5-STAR Fantasy / Sci-Fi

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Indie Author Interview: Charles E. Yallowitz

Indie Author Interview with Charles E. Yallowitz - Author of the Fantasy Novel Beginning of a Hero (Legends of Windemere).

One day Charles E. Yallowitz, returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author.

So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere.

Interview with Charles E. Yallowitz

Indie Author Interview with Charles E. Yallowitz
Author Charles E. Yallowitz
Alan Kealey (Indie Author News): What is your (writing) background?
Charles E. Yallowitz: I’ve always been jotting down stories since I was child, but I didn’t start taking writing seriously until I hit high school. I went to SUNY Oswego to major in English Writing Arts, which is really Creative Writing. Truthfully, college taught me the basics and helped me create the foundation of my current style. I’ve spent a decade writing, editing my own work, and attending local writing workshops to refine that style

Who are your favorite writers, your favorite books, and who or what are your writing influences?
My favorite authors are J.R.R. Tolkien, Fred Saberhagen, Orson Scott Card, and John Flanagan. All of these authors created such vivid and memorable characters and worlds, which is what I hope to do with my writing. All these authors have influenced and inspired me along with growing up reading comic books and stories about mythology. Another influence of mine is fencing, which has helped me learn more about how to write detailed and exciting action scenes.
My favorite books are Ender’s Game, The Ranger’s Apprentice series, The Hobbit, Wizard of Earthsea, and The Books of Lost Swords series.

When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
I was 15 when I finished reading The Books of Lost Swords series by Fred Saberhagen. Something about the world and characters that he created sparked my ambition. I’ve always had a vivid imagination and a love of telling stories, but this event is what motivated me to be an author. I haven’t been able to think of doing anything else since that time.

"I edit until I’m sick of reading the book[...]"

Tell us about your writing process. Do you have a writing routine?

I do a lot of pre-writing planning such as character biographies and plot outlines. These are all tentative because when I begin writing, I tend to find other paths for my characters. I think about the scenes I’m about to write while I ease into my day, so I have a general idea of my daily goals. Once my first draft is done, I do several edits on printed copies of my book. I edit until I’m sick of reading the book and drag my feet even if I took months off from it. That’s the sign that I’m going to start making changes for the sake of making changes.

"The book is never good enough [...]"

What do you find easiest about writing? What the hardest?
The easiest thing about writing for me is the first draft. I have a lot of fun seeing where the story will go and if my characters will do something unexpected. I’ve had many entertaining scenes come about by free flowing writing to see where the characters take me.
The hardest part is knowing when you’ve done all you can for your book. I know a lot of writers who are stuck in the editing stage and they’ve been there for years. The book is never good enough, so they constantly tear it apart and rebuild it. So, an author needs to find that point where they distance themselves and say ‘I’m ready to take the plunge and publish’.

Charles, please tell us a little about your Fantasy Series ‘Legends of Windemere.’
Legends of Windemere is the first series to take place in my high fantasy world of Windemere. It follows Luke Callindor, who is young warrior from a family of heroes. He has set out to prove that he’s worthy of his last name, so he is very immature and flawed at the beginning. Along the way, he joins forces with other adventurers to face a powerful enemy that threatens the world. Much of the series deals with what it takes to be a hero and how far the characters have to go to be the victors. If I had to describe the fantasy type of Legends of Windemere, I would say it’s a lighthearted adventure series with a lot of humor and action.

Beginning of a Hero (Charles E. Yallowitz)
Click to Read an Excerpt

What inspired you to write the series?
I played a lot of Dungeons & Dragons in high school and the hobby came with me to college. The difference is that in college, there was a focus on story and characters. The first game I joined was where I created a half-elven warrior named Luke Callindor. This series follows the game to a point, but I quickly realized that what works for a game doesn’t always work for a book. I believe this type of activity and influence appealed to my present tense writing style, which I’ve been using since high school. Until recently, I didn’t even realize I wrote this way or that it was a unique tense.

Who do you see as your target audience and where can we buy the books?
The age of my characters and the lightheartedness are ideal for Young Adult readers. I have also found praise with readers who are trying to get into the Fantasy genre. I have been told by these readers that my writing style makes them feel like they are watching the action unfold, which helps them get a feel for the world and genre.
You can buy my books at Amazon.

"You can’t sit back and let a book try to sell itself."

How would you describe the success of your book so far? (Sales, Awards, Reviews)
A lot of hard work. I run a blog to help promote my book and connect with other authors, so I maintain a physical presence on the blogosphere. Through blogging, I have been able to do guest posts and interviews on book-based blogs, which helps spread my name and books to potential readers. I use Twitter and Facebook every day to promote my books along with several advertising sites that have one-time payment services.
One of the keys to successfully selling a book is to promote yourself and make sure people hear about you. You can’t sit back and let a book try to sell itself. Even one hour a day of tweeting and posting can net you a few sales that you wouldn’t have if you didn’t put the effort in.

