5-STAR Fantasy / Sci-Fi

Monday, October 13, 2014

Indie Author Interview: Chase Blackwood

Indie Author Interview with Chase Blackwood - Author of the Fantasy Novel Tears of a Heart.

Chase Blackwood has had the fortune of traveling since an early age. This led to years spent abroad, in a variety of fields. Learning languages rather quickly, the author used that advantage in studying martial arts, culminating in training under a number of masters in the orient for a few years.

Interview with Chase Blackwood

Author Chase Blackwood
Author Chase Blackwood
Alan Kealey (Indie Author News): What is your (writing) background?
Chase Blackwood: As many authors, I've been writing since a young age. I would write short stories as a child only to find them years later, re-read them and realize how poorly written they truly were.
I wrote my first novel at the age of 16, it was accepted by a small publishing company, only for them to file for bankruptcy. I took it in stride and started another novel, The Winds of Moira, at the age of 18.
As the decades have passed I have had the opportunity to write for a few small journals, write in a scientific setting, in the business world, write a couple of health books, and write reports to aid in military and civilian efforts.

Who are your favorite writers, your favorite books, and who or what are your writing influences?
There are many accomplished writers that have shaped my own writing over the years. These influences changed as I grew older, but I still recall their effects. To name a few that caught my eye as a young teenager, Wilbur Smith, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. As I got older I read a wide variety of genres and authors, a few that stand out are Timothy Zahn, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Brandon Sanderson, and Patrick Rothfuss.

When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
This is a difficult question, but possibly in the womb, at least according to my mother. I think I just kicked around a lot.

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I remember coming across a story I must have written when I was around six years of age. It was a simple story about me, my dog, and a nonlinear and nonsensical adventure we undertook together to a made up land. Not exactly New York Times Bestseller quality work.

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

Indeed I do have a routine. For a completely new series I begin by imagining the world along with the main story arc. I take a couple of weeks to flush out ideas for the world to include political systems, religious systems, layout of the world, cultures, languages, monetary system, along with important characters, and the voice I'd like to tell the story in.
Once I begin writing I like to sit and write during times of greater inspiration. This normally means when I am more rested. I write horribly on a tired or stressed mind.
I will often re-read what I have read that day or the day after, catch any obvious mistakes.
Once I have written a significant amount I then go back over my work several times. Each pass focuses on something different: character development, world building, pacing, consistencies in story line, dialogue, and prose.

Please, describe your desk/workplace.
This depends where I am living. I write on a laptop. I move relatively often, so, wherever I am becomes my work space.

What do you find easiest about writing? What the hardest?
The easiest thing about writing is putting words to paper. The hardest thing is making sure those words sound good, make sense, and are part of something greater.

"I enjoy seeing a novel come together."

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I enjoy seeing a novel come together. I also enjoy dropping "Easter Eggs," small foreshadowing hints of events later to come.

Chase, please tell us a little about your Fantasy Novel Tears of a Heart.
Tears of a Heart is set in a world on the verge of war. It is book one in a series.
It is unique in that a greater effort was made to paint the book in strokes true to life. Instead of the typical hero who instantly has powers or learns to be the greatest hero the world has ever known in a matter of months, it spans a greater scale of time. Instead of following an overly linear thread, the book follows the path of the main character, a boy. A boy who is shaped by events in his life, defined through actions and must overcome obstacles in order to face his fears, become a better man, and ultimately grow into the legend he is destined to become.

Tears of a Heart (Chase Blackwood)
Click to Read an Excerpt

What inspired you to write the book?
A couple of years ago I read Patrick Rothfuss' book, The Name of the Wind. I ended up reading that book three times. I loved the beauty of his writing, the depth of his character, and the world he created. I felt compelled to create my own world, characters, and beautifully written book.

Who do you see as your target audience and where can we buy the book?
I think my target audience would be those who enjoy a good story. It is a fantasy novel and as such is geared to the fantasy audience. However, (note this is my opinion), I think that fantasy readers tend to be more well-read than certain genres, and can be a discerning crowd. For those who enjoy the lyrical writing style of Patrick Rothfuss or Carlos Ruiz Zafon, you're likely to enjoy Tears of a Heart. For those who love the dialogue, history, and unpredictability of Game of Thrones, you may enjoy Tears of a Heart.
And most anyone looking for the beginning of a story that will only continue to grow and entertain, you will enjoy Tears of a Heart.

