#Dirtydozen #Meetanauthor #Scifi
Name: Andrew P. Weston
Please tell us about your publications.
My publications have been produced with the guidance and support of the team at Perseid Press and as you will see, I tend to favour themes with a science fiction, fantasy and paranormal bent.
The science fiction slot is filled with the IX Series, detailing the trials and tribulations of the legendary lost 9th Legion of Rome who marched into the mists of Caledonia in circa 100AD and were never seen again. Needless to say, they didn’t just disappear, and the series has grown into something of a gem.
The trilogy is comprised of the following books: The IX – Exordium of Tears – Prelude of Sorrow. (Just released, get it while it’s piping hot!)
The fantasy paranormal niche is nicely filled by the exploits of Satan’s Reaper, Daemon Grim. His adventures are told through a series of anthologies and full novels incorporated within Janet Morris’ critically acclaimed Heroes in Hell universe.
The novels are: Hell Bound – Hell Hounds – (and Hell Gate out in the Fall of 2018 – stay tuned).
The anthologies that leapfrog the novels are: Grim – Doctors in Hell, Pieces of Hate – Pirates in Hell, and later this year, Devil’s Trull – Lovers in Hell.)
If you want to stay with the flow of Daemon Grim’s evolution, it would be best to start with Doctors in Hell, and then go on to Hell Bound; Pirates in Hell, followed by Hell Hounds. Do you see? Each of the anthology pieces is a complete short story in itself, but it also adds substance to Grim’s overall adventure.
What first prompted you to publish your work?
The challenge! There’s a well-known maxim that states we all have a book inside us. But how many actually sit down and do it? How many dedicate themselves to the uphill marathon of putting all those thoughts and ideas into a coherent mass, from which you have to pick out the nuts and bolts of an organized tale that grips and entertains? I nearly gave up a good half dozen times on my first book. But I’m glad I persisted … because now I can’t seem to stop.
What have you found the most challenging part of the process?
Now I’m progressing? Being too picky. When I write the first draft and complete my running edits, I’m paranoid about not repeating the mistakes I made in my first few manuscripts of overusing certain ‘descriptive’ words or expressions.
I can’t help it. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, which makes me my own worst enemy when it comes to relaxing and letting things roll naturally. (The amount of hair pulling and fist clenching that goes on in my house would entertain the most avid WWE fan).
However, I’m addressing that particular challenge and hope to grow my hair back soon.
Are you a ‘pantser’ or a ‘plotter’?
I think it’s true to say I plot by the seat of my pants!
My readers will know I do plan things out rather meticulously before I start writing, especially during the world building stage. The same goes when it comes to the story arc. I like to chart the course I intend to follow so I can prepare sub-plots and mini-arcs along the way. You know, those little side-stories that keep the reader engrossed. However, I’ve learned NOT to stick rigidly to plan. Some of my best, most heartrending scenes came to me ‘mid-type.’ And when I went with those spur-of-the-moment ideas and allowed them to expand until they were interwoven into my concept…? Well, I think my stories have been enriched in every case. (Mac McDonald’s death in The IX being one such panster moment. Originally, he wasn’t destined to die, you see J ).
How influential is storytelling to our culture?
Nowhere near as influential as it should be.
I was very fortunate growing up, my mother would read to me every night before bed, and my father was always making weird and wonderful tales up with which to regale me. Whether it was written or no, I remember how I lived what I was listening to, imagining in my head what the monsters looked like, the creatures in the forests, the undersea caves full of treasure, etc. Storytelling stimulates the mind – in both the speaker and listener – and encourages a world of fantasy in ways mobile phones and iPods never will.
Which authors have influenced you the most?
Stephen Donaldson: for his use of descriptive prose. (and a darn good story-arc).
Tad Williams: for writing in a way that involves you in the most incredulous adventures as if they really could be a part of everyday life.
Neil Gaiman: Because it’s Neil Gaiman and I don’t think there’s a topic in existence he can’t turn into a weirdly, wonderful marvel that will hold you spellbound to the end.
Edgar Allen Poe: He inspired me to bear my dark soul in poetry, and damned the consequences.
What is your writing space like?
Think of what a gaily decorated and fully-laden Christmas Tree looks like after playful kittens high on catnip have been let loose on it for a while, and you won’t go far wrong.
Tell us about your latest piece?
I’m just concluding the Author’s Cut edition of Kiss of the Succubus, book 2 of the Cambion Journals. This particular series is being completed in tandem with the first Guardians trilogy. Both were debut works I completed as I broke into the business and I’m ensuring to give them the attention they deserve. I can’t wait for readers to meet these characters – especially Augustus Thorne. (You’ll see, ladies. You’ll see.)
What’s your next writing adventure?
I’m still thinking about it. Once the Author’s cut versions of the Guardian Series and Cambion Journals are out the way, I have the foundations in place for several projects: Something from the IX world – most likely a prequel; the completion of the second trilogy from the Guardians universe; new adventures within the Cambion multiverse; the further exploits of Daemon Grim; and a brand new untitled project set in a dystopian future.
I know…so much to do, so little time, and only one pair of hands!
What is the last book you’ve read?
The Artisans of Albia trilogy by Cas Peace. (It comes as one book you see…a cunning ploy) I really do recommend it. It’s great fun to read and will definitely pique your interest in the follow-ups. (I know I’ll be reading them)
Is this the age of the e-book? Are bricks and mortar bookshops in decline?
No. True readers love real books too much. The smell and atmosphere in a bookshop can’t be replaced. This subject reminds me of a wonderful little one-liner the actor Stephen Fry said to an interviewer who asked him a similar question. His reply ran along the lines of…”Books are no more threatened by Kindle than stairs by elevators.”
Isn’t that awesome? And it makes a powerful point, doesn’t it?
Yes, I enjoy ebooks and the ease by which you can buy them online. But buying and reading them that way will never usurp actually holding the real deal in your hands and feeling its cover, the texture of the page, the smell of the printing process and the ambience of a shop. Heaven.
Is there a message in your books?
Always. The thing is, spotting them.
Some are tongue-in-cheek. From the very beginning, I’ve sprinkled cross-references to my other works in each novel. Little phrases here and there. A name, a title, a term of endearment or address. (Here’s a good one – when The Rage of Augustus, Book 1 of the Cambion Series becomes available, see if you can spot a direct nod toward ME – Andrew P. Weston, author). I’m there if you look carefully. And no, I’m not talking about my name on the cover. J
Apart from that, I do like to include some form of real-world moral or ethical dilemma within my story arcs that helps the reader appreciate, “What if?” What would I do if I faced that predicament? Would I be as restrained? That strong? That determined? Or would I simply take the easy course and go with the flow?
Again, they are there if you look, and each of them are specific to the story arc in question.
Links to Prelude to Sorrow
Andrew P. Weston is Royal Marine and Police veteran from the UK who now lives on the beautiful Greek island of Kos with his wife, Annette, and their growing family of rescue cats.
An astronomy and criminal law graduate, he is the creator of the internationally acclaimed IX Series and Hell Bound & Hell Hounds (novels forming part of Janet Morris’ Heroes in Hell shared universe). Andrew also has the privilege of being a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the British Fantasy Society, the British Science Fiction Association and the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.
When not writing, Andrew devotes some of his spare time to assisting NASA with one of their remote research projects, and writes educational articles for Astronaut.com and Amazing Stories.