ideas take life in Words
A blog following the works (and shenanigans) of J.E. Klimov
ideas take life in Words
A blog following the works (and shenanigans) of J.E. Klimov
"I believe an author’s vision should grow organically from each writer’s own beliefs and perceptions for each and every work."
It’s not every day when you cozy in a Barnes and Noble nook when you meet a fellow author. An author of fantasy no less! I’m pleased to bring back “Authors Supporting Authors”, featuring Eric Stockwell, who not only published his first novel but also is a procreator of other mind-stimulating rhetoric on Goodreads. He has graciously accepted stop by my blog and answer a few questions. I’m honored to have him.
Public service announcement: This is living proof you can find like-minded writers anywhere (although a reading establishment increases your odds greatly). I’ve already learned much from him and am looking forward to reading his dark fantasy, “The Truthseeker”. [Amazon link at end of interview]
PS: Find him on Goodreads and check out his blog. I’ve glanced at it and love what he has to say:
Do tell us a little bit about yourself and what is your vision as an author!
-It wasn’t until my formative, teenage years that I turned my creative explorations into writing; poetry and lyrics were my first loves and served as building blocks into short stories and, eventually novel writing. I also spent my time learning various martial arts into my early twenties; from those experiences, I’m able to describe the ebb and flow of physical combat with a measure of success. I’m ashamed to admit this but, in my teens I’d also gotten mixed up with a bad crowd; you guessed it… table-top role players. D&D, Pathfinder, Shadowrun, L5R and others were our drugs of choice, and I also enjoy pulling inspiration from those settings into my written works.
As for the second part of your question, I could hammer out some mission statement that, at the time of writing, sounds half-way reasonable; unfortunately, the honesty of it would be on a precariously short time table. I believe an author’s vision should grow organically from each writer’s own beliefs and perceptions for each and every work. It would be unrealistic to believe authors don’t grow and evolve much like we can hope their characters do, after all. As for my current vision, I’d probably describe it as Hope desperately trying to claw out of an ever-deepening pit of despair and adversity. I know that sounds bleak, but there’s beauty here; Hope’s natural tendency to keep trying is what keeps all of us invested and serves to inspire us.
[Julian's comment: I totally agree with your statement about author growth. It's funny though I didn't conceptualize it until you brought it up.]
What was the inspiration behind “The Truthseeker”?
-My eyes glazed over with the potential length of my answer to this one. I’ll handle this with a list of inspirations in no particular order.
1.Song by EDITORS – An End Has a Start
2.Movie – Never Ending Story
3.Book by Charles Dickens – A Christmas Carol
4.Short stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne – ANY, ALL
5.Table-top fantasy games – D&D, etc.
6.Anime though no particular one comes to mind.
7.Religion, albeit loosely, no bible-thumping hardline here.
"The Truthseeker" is your first novel. What were your greatest challenges?
-My single, ongoing greatest challenge is that of being an Unknown Author, not only in its state of being but the stigma attached to it. There’s a widely accepted fallacy that unknown authors are OBVIOUSLY no-talent-hacks or they would be known. Any of you, reading this Q&A, know that this just isn’t the case. There are countless new authors out there, myself included, consisting of both talent and passion for the craft of storytelling. Regrettably, I’ve not yet mastered the art of marketing myself, nor transformed myself into some youtube personality. What writers like myself need are readers that are willing to write reviews, willing to tell family, friends, coworkers about the amazing book they have enjoyed. Until I can find a fan base of such readers, I’m simply an unknown author.
[Julian's comment: Also true. You are bursting at the seams with wisdom. It's quite the frustrating challenge]
What did you enjoy the most about the writing process?
-Playing God, naturally; it’s the single, purest form of escapism that I can think of. I haven’t met a single person that’s entirely content with their lives, nor confident in the control they try to exert in the world immediately around them. Mercifully, we writers have an out; we get to play God.
What’s your top advice for aspiring authors?
-There are going to be people that tell you, you’re not good enough, that you have no business trying to write anything. Sadly, I’m not even referring to random strangers; I’m talking family, friends, loved ones… people you generally count on for support. Know this, writing is the ultimate expression of individualism; you’ll have to tap into an inner strength that most can’t imagine, and at times that seem most impossible. An example of most impossible being when you are literally the ONLY ONE that believes in you. You may need to walk away from “friends” you’ve known, in search of ones that appreciate you and your ambitions. Make every effort to surround yourself with people willing to help you instead of tear you down. Always remember, those accustomed to saying you can’t do something, often lack the talent and conviction to do it themselves; dispose of them immediately.
What are you working on now?
-From a literary standpoint, there’s a project I’ve been tinkering with off and on. It’s another dark fantasy novel that kicks off with a recently resurrected soldier, a half-breed cleric that failed Succubus School, and a wise-cracking hell-hound guardian. What could POSSIBLY GO WRONG? All kidding aside though, when I do find opportunity to work on it, I do enjoy myself.
“The Truthseeker” is a dark fantasy. Is fantasy your “specialty” or do you work in other genres as well?
-I’d suggest fantasy is my specialty in so much as that genre affords me the most freedom. I’ve found that many of the other genres have very specific guidelines that authors are expected to adhere to. That’s not to say I haven’t explored word-play in other genres. Some examples can be seen in my Goodreads blog.
In your Goodread’s profile, you say that your ultimate aim is to create thought-provoking content. This is refreshing to hear since there are a lot of junk cranked out for the sake of existence. What complexities can we expect in “The Truthseeker”.
-Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, the main character is literally the reader him or herself. Many books provide some bland alter ego for the reader to comfortably hide behind, but that’s not the animal I birthed here. No, this is far bloodier, uncomfortable and important; these events involve things you’ve done and endured before the you, you currently know.
-Secondly, there’s a point that I start addressing the time honored question of why do bad things happen? I’m not going to suggest that the reasons put forth, in my tale, are entirely accurate, but I DID have a lot of fun with this one.
-The last thing I’ll hint toward is, yes, you’ve obviously succeeded in your efforts to attain the life you currently enjoy but, did you do it without any strings attached? For THAT answer, you’ll have to read the book.
I can’t wait to read this novel! Although I’ve read a few reviews (non-spoiler ones) and saw that this is written in the second person. Why did you choose this POV?
-This POV was essential because the narrator, having used yours truly as an unwitting conduit, considered it of vital importance that you be reminded of everything you had experienced in that other place. This narrator reveals itself at the end of the book, both larger than life and a mere fraction of its former self all at once.
“The Truthseeker” is your first published novel; however, I noticed you have some thought provoking reads of all sorts on your Goodreads blog. How do your experiences writing your novel differ from other pieces?
-In a word, intent. The Truthseeker is my idealistic, fever-dream attempt to save the reader’s very soul. Let’s be honest, this day and age, someone has to do it. Might as well be me. That stated, if you require a more heroic sentiment, hopefully the following serves; I had nothing better to do.
To further illustrate intent, a short story in my blog, titled: Fun and Hijinks in the Land of Sheol has an interesting back story. I don’t recall the specific date, but there was a specific terrorist attack in France, during a major holiday. The terrorist in question drove a box truck down a long, crowded street of civilians during the height of festivities. My sincere belief was that there was a special place in Hell for such a person and yet, that wasn’t quite good enough. No, I needed to take it upon myself to meticulously craft this terrorist’s specific corner of hell, as well as his most dutiful hostess. I considered it a moral imperative, and I enjoyed every last, delicious moment of it.