"In a word, Tears of a Heart is beautiful."

What makes your book special?
There are several reasons why I feel Tears of a Heart is special. It has been a work of passion for some time, inspired by true life experiences, history, and a vivid imagination.
The book draws upon a depth of personal experience that few authors can bring to bear. These experiences helped breath life into the characters. They helped paint a vivid and unique world colored in shades of truth.
When prior life experiences are inadequate to fill the pages I have turned to history for inspiration. There is no greater tale than that which has already been told in the billions of lives already lived. The complexity of the human condition lends to a realistic feel and at times a gritty edge.
The last, and possibly most challenging to accomplish, is the voice of the story. It is told in a lyrical style of prose, meant to illicit images within the readers mind and pull at the heart strings. The pacing and wording were carefully selected to raise the bar for those used to many of the novels currently on the market.
In a word, Tears of a Heart is beautiful.

How would you describe the success of your book so far?
The book has been doing better than I thought it would have. I have sold hundreds of copies in the first 15 days with little advertising, and the sales seem to be growing, which I can only assume is word of mouth. I obviously hope this continues. The more people who enjoy it, let me know, the faster I will be able to begin work on the second book in the series.

How long did it take it to write the book?
From beginning to publishing it took approximately a year and a half.

"Write when you feel inspired."

Can you give some advice for other Authors regarding the writing process?
Get a good night's sleep. Keep balance in your life in regards to diet, exercise, work, friends, and family. Write when you feel inspired. When you're stuck, bounce ideas off friends, look to history for inspiration.

Are you working on another book project? Can you tell us a little about it?
I have slowly begun work on book two of the Kan Savasci Cycle, tentatively titled Tower of the Arkein.

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?
There has been a gradual trend to greater eBook sales because of the proliferation of electronic devices and the sheer convenience of rapid downloads. As the next technology-driven generation comes to purchasing age I believe greater numbers of eBooks will be sold, as bookstores, libraries, publishers, and newspapers struggle to redefine themselves in order to maintain a certain amount of the market share.

What is your e-reading device of choice?
I prefer the Kindle paper white device.

Do you write full-time or do you have a day job? When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I have a full-time job.
When I am not writing or working I enjoy traveling, playing with my dog, eating good foods, and reading, all in the company of my beautiful wife.

How can readers connect with you?
I am not very good at social media. I attempt to maintain a health website for those looking to improve their lives, when time allows (www.plenary-fitness.com). I am on GoodReads, but I am not very active on it. I guess I am a difficult author to connect with. I have a blog: chaseblackwood.blog.com, this may be the best place to connect with me, until the day that I become better with great social media tools like The FaceBook, or the bird one - Twitter.

Thank you very much for the Interview, Chase.

About the Book Tears of a Heart

Tears of a Heart (Chase Blackwood)
Click to Read an Excerpt
Kirin D'Velt was the son of the kovor, the most respected man in his village. Much was expected of him at an early age, until tragedy struck, forcing young Kirin to adopt a new name and leave the only home he ever knew.

Our young hero stumbled across the great Red City within the kingdom of Bodig. There he was swept up in the political machinations of a kingdom in turmoil. He found relative safety in the arms of the Church and as a young novice monk.

Fate, however, had other plans. Soon Kirin was selected to travel north to spread the good word. Along the way he accidentally helped incite rebellion, fell in love and became a slave, finally learning what it meant to be a warrior.

"TEARS OF A HEART is lyrical literary fantasy, excellently-written by an accomplished author. A tale of myths and legends given life, it is couched in the framework of an annalist-a scribe-seeking knowledge of the past in lost lineages and concealed parchments.[...]" - Reader Review

Links to the Book

Link to the Paperback Tears of a Heart with Excerpt on Amazon

Link to the eBook Tears of a Heart with Excerpt on Amazon

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