How long did it take it to write the book?
Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Hero took about 3 years to write while I was in college. I worked on it occasionally and put it aside for my last year to make sure I graduated. After I graduated, I spent the next 10 years editing the book and working on the other books of the series.

Please, tell us where you self-published the book.
I self-published my book Amazon.com. I joined their KDP Select program, so I am Kindle exclusive.

"Having a reputation as an author who assists other authors brings many benefits."

How smooth went the self-publishing process? Any issues? What are things to look for when self-publishing a book?
There are two areas that I found to be the most frustrating when I self-published. The first is formatting my books to Kindle, but that does get easier the second time around. Part of the challenge is finding the guidelines and having the patience to check the previews when you upload your book. Key points on this one: No tabs, No page breaks (use section breaks), and no more than 3 enter strikes.
The second is promotion because a first-time author typically has no contacts or much of a clue what to do. Always remain calm and start promoting before you release your book. Make friends with other Indie Authors and don’t stay within your genre. For example, I write Fantasy, but I made friends with a lot of Romance authors. The Indie Author community is vast and you only have to start talking to people to make friends. These friends become your allies and your support network when you are learning the ropes of self-publishing. Remember to return the favor and share your experience and knowledge with authors that are in your footsteps. Having a reputation as an author who assists other authors brings many benefits.

Did you hire an editor and/or Cover Designer for your book?
I did not hire an editor for my book because I was unable to afford one. I used beta readers and went over my book multiple times. I did hire a Cover Designer named Jason Pedersen. He is very talented and my wife’s cousin, so I admit to getting lucky in terms of cover art.

"[...] some tips for other Indie Authors."

Can you give some tips for other Indie Authors regarding the writing and self-publishing process?
1. Make friends with other Indie Authors through blogging to gain contacts and support.
2. Aim for a fan base with your first book. Most first books move slowly, so focus more on reputation than royalty checks. Those checks will come when your fan base grows.
3. Have confidence in your style, but be open for feedback and suggestions.
4. If you find yourself making edits for the sake of making edits then it’s time to put the book away and move on to another project. If you return to the book and do it again, it’s time to commission some cover art and publish.
5. Try to find humor in the negative reviews and not get publicly upset. You’re not going to please everyone with your books.

Are you working on another book project? Can you tell us a little about it?
I’m currently editing my 4th book entitled Legends of Windemere: Family of the Tri-Rune, which continues the adventure of Luke Callindor and his friends. This story deals with Nyx, the heroine of Legends of Windemere: Prodigy of Rainbow Tower, returning to the city of Hero’s Gate to fix a terrible mistake that she made. This mistake plunged the city into chaos and the citizens blame Nyx for everything, so she must depend on her friends to help her clear her reputation.

"My joy comes from telling stories and getting feedback [...]

Are you planning to move forward as an Indie author or are you looking forward to have one of your next books to be traditionally published?
I’m waiting to see what happens. I would love to be traditionally published, but I’m just as happy to be an Indie Author. My joy comes from telling stories and getting feedback, which I’ve accomplished by being an Indie Author.

Where do you see the book market in 5 or 10 years? Will there be only eBooks and will book stores disappear like record stores disappeared?
I think there will always be a niche for physical bookstores because there will always be an audience for physical books. eBooks are easier to carry, but there is something about a physical book that appeals to a person. People have different tastes and preferences, so there will always be someone who prefers paperback over eBook. I think bookstores will survive if they sell both eBooks and paperbacks alongside other services that you can’t get from an on-line store.

Do you write full-time or do you have a day job?
I write full-time right now. I had been bouncing from one temp job to another and decided that it was time to make a major move for the dream.

How can readers connect with you?
Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/cyallowitz
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CharlesYallowitz

Thank you very much for the Interview, Charles.

About the Book Beginning of a Hero (Legends of Windemere)

Beginning of a Hero (Charles E. Yallowitz)
Click to Read an Excerpt
Take a step into the magical world of Windemere where history is forged by brave adventurers.

Luke Callindor was born into Windemere’s most decorated family of adventurers. Since his birth, he has been treated with the greatest amount of respect and awe. Now, with a lifetime of training and the reckless cockiness of youth, Luke has set out to prove that he deserves the admiration that comes from being a Callindor.

Luke gets his chance when he convinces a royal messenger to hire him to protect the heir of Duke Solomon. This future leader is secretly attending Hamilton Military Academy, an esteemed school run by the former mercenary, Selenia Hamilton. It is a dangerous secret mission requiring that Luke pretend to be an average student while keeping an eye out for any sign of danger. Unfortunately, Luke has no idea which student the heir is and a demonic assassin is already several steps ahead of him. Finding himself in over his head and constantly in trouble, the young warrior realizes that the only things he has on his side are some new friends and his unwavering courage.

Links to the Book

Link to the Paperback Beginning of a Hero (Legends of Windemere) with Excerpt on Amazon

Link to the eBook Beginning of a Hero (Legends of Windemere) with Excerpt on Amazon

1 comment:

Melanie Jean Juneau said...

excellent tips and advice

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