spread
So we like to do versus battles between chars of the anime/fantasy/marvel realm while holding on Instagram a page that is more focused on our raw content
Yeah, tell me about these ‘battles’.
You know Goku from DBZ?
And do you know Superman?
The story is adapting to Manga, the first volume called The Curseborn Saga, Volume 1: Brothers and Sisters is releasing on July 1st. Lately, the Instagram page has been telling the story through individual manga page posts.
Yep, know Goku
Well .. Who would win if they fought, and why?
Ps Guts is hard to beat in this game.
Haha, maybe The Dark Knight jumps in between!
People who like our page eventually find out what we do as admins 😊
You have to pick one.
Haha exactly dude
But that’s the thing everyone has their character and belief and they will defend them to the death
Ace is quiet because we just measured who is taller and I beat him by a whole inch
So who does the actual writing of your books? Trowa (name is on the cover)?
Yeah I write Em but I’m slow hehe
That drives comments and likes and shares on the page
Lots of help and lots of edits
(Psh Goku would totally win :P)
Cloud writes it all and the rest of us create and help edit after
It took 2 and a half years or creation and world building before I wrote anything
We focus grouped the entire plot basically minus what Trowa adds based on his experience and inspirations from us as he writes
Who designs the website? How do you go about the process of creating a book? Trowa writes and shows it to others everyday?
Haha everyday no that’s impossible
This is a complicated question
But I’ll try and simplify it
We have a crew member that develops the website but Cloud and I handle design.
A book is essentially 45% creation 10% writing and 45% editing
You have many other collaborators too. What do they do?
They are in our crew of dreamers we call the Deathless. They are fellow artists that are also pursuing their dreams.
Once it’s entirely mapped out and we know where it’s going we plan out the individual scenes and then I sit down and write and once a book is done I send it out for its rounds through the crew
Some collaborators are a part of the project, others are friends of ours who are artists
How many books have you guys sold?
Check this out
The normal self published book sells 117 total units in its lifetime
We did 10x that in our first 6 months
So it’s going good so far but we really want an anime to come of this
You are definitely on the road to success. Other indies walk alone, you guys have created a publishing house of your own! About the manga, who is the artist? When’s it releasing?
Sean Lam is the artist. We held a contest back in December of 2014 that involved 140 artists from around the world. Sean clearly won and began working on the manga in March of 2015. The first volume will pre-release at Anime Expo and San Diego Comic-con in July, but then we will pull it off until the official release. We plan to officially release it when we sign with a publishing house. Our hope is to partner with Viz Media, the American subsidiary of Shueisha.
Tell me about Curseborn merchandise.
There’s a preview of the cover for the manga, about 12 days left till exclusive pre-release
The inventory is expanding. We have a few original t-shirt designs that we take with us from convention to convention, and also sell online. We just signed with People’s Choice Apparel, a US based apparel company to do blankets, shirts, phone cases, and sweatshirts. On top of that, we sell posters. We’re developing toys and we want to start crafting weapons and items from the story. We sell prints of paintings done by our cover artist Jon C. Pool.
I was writing put our inventory
(*looks down at Ace (since I’m taller) ^^/
Send it Simon!
I erased it
So yeah we got t shirts and shit
You can also rent our author
How can you even see me from down there, Ace?
Your hanging upside down bro
Cloud on the right Ace on the left. Ace is clearly taller.
Wow! I’ve never heard other indies do that!… Anyway, on which platform have you guys been most successful? Amazon, smashwords or your own website?
They’re both standing up
Dude I’m sitting and he’s standing
We are most successful in person at conventions
Yeah at cons dude
When we talk to people and explain our story we also get new fans
So you sell print more than ebooks? That’s definitely more like trad publishing!
Even though ebooks are gaining in popularity, it still only makes up around 10 percent of the market
Online platforms require marketing to get the reach to people who don’t know about the book. We don’t put any money into marketing yet, all of it goes to the constant development of content.
People still want to hold a physical copy
Yeah dude almost all physical books
Besides a book in the hand is better to read anyhow 🤓
So, we are nearing the end of the interview, only a few questions left… Anyway, how many words does Trowa write in a day?
Ah really depends on the day I can vouch I’ve seen him sit down for 18 hours straight
I average about 4000 words a day
(18 hours and he still only got down 3 words)
But I’ve done over 7000 in a day not too rare
(But they were epic words)
They were “I’m on break” lol
I’m pretty quick with the writing
It’s the creation that takes a long time
That is accurate
I’m just putting down the hard work and ideas we create as a team
A blank page is a really nice thing tho
Editing is brutal but necessary to learn for any writer
7000? Really?… I struggle to do 700!… Anyway, what advice would you give to other people who are thinking of teaming up and creating a book series like you guys?
Follow your heart. Never give up. Only you can stop you. And lastly, reject common sense to make the impossible possible 😁
Find people that you love and have fun with, and then go have some fun with them.
Have a concept that inspires. If you’re bored with it so will your audience be. Then put in the work. You need to push through all the bad times and create. As far as a team make the story your first priority among you all and your friendship will stay intact
Take criticism well but respect it at the same time and trust your team
Practice makes perfect. Read authors who you like the styles of voraciously and study them as if you were in school.
Last question. Anything you would like to add to the interview?
True that Guts, story is highest priority and keeps us strong because it’s more important than all of us
(forgot to ask this) Which are your favourite books, guys?
Yes, we are going to launch a Kickstarter in the fall, so if your followers like what they read in this email, please go to our website and add their email to our list. We will send out updates and news regarding the campaign. Also, on our website, you can find the whole first book for free!
If anyone has any further questions at the bottom of our website www.Curseborn.com you can contact us directly | Also, and this is something unknown being released at this interview. There is a remastered edition of book 1 Fade to black being released in 2 weeks at Anime Expo. It is slightly longer, and the novellas will be now called Shards instead.
Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Last words: everyone has something that they want to do but never act on it. They think someone else will do it someone else is doing it. They think they have nothing to offer. But everyone does whether it be a story or a skill. Just throw away your apprehension and do something and the rewards will be infinite
Cloud of sparrows favourite book
Favorite books are ~ Lord of the Rings, Silmarillion, The Name of the Wind, The Alchemist, Harry Potter and the Eragon series, the old man and the sea **
My favorite story is One Piece.
Yeiiiii One Piece !
I’m a film director so I’ll stick with the screen content.
One piece for sure!!
Final Fantasy 7/8/9/10!
My favorite anime slash manga is Berserk
Gurren Lagann !
Lastly, Goku vs. Superman…
Top is Shanks, Gatsu on left, Ace on right, Cloud at bottom
Haha, sure!… Bye for now, it was fun chatting with you guys.
Sounds good thank you aj!
Cheers AJ, thank you and have a good one.
That’s Ace first then Guts and then me and Shanks (me left shanks right)
Thanks AJ good to meet you dude
A. J. Chaudhury is a young author from India writing mostly in the fantasy genre. His historical low fantasy short “A Song of Blood” releases shortly. Click here to download his fantasy novella “The Drabird” for